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UCL GRADUATES FIRST STUDENTS IN AUSTRALIA Welcome to UCL’s inaugural Australian Graduation Week. On 1-2 December, 2011, UCL will proudly present the first graduates the university has ever taught outside of England. The Masters ‘Class of 2011’ as they have become known. These two days represent the culmination of two years’ sacrifice for nine MSc students, a year of coursework and a year of research, and a significant commitment of support and encouragement from their family. Graduation Week also represents the significance of what can be achieved when industry, government and academia share a common vision. Established in 1826, UCL is the third oldest of the English universities, but a true pioneer as the first secular institution, the first to admit women on equal terms and the first to admit students regardless of their religion. The ‘Class of 2011’ is no less pioneering. Choosing to go first is never easy. It is for this reason I acknowledge the spirit of this group and their


preparedness to pave the way. We have shared and learned equally and already UCL has grown with the thoughtful leadership of this class. In addition to nine MSc students, UCL will also proudly present three candidates for the award of a Graduate Certificate. Of course none of this would have happened without the vision of Professor Michael Worton, UCL’s Vice Provost (International) and Hon Mike Rann, the former Premier of South Australia. Their vision, combined with the substantial founding commitment, both personal and financial, of Santos and its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director David Knox and more recently BHP Billiton and its Uranium President Dean Dalla Valle, have been integral. Finally, I wish to record the support of the UCL Australia Advisory Board, led by Douglas Caster CBE, for its encouragement and counsel.

David Travers

Chief Executive and Head of Department 1 December 2011

Candidates for graduation

Graduate Certificate in Energy and Resources: Policy and Practice Elisa Colak Mark Rosser David To

MSc in Energy and Resources: Policy and Practice Robert Baker Thomas Bain Butchart Vladimir Chikovskiy Joseph Doleschal-Ridnell Nicoleta Raluca Dorobantu Klara Ildarovna Gadeeva Rebecca Ogann Kiage Matt R Lady Jeremy Rudston




Robert Baker BEng (Chem) (Hons), BBus (Dist) Development of a Commercial Cost-Benefit Optimisation Approach for Gas Supply Reliability Planning The objective of the research was to establish whether it was possible to develop an optimisation model to determine the reliability level at which gas can be supplied at minimum cost. The scope of this study was limited to Santos gas operations in the Cooper Basin; namely Moomba and Ballera gas fields, processing and storage facilities. Despite extensive availability of research in the gas sector on the subject of reliability, the majority of the research was focussed on the methods of optimising reliability as a deterministic criterion, i.e., improving engineering and system design to maximise reliability, as opposed to applying the concept of reliability as an input variable for least-cost optimisation. Limited research had actually been conducted for the gas industry in context of the latter concept

as described. It was necessary to look towards research in the electricity sector, where practices of optimising reliability; whilst considering (1) cost of supply and (2) cost of supply interruption during periods of peak demand loads, are regarded to be accepted norms as part of system expansion planning. The principle challenge of this research was to present an alternative approach for cost optimisation for the gas industry; one that involved challenging accepted capacity planning norms and the notion that aiming for 100 per cent supply reliability would result in the most cost efficient operational condition. Based on the results of the study, it was shown that accepted principles and practices as applied in the electricity sector do apply well to the gas industry, despite some inherent differences. Expected cost efficiency gains can be achieved by lowering the level of supply reliability, taking into consideration the costs of supply and non-supply of gas to customers.




Thomas Bain Butchart BEng (Mech), MBA Changing the Game for South Australia’s Resource Sector by the Addition of Capesize Capable Ports Economies of scale matter in the realm of global trade for commodities such as iron ore. Producers of iron and steel are constantly on the lookout to lower the delivered cost of their key production inputs, namely iron ore and coal. Through the use of capesize vessels, colloquially known as the gravel trucks of the sea, the cost-per-distance travelled for each tonne is far less than that of other comparable methods. My thesis evaluates the existing infrastructure’s ability to cope with a project such as the proposed Port Spencer mine-port project in South Australia. It then assessed

projects globally that were similar elucidating how their commercialisation model could be used to assist the Port Spencer project’s success. World trends in port development, steel production and the needs of stakeholders affected by such a significant project were reviewed. The thesis proved the robustness of this project’s financial model. It did so in a tripartite manner. Firstly, through developing the financial milestones and metrics that need to be met. Secondly, by a comprehensive sensitivity analysis with recommendations for a risk mitigation strategy. Thirdly, by qualifying and quantifying the roadblocks to commercial success and methods for their deletion. Conclusions and recommendations were given for future research to modify the specificity of the findings to a user group’s needs.




Vladimir Chikovskiy BSc Nuclear Energy in the UK: Prospects to 2030 In the foreseeable future, the energy sector in developed and developing countries is likely to operate under carbon-constraint conditions involving high fossil-fuel prices and market competition to encourage more effective ways of power production. To meet energy demands nuclear power may be considered as an alternative to the current carbon-intensive power plants. In addition, nuclear power may be favourable over renewable energy sources that remain unreliable based on their intermittent supply of energy. This thesis will discuss the potential dynamics of nuclear power as a share of the UK energy market and will cover nuclear power prospects to 2030 in the UK. The assessment shows that nuclear power in its current status is not capable of becoming a single-point solution for the energy needs of the country and competing solely on the UK energy market because of its capital intensity and the present structure of the energy market. However, with planned market reforms and low-carbon

incentives (e.g., carbon floor price) new nuclear developments are likely to succeed as one of the options for energy generation. Within the current electricity network of the UK, nuclear power will assist in achieving lowcarbon targets and provide sufficient supplies of base-load electricity to the UK energy market. Existing reactor designs (e.g., Generation III+) are likely to be considered taking advantage of the lessons learnt through similar projects in other countries. These reactors are more economical and sustainable as they provide an increased level of security and safety from earthquakes and unusual events. Public perception is a major challenge which may be overcome by conducting further work within communities through general public education programmes. Provided that sufficient attention is given by UK policymakers and educating the general public on the science of nuclear power, new nuclear power stations are likely to continue their presence in the UK energy mix by 2030 and beyond.




Joseph Doleschal-Ridnell BLLP, BIS (Hons) Social Licence to Operate How to Address the Three Eyed Fish The social licence to operate is said by many in industry to be nearing the importance of the legal licence given by regulators to explore and mine endowments. This spoken importance is not, however, matched with rigorous methodological analysis of what obtaining and demonstrating a social licence to operate constitutes. Does it require one to consider the social utility of a mining development? Must all possible stakeholders have their views consulted and incorporated? Are all views considered equal, or are the loudest stakeholders given the

most attention and companies with superior financial resources most likely to have their social licence obligations met? Will the emergence of the social licence to operate alter the status quo, or is it merely a change in semantics? With specific focus on the uranium industry, my dissertation explores a number of different understandings of the social licence and promotes a number of ways that it can be obtained and demonstrated. If the social licence is to develop as a concept in itself rather than a self-serving catchphrase, a number of conceptual ambiguities must be reconciled and an objective methodology developed. My dissertation begins such a process.




Nicoleta Raluca Dorobantu BA (Hons) Understanding ‘Local’ Opposition to Wind Energy Development in Australia: The Intertwining Link between Procedural and Distributional Justice, Health Concerns and the People Over the past decade, wind energy has gained a privileged status as governments’ preferred form of technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production. Starting from a comparatively low base, Australia has consistently supported the development of wind technology registering an average annual increase of 30%. This rapid proliferation has led to opposition from a significantly vocal minority, and to the creation of organisations lobbying against the further development of wind farms. The main argument put forward has been the (scientifically unproven) adverse health effects caused by wind turbines. This dissertation argues that

Australia represents a particular case in what concerns social acceptance of wind farms, with various and potentially dangerous implications for the achievement of renewable energy targets. This report is the result of an extensive analysis of the 1014 submissions to the 2011 Senate Inquiry into the Social and Economic Impacts of Wind Farms, as well as of a thorough examination of the international academic literature on the topic. Through these tools, my dissertation provides a timely and comprehensive explanation of the reasons underpinning local opposition, relating it to the principles of distributional and procedural justice, which are reflecting themselves into the pervasive health concern. Using this framework, this dissertation calls for immediate and tailored action from government and industry representatives. To that effect, this dissertation provides a set of advice and recommendations with their short and long term expected results.




Klara Ildarovna Gadeeva Ed.S., MSc The Internationalisation of the Eastern Australia Gas Market Over the past decade, the Eastern Australia gas market has increasingly relied on the rapidly growing coal seam gas sector for its supply mix. This has brought relative stability and predictability to the market. The success of the coal seam gas industry, however, has introduced a set of new conditions that threatens to undermine the stability it once brought to this market. A swing factor has been introduced into the market by the sanctioned and proposed coal seam gas liquefied natural gas projects in this region. These projects are likely to divert large volumes of domestic gas to export markets,

resulting in strained domestic supply conditions. Gas hungry industrial users in Australia will now effectively have to compete with Asian liquefied natural gas importers. My dissertation argues that due to the internationalisation of the Eastern Australia gas market, domestic gas producers and industrial gas users in this region are exposed to an extreme and unprecedented level of price uncertainty in the domestic gas market. This is a timely dissertation that examines just how, and the extent to which, this uncertainty is likely to affect Eastern Australia domestic gas prices over the next decade as this market develops and producers and consumers respond to these brave new market dynamics.




Rebecca Ogann Kiage BCom (Bus Econ), MPPM Managing Key Landowner Issues within the Context of the Proposed PNG/QLD Hydroproject “Wabo Project” The proposed PNG/QLD hydropower project, known as the “Wabo project”, has the backing of both the Queensland and the PNG governments and is viewed as PNG’s hope to address their energy security issues and to accelerate economic growth. However, like other large-scale hydropower projects, the Wabo project will have significant social, economic and environmental costs to the local communities and is likely to trigger social tensions amid growing political and environmental opposition. For the proposed project to gain acceptance in PNG, it is important that appropriate policies and laws are implemented to safeguard the interests of the local community. Policies in respect to land compensation, resettlement and other benefit sharing mechanisms need to be in place in PNG if the Wabo project is to progress. PNG’s natural resources development history demonstrates that striving for real consensus and incorporating landowner considerations

are key elements to a successful large infrastructure project. The objective guiding this research is to identify appropriate, existing laws and policies in PNG to manage landowner considerations stemming from the Wabo project. In order to achieve this objective, this study examines relevant laws and policies in PNG’s electricity sector, as well as the mining and petroleum sectors and examines the Kutubu oil project as a case study to demonstrate how landowner considerations are managed under the current benefit sharing regime. The study reveals that although there are laws in place that recognise and protect property rights in PNG, to date government has largely failed to implement and utilise these laws to develop appropriate corrective development policies and frameworks to safeguard affected populations. If this trend persists, ownership and control issues will continue, the goals of the PNG Constitution will continue to be contradicted and the future development of the Wabo project will be threatened.




Matt R Lady BA, LLB (Hons) Brave New Industry: ReCharacterising Petroleum Joint Venture Risks Effectively managing legal risk in the upstream petroleum industry requires the use of complex, precise and sometimes novel contractual arrangements. My dissertation examines two important tools of risk management in this industry: joint ventures and contractual indemnities. Part I examines the nature of the joint venture and the risks associated with this common form of business arrangement in the upstream petroleum industry. I argue that joint venture participants may be exposed to significant legal risk due to the immature development of this form of agreement in Australia. Part II considers critically the role, scope, and enforceability of contractual indemnities in upstream petroleum agreements. In sum, I argue that these essential risk management tools possess hidden dangers and may

not be the panaceas to legal risk they are often thought to be. A case study of select upstream contracts is undertaken to demonstrate the hazards of overreliance on contractual indemnities to manage legal risk and to identify methods to harden indemnities against defeasance. I conclude that contractual indemnities and joint ventures can provide significant benefits to parties to upstream petroleum projects, and, when thoughtfully drafted and executed, they serve as powerful instruments to allocate legal risk and efficiently enable participants to execute complex and capital intensive business ventures. However, as recent events have increased stakeholder scrutiny of upstream firms, there is a pressing need to understand clearly the limitations and risks of joint ventures and contractual indemnities if firms are fully to appreciate their potential liability should disaster strike. This is the goal of my dissertation.




Jeremy Rudston BSc (Eng) Techno-Economic Analysis of Sustainable Energy Systems for Meeting the Energy Demand of a Greenhouse in South Australia To address the supply constraints of energy and water in the agricultural sector, Sundrop Farms has developed a seawater greenhouse system that taps into the abundant renewable resources of seawater and sunlight to produce freshwater, and generate heat and electricity. The aim of my dissertation was to conduct a techno-economic analysis of the sustainable energy supply of heat and electricity required for controlling the climate inside the greenhouse. Two well-recognized freeware packages are used in the analysis; RETScreen for the thermal energy analysis and HOMER for the electrical energy analysis. Given the semi-arid conditions experienced at the location and its sunny weather for much of the year, the main focus of this work was on solar energy (both solar thermal and photo-voltaic). Due to the high thermal energy demand being

out of phase with the higher levels of solar radiation, seasonal thermal energy storage was also considered. I concluded that at current system costs and conventional energy prices, energy from sustainable resources remains expensive. A sensitivity analysis was performed on the internal rate of return to realize the prices and system costs needed for higher solar fractions to be economically viable. Despite sustainable energy solutions not being cost competitive with conventional fuelsource energy at this time, the gap has certainly narrowed over the past two decades. As further price increases for emission-intensive forms of energy can be expected in the near future, while the cost of PV and solar thermal collectors decrease exponentially, it is a matter of time before sustainable solutions will be financially, as well as ethically, more attractive. In turn, the future of greenhouse agriculture may be brighter as the security of energy and water for the sector is guaranteed.







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UCL Australia Class of 2011 Research  

In the second year of our Master of Science in Energy and Resources; Policy and Practice, students at UCL Australia have the opportunity to...

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