Building Petroleum Geoscience Competency to Meet Local and Global Demand through Industry — Academia Partnership: A Malaysian Perspective
Abdullah, Wan H.*1
(1) Geology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The future of geoscience in Malaysia, and elsewhere globally, is contingent on the availability of competent, young geologists and geophysicists to replace retiring technical professionals in the petroleum industry. Recognising this, the University of Malaya in 2005 initiated a taught Petroleum Geology MSc programme to address the need. This was the first postgraduate course of its kind in Malaysia and other Malaysian Universities have followed suit. This paper discusses the approach taken to establish the course, the response from Malaysian oil and service companies, quality assurance and maintaining and evolving the course content, and our current and planned future initiatives.
The future success of the programme depends on appropriately addressing the needs of the petroleum industry. Constructive continued input from E&P and service companies, acquired through direct meetings, forums, colloquia and establishment of a Board of Study, are used to identify key directions for programme development. Thus, beginning this new academic session in September 2011, largely as a response from oil company staff, a new academic programme consisting of a greater research component was introduced by the University of Malaya i.e. MSc in Petroleum Geology (70% research & 30% coursework). The target population for this 18 months programme includes junior oil/service company staff (with at least 3 years working experience).
We have identified that the way forward is to establish a joint University Malaya - Industry Advisory Council that will monitor issues related to student support, research collaboration, professional integrity and quality assurance of the programmes. We are also working towards establishing an international educational hub and centre of research excellence, which we refer to as “PEAK” (Petroleum Exploration Advanced Knowledge) and “SEARCh” (Source Evaluation And Reservoir Characterisation) respectively.
The Department of Geology, University of Malaya, hopes to attract a worldwide collaboration and enrolment, including those from Middle East countries. To date we have enrolled students from Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Italy and UK. We are aiming to produce a new generation of well-trained geoscientists able to confrant the technical and practical challenges of the petroleum industry. We therefore seek fruitful collaborations that would benefit both industry & academia.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90141©2012, GEO-2012, 10th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, 4-7 March 2012, Manama, Bahrain