BATU RAKIT: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) launched a US$70mil (RM231mil) industry scale training facility at its Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Batu Rakit to boost training capacity and address the issue of the talent shortage in the oil and gas (O&G) industry.
The 200-acre INSTEP training centre is a 33-year-old facility built in 1981 when it was first known as Sekolah Latihan Teknikal Petronas and then Institut Latihan Perindustrian Petroleum.
Starting from a meagre 180-student capacity then, INSTEP now features both upstream and downstream training plants, complete with a drilling rig simulator through its INSTEP Integrated Oil and Gas Training Centre (IIOGTC).
The facility spans some three acres and assumes the actual workings of an oil rig at sea to give trainees a real-world perspective of O&G operations within a safe and contained environment; complete with substitute “minerals” like nitrogen, water and mineral oil for upstream works; and nitrogen, water and glycol for downstream activities.
Such training reaches to upskill Petronas’ workforce as well as complement INSTEP’s existing training programme, Instep chief executive officer Wan Azhar told reporters in a site visit.
The construction of two “live” upstream plant training facilities, a “live” downstream facility as well as training for upstream operations on site were tasked to international O&G services provider Petrofac.
UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd, meanwhile, is involved in the training of drilling technical professionals through its collaboration with Instep in the UMW-INSTEP Drilling Academy.
“Instead of poaching talent from competitors, Petronas will take the lead in training engineering technicians for the industry.
“We have an obligation to ensure industry workforce are competent and we want to become the education and learning hub for the O&G industry in the region,” Petronas human resource management vice president Raiha Azni Abd Rahman told reporters at a press conference.
INSTEP’s technical training curriculum aims to keep learning concise in order to efficiently bridge students’ transition from tertiary education to the workplace, Wan said.
He added that INSTEP has produced some 10,000 certified technical professionals, both local and international, since its inception.
“As far as we know, we can safely attest to being the only provider of such a facility in the region,” Raiha said.
Over the past few years, INSTEP has trained registrants from other industry players such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Talisman.
Wan said the IIOGTC is expected to boost Instep’s training capacity from 850 to 1,700 trainees per year.
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