LAST WEEK Carter Newell senior associate James Plumb flew to across to the UK to begin a month-long educational tour of the European gas industry.
Plumb was one of five Australian gas industry participants selected to represent Australia on the Australian Gas Industry Trust’s (AGIT) 2008 Overseas Study Tour.
The tour occurs annually, rotating between Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific. This year, Plumb, the only lawyer and Queenslander on the tour, joined representatives from Epic Energy, Woodside Energy, APA Group and Australian Power and Gas.
Plumb explained that the tour was organised by AGIT to allow Australian gas industry participants to experience different market and industry conditions. The aim, he said, is to help advance education and research into gas utilisation, application and developments in Australia, through learning about what is happening in the industry internationally.
“The aim is not only to provide for the further education of the tour participants, but also to maintain the lines of communication between the Australian gas industry and appropriate international organisations,” he said.
This year the tour schedule includes attending the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers Seminar in the UK as well as meetings at the Office of Energy Regulation in the Netherlands (Energiekamer), the International Energy Agency in Paris, the Zeebrugge LNG terminal in Brussels and Eurogas in Belguim.
A particularly pressing issue for the industry is the increasing emphasis on the supply and use of renewable energy. Accordingly, the tour agenda includes a meeting with Nick Goodall, the chief executive office of the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) in London. The RFA is the body responsible for implementing the Renewable Transport Fuel obligation — the requirement for Fossil Fuel providers to ensure that at lest 5 per cent of the volume of fuel supplied is biofuel derived from renewable sources.
“Nick was able to provide us with a value insight into the impact of sustainability upon the gas industry,” Plumb said.
To select the representatives for the tour, AGIT compiled a shortlist based on written submissions. AGIT then interviewed the shortlisted applicants, from which it selected its tour representatives.
Plumb, a member of Cartner Newell’s resources team, was well placed to represent the industry on the tour, having recently completed a two-and-a-half-year secondment to the Brisbane office of international oil and gas exporter and producer Santos.
His experiences at Santos ranged from joint venture management and agreement drafting, exposure to carbon capture and storage proposals and legislation development, to gas sales and transportation agreement drafting and LNG development support.