How we operate

 

 

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas is a centre of research excellence

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas conducts real-world research focussed on optimising Australia’s natural gas industry terms of environmental performance, social performance, and optimisation of cost of operation and production (which in turns affect both availability and market price).

With natural gas flagged to play a major role in reducing emissions over the next 20-30 years as the world transitions to renewables and low carbon energy solutions, the role of research and innovation in gas has a key part to play in the portfolio of other growing energy sources.

Australia’s abundant gas resources create the potential for the country to be a major global supplier of natural gas to help meet the increasing demand for cleaner, affordable energy over the transition decades to lower emissions.

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas provides cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary research and advice in the sustainable development and management of Australia's abundant natural gas resources.

Giving Australia the edge: Research vital as natural gas flagged to play a key role in the long transition to alow carbon future

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas contributes solutions to optimise Australia’s natural gas for its vital role in the global transition to lower emissions energy.

The Centre delivers a coordinated and scientific platform to address industry, government and community challenges as well as opportunities.

The program of real-world research is focussed on optimising Australia’s natural gas industry terms of environmental performance, social performance, and optimisation of cost of operation and supply.

The Centre is relied upon as a scientific ‘voice’ informing public policy debate and community opinion.

Research outcomes are disseminated to industry, researchers and government.

Renamed as the UQ Centre for Natural Gas

UQ is renamed its Centre for Coal Seam Gas as the UQ Centre for Natural Gas in October 2019, giving the Centre greater scope in its research portfolio to broaden out from a sole focus on coal seam gas. There are more forms of natural gas than just coal seam gas and this gives the Centre the opportunity to consider broader research and industry collaborations across the industry.

Globally, the term natural gas is the globally accepted term and more understandable.

The change in name also clearly positions the Centre’s research squarely on optimising gas for its key role in the energy transition.

World-leading research and development

The real-world research undertaken at the UQ Centre for Natural Gas is made possible through funding and support of The University of Queensland and industry organisations Arrow Energy, Santos and APLNG.

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas is funded through a membership model, where organisations can contribute a minimum of $500,000 for five years to fund multi-party (core project) research and educational activities. 

From 2011 to 2017, member organisations were Shell/QGC, Arrow Energy, Santos and APLNG as well as The University of Queensland. Since December 2017, member organisations include Arrow Energy, Santos, APLNG and The University of Queensland.

Membership funding is one method in which the Centre seeks to fund research projects. As with other centres at The University of Queensland, researchers are encouraged to apply for other sources of funding, including competitive grants.

As a result of these applications the Centre funding also includes grants given under the Australian Government's (Australian Research Council) continuous Linkage Projects scheme, the Advance Queensland Innovation Partnership  and the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship programs, and the NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) project fund.

 All research is governed under UQ policy and procedures.

In addition, there is scope for other stakeholders to provide direct support for an area of research that they believe should be undertaken at the Centre.

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas is funded through a membership model, where organisations and individuals can contribute a minimum of $500,000 for five years to fund multi-party research and educational activities. 

Opportunities also exist for investing in individual research projects. If you would like more information or want to discuss options, please send an email to the Centre’s Director, Professor Andrew Garnett, at ccsg@uq.edu.au.

Membership funding is one method for the Centre to seek funding for research projects. As with other centres at The University of Queensland, researchers are encouraged to apply for other sources of funding, including competitive grants.

In addition, there is scope for other stakeholders to provide direct support for an area of research that they believe should be undertaken at the Centre.

Our current member organisations are The University of Queensland, Arrow Energy, Santos and APLNG.

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas governance structure is summarised in the diagram below (click for a larger image). 

As a centre of The University of Queensland, the Centre for Natural Gas is subject to the university's policies and procedures and ultimately reports to the Vice-Chancellor.

Key decisions about  activities and priorities are made by the centre's director, with guidance provided by two advisory bodies. The centre's governance structure is outlined in a commercial agreement between The University of Queensland, Shell, Arrow Energy, and Santos, signed in December 2011. APLNG subsequently joined the Centre in 2014.

The Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) is chaired by a nominee of the Vice-Chancellor, the Executive Dean of UQ's Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT). The SAB consists of senior representatives from the UQ Centre for Natural Gas members, UQ, GasFields Commission Queensland, and the Queensland Government.

The SAB endorses research projects and provides advice and guidance to the the UQ Centre for Natural Gas Director on the strategic direction of the centre as well as maintains an overview of the the UQ Centre for Natural Gas’ performance. It does not have an operational focus and is not involved in the day-to-day management of the Centre.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) advises the UQ Centre for Natural Gas Director and the SAB on the Centre's research and education priorities. This includes reviewing the technical adequacy of research proposals to ensure they satisfy the Centre's research needs and monitoring the progress of ongoing projects. The TAG is chaired by the UQ Centre for Natural Gas Director, and its members include the UQ Centre for Natural Gas' Professorial Chairs and representatives from the centre's members and collaborating organisations, including the Queensland Government.

The TAG also takes advice on potential research ideas and technical issues from the technical working groups that are coordinated by the UQ Centre for Natural Gas Professorial Chairs. These groups align with the UQ Centre for Natural Gas research themes: Petroleum Engineering, Well Engineering & Production Technology, Water as well as Onshore Gas Modelling and Social Performance and include representatives from the centre's members and collaborating organisations who have relevant expertise.

The terms of reference for these groups provides further detail.

 

As a UQ centre, the UQ Centre for Natural Gas adheres to UQ policies and procedures designed to ensure the integrity of research. For example:

4.20 Research Conduct and Integrity

4.20.02 Responsible Conduct of Research

4.20.04 Authorship

4.20.04a6 Attribution of Publication Affiliation 

4.20.05 Research Misconduct

4.20.06 Research Data Management

4.20.08 Open Access for UQ Research Outputs

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research outlines expectations and responsibilities of researchers to further ensure independent and rigorous investigations.

Members can provide input into potential research projects, however, they cannot prevent a project from going ahead, nor do they have editorial control on research outcomes.

The UQ Centre for Natural Gas encourages all UQ researchers to publish their findings in internationally recognised, peer-reviewed journals, which in turn ensures research is made available to the public. Indeed, the careers of researchers and international standing and reputation of the university hinge on continuing this practice. Publication of some findings may be subject to commercial confidentiality.

 
“The Centre for Natural Gas delivers a coordinated and scientific platform to address industry, government and community challenges as well as opportunities”

- Professor Andrew Garnett, Director UQ Centre for Natural Gas

Using natural gas for energy production, when production processes are optimised, produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than other fossil fuels. With carbon capture and storage this can be significantly further reduced.

In a growing, transitioning world, natural gas has two key energy functions (as well as a critical food-chain/fertiliser role):

  1. To support the transition to intermittent renewables
  2. To substitute for coal

The world peak energy body, the International Energy Agency (IEA), forecasts that to achieve lower global emissions, natural gas production may need to grow to account for a quarter of global energy demand by 2040.

A complex and changing energy mix will be required, and in every key scenario they’ve modelled to address global energy concerns,
gas is flagged to play a key role.

Australia’s gas resources create the potential for the country to be a major global supplier of natural gas to help meet the increasing demand for cleaner, affordable energy over the transition decades to a low emissions future. But only if we get the management of it and the science right.

UQ is ensuring its research centres are set up to meet the expanding and changing research needs in the energy space.

UQ has a strong base of energy experts right across the energy mix and this move strengthens the university’s ability to deliver real world impact for an energy that is expected to play a significant role in the coming energy transition.