An Australian pipeliner in Paris

AusNet Services Senior Pipeline Engineer Deepank Gupta.

AusNet Services Senior Pipeline Engineer Deepank Gupta.

One of the key roles of the Australian Gas Industry Trust is to support up-and-coming industry professionals. This year, one of AGTI’s scholarship recipients was able to travel to Paris to experience the IGU’s 26th World Gas Conference. Deepank Gupta tells his story to Gas Today.

Featuring both a conference and exhibition,the World Gas Conference (WGC), organised by the International Gas Union (IGU), took place in Paris from 1 to 5 June at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, France.

The five-day event includes keynote speeches from industry leaders, technical presentations, interactive showcases and intensive discussions on the future of natural gas.

Several gas industry majors chiefs were in attendance, including BP’s Bob Dudley, Shell’s Ben van Beurden, Total’s Patrick Pouyanné, Qatar Gas’ Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, in addition to Australian representatives including Woodside’s David Coleman, Origin Energy’s Grant King and Jemena’s Paul Adams.

More than 4000 delegates and trade visitors from 600 global organisations, representing over 100, countries attended the conference.

I was fortunate to be granted the opportunity to attend this incredible event by the scholarship program offered by the Australian Gas Industry Trust (AGIT).

Working as a Senior Pipeline Engineer at AusNet Services, I have had more than 10 years of experience in Australian gas pipeline industry. At AusNet, my responsibilities include developing and delivering the integrity management systems for the company’s gas transmission pipelines.

I obtained the opportunity to become a participating member in the IGU’s ‘Asset Management for Gas Transmission’ Committee during the 2012-2015 triennium, following the approval of my scholarship application by the AGIT in 2012.

My three-year involvement in the WOC 3.2 committee granted me a rare opportunity to interact with the highly reputed technical experts, senior managers and industry leaders on the committee, and gave me a wider perspective on the global gas infrastructure and work practices, which has subsequently empowered me to benchmark our own work practices and asset performance.

I have presented two presentations during my three year tenure. My first presentation held in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2013 and the second in Oran, Algeria in March 2015. Both presentations were based on the ‘Pipeline Integrity Management Systems’ of AusNet Services, which consequently showcased the robustness of Asset Management Practices found within the Australian Standard,AS 2885.

I have also actively contributed to a study aimed at investigating opportunities to further optimise the current Pipeline Integrity Management Systems (PIMS).

Finally, my participation in the committee exposed me to several sociopolitical issues faced by the industry, and how these are dealt with.

This has included listening to both the formal and informal opinions of several industry leader on how European nations are seeking alternative gas sources to reduce dependence on Russian gas, why Russia is building an approximately 4000 km gas pipeline to China, and how the Arab Spring of 2013 in Northern African nations resulted in a gas crisis in Europe.

Overall, my participation in the committee has provided me with exceptional leadership opportunities and experiences, such that I now lead a task group which has two other members from Thailand and Brazil. We have developed a report titled Opportunities to Improve Gas Pipeline Threat Identification Systems, which formed a section of the Gas Transmission Pipelines Report which was released at the conference in Paris.

I strongly believe that the knowledge and experiences I gained through my involvement in the committee could not be obtained in any classroom or university, and I am thankful to the board of AGIT in
offering me this opportunity.

I recommend all gas and pipeline professionals to take advantage of available AGIT scholarships. My participation reinforced how AGIT scholars and other Australian gas industry professionals can attain influencing positions in the world,and better promote a political, technical and economic agenda for the benefit of Australian gas industry.

Key lessons from the World Gas Conference 2015:
-Natural gas is abundant and it has an increasing role to play in the clean-energy market;
-LNG is flexible and can be delivered to remote regions without requiring long-term commitments;
-The renewable sector should be seen as partners in providing an integrated, sustainable and cleaner-energy mix; and,
-More community engagement and promotion is required in illustrating the advantages of natural gas.

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