Easwaran Kanason

Co - founder of PetroEdge
Last Updated: February 18, 2017
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Business Trends

President and CEO Dwi Soetjipto was forced to vacate his position, along with his Deputy President and Deputy CEO Ahmad Bambang. When announced last week, rumours circulated that the two were part of a cull linked to corruption – sadly not uncommon in Indonesia – but the truth is more sanguine. The two simply did not get along, and their disagreements were detrimental to a state oil behemoth struggling to implement the government’s ambitious energy goals.

Soetjipto was named to Pertamina’s top job in November 2014 by President Joko Widodo. Coming from another state player – cement firm Semen Indonesia where he had successfully merged three smaller ailing state firms into a renewed force – Soetjipto was criticised for his lack of experience in oil and gas, but seen as a emblem of Widodo’s will to reform the energy sector by reducing subsidies, eliminating corruption and kickstarting a moribund industry. Perhaps as a counterbalance, Ahmad Bambang was named Deputy CEO in October 2016 by State-Owned Entreprises Minister Rini Soemarno, a mere three months ago. Bambang was a career Pertamina man, seen as more in line with the existing state oil and gas bureaucratic machinery than Soetjipto.

Both immediately began to butt heads. Bambang overstepped his position by signing off on gasoline imports that were being put off by Soetjipto, a breach of authority. The two also disagreed on key position appointments, leaving important roles like the president director of Pertamina Gas unfilled. Corporate disagreements are not uncommon, but the situation between Soetjipto and Bambang was getting toxic, leading up to their dismissals by the Pertamina board of commissioners and the Ministry of State-owned Entreprises.

The spat comes at a difficult time for Pertamina, struggling to manage upstream production while hitting dead-ends on raising domestic refining capacity. Pertamina’s crude production is declining – forcing it out of OPEC for a second time last November as it could not implement supply cuts - but wants to nearly triple its upstream output by 2025, focusing on jumpstarting domestic fields and hunting for overseas assets. Meanwhile, growing fuel demand is leading to a reliance on expensive exports, as Pertamina’s grand plan to upgrade/build new refineries has stalled. Some progress had been made under Soetjipto, but just last month, Saudi Aramco pulled out of the Dumai project, while Pertamina admitted it may have to undertake the Balongan upgrade alone. 

Pertamina’s board is hoping that a new management structure will help speed up things. Yenni Andayani, director for gas and renewable energy, has been named as acting CEO, while the government searches for a new leader by early March. The position of Deputy CEO will be abolished, centralising power in the new CEO, and a streamlining of the company’s 20 existing strategic positions may be implemented. Which raises the question: if the issue was the clash of personalities, why fire both? Soetjipto was a Widodo appointee, so removing him and promoting Bambang would have seemed like an usurpation, but retaining Soetjipto and removing Bambang was not an option as the state energy machinery still viewed the former as an outsider. So both heads had to fall. 

This recent development will certainly colour the search for a new CEO, almost certainly to be an executive already rooted within Pertamina. But uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and the new CEO will step into a some very large boots because the challenges facing Pertamina are vast. 

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Infographic: Oil and Gas Scams & How to avoid them!

Oil and gas sector is one of the most lucrative sectors for job seekers from industries all over the world. It offers great salaries and benefits packages and an opportunity to travel and work overseas. Due to its high demand, scammers are preying on the vulnerable oil and gas workers. To ensure you don’t fall prey to their mischievous tactics, we would recommend reading our guideline below:

How does scamming occur? 

The scammer poses as an employer or recruiter of an oil and gas company or he may claim to be an employee or recruiter for a job consultancy firm catering to the oil and gas industry. They offer irresistible employment opportunities and often demand money in advance to conduct further processes. Money is often demanded on the pretext of work visas, travel expenses, background or credit checks that the job requires.

What do scammers want from you?

 It is important to understand what the scammer's agenda is so that it helps you shield yourself from getting conned:

To extract money: On the pretext of getting you a job in the energy sector employing any of the tactics mentioned above

For identity theft: scammers look for valid identity of people and ask for confidential personal details including bank details to commit fraud through your name or to withdraw money from your account.

Whatever be their modus operandi, their goal is to either separate you from your cash or accomplish an identity theft. The bigger problem is, the scammers are getting better at their game and coming up with innovative ideas to lure innocent job seekers. In oil and gas industry, the scammers are targeting the job seekers from overseas, immigrants or contractors as they feel it is easier to attract them on the pretext of work permits, high salaries, paid travel, better lifestyle in the first world countries.

How to spot a job scam and keep yourself secure?

 There is always a difference between real and fake, all you need to do is be watchful to notice the underlying discrepancies. There is a pattern that scammers usually follows, which is discussed below. Make sure you watch out for these red flags when you receive any job offer next time:

Free email provider - No legitimate hiring agency or company will use the services of free email provider like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. So, if you are receiving an email or have been requested to share your details on emails that use free email services, then be extremely cautious. The scammers try to trick the job seekers by using an email address that looks authentic for instance: [email protected]. It is important to notice here that the ‘xyz’ part of the email ID is usually a gmail, yahoo, etc. which is a free email address. A legitimate job provider would never use.

Fake or new company name - If company name or oil and gas recruitment agency name is mentioned along with the free email id, then do a quick search on the company. Verify its existence and contact them via official email address and contact numbers mentioned on the website. Check their social media presence too. If the website and social media page look new while the company claims to be in business for a substantial amount of time, know for sure that there is something fishy.

Bad grammar and confusing job details - The scammers usually do not pay much attention to structure the mail. You can spot grammatical errors and even the job descriptions are not explained well or is completely different than your skillset and experience. Any authentic mail from a company or oil and gas recruitment agency will ensure an error-free, concise, and clear communication

Fee to conduct a job interview - No legitimate oil and gas company or recruitment agency will ever ask for money to conduct a job interview or to apply to job positions. If the mail says, the money will be refunded once you appear for a job interview, then please do not trust such claims as it is always bogus.

Asking for confidential personal information - Anyone asking for information that you will never put on CV, is a warning sign. It includes your bank details, passport copy, identity cards, your current residential details and so on. No genuine company will ever ask for such details before you sign the offer letter. If by chance, you have shared your bank details or another confidential detail to the scammer, contact your bank and email service provider and register a complaint against it.

Unknown source - There are countries who have strict spam rules and until you subscribe or give consent to the company, they cannot send you emails. So, if you receive an email from a company you haven’t contacted or have not applied for jobs, then be cautious it might be a scam.

The principle on which scammers operate is “Too good to be true”.  Don’t entertain any job offer that offers a position, you are not qualified for or offers a salary which is unrealistically high. In the oil and gas sector, be careful not to reveal your passport/work visa details to the scammer. Remember, if you find anything which is way beyond the realistic expectations, then trust your instincts and drop the offer and do not respond.

See our infographic below for a quick summarized glance -

 If you are looking for a job in the Energy sector then sign up today to stay updated with the latest industry news, apply for jobs and network - https://www.nrgedge.net/jobs 

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