PUTRAJAYA: Heriot-Watt University Malaysia has embarked on a three-year partnership with PetroEdge Pte Ltd (AsiaEdge Pte Ltd) and NrgEdge Pte Ltd to collaborate on nurturing students to be industry-ready upon graduation.
Key representatives from each organisation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) towards this cause yesterday.
Provost & CEO Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi and chief operating officer & registrar Janice Yew signed on behalf of the university while chief technology officer Mohammad Khalid and regional strategic partnerships manager Mohd Anas Asalem represented NrgEdge.
With the MoU, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia lecturers will obtain a 50 per cent discount on PetroEdge training courses.
Various volunteer and networking opportunities with industry players will be made available to students and lecturers, allowing them to gain a more in-depth understanding of the oil and gas (O&G) industry and enhance their skills and knowledge in the field.
The partnership encourages student-lecturer dialogue as NrgEdge provides a knowledge-sharing platform via online forums and discussions.
The students and lecturers will have access to NrgEdge’s digital learning platform at www.nrgedge.net/learning, which include e-learning courses, webinars and virtual reality modules.
According to Prof Mushtak, the partnership with PetroEdge and NrgEdge will bring great value to students.
“The 21st century has brought unprecedented challenges and opportunities, and for our students and academics to succeed and thrive professionally and personally, they need to adopt a continuously learning and growing mindset.
“Making world class courses available to our community electronically is an important initiative that will go a long way in supporting the professional development of our people,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
Mohammad Khalid from NrgEdge said: “It is our vision to help members in the energy, O&G industry excel at every point in their career’s journey by providing them with the tools to succeed – be it by networking or learning new skills. We want to be able to bridge the skills gap and prepare students for a brighter future in the industry.”
Aina Jais, a second year MEng Petroleum Engineering student at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia said PetroEdge would help her gain an edge in this uncertain economic climate.
“I’m looking forward to using the platform to learn more. I have a passion for the petroleum industry, and hope to gain a deeper insight into the industry, and glimpse into a career that will shape our future,” said Aina who is also a NrgEdge student ambassador.
The MoU-signing was held at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia in Putrajaya. The itinerary included speeches by Professor Mushtak and Khalid as well as a testimonial by Aina. It concluded with a group photo session and light refreshments. AsiaEdge is the holding company of PetroEdge, the leading provider of Energy, O&G training in Asia. NrgEdge is the professional networking platform for Energy, O&G professionals, focusing on the Asia Pacific region. The company aims to create a holistic environment that empowers members to excel at every point of their careers and help companies grow their businesses.
Founded in 1821, Heriot-Watt is a leader in ideas and solutions. With campuses across the globe, it delivers innovation and educational excellence in business, engineering, design and the physical, social and life sciences.
As the world’s first mechanics institute, it has rich heritage and a reputation as a leading research-led university.
Its communities of scholars come from across the world for a purpose – as leaders in ideas and solutions, they deliver innovation and educational excellence in business, engineering, design and the physical, social and life sciences.
Working with leading academics, their students learn and thrive in the friendly community of campuses with partners and online.
Their graduates are specialists who are creative, professional and globally-minded. With their research-informed education underpinned by Heriot-Watt values, they develop character, leadership skills and social mobility, and are professionally educated, globally employable citizens of the world.
Heriot-Watt University is The Times & The Sunday Times International University of the Year 2018.
[This article was first published on Borneo Post on September 28, 2017]
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 13 May 2019 – Brent: US$70/b; WTI: US$61/b
Headlines of the week
Midstream & Downstream
The world’s largest oil & gas companies have generally reported a mixed set of results in Q1 2019. Industry turmoil over new US sanctions on Venezuela, production woes in Canada and the ebb-and-flow between OPEC+’s supply deal and rising American production have created a shaky environment at the start of the year, with more ongoing as the oil world grapples with the removal of waivers on Iranian crude and Iran’s retaliation.
The results were particularly disappointing for ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two US supermajors. Both firms cited weak downstream performance as a drag on their financial performance, with ExxonMobil posting its first loss in its refining business since 2009. Chevron, too, reported a 65% drop in the refining and chemicals profit. Weak refining margins, particularly on gasoline, were blamed for the underperformance, exacerbating a set of weaker upstream numbers impaired by lower crude pricing even though production climbed. ExxonMobil was hit particularly hard, as its net profit fell below Chevron’s for the first time in nine years. Both supermajors did highlight growing output in the American Permian Basin as a future highlight, with ExxonMobil saying it was on track to produce 1 million barrels per day in the Permian by 2024. The Permian is also the focus of Chevron, which agreed to a US$33 billion takeover of Anadarko Petroleum (and its Permian Basin assets), only for the deal to be derailed by a rival bid from Occidental Petroleum with the backing of billionaire investor guru Warren Buffet. Chevron has now decided to opt out of the deal – a development that would put paid to Chevron’s ambitions to match or exceed ExxonMobil in shale.
Performance was better across the pond. Much better, in fact, for Royal Dutch Shell, which provided a positive end to a variable earnings season. Net profit for the Anglo-Dutch firm may have been down 2% y-o-y to US$5.3 billion, but that was still well ahead of even the highest analyst estimates of US$4.52 billion. Weaker refining margins and lower crude prices were cited as a slight drag on performance, but Shell’s acquisition of BG Group is paying dividends as strong natural gas performance contributed to the strong profits. Unlike ExxonMobil and Chevron, Shell has only dipped its toes in the Permian, preferring to maintain a strong global portfolio mixed between oil, gas and shale assets.
For the other European supermajors, BP and Total largely matched earning estimates. BP’s net profits of US$2.36 billion hit the target of analyst estimates. The addition of BHP Group’s US shale oil assets contributed to increased performance, while BP’s downstream performance was surprisingly resilient as its in-house supply and trading arm showed a strong performance – a business division that ExxonMobil lacks. France’s Total also hit the mark of expectations, with US$2.8 billion in net profit as lower crude prices offset the group’s record oil and gas output. Total’s upstream performance has been particularly notable – with start-ups in Angola, Brazil, the UK and Norway – with growth expected at 9% for the year.
All in all, the volatile environment over the first quarter of 2019 has seen some shift among the supermajors. Shell has eclipsed ExxonMobil once again – in both revenue and earnings – while Chevron’s failed bid for Anadarko won’t vault it up the rankings. Almost ten years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP is now reclaiming its place after being overtaken by Total over the past few years. With Q219 looking to be quite volatile as well, brace yourselves for an interesting earnings season.
Supermajor Financials: Q1 2019
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January, April, and May 2019 editions
In its May 2019 edition of the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA revised its price forecast for Brent crude oil upward, reflecting price increases in recent months, more recent data, and changing expectations of global oil markets. Several supply constraints have caused oil markets to be generally tighter and oil prices to be higher so far in 2019 than previous STEOs expected.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had agreed at a December 2018 meeting to cut crude oil production in the first six months of 2019; compliance with these cuts has been more effective than EIA initially expected. In the January STEO, OPEC’s crude oil and petroleum liquids production was expected to decline by 1.0 million b/d in 2019 compared with the 2018 level, but EIA now forecasts OPEC production to decline by 1.9 million b/d in the May STEO.
Within OPEC, EIA expects Iran’s liquid fuels production and exports to also decline. On April 22, 2019, the United States issued a statement indicating that it would not reissue waivers, which previously allowed eight countries to continue importing crude oil and condensate from Iran after their waivers expired on May 2. Although EIA’s previous forecasts had assumed that the United States would not reissue waivers, the increased certainty regarding waiver policy and enforcement led to lower forecasts of Iran’s crude oil production.
Venezuela—another OPEC member—has experienced declines in production and exports as a result of recurring power outages, political instability, and U.S. sanctions. In addition to supply constraints that have already materialized in 2019, political instability in Libya may further affect global supply. Any further escalation in conflict may damage crude oil infrastructure or result in a security environment where oil fields are shut in. Either situation could reduce global supply by more than EIA currently forecasts.
In the May STEO, total OPEC crude oil and other liquids supply was estimated at 37.3 million b/d in 2018, and EIA forecasts that it will average 35.4 million b/d in 2019. EIA assumes that the December 2018 agreement among OPEC members to limit production will expire following the June 2019 OPEC meeting.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January, April, and May 2019 editions
U.S. crude oil and other liquids production is sensitive to changes in crude oil prices, taking into account a lag of several months for drilling operations to adjust. As crude oil prices have increased in recent months, so too have EIA’s domestic liquid fuels production forecasts for the remaining months of 2019.
U.S. crude oil and other liquids production, which grew by 2.2 million b/d in 2018, is forecast in EIA’s May STEO to grow by 2.0 million b/d in 2019, an increase of 310,000 b/d more than anticipated in the January STEO. In 2019, EIA expects overall U.S. crude oil and liquids production to average 19.9 million b/d, with crude oil production alone forecast to average 12.4 million b/d.
Relative to these changes in forecasted supply, EIA’s changes in forecasted demand were relatively minor. EIA expects that global oil markets will be tightest in the second and third quarters of 2019, resulting in draws in global inventories. By the fourth quarter of 2019, EIA expects that inventories will build again, and Brent crude oil prices will fall slightly.
More information about changes in STEO expectations for crude oil prices, supply, demand, and inventories is available in This Week in Petroleum.