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Petronas - a structure for IM competence

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Petronas Carigali is aiming to develop a standard career and training pathway for information management staff

Information management is among the most important competencies for oil and gas companies to essentially manage increasing amounts of complex data for quick and efficient access by competent information managers.

Petronas Carigali is developing a structured system for managing the profession and competency of information management staff in its exploration and production business,said Fariha Yusoff from the Information Management and Governance Department Petronas Carigali.

She was speaking at the Digital Energy Journal conference on October 25th, 'doing more with subsurface data'.

Following Petronas' move into global ventures in the mid 1990s, 'the environment in which we operate has been getting more and more complex each day,so naturally the processes get more and more complex as well,' she said.

The company is managing increasing amounts of data, and needs to make sure people have access to the data they need.

The system essentially transforms information management in the company into a formalized career plan that will help support the business.

The average age of information management staff was increasing, and there was also a lack of information management expertise overall.

'These issues need to be addressed because we need a good base of competent staff,' she said.


In March 2012 Petronas commenced a bench marking study, to compare its approach to managing data management practitioners with how other oil companies do it.

It wanted to know if other companies had established data management as a skill group, whether they had a competency map in place for those people, and if there was a 'learning ladder' and career progression path that people can follow.

The research was made by sending out e-mails, analyzing replies and gathering information together. 6 oil companies and 3 service companies were contacted altogether.

'We were convinced that there is a need to have an educated information management skill group, because all oil majors do have it or are in the process of establishing one,' she said.

Competency map

Petronas drew a map of the competencies needed for information management tasks, covering 6 different functional areas of information management (data governance, data architecture management, information security management, data quality management, reference and master data management, and metadata management).

It also covered fundamental data management knowledge which was compulsory.
This includes skills to 'understand business issues, customer orientation, operational support, planning and design of data,' she said.

This list of skills was adopted from and is subset of those set out by the international Data Management Association (DAMA).
Each skill is described with more granularity. For example to do data quality management, you have to 'know the standards, know the rules, you need to monitor and report, you need to know how to resolve issues, you need to also address legacy data,' she said.

The domain specific data groups are data for specific aspects of the oil and gas business, such as well geological and reservoir production technology data.

Different ways to learn

The company listed 5 different ways that people learn, general workplace learning, coaching and mentoring (such as with supervisors), knowledge sharing (in the software), formal training, and conferences.

Petronas sees 4 steps to the learning ladder in the foundation year including formal training, fundamentals for 2-4 years, then to intermediate then to advanced levels.

The IM practitioner can also take courses in the specific area of the oil and gas industry they are working in (eg petrophysics).

Currently Petronasis working to develop the competency matrix to illustrate the core competencies required for IM.

Petronas is also looking into working with Common Data Access (in the UK) and the Professional Petroleum Data Management Association (PPDM) to share its ideas about competency development.

Associated Companies
» PETRONAS Carigali

External Links
» watch a video of the talk

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