(EnergyAsia, March 30) — Halliburton has announced that it has collaborated with Malaysian state energy firm Petronas in setting up a technical excellence center for specialised upstream oil and gas training at the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in Malaysia. The centre, which provides specialised training support in geology and geophysics to new graduates and oil and gas professionals, is the first to be set up by Halliburton outside of North America.

“One of the main challenges that the exploration and production industry faces is its aging expertise and the need to develop its human capital to extract the best out of the technology and its assets. Petronas is looking to industry service providers to assist us in training and developing local resources,” said Rosti Saruwono, Petronas’ vice president (education division).

“Halliburton is an established global service provider with training centers dedicated to the development of highly specialized learning for new graduates in the US, and we are proud to be collaborating with them to establish this centre in Malaysia at Petronas’ own university,” Dr Saruwono continued.

Mark McCurley, a vice president in Halliburton’s production optimisation division, said:

“This is a major commitment by Halliburton for a training facility in the Eastern Hemisphere, which is the largest economic and energy consumption growth area in the world today.”

The collaboration is a winning strategy for both companies according to Mr McCurley, who also said that as this generation of employees begins retiring over the next five years, the need to invest in the training and development of the younger generation becomes crucial.

As part of the collaboration agreement, Halliburton Digital and Consulting Solutions will play a major role through the provision of petroleum information technology. Leveraging off the division’s capabilities, the centre will be able to provide training and education in the geology and geophysics area.

Also as part of the collaboration, Halliburton will be investing more than US$700,000 in the centre this year. Some of the money will be channeled towards renovating classroom and offices and a significant portion towards information technology and communication infrastructure.

Like Halliburton’s other three centres in Texas, Colorado, and Mexico, the centre in Malaysia will have the latest broadband and videoconferencing technology. It will allow trainees to participate in the global lectures given by subject matter experts anywhere in the world and also to interact with participants at other centres.

The first training semester began recently with studies covering cementing services, production enhancement and completion tools. There are a total of 26 students from both Halliburton and PETRONAS from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. The company serves its customers with a broad range of products and services through its Energy Services and Engineering and Construction groups.