Monthly archives: June 2020

Oil & Gas Graduate Engineers Part 1: Ken & Sharon

Tabi basa and greetings everyone! 

How was your day? I hope you have a great weekend with your family and friends. Even if you are alone, keep in touch with them no matter how far you are. It is important to keep a good relationship with your family because they are your flesh and blood, although some friends became really close that they became an extended family. 

With references to my previous posts related to offshore personnel, this time, I want to showcase two young engineers that I managed to interview to inspire others to pursue a career in offshore and in oil and gas industry. Not many people are interested with oil and gas jobs because it is challenging and it is demanding, though it is well-compensated with in monetary term. The thought of having to stay far away from family is enough deterrent to some, but that does not stop these young engineers. 

KEN IROK

Name: Ken Irok Sendal

Profession: Electrical Engineer

Origin: KL

Age: 25

1, How did you join offshore / oil and gas industry? 

– Coming from University (UTP) , oil and gas was always being advertised as the go to place to work after graduating cause of the courses offered and plus the fact that my late father was working in the industry beforehand throughout his career also gave me this interest.  Applying for the Shell Graduate Program was the first step taken and the rest of it was history.

2, What do you love about offshore?

– Basically, gaining hands-on skills and knowledge about the equipment used is one of the rewarding experience offshore. Learning on site provides the room for mistakes and to understand the potential gaps between theory and practice which is crucial for someone like me who just finished my studies. Also, meeting new people who has fascinating stories and experiences to share can be fun too. At the end of a tiring day, the whole crew are able to mingle around together while enjoying the endless supply of food being served. Festive period such as Raya and Gawai becomes particularly lively with the celebrations on board too so we don’t get left out!

3, Challenges faced offshore and how do you stay resilient offshore?

– Some of the challenges offshore is the time being away from family and friends back home. Birthdays, celebrations and gatherings must be sacrificed in order to complete the job at hand but at the end, these experiences gained and the understanding of your loved ones back home overcomes all these challenges. 

Also, the constant schedule of working can tire you to the point of being fatigue. There are no holidays being offshore and you’re constantly working everyday regardless of holidays and weekends , so there would be no breaks if you’re there for 20 days plus. And days can be quite packed since you’re waking up at 5 in the morning and working on site all the way up to the evening. And when it comes to the night, it’s more to reporting and planning what’s next on your scope. So, this does take a toll on your body. Hence, it’s important to stay healthy physically and mentally in order to stay offshore. A proper amount of sleep is a must as well as constant hydration of water throughout the day. 

4, Advice to young man and ladies planning to work offshore/oil and gas

– My advice is to always have an open mind. A typical day offshore consist of some unplanned situations occuring so the best way to solve these problems comes from gaining different opinions from expertise all round the platform. Also, offshore is a closed-knit community so try and interact and be friendly with everyone. You can learn so much from someone who has been doing their job for decades!

Also, another advice is to be physically and mentally fit. With this, I don’t mean getting into the best shape possible but to always stay healthy and alert for your body. Being away from home for long can make you go crazy, so it’s important to keep your mental health strong. Have a good support system at home and to also find sanity in your free time offshore (such as reading to even karaoke singing!)

5, Future career plan for yourself

– In the short term, to go offshore whenever I have the opportunity to especially during these first few years starting out my career cause of the experience it provides especially in maintenance. But in the long term, after gaining the necessary experience, I’d like to lead some of the most ground breaking projects and technologies in our platforms in Sarawak Waters .

SHARON EPUI

Name: Sharon Epui

Profession: Wells Engineer

Origin: Miri, Sarawak

1. Growing up in Miri, Sarawak, you would know that the oil and gas industry play a big role in the city’s growth, development and to the people living in it. Being a part of a global company that contributed so much to your hometown has been extraordinary for me. 

2. Experiencing the offshore life has truly been a dream come true. From seeing the vessels, platforms, and rigs at the horizons off the shores of Tanjung Lobang and wondering what it’s actually like to be onboard the gigantic metallic structures, to finally setting foot onto different types of rigs and platforms, it has been unbelievable and definitely overwhelming. I’m finally seeing and learning about how the drilling and completion operations are being carried out right there and then. 

And the people. My goodness. The kindest and most hardworking crew you would ever meet. Sure, they’re tough and they’re strong. But they are also undoubtedly humble. The stories they tell, the knowledge they share, the heart that they have. 

3. I think the hardest part of being offshore is how excluded you would feel from the rest of the world. It’s because you’re far from family, friends and loved ones. There are no weekends or public holidays when you are offshore because operations ultimately, have to continue. But even having said that, because you spend say, a month with the same people offshore, they are already like family. 

4. Just go for it. It was definitely scary at first. Especially the stories you hear from others. Even from those that has never experienced the offshore lifestyle. But times have changed. It’s far better, at least for me. And I’m forever grateful for having said yes to the first step. 

5. The Company Woman – a Drilling Supervisor (DSV). A huge step for me and also a huge step for all the curious little dreamers out there standing on the beach, wondering about the gigantic metallic structures so far out at sea.

Looks small from a distance
But actually it’s huge

Gears Used:

For this shots, I am using my Leica M10-P and 21 Summilux. I usually don’t use wide angle lens, but for testing purposes, I am using it. It is kind of fun actually, and looking forward to use it again. 

Your Tukang Rantek, 

Del

For those who is new to me, check out my new YouTube channel as well, where I do mostly song covers using guitar only. I am a solo performer, and I have always trying to improve my performance.

Youtube Channel: Claudius Weson

Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography

Note: Del is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture, weddings and event photography, and also runs a YouTube channel, to showcase his talents in music, particularly guitar and vocals.