WA universities train Chinese downstream gas managers

COINCIDING with the first arrival of LNG at China’s Guangdong province, the North West Shelf Join Venture and two Western Australian universities have teamed up to deliver training to Chinese managers about the downstream gas business.

Under contract from the WA Department of Industry and Resources, Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia have set up The Australian Centre for Natural Gas Management.

Curtin vice-chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket said the initiative arose from the NWS JV’s $A25 billion contract to supply LNG to Guangdong province for the next 25 years.

“We see this as a great opportunity to build more expertise to support the Western Australian gas export industry,” Professor Hacket said.

The second group of Chinese managers is currently in WA undertaking the six-month training program.

The joint training program consists of Master of Business Administration style management modules, English language training, learning aspects of the downstream gas industry, including regulation, the role of gas for power generation, industry use and city gas grids, and contracts in the industry.

CBS program coordinator Ms Cisca Spencer said Curtin has been involved in developing the program since 2003.

“We have been collaborating on a consultative design process with the NorthWest Shelf, the Chinese Government and the Department of Industry and Resources to ensure that what we deliver is actually what the Chinese companies want,” Spencer said.

“We have already had some success in delivering gas-related training elsewhere, for example to the Korean company Kogas and the Indonesian pipeline operator PGN.

“The joint training program involves visits to industry and regulators and provides a wonderful opportunity for the future leaders of the Chinese gas industry - many of whom will go through our program in the next five to 10 years - to build business and personal links in WA.

In addition to the China training program, Spencer said Curtin and UWA have set aside money for joint research projects in the oil and gas industry.