PETRONAS has established two new technology and research centres at Imperial College London (Imperial) and Heriot-Watt University (HWU) in the United Kingdom (UK) to push for greater technological advancements in low-carbon and cleaner energy solutions.
The technology centres – PETRONAS Centre for Engineering of Multiphase Systems (PETCEMS) at Imperial and PETRONAS Centre of Excellence in Subsurface Engineering and Energy Transition (PACESET) in the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering of HWU – opened in London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland respectively.
PETRONAS President and Group Chief Executive Officer Tengku Muhammad Taufik, PETRONAS Project Delivery and Technology Senior Vice President Samsudin Miskon and PETRONAS Chief Technology Officer Dr Nasir Darman, virtually launched the centres, together with Imperial Vice-Provost for Research and Enterprise Professor Nick Jennings, and HWU Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Richard A. Williams.
Technology as a Differentiator
“The partnership with Imperial and HWU underlines PETRONAS’ commitment towards pursuing technological advances to address energy transition responsibly. We are pleased that our shared ambition has enabled PETRONAS to intensify its forays into technologies that deliver energy solutions centered on positive social and environmental considerations,” said Tengku Muhammad Taufik.
Samsudin noted that establishing a network of global research centres is in line with PETRONAS’ emphasis on technology as a differentiator, with an urgency to transition from grey to green technology. “The integration of PETRONAS in-house technologies throughout the energy value chain is vital towards meeting our business and sustainability goals, upon which we synchronize our collaborations with both institutions to deliver optimized value for a more sustainable future,” he added.
Jennings said meeting the growing demand for energy in a safe and environmentally responsible manner is vital for a sustainable society, and much of the university’s research is driving this agenda forward. “This centre is the next stage of the long-standing PETRONAS- Imperial partnership. I am delighted to see how this relationship has continued to develop. Through deep collaboration and the sharing of industry and academic expertise, the centre will be at the forefront of tackling energy challenges.”
The opening marks another milestone in PETRONAS’ deep-rooted collaborations with Imperial and HWU, both respected for their world-leading science and engineering expertise. The synergy from the many years of partnership have delivered significant results in research and development, scientists’ academic advancement as well as commercialization of technologies.
PETCEMS’ work focuses on developing solutions to resolve PETRONAS’ oil, gas and petrochemical pain points through computational modelling. Leveraging Imperial’s strength in multiphase engineering and modelling, the initial joint projects in 2013 covered Process Scale-up, Production Chemicals, Graphene and Reservoir Modelling. With the renewed collaboration agreement in 2019, PETCEMS’ focus also includes sustainability elements in view of PETRONAS’ Net Carbon Zero by 2050 aspiration.
PACESET, riding on HWU’s expertise in subsurface technologies, embarks on joint projects that look into carbon capture and storage through advanced reservoir characterisation; subsurface exploration and Artificial Intelligence-driven seismic study, amongst others, to optimise hydrocarbon resources the low-carbon way. The collaboration between PETRONAS and HWU began in 2016.
Williams said, “This exciting new initiative fits perfectly into the energy research landscape, here at HWU. This research activity will further strengthen our leading work on sustainable energy, energy transition and decarbonisation. PETRONAS is to be congratulated for its foresight in funding this work which is of global importance.”
Several PETRONAS talents have successfully obtained their doctorate degrees from both universities through the partnerships’ Scientist Development Programme, aimed at maturing the company’s world-class scientists and enabling productive knowledge sharing that elevates operational performance.