Curtin petroleum engineering students visit Shell learning hub

Hutabarat (right) leading a tour of the well control facility.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, March 11: Fifteen petroleum engineering students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently visited the Shell Wells Asia Pacific (Integrated Gas) Learning Hub at Lutong here.

Accompanying the students was Head of Department of Petroleum Engineering at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, Associate Professor Hisham Khaled Ben Mahmud and petroleum engineering lecturers Dr Ziad Bennour and Dr Mehdi Safari.

Hosting them were Shell ASIA/PAC Wells Training Centre manager Reinaldo Hutabarat and technical and administrative staff of the training centre.

The visit enabled the students to learn more about the hydrocarbon production life cycle, including exploration, formation and reservoir evaluation, drilling operations, the life cycle of wells, well pressure control, well intervention, workover, and well abandonment. The students were also shown the functions and uses of completion and wireline tools.


The visit also gave them insights into the real-life work environment of professional engineers in the oil and gas industry. In addition, they were given the opportunity to visit Sarawak Shell’s well control facility where they were given demonstrations of the drilling simulator and well intervention control and slickline processes there.

While at the centre, the students attended an International Well Control Forum (IWCF) Level 1 awareness session facilitated by senior well completion & intervention engineer Stanley Poh. Such courses lead to examination and certification by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP).

The course enabled the students to enhance their practical understanding of the oil and gas industry and the technicalities of well control, as well as encouraged them to take the free IWCF Level 1 online assessment and receive certificates acknowledging their participation.

Meanwhile, Hisham remarked that both the visit and the course were highly beneficial to the students as they highlighted the importance of well integrity and control as well as the health, safety and environmental practices in upstream operations.

He added that industry visits and other forms of practical learning were significant in the petroleum engineering course at Curtin Malaysia so that students could easily relate what they learned in classrooms to real-life industry applications. Such activities also complement practical study in fluid and reservoir rock laboratories and geodynamic lab work at the university.

He said the Department of Petroleum Engineering had organised several visits to the training centre in the past and would continue doing so as it was one of the best in the region. He also said that Shell, as a key industry partner of Curtin Malaysia, was very supportive of student learning and career development at the university.

Curtin visitors and Shell staff in a photocall at the training centre. Hutabarat and Hisham can be seen at far left and second from right (back row) respectively.

Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin University’s four-year Bachelor of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering (Honours), which covers a wide range of subjects that are core to the petroleum engineering field and is recognised by Engineers Australia, Board of Engineers Malaysia, in addition to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.

It continues to be one of the most popular engineering courses at Curtin Malaysia since it was founded in 2011. Hisham said graduates were immediately employable in the industry upon graduation and, in fact, some of the petroleum engineering students were offered jobs even before graduation.

He added that Curtin University continued to be ranked as the world’s second-ranked institution for Mineral and Mining Engineering and 35th in the world for Earth and Marine Sciences for the third year in a row in the recently released 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

“This has a direct bearing on the Bachelor of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering and speaks volumes of the high quality of courses and education Curtin provides at its campuses in Perth, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius,” Hisham said.

The latest edition of the world’s most-consulted university rankings show Curtin achieved rankings in 24 subjects, with six subjects listed in the top 100 across the globe. — DayakDaily