Interview with Sharul A-Rashid, Custodian, Instrument and Control from PETRONAS

Oil and gas refinery at twilight

We discussed the biggest challenge faced by the refining and petrochemical industry today and the biggest opportunities for the market in the next 12 months.

Please introduce your role at your organisation.

I am a Custodian Engineer, Instrument and Control effective 1st March 2019.  I have more than 29 years of experience in managing, leading, troubleshooting a diverse range of instrumentation and control issues in oil & gas (PP(T)SB), gas liquefaction (MLNG) and petrochemical plants (PCARO) including natural gas pipeline transmission networks (PGB-GTR).  I am currently spearheading OT Cybersecurity Deployment 2-year Projects comprising five work-streams (Governance, Identity and Access Mgmt, Patching and Vulnerability Mgmt including OT Asset Monitoring and Communications/Culture Change). I advise not only within this project but also PETRONAS-wide on instrumentation and control issues. 

What is the biggest challenge faced by the refining and petrochemical industry today?

COVID-19, and oil prices plunging at a world record low

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for Asia’s refining and petrochemical market in the next 12 months?

They will be able to operate more efficiently, reduce CAPEX, OPEX, (focus on most critical expenditure). They will also be able to make use of digital technology as much as possible to reduce operating costs and look for new sources of alternative renewable energy.

Please share your safety tip for 2020 – how can operators achieve higher safety and efficiency?

Be brilliant at Basic by ensuring core building blocks for operational excellence (People, Process and Technology) are preserved or further pushed to higher efficiency. Use examples, based on pain points, and make use of digitalization technology to improve safety and efficiency. People, competency and talent should continuously be top agenda of any company as they are key assets. Process should be rigorously reviewed from time to time to look for opportunities for optimization. Process Safety needs to be looked at beyond the conventional interlocking/Safeguarding/Controls in place.

What are the main areas of technological investments in oil and gas?

Digitalization in Plant TurnAround, Maintenance, Operations, Purchasing Life-Cycles (end to end)

Process Improvement (RFCC, Catalyst etc)

What are the latest technology adoptions by downstream operators in Asia?

As before, digitalization in Plant TurnAround, Maintenance, Operations, Purchasing Life-Cycles (end to end)

What do you think is the biggest impact that technology will have on the industry in the next five years?

Reduced Cost (OPEX)

What will be the highlight of your presentation at Asian Downstream Summit or Refining & Petrochemicals Asia Conference 2020?

Be Brilliant at Basic – Foundation towards Operational Excellence.