PDO signs re­search and de­vel­op­ment pacts with So­har, A’Shar­qiyah var­si­ties

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Mus­cat - Petroleum De­vel­op­ment Oman (PDO) has signed re­search and de­vel­op­ment agree­ments with So­har and A’Shar­qiyah uni­ver­si­ties to help re­solve some of its com­plex tech­ni­cal chal­lenges.

The mem­o­randa of un­der­stand­ing (MoUs) will help PDO fur­ther de­velop its com­pet­i­tive de­liv­ery by re­duc­ing costs, in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion and re­serves while op­er­at­ing in a safer and greener en­vi­ron­ment, a press re­lease stated.

At the same time, the col­lab­o­ra­tion deals will sup­port PDO’s ef­fort to boost in-coun­try value by ad­vanc­ing aca­demic and vo­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment and in­creas­ing the share of the oil and gas in­dus­try’s wealth re­tained in Oman.

PDO will fund the uni­ver­si­ties to as­sist them in three key ar­eas: En­hanced oil re­cov­ery, wa­ter man­age­ment and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and se­cu­rity, the lat­ter by en­cour­ag­ing re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient tech­nolo­gies.

They will also work to­gether to en­cour­age Omani small and medium-sized en­ter­prises and en­trepreneurs to carry out their ba­sic tech­no­log­i­cal re­search, test-proof their con­cep­tual thoughts and in­no­va­tive ideas and de­velop early-stage tech­nol­ogy in the uni­ver­si­ties’ lab­o­ra­to­ries prior to any po­ten­tial fu­ture com­mer­cial agree­ments.

PDO will as­sist with the es­tab­lish­ment of tech­nol­ogy cen­tres at both uni­ver­si­ties. Its own ex­perts will be given ac­cess to these re­search hubs and run and de­velop teach­ing pro­grammes.

The agree­ments will run for three years and also pave the way for PDO staff to en­rol in B Sc, M Sc and PhD cour­ses and other pro­grammes at the uni­ver­si­ties.

Ad­di­tion­ally, PDO and the in­sti­tu­tions will ex­change best prac­tices on health, safety and en­vi­ron­ment (HSE), lean ef­fi­ciency pro­grammes and gover­nance frame­works. The com­pany will also be­come a mem­ber of the uni­ver­si­ties’ ad­vi­sory boards.

The MoUs were signed by Pro­fes­sor Barry Winn, vice chan­cel­lor, So­har Univer­sity, Pro­fes­sor Fouad Che­did, deputy vice chan­cel­lor for Aca­demic Af­fairs at A’Shar­qiyah Univer­sity and Ab­dul-Amir al Ajmi, ex­ter­nal af­fairs and value cre­ation di­rec­tor, PDO.

Ajmi said, “PDO is work­ing hard to es­tab­lish tech­nol­ogy clus­ters across Oman with key re­search part­ners who can help us to ad­dress some of our key chal­lenges. These col­lab­o­ra­tions not only give us ac­cess to in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions and the best tech­nol­ogy and tools but also en­able stu­dents to learn more about the needs of the sul­tanate’s econ­omy and their po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers. This part­ner­ship is a win-win for the na­tional oil and gas sec­tor and Omani academia.”

Pro­fes­sor Winn said, “Mod­ern pro­gres­sive uni­ver­si­ties need to work closely with the in­dus­try to sup­port eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and so­cial well­be­ing. So­har Uni- ver­sity is de­lighted to work in part­ner­ship with PDO to sup­port many Oma­nis in reach­ing their po­ten­tial.”

Pro­fes­sor Che­did added, “We are hon­oured to sign the pact with PDO. At A’Shar­qiyah Univer­sity, we be­lieve in de­liv­er­ing au­then­tic ed­u­ca­tion in the sense that ev­ery­thing we do in class must be re­lated to real-world ap­pli­ca­tions. We be­lieve that this is the best way to get our stu­dents’ in­ter­est in learn­ing the sub­ject mat­ters.”

(Supplied pho­tos)

Fouad Che­did (sec­ond left) and Ab­dul-Amir al Ajmi

Pro­fes­sor Barry Winn with Ab­dul-Amir al Ajmi

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