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Welcome to the sixth edition of ceNEWS for 2019: July
Message from the CEO
I was at the APPEA conference a couple of weeks ago and have found myself frequently reflecting on the presentation by Rod Sims, the Chair of the ACCC. It occurred to me that I might not be the only person worried about what’s being carried on this wind, so I’ve been posting about it on LinkedIn. You can catch up with it by following me. But here’s a bit of what’s been preoccupying me over the past month.
In a speech entitled “State of the East Coast Gas Industry” that extolled the need for more investment and lower prices, Mr Sims had a big focus on transparency, which is not unusual for policy makers in recent years. There were some somewhat ominous words regarding pipelines, which we should all pay attention to:
“The ACCC has concerns with some of the information published in October last year by pipeline operators that are subject to the new information disclosure requirements.”
“For example, some of the financial information published by pipeline operators seems to suggest that they have not recovered any of their original capital investment. This is very surprising given pipeline operators have previously provided information indicating investments are normally fully underwritten by shippers through contracts and they do not tend to build pipeline capacity on a speculative basis.”
This is not the first time the ACCC has said words to this effect. In December last year it said a similar thing, pretty much ‘the only reason we thought pipelines were fully depreciated is because pipeline companies told us they were’.
I find the ACCC’s surprise very surprising, given that the final report of the 2015 East Coast Gas Inquiry (delivered in April 2016, https://www.accc.gov.au/regulated-infrastructure/energy/east-coast-gas-inquiry-2015) does not say that pipeline operators provided information that investments are normally fully underwritten by shippers through contracts. That report demonstrates that the ACCC has arrived at that conclusion despite the evidence that was put to it. Read more in the APGA News or on Steve’s LinkedIn.
Energy Pipelines CRC
After nine years of highly successful operation, the Energy Pipelines CRC has now entered the final wind-down phase. Throughout its life, this CRC has been an outstanding example of collaboration between industry and academia in conducting vital and relevant research that has been quickly transformed into new practices and Standards. Many APGA members have taken an active role in ensuring the success of the Energy Pipelines CRC and, speaking on behalf of the membership of the association, I’d like to express our gratitude. In particular, we would like to thank the APGA industry stalwarts who drove the program from concept through around 100 research projects and to its conclusion: Max Kimber, Leigh Fletcher, Phil Venton, Peter Tuft and Geoff Cope. I’d also point to the contribution of inaugural CEO Valerie Linton and Business Manager and, latterly, CEO Robert Newton. There are many more who have contributed over the past nine years and we thank you all. We move now to a new era with the Future Fuels CRC which has an excellent example to show the way.
The APGA Board met in Melbourne on Thursday 20 June and then networked with firstly the participants of the Women’s Leadership Development Program and then many APGA members at the Melbourne function immediately after the meeting. In addition to the normal business of the meeting, the main points of note for members are as follows:
· The success of the inaugural Women’s Leadership Development Program which was attended by 25 enthusiastic participants and ably led by Gretchen Gagel.
· The Water Committee will reconvene in the near future to seek further engagement with water industry stakeholders.
· The industry needs to prepare itself for a further targeting from respective governments’ policies and we are working hard to prepare ourselves for this.
· Members should be aware that the 2019 Annual Awards nomination period has opened and details of the awards are included below in this month’s ceNEWS.
APGA would like to welcome the following new members approved at the June Board Meeting:
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
- Brownline Australia
Women’s Leadership Development Program
APGA recently held the first session of the pilot Women's Leadership Development Program which has been designed especially for the pipeline and gas industries. A total of 25 enthusiastic participants joined the program which will continue with virtual sessions and a final face-to-face meeting in October. Looks like a great future ahead.
APGA Technical Webinar
Our next webinar, scheduled for 1200 AEST on Wednesday 24 July will be presented by members of the CSG Committee who will give everyone a preview of Version 5 of the Code of Practice for Upstream PE Gathering Lines in the CSG Industry which is due for publication in the next few weeks. Book now: https://www.apga.org.au/events/technical-webinar-csg-code-practice-version-5
The videos of all of our webinars for 2019 are available to members only via the resources on this page https://www.apga.org.au/members-only-resources or via the Technical Webinars link on the home page. Keep an eye out for upcoming technical webinars by checking APGA Events on the website.
Gas and energy policy
Preparation for the upcoming RIS on gas pipeline regulation reform remains the key priority in the policy space this month. APGA is actively and constructively engaged in the RIS process, despite our contention that it is far too soon for such a review to take place. A key policy reform integral to the pipeline regulations under review began only two years ago, and wasn’t fully implemented until October 2018; meaning there’s insufficient evidence to determine whether the reforms were successful. This is also the case with other recent reforms. Certainly, there’s no empirical evidence of significant problems with current regulatory arrangements; in fact, evidence of improvements is starting to emerge. APGA’s approach until publication of the draft RIS document in August or September is to continue to work with government officials and industry stakeholders to highlight why we think the regulatory framework and gas transportation market are working well; why it’s undesirable to propose additional major reforms before the previous tranche of reforms have bedded in properly; and to advocate limited proposals for further improvement.
An example of a newly documented improvement to market operations resulting from recent reforms can be seen with the Day Ahead Auction (DAA). The DAA began 1 March as part of the capacity trading reform package. The first overview of auction activity since it began appeared in a recent AER gas weekly market report. The report shows that in first three months of operations, more than 7000 TJ of capacity was acquired on the auction platform – with most trades occurring at $0/GJ. The results indicate that any market power held by pipeline operators in short-term markets was significantly diminished as a result of the auction.
The DAA example alone constitutes an argument against the need for increased regulatory intervention as an outcome of the RIS process. The gas transportation market is changing, becoming more flexible. Sufficient time is needed to allow the impact of this and other recent market reforms to fully play out before more potential reforms, with the attendant regulatory uncertainty, are put on the table.
APGA Annual Awards
The nomination forms and accompanying information have been circulated to the members this week. The annual awards provide official and public recognition to individuals and companies for their services to the pipeline industry.
There are five categories of awards:
- APGA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Pipeline Industry
- APGA Young Achievement Award
- APGA Safety Award
- APGA Environment Award
- APGA Jeff Shepherd Construction Excellence Award
These are respected awards in an industry that has demonstrated foresight and innovation. Don’t miss this opportunity to nominate someone (or a company) deserving of recognition. Closing date for nominations is Friday 2 August 2019. Award winners will be announced at the opening business session of the 2019 APGA Convention in Adelaide on Monday 14 October.
Nomination forms and further information at: https://www.apga.org.au/apga-annual-awards
APGA Membership Renewals 2019/20.
Renewals for the 2019/20 membership year have been sent out and thank you to everyone who has already renewed. We’d also like to thank you for your patience: it’s the first time we have used this level of automation with renewals, which has been enabled by our new platform so we’ve been on a bit of a learning curve. Things should be a lot smoother next year. Meanwhile, please ensure that you continue to receive the member discounts available for the APGA networking events and the Annual APGA Convention and Exhibition by renewing your membership as soon as possible.
Contact APGA’s Membership Officer, Nicola Straker at email@example.com if you have any questions about your membership.
Credit card charges
As previously advised, you will notice that we have begun recovering the costs of processing credit card transactions through a fee added to those transactions. This fee can be avoided by paying by electronic funds transfer (EFT) which is an option on all APGA invoices.
2019 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition
APGA has produced a video to show everyone how great the APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition is. If you were filmed at the convention in Darwin, you might be in it, so check it out here.
Register now for the 2019 APGA Annual Convention and Exhibition to be held from 12–15 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Register online now and take advantage of the early bird price which expires on 16 August: https://www.conferenceco.com.au/APGA/
A list of available sponsorship options is now available from APGA’s Business Manager. The available sponsorship options commence from $1,000, with the benefits to be provided depending on your level of investment. This is a wonderful opportunity to put your company’s name in front of the industry’s movers and shakers and for you to be associated with APGA’s flagship event for the year. Contact Steve Dobbie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
This year, we have 76 exhibition stands available for the industry to participate in and a limited number of stands are still available. APGA’s Exhibition Coordinator, Charmaine Ogilvie, will be able to provide all of the necessary details on the available stands Contact her at email@example.com This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your products and services to the entire industry at once.
Research and Standards Committee
The APGA RSC met in Sydney on 6 June following the inaugural Future Fuels CRC knowledge transfer seminar. Both events were well attended and generated plenty of discussion. The meeting also featured the last attendance at an RSC meeting by the Energy Pipelines CRC as they complete their activities and wind up over the next couple of months. This has been an outstanding partnership between the industry and association and the CRC and we thank the EPCRC for the immense contribution to the industry over the 10 years of its life. The RSC’s final meeting for 2019 will be held in Perth on Thursday 21 November.
Qld YPF is holding its annual Strike Bowling event on Friday 5 July. Join them for a night of fun and networking and test your skills at strike bowling, laser tag and karaoke. Thank you to MPC Kinetic for sponsoring the event. Book here.
NT YPF will hold its annual networking drinks prior to the Darwin Dinner on 11 July at Mitchell’s bar at the Hilton Darwin. Thank you to APA Group for sponsoring the event. Register now.
will be heading to Qenos for a site tour on 12 July followed by networking drinks at the Bristol Arms Hotel. Thank you to Tremco Pipeline Equipment for sponsoring the event.
Spaces are filling up fast. Register here.
WA YPF is holding its annual combined APGA/YPF Quiz Night on 17 July. This will be a great opportunity for both our young and our experienced members to join forces and test their knowledge. Thank you to major sponsors Momentum Engineering and Rosen. Register here: https://www.apga.org.au/events/wa-ypfapga-quiz-night
Qld YPF is planning a technical evening with the Future Fuels CRC on 7 August in Brisbane. Thank you to Future Fuels for supporting the event. Invitations will be sent out soon.
Qld YPF is also planning a trivia night on 26 September at the Stock Exchange Hotel in Brisbane. Thank you to Major Sponsor Pipe Tek for supporting the event. Other sponsorship opportunities are available. Invitations will be sent soon.
If you’re interested in supporting any of the APGA YPF events held around the country or joining one of the State Committees, please contact APGA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safer Together, a not-for-profit organisation of operating companies and contract partner companies which aim to create the leadership and collaboration needed to build a strong and consistent safety culture in the oil and gas industry, publish safety alerts here. Many of these are available to non-members.
After the FFCRC/RSC seminar in Sydney on 5 June, the Sydney APGA dinner was held at the Stamford Plaza hotel, Sydney Airport. Members and guests were entertained by the stories from GPA Engineering Director, Tony Williams, who reflected on his decades working in our industry. We thank the dinner sponsors, APA Group and the Future Fuels CRC.
The Perth lunch held on 13 June at the Parmelia Hilton was a huge success with more than 120 registrations and Stevan Green from ATCO Gas providing an interesting overview of the Clean Energy Innovation Hub that ATCO has developed at Jandakot. The Hub is designed as a test bed for hybrid energy solutions and will integrate natural gas, solar PV, battery storage and hydrogen production. We thank our sponsors for this event, Denso and Oceaneering.
The normal Melbourne June dinner was changed to an informal networking event this year. It was held at the Woolshed venue in Docklands on 20 June and more than 130 attendees enjoyed a fantastic night. The sponsors for the function were Nacap and Peter Norman Personnel and we thank both companies for their support. All three of the new informal networking events held in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne this year have been heralded as a success, so we will continue with these three events in future schedules.
The Darwin dinner will be held on 11 July and our guest speaker will be Paul Tyrrell, the Chair of the NT Gas Taskforce. Paul is responsible for leading the the Northern Territory Government’s recently announced five-point strategy for developing the NT as a as a world class hub for gas production, manufacturing and services by 2030. This promises to be of great interest to all pipeliners. Sponsors for this event are APA Group and Fyfe and registration is available at https://www.apga.org.au/events/darwin-dinner-july-2019.
Corrosion and Prevention 2019 will bring together leading researchers and industry practitioners who combat corrosion daily. Diverse technical streams will showcase the latest developments in corrosion, ranging from fundamental corrosion science to hands-on application. Save the date: Date: 24-27 November 2019. The conference will be held at the Crown Promenade in Melbourne. Find out more: https://conference.corrosion.com.au/
The ACA is also holding an International Symposium: Advances in Corrosion Science and Corrosion Engineering featuring 14 International speakers from 24- 25 July at the Melbourne Marriot Hotel. Find out more and register here: https://events.corrosion.com.au/events/sponsorship-international-symposium-melbourne-24-25-july-2019/
brings together chemical engineers from Australia, New Zealand and other countries to share insights and innovations. It will be held in Sydney from 29 September – 2 October. Find out more: https://www.chemeca2019.org/
The International Gas Union Research Conference is to be held on 24-26 February 2020 in Muscat, Oman. One of the main discussion topics is gas pipelines and distribution. The call for abstracts is now open. See https://www.igrc2020.com/page/submitabstract