Exposure of Indonesian and Malaysian Engineers to International Standards

A little known fact about Indonesia and Malaysia is that their commercial oil and gas industries are among the oldest in the world.

The Dutch were exploring for oil in Indonesia as far back as 1871 and began commercial production at Telaga Tunggal, Sumatra in 1885 (by the company that would later become Shell). Meanwhile in Malaysia, the “Grand Old Lady” at Miri began production in 1910 (the well still exists as a historical monument).

Miri Grand Old Lady

Over the last 100 or so years, the oil and gas industries of Indonesia and Malaysia have matured significantly with the proliferation of both domestic and international companies setting up operations in each country. Nowadays, most of the international majors operate in Indonesia and Malaysia (e.g. Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Total, Chevron, Premier Oil, INPEX, CNOOC, etc).

This has flow on effects for engineering work, since each operator uses a combination of their own and international standards, including those originating from both North America and Europe. Indonesian and Malaysian engineers have been the main beneficiary of this diversity in engineering standards as they get exposed to a large range of standards, often with different approaches to solving the same problem. This has led Indonesia and Malaysia to export engineering manpower over the last 20 years, predominantly to the Middle East and Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *