Nippon Oil Exploration presents Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia 4-wheel-drive for geological field work

Miri – 10 December 2008 – Nippon Oil Exploration Limited (NOEX) today handed over an Isuzu D-Max 3.0L 4X4 MT Super Commonrail 4-wheel-drive vehicle to Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (CSM) as part of its sponsorship of a geological study to be undertaken by the university.

Nippon Oil Exploration has entered into an agreement with Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia to fund an in-depth study into the geology of the northwest region of Borneo by Associate Professor Dr Eswaran Padmanabhan, a prominent geoscientist attached to CSM. The study is focused on oil and gas exploration and involves obtaining refined geological information on subsurface reservoirs and evaluating the potential and feasibility of porous layers for CO2 sequestration.

Dr Eswaran’s vast knowledge and experience in seismic interpretation, structural geology, geochemistry, petrography and environmental sciences would be of great value to such a study. According to him, the study will be carried out in several phases and is anticipated to reveal some very interesting data that will facilitate a thorough understanding of the petroleum geology and the sustainable utilization of non-renewable energy resources in the region.

He added that the 4-wheel-drive would be of tremendous benefit to him and his team as they carry out their field work, which will cover a vast area and often in remote and relatively inaccessible locations.

Handing over the vehicle to Dr Eswaran at Nippon Oil Exploration’s office at Wisma Interhill here was Managing Director Hideki KitagawaMr Kitagawa also presented CSM’s Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Joan Gribble a mock cheque for RM80,000 to kick off the study project.

Also present to witness the handover were CSM’s Chief Operating Officer Alex Chung, Dr Eswaran and Corporate Communications Manager Nicholas Leong, as well as Nippon Oil Exploration’s Deputy Managing Director Yoshihiro Shibata, Senior General Manager for Exploration & Development Hisao Tatsumi, Senior Manager for Exploration Yoshinori Iino, Human Resources & Administration Manager Shamsiah Kadir and Legal Manager Evelyn Khoo.

“This is another fine example of the close collaboration Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia enjoys with Nippon Oil Exploration and other oil and gas industry players in Sarawak. We share many common goals and there is much we can do to complement each other, especially in the areas of research and development, sustainability of energy and resources, and training,” said Dr Gribble.

She said CSM was grateful to Nippon Oil Exploration for the confidence it placed in the university’s research capabilities, and for entrusting Dr Eswaran with the project, adding that the university is continually building its research capability, as well as its reputation for quality research. She disclosed that upcoming developments at the university will include the establishment of a Curtin Research Institute with support from the Sarawak Ministry of Industrial Development and the federal government.

Mr Kitagawa, meanwhile, wished Dr Eswaran all the best in his study and expressed confidence that the information gathered will greatly benefit Nippon Oil Exploration’s exploration and development activities in the region.

 “We believe it is mutually beneficial to exchange ideas between geologists of CSM and Nippon and also to share new data and findings with each other through this study. We hope this sponsorship will raise the level of the study and lead to a most fruitful relationship between Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia and Nippon Oil Exploration here in Miri,” said Mr Kitagawa.

In 2006, Nippon Oil Exploration sponsored of five students for the Diploma in Process Plant Technology (Oil Industry) programme at CSM together with Murphy Oil. The two-year programme, offered in collaboration with Australia’s GippsTAFE, is specifically designed to train upstream oil and gas technicians, providing them the technical fundamentals to work as technicians offshore. It is hoped that the programme will provide a constant supply of graduates trained specifically in the areas of production of gas and crude oil, especially for the Sarawak and Sabah regions.


Professor Dr Joan Gribble giving a speech during the handover ceremony.

Associate Professor Dr Eswaran Padmanabhan (right) receiving mock key from Mr Hideki Kitagawa.

Mr Kitagawa presenting mock cheque for RM80,000 to Dr Joan Gribble

Nippon Oil Exploration and Curtin Sarawak representatives pose for a group photo

Dr Eswaran’s 4-wheel-drive will be of tremendous benefit to him in his field work.

(L-R) Mr Yoshihiro Shibata, Mr Yoshinori Iino, Mr Alex Chung, Dr Eswaran Padmanabhan, Mr Hideki Kitagawa, Dr Joan Gribble.

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