Petroleum has been one of the most demanded commodities around the world. Petroleum or crude oil is widely used as fuel for transportation, manufacturing, and power generation. Petroleum itself is a non-renewable resource, it is a black-yellowish liquid mixture. Petroleum is obtained from the drilling well, then refined and separated right after so it becomes a usable product like oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and even chemical reagents that are used for manufacturing plastics.
Last week, Sampoerna University had a great chance to invite Mr. Ryan Wijaya as a guest lecturer for the Senior Colloquium class. Mr. Ryan is a senior drilling engineer of Pertamina Hulu Energi and has fifteen years of career in the Petroleum field. Mr. Ryan shared his experiences as a field engineer and explained the future condition of Pertamina and petroleum.
As a field engineer in petroleum or a so-called drilling engineer, Mr. Ryan has been through a lot of different environments to work. A drilling engineer would work in a harsh environment like in the middle of the sea, jungle, and in any extreme place. Those places are unpredictable, so Mr. Ryan suggests that a vigorous mentality is also a must-have as a drilling engineer. Besides, when working on the drilling site, an engineer is very close to a catastrophic accident. The drilling well harvests petroleum, which is flammable, and at the same time, the engines that are used for drilling are hot. If the engineer does not pay much attention, an accident could happen. What the engineer should do when an accident occurs is follow the safety protocols. Engineers should have the ability to think clearly. Thus, a strong mentality is very necessary as a drilling engineer.
Furthermore, regarding petroleum drilling, Pertamina is planning to open up more drilling wells to increase its production. Pertamina, as a state-owned company in Indonesia, that deals with petroleum, is planning to boost its petroleum production to one million barrels per day by 2030 in order to fulfill the energy demand in Indonesia as well as to sell it internationally, which both are increasing gradually. In producing a million barrels per day, Pertamina will open up to one thousand drilling wells in Indonesia.
However, the increase in production will be against the Paris Agreement, in which Indonesia also participates. For that problem, Indonesia, through Pertamina, is planning to mix its petroleum with biofuel. The plan will be managed over the B20 program. The B20 means the mixture of 20% biofuel with 80% Petroleum. The biofuel will gradually increase to 30% (B30), 50% (B50), and eventually 100% (B100). The source of the biofuel itself is coming from palm oil. From the program, the President of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo, is aiming to reduce gas emissions, strengthen energy resilience and independence, and increase the value of palm oil through the down-streaming of the palm oil industry.
Discussing the safety of petroleum drilling and biofuel, Mr. Ryan said that the job of engineers, especially mechanical engineers, will always be available. It is because the devices or engines that are used in the industry will always develop, in terms of efficiency, reliability, and safety. Therefore, Mr. Ryan advises that engineering students should be responsible engineers because designing and creating a device comes with great responsibilities. It is not only about ourselves, we also indirectly responsible for the lives of many people.
Written by: I Ketut Adhiarta Laksemana (2019360041), Mechanical Engineering Student