PETROENG 4027 - Decision Making and Risk Analysis
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021
General Course Information
Course Code PETROENG 4027 Course Decision Making and Risk Analysis Coordinating Unit Australian School of Petroleum Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Block-format course (8 days) with integrated lectures, practicals (computer based) and discussions Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge Introductory Petroleum Geology & Engineering, SACE Stage 2 Maths, basic Excel Course Description This course teaches the skills required for a key component of a Petroleum Engineer's job - creating value by making decisions that yield optimal returns on the allocation of human and financial resources. The many uncertainties inherent to the oil and gas business (estimating current 'states-of-the world/nature' and predicting future events) create considerable uncertainty in the value that can be realised from resource-allocation decisions. Consequently, there will be a strong emphasis on evaluating the impacts of uncertainty, managing its resultant risks and planning to exploit its up-side potential. Topics to be addressed are the decision-making process, multi-objective decision making, decision-tree analysis, decision criteria, Monte Carlo Simulation and Value of Information & Flexibility. In addition, Utility Theory will be introduced as a means of rationally accounting for risk attitudes. Some of the psychological and judgemental aspects of how people respond to uncertainty will be discussed. The techniques learned in this course will also be useful in making personal decisions.
Course Coordinator: Dr Matthew WelshCourse Coordinator: Prof Steve Begg
Course Lectuer: Dr. MAtthew Welsh
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Learn decision and risk analysis (D&RA) concepts & terminology that are most used in industry 2 Understand the impact of uncertainty in decision-making 3 Learn specific tools & processes for analysing & making decisions - useful both professionally and personally 4 Practice using these tools & processes in Excel 5 Learn to evaluate and interpret the output of D&RA tools and processes - to make the best decision 6 Develop a critical-thinking, problem-solving, value-creating approach to decision-making 7 Understand how people often actually make decisions as opposed to how they should 8 As part of a team, perform and present a critical review of a paper/topic related to the course material 9 Develop a borader, contextual understanding of decision & risk analysis by reading a range of relevant papers and articles 10 Demonstrate D&RA software commonly used by industry 11 Ancillary:
- Review relevant probability & statistics, and introduce new ideas as necessary to support this course
- Further develop and practice general Excel skills
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1,2,3,5,7,9 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
3, 5, 8 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
8, 6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
8 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
4, 5, 10, 11 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Required ResourcesHardcopy of Powerpoints - handed out (and made avavilable on MyUni) at start of each module and
After the course: PDFs of powerpoints (updated with solutions and extra material). Additional readings. Additional exercises. These will be uploaded on MyUni.
A free copy of “Making Good Decisions” by Prof. Begg will be provided. This is the text for the course.
Recommended ResourcesThe following are good general decision analysis texts (ie not oil & gas specific). They may be useful if you would like further reading on some of the course material. They are available in the Library.
- Clemen, R.T., & Reilly, T.: Making Hard Decisions with Decision Tools. Pacific Grove, CA, Duxbury, (2001).
- Goodwin, P. and Wright, G.: Decision Analysis for Management Judgment 3rd Ed, Wiley, Chichester, 2004
All Powerpoints, Examples and Exercises (& their solutions) will be distributed on MyUni along with additional readings.
Good sources of help with learning are the downloadable learning guides (Writing, Effective Reading, Making Notes, Time Management, Exam Prep, etc) and links to other learning resources at
The “Writing and Speaking at Uni” course will help with assignments. I will provide further tips on preparing presentations for those that would like them.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe block-course format (sometimes, misleadingly, called short-course) is commonly used in industry (continued professional development) and is the norm for 4th year and post-graduate courses in the ASP.
It also represents a stage when you are expected to take greater responsibility for your own learning – lectures cover the main ideas and are pointers to the topics you should learn about – rather than comprehensive coverage of the curriculum.
One of the advantages of the block-course format is that you can immerse yourself in a single subject, without distraction or having to “re-load” for each session. Another is that there is no need to force-fit the material to the 1hr lecture/tute format – each topic can be addressed in the time it needs. Yet another advantage is that it provides an opportunity for immediate feedback as exercises are carried out, and solutions presented, in-class, after the concept has been taught.
Laptops will be provided for in-class exercises – and you are welcome to bring your own if you would like. Students are expected to engage with class discussions.
A disadvantage is that the compressed time-scale means that you do not have as much time to let one concept sink in before moving on to another. For this reason
- we integrate the exercises to practice concepts immediately after learning them, before moving on to the next concept. The amount of time for in-class exercises is set such that 90% or more of students should be able to finish them.
- you are STRONGLY ADVISED to take a break after the end of class each day and then revise the day’s material for a couple of hours.
For most people it takes about 4 repetitions to get information into your long term memory. Apparently (can’t remember where I learnt this from) the best way to do it is to revise the information the day you learn it (2nd time) , then one week later (3rd time), then one month later (4th time).
At the start of a course section, I usually provide grey-scale versions of the PowerPoint slides shown in class Students often find it useful to have several highlighter pens for use with these handouts, because I make a lot of use of colour. PDF files of the full colour PowerPoint slides will be available on MyUni after the class.
After-class consultation and Provision of Feedback to Students
Solutions to in-class exercises and the mid-course test will be provided in-class. Solutions to after-class exercises will be posted on My Uni within two weeks of end of class.
I will arrange several mutually convenient time-slots when I will be available, in the weeks following the class, for consultation on questions related to exercises and course content.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.This course involves approximately the same number of contact hours that would be delivered in a semesterised course (45). During a semesterised course, you would be expected to spend a approximately twice the number of hours outside of class – learning the material, revising notes, reading more widely about the topics covered, practicing examples, finishing exercises, etc. The same is true for block-course – but this must occur after the course. Do not be fooled into thinking that, apart from the follow-up assignment, “it's an intense week (and a bit), then I’m done”. To do so is likely to lead to decreased learning and poorer performance in the exam than you would otherwise achieve – you have been advised!
Learning Activities SummaryThe main topics will include:
· Introduction to Decision and Risk Analysis
- Decision Elements; Easy/Hard & Good/Bad Decisions; Decisions, Outcomes & Incentives
· Multi-objective decision-making methodology
- Advocacy vs Dialogue
- 3-Stage, 8-Step process
1. Structuring/Framing the decision situation2. Evaluating/Modelling the decision3. Deciding, sensitivity analysis and assessing trade-offs
- Formally assessing Decision Quality
- Simplifications: Scaling back to "fit for purpose"
· Review of relevant probability, statistics and economics concepts
· Monte Carlo simulation
· Influence Diagrams and Decision-tree analysis and expected values
. Application to Value of Information and Flexibility
· Risk Attitudes (if time)
· Psychological and judgmental aspects of decision-making & uncertainty assessment
· Self-directed learning on decision-making topics
A detailed schedule of when topics will be covered over the two course blocks will be provided during the first session.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative Due (week)* Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes Midcourse test 10 Individual Formative & Summative N/A Block mode 1. 2. 3. Assignment 30 Group Summative N/A Block mode 2. 5. 9. 10. Exam 60 Individual Summative 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 10. Total 100
This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
Coursework assessment tasks and weighting will change and information will be provided at the start of the course. The final examination will now be a coursework examination submitted through MyUni rather than an invigilated examination. Details to be provided at a later date.
Assessment Related RequirementsFinal mark will be a weighted average of each component as per above. There is no requirement to achieve a minimum mark in any individual component of the assessment.
Assessment DetailMid-course: About 40 min, 5 short-answers questions. The main function of the mid-course test will be to provide further examples of the main exam and to illustrate the standard of answers expected. To facilitate this, and to provide rapid feedback, the mid-course test will be marked, and ideal answers discussed, in-class. Although the main purpose of the mid-course test is formative, a 10% contribution to final grade is awarded to incentivise full participation and therefore deriving maximum value from it. An example question and ideal answer will be provided prior to the test.
Assignment: will be in the form of a group project. Full details will be provided during the PM session and posted on MyUni. The purpose of the assignment is two-fold. First as a component of assessment, second as a part of course content – all class members will listen to each group presentation. Submission of materials is by 5pm on a date that will be specified during the first teaching block . A rubric will be provided to illustrate expected achievement levels for each marking criterion.
Final exam: 3 hours, closed-book. About 15 short-answer questions, no choice, in the same style as the course examples & the mid-course test. There will be a discussion, and illustration, of expectation levels for exam questions in the first session, and at the mid-course test.
Further details, and tips, will be discussed in class and recorded via Powerpoint slides and Handouts.
SubmissionSubmission of Assignment
Details will be provided in the Assignment Handout during the first block of teaching and posted on MyUni thereafter
Extensions for Assessment Tasks
Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Co-ordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time or minor illness.
Penalty for Late Submission of Assessment Tasks
Part of this course is risk analysis – plan for the fact that something might delay you! You will get ZERO marks for a late submission, unless you have previously arranged this with Prof Begg for extenuating circumstances as per above (note that poor time planning, conflicting activities and minor illness are not extenuating circumstances).
An examiner may elect not to accept any assessment task that a student wants to submit after that task has been marked and feedback provided to the rest of the class.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.Contact Admin for School policy on remarking of exams.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.Communication
It is important that all students maintain active communication channels throughout the year. The primary communication channels to students in this course are as follows.
Email: Each student should regularly check his or her University-provided email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information from academic staff concerning course work matters and other announcements as they arise. Make sure you clean up your Inbox regularly as if it is full you will not receive our email! We will regard an email message to your student email address, or an announcement posted on the MyUni site, as our having communicated with each member of the class. Not reading email or MyUni announcements will not be a valid excuse for missing important deadlines etc.
MyUni: Students should regularly check the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/).
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Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.
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