What I learned from working in an oil and gas service company

I used to dream about working in an oil and gas company during college years. Firstly, oil and gas industry statistically gives the highest amount of salary for fresh graduate engineers. Secondly, oil and gas company offers enticing employee training program that mostly overseas. Lastly, I thought that I can apply my knowledge gained from engineering course into the real industry. In conclusion, oil and gas offers a very competitive package and growth stimulating yet challenging work environment. A dream job for almost all engineering students.

Joining in ‘not so good’ time for the industry

I joined a renowned oil and gas service company. It is said as a second biggest service company in the world, as known as the Reds. The Reds once tried to merged with a fellow American oil service company, but in 2016 the merger plan fell through. You may guess which company I am talking about.

It was kind of sad on my early year there. November 2014 should be commemorate as my first month, but more remembered as the month when oil price stumbled. The downward trends continued further until oil price reaching the lowest in 20 years, followed by slowdown in the industry that leads to mass lay-offs. I consider myself lucky to enter the industry right before it stumbled. I get to know much about the industry which I know nothing about before. What a lucky coincidence… What an unfortunate scenario…

What salary can get you

People works for a myriad of purposes. Some works so they can eat for the day, while the others works to fulfill their lifestyle. As a young adult who just entered the real life, those are the things I can observed on.

I was excited when earning my first salary. The excitement then continue to reappear once a month on payment day. Truthfully, it was the only things that keep me doing my job. Working in a drilling rig is harsh. Remote area, high working hour, laborous works, high social pressure, high client pressure are several hardships of working in the drilling field. Beyond that, the compensation payment in oil and gas service company is rewarding. Uncle Ben once said that with great salary comes great responsibility. That is why salary sometimes said as a compensation benefit, meaning to compensate all of your hardship you’ve endured on that month. In the oil and gas service industry, you must prepared to sacrifice some of your life including your time with your family.

I met a lot of people. Some had a price tag of $911 a day, where others labouring to earn $400 a month. Some people have to climb the career stairs by drudging in the rig floor, flexing their body muscle connecting drill pipes for 5 years so they can be a driller or toolpusher. Some people by their privilege does not need to pass through the labouring and physical works. They are the engineers who graduate from university, I belong to this group.

I saw the difference between the $911 a day and $ 500 a month man, their lifestyle. Apart from the lifestyle they pursue, there was nothing significant. I notice most man pursue their lifestyle based on their salary. Higher salary means more sumptuous lifestlye. The 500 dollars man are living modestly with proper life standard. They satisfied with their life. In the contrary, 911 dollars man tend to live happier but with great dissatisfaction. In a rare case, I found some of them did not really enjoy the life. They keep chasing more money to get, no matter how much they already had. Surely he can live a humble life with the money, but it is not the usual case.

I used to think that having much money will lead to happiness, but now it seems to be invalid. Our satisfaction of life merely based on how high we set our lifestyle.

* Thank you for all people I met on the rig site, I learned much about life from you guys.

It was such a small world, the oil and gas industry

Oil and gas industry is small, workers have very specific skills here. Turn over rate is high in the industry, so you may meet your ex co-workers in other company in the future. It is important to keep good relations with all people in such a small industry. I am not an amiable people, it is difficult for me to engage with new people. However in the industry, I was forced to meet and working together with new people. Some of them were hard to handle with, but fortunately I met more good people back there. Works with an annoying and bossy person is such a pain in the ass, because our work environment is very small and restricted. Becoming a nice co-worker is very important in oil service company. We have enough stress from the environment, we want no more addition of irritating co-worker. At least be nice in the work site even if you cannot be nice outside works.

The conclusions

Working in oil and gas service company is very demanding, that is why they pay you hefty salary. I believe salary will equal to your compensation you deserve on the job. If you decide to starting a career in the industry, you have to be ready to survive in a volatile and specific industry. On a bad business time, many laid-off employee have struggled to get a job. When the demand of oil and gas decreasing, the demand of oil service workers also diminshed. That means oil service workers more likely to be affected badly than oil company employees.

For fresh graduate engineer pursuing the career in the job because of the high salary and expecting an easy job, I advise you to reconsider your choice. Please do not see a career merely based on how much it pays you. The job is very demanding, both physically and mentally. Mostly you may miss important dates for your family and countless holidays. On the other side, you have unlimited freedom on your days off.


Many thanks for my former employer for such a worthful experience for 1 year and 8 months. For all my work colleagues and friends, I wish you all good luck and prosperity. May we see in other opportunity in the future. 

Best regards,



For anyone who may perceived my post as a discouraging one, I do not intent to discourage anyone to pursue the career in oil service company. I am writing truthfully as an ex oil service worker. I strongly encourage anyone who fits in the work ethics and lifestyle of oil service worker to pursue the career in the industry. 

What kind of Chinese are you?

I sometimes wonder about my identity as an Indonesia born Chinese. As Indonesia consists of myriad ethnics and culture, Chinese ethnicity has contributed much to Indonesia, made us a considerable part of the Indonesia society. I never thought about my family history, never crossed in my mind before how my ancestor got to Indonesia. And then it happened after I finished reading Kevin Kwan’s book entitled Crazy Rich Asians. The book was amusing, the author was a Singapore born Chinese residing in the States now. Kevin told the complexity of rich Chinese family hierarchy and tradition, which I found realistic in Indonesian Chinese. My family is not rich, but the tradition also descripted in the family. In the book, antagonist character considered Mainland Chinese as a poor Chinese, unlike the sophisticated and rich Singaporean Chinese. I was very curious about the mainland, knowing that my ancestor sailed from the Mainland to Indonesia in early 1930s. So I started browsing and asking my uncle and grandma who knows the most about our family history.

Are you Hakka, Hokkien, or Teochew?

Before, I only know that I am not a Hokkien Chinese simply because I don’t speak the language. Hokkien language is the one spoken in high speed and high intensity. Hokkien mostly heard in Chinese people dense region like North Sumatera and Riau. Their number is kind of big in Indonesia, maybe around half of Indonesia Chinese is Hokkien. Note that almost two-fifth of Singaporean Chinese is also Hokkien. If we step back ahead of these three, Han Chinese is the root. Han Chinese is everywhere, it has the largest numbers among other Chinese. Han Chinese accounts for 19% of world population by the way. In short, most all Chinese you see or know are Han. Language dialects are what differentiate them. Later I found out that I am a Hakka people.

My grandfather from mother side had a journey from his home in a small vilage near Meizhou, Guangdong Province. Guangdong is a province on south-east China, Guangzhou is its capital city. I do not have the opportunity to interview my grandpa because he already deceased 17 years ago. I wonder what motivate him to embark on the journey to Indonesia, some said mainland Chinese went to Indonesia in search of a job. It seems very plausible for me. His first job in Indonesia was a chef, he was known as a prominent chef in my family. He also did some labor job in logistic company before doing business in plastic industry. He made a fortune by making home appliance using injection molding machine with thermoplastic materials. How come an unskilled immigrant labor in Indonesia could grew a business? I clearly do not know the real motivation, maybe the job market was very harsh back there. Forcing Chinese either to sell something or make their own business to earn a living. In the long run, many Chinese rose as prominent business leader in several industry in Indonesia. Was it true opportunity lies beneath the hardship and adversity? Only Confucious may answer that..

My grandfather from my father also originated from Meizhou, but he was a city boy unlike my other grandpa who was a village boy. So could I say Meizhou is my far-home land? Both of my grandpa were born in it. Yet I have not visited Meizhou to know it.

Famous Hakka People in Indonesia

Governor of DKI Jakarta
Governor of DKI Jakarta

The most controversial governor Jakarta ever had! Basuki Tjahaja Purnawa or famously called as Ahok. He is a Hakka Chinese, born in Belitung island. Belitung and Bangka are dominated by Hakka people. Ahok is the first Chinese ever who sits as Indonesia’s capital city. Yeah, for us it is a accomplishment and pride. Haha. However, some Chinese businessman later regretting it because Ahok’s bureaucracy potentially troubled their ‘fruitfull’ business.

Chinese Stereotyping

We like to stereotyping fellow Chinese. Who does not? Mostly the stereotype I heard were about Hokkien or Teochew girls. Because I am the Hakka one. Maybe Hokkien girl also given Hakka stereotype during the storytelling. However I do not really believe in stereotype but I do not really deny because sometimes it is legitimate. But the idea of stereotyping is basically bad, so I do not really buy the stereotype things.

The Marginal Chinese – Cina Benteng

There is also a type of Chinese, known as Cina Benteng (Benteng is fortress) who resides in Tangerang area. Tangerang is a neighbour city of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Cina Benteng fought alongside mainlander during the Dutch colonialism. They were forced from Jakarta into Tangerang area due to the fight. This is the evidence of Indonesia Chinese nationalism, that we fought together against the Dutch colonial as one team. The battle that lost made some of them become poor, forced them to live in the forest and sub urban area. They have darker skin than the other Chinese because of the acculturation and marriage with mainlander. Some of the famous results from the mix are Gambang Kromong music and kelenteng architecture.

Closing remarks

I am a truly Indonesian. My ethnicity is Chinese and I love to maintain the tradition and culture. Even though, we are still a fellow Indonesia that should respect each other and fight together for a better Indonesia.

Application for Imperial College London – MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures 2016

Hi there, I want to share about my application process for Postgraduate program at Imperial College London. Hope this post enlighten your mind about applying for Imperial MSc program. I will tell the story in chronological order.

8 February – 1 March 2016

I started studying about Imperial College since 2015 and applying for the program on 8 February 2016. You can scrutinize the program description in the website. They made the program handbook, course description, program specification, and the FAQ available for download. SEF also has released a blog at http://energyfutureslab.wordpress.com where students and lab members write their opinion and story. You can also request a prospectus to Imperial Graduate Admissions to learn more about the postgraduate program. All aplication for Imperial College London made via the online admission system.

The MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures program itself had opened the application since late 2015. However the deadline for application is 31 March 2016. The deadline means you have to complete the application documents not late than the specified date. The application documents include two letter of recommendations, only if both LoR are submitted and accepted then the application status would change into completed. Please mind the uncertainty for letter of recommendation submission from your reference so your application would complete in time. Mind that this program is quite competitive, every year around 50 students accepted amongst around 350 applicants from all over the world. Timing is vital, the early you applied, the success chance is higher than later application. I completed my application on 1 March 2016 because my second recommendation came at 1 March, even all application form had been filled and first recommendation already given. I waited almost one month just for recommendation. Luckily I still have time before the deadline application day.

When you apply using the online application, you should get a CID (College Identification) Number as log in ID in Imperial College Student e-services website. Activate your account and make a password. You can save your progress while filling the forms and continue whenever you want. You cannot continue further if the required box still not filled. If you have completed the application, you can monitor the progress using student e-services web. However if the decision has been made, you should get a notification in your email. I got an email on 11 April 2016 (about 5 weeks from the completion of application) for the decision notification. Later I found out I was conditionally accepted for the MSc program. You should respond to the offer whether to accept or defer it.

11 April 2016 – Decision on the application

How to change the conditional offer to unconditional?

In the student e-services site, there should be a list of outstanding* items need to be submitted to ICL. In normal case, they might ask for proof of bachelor completion alongside the academic transcript. They also might require a deposit to be made, however this can be substituted by letter of guarantee or letter of scholarship. In my case as Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, I submitted a LOS and it worked as a magic. I need only to submit the bachelor certificate and academic trancript by air mail. I was using Indonesia mail service, EMS POS Indonesia to transfer the documents. The damage cost was only around 300 thousand IDR. Just for information, using DHL services might costed around 600 thousand IDR.

For LPDP awardee or any of you intending to attend ICL as LPDP awardee, I suggest to apply for ICL after you got the LOS from LPDP. In some case, ICL is strict about deposit payment. It would be better if you already have the LOS to guarantee your payment, so deposit does not need to be made. I apply for LPDP in January 2016 and accepted in March 2016. The timing was just perfect for me.

*They require me to send the original documents, however after consult with my fellow friend I decided to send the copy documents with legalized stamp. The registry did not complaint and 1 day after the arrival of documents, my status altered to unconditionally accepted.

What to do after I unconditionally accepted?

You might prepare the documents needed for visa application. It depends on your country, should you see the visa and immigrations of UK website about that. I got a long period of waiting my CAS* number to be generated by ICL because regarding to the course starting date at 1 October 2016, CAS will not be generated early than 1 July 2016. In a period of time between late April 2016 until July 2016, I could only prepare for documents for visa application waiting on the CAS to come. If you need a Letter of Acceptance, just contact the registry for your study program and soon it will be sent to you. However you should on unconditional offer to have that.

*CAS is Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies, required to make UK Visa Tier 4 type. It accounts for 30 points in your total visa points of 40. The other 10 accounts for maintenance fee during your study in UK.

For any of you applying for the ICL postgrad program, I wish you good luck!

Tes Bebas TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara untuk Syarat Visa UK tahun 2016

Halo pembaca, sebagian besar dari kalian pasti belum pernah melakukan tes bebas TBC. Termasuk saya juga sebelumnya, yang terpaksa tes ini untuk prasyarat pengajuan visa Tier 4 ke UK. Dalam bayangan saya awalnya, tes bebas TBC yang seharga 690 ribu rupiah (17 Mei 2016) mencakup tes dahak dan sebagainya. Ternyata pada dasarnya tes anti TBC hanya terdiri dari foto rontgen thorax yang kemudian diamati oleh dokter ahli radiologi. Tes ini sebenarnya sudah pernah saya lakukan sebagai prasyarat mendaftar Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia – LPDP. Namun karena pihak imigrasi UK mensyaratkan tes dilakukan hanya di tiga rumah sakit Indonesia, RS Premier Bintaro, RS Premier Jatinegara, dan salah satu RS di Bali maka saya melakukan tes ulang.

Sebenarnya saya agak parno dengan tes ini, takut hasilnya menunjukkan positif laten TBC. Kakek saya pernah mengidap TBC sewaktu umur saya 8 tahun. Salah satu yang unik tentang tes TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara, satu hari setelah tes anda akan deg-degan menunggu hasil. Jika menerima panggilan telepon keesokan harinya, berarti anda dicurigai terjangkit TBC dan perlu pengecekan sputum atau dahak. Dan tes dahak bisa memakan waktu hingga berbulan-bulan karena spesimen dahak perlu dikembangkan secara ilmu mikrobiologi. Maka saran saya bagi yang ingin membuat visa UK, tes bisa dilakukan paling cepat 6 bulan sebelum keberangkatan. Karena sertifikat yang diterbitkan oleh RS Premier itu berlaku sampai 6 bulan setelah tes dilakukan. Biasanya universitas UK intake di bulan September sehingga dari bulan Maret dan April tes sudah bisa dilakukan. Hal ini juga perlu dilakukan untuk menghindari antrian pendaftaran di waktu-waktu padat pengajuan visa UK pada bulan Juni.

Berikut langkah-langkah dan tips jika anda ingin melakukan tes bebas TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara:

  1. Lakukan dulu booking melalui telepon 1500908 di bagian medical check up untuk tes TBC Visa UK. Dokumen yang perlu disiapkan adalah paspor asli yang masih berlaku dan pas foto 4×6 latar belakang warna biru. Usahakan datang jam 9 karena sistem menganut first come first serve. Semakin telat semakin lama anda menunggu.
  2. RS Premier Jatinegara dapat dijangkau dengan transportasi umum Commuter Line (turun di stasiun Jatinegara disambung dengan angkot biru ke arah Kampung Melayu) atau Transjakarta (turun di halte RS Premier atau Kampung Melayu) atau dengan layanan ojek online yang cepat dan nyaman.
  3. Sampai disana, langsung ambil nomor antrian di lobby sebelah kiri dari arah masuk. Ambil antrian untuk bagian medical check up. Setelah melakukan administrasi, anda akan disuruh untuk menuju lantai 7 (bagian medical check up).
  4. Hanya ada satu ruangan di lantai 7, langsung menuju ke ruangan sebelah kanan dari keluar lift untuk bertemu perawat dan menyerahkan berkas.
  5. Anda akan diminta untuk mengisi formulir dan kuesioner mengenai latar belakang dan riwayat TBC. Tidak banyak yang perlu diisi, hanya 10 menit dibutuhkan untuk mengisinya. Saat mengisi lembar sertifikat harus benar-benar teliti karena itu yang akan dicetak di sertifikat bebas TBC nantinya, jangan sampai ada kesalahan terutama nomor pasport.
  6. Tunggu panggilan untuk melakukan foto rontgen dan setelah selesai anda akan diminta menunggu sebentar untuk mengecek draft sertifikat apakah sudah sesuai atau belum.
  7. Setelah selesai anda dapat melakukan pembayaran. Anda akan diberikan souvenir dan bukti pengambilan sertifikat yang harus dibawa saat pengambilan.
  8. Jika hasil ingin diambilkan oleh orang lain, anda perlu membuat surat kuasa yang formatnya bisa diminta ke perawat. Orang yang mewakilkan hanya perlu membawa surat kuasa dan bukti pengambilan.
  9. Esok harinya berdoa agar anda tidak ditelepon pihak RS karena jika ya maka artinya anda perlu melakukan tes dahak karena ada kecurigaan TBC.
  10. Jika tidak menerima telepon, anda bisa mengambil hasilnya siang hari dari jam 12 sampai jam 3:30.

Sekian cerita dari saya, semoga bermanfaat untuk pembaca semua yang ingin melakukan tes TBC untuk syarat visa UK.

Ronald Sukianto

Becoming an Awardee of BPI LPDP PK-66

10th March 2016

It was a nerve wrecking moment for me. Right after my plane had landed on CGK airport around 9 PM, an email arrived from LPDP. LINE group suddenly full of both joy and sorrow, many of them were accepted and many were not. The flight attendants of CITILINK QG-833 had commenced all passengers to get off the airplane. I still remember the feeling of joy when I read my scholarship application was successful. The best feeling when you just arrived from your duty and got a jubilant news.

First of all, I like to tell about what is the scholarship about. The BPI (Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia) or the Indonesia Education Scholarship is a higher education scholarship program organized professionally by LPDP (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan) or the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education. The scholarship aims for prospective future leader of Indonesia in several strategic fields such as Energy, Science, Food, Maritime, Law, Economics, Creative Industries, Medical and Health to pursue their Master or Doctorate education in top universities in Indonesia and overseas. The program is very popular, attracts thousands of applicant each batch. I enrolled for 1st batch of 2016, more than 1000 students were accepted for both overseas and domestic universities.

The idea of this kind of scholarship may be heard in some countries a long time ago, but first time in Indonesia. Demographics on 2045 tends to advantageous for Indonesia, but in the term of number. Making sure the bonus turn into advantages for Indonesia, this program intends to prepare future leader in several sectors through higher education funding. Strategic research also fostered by generous funding to prepare the economic boom in the next twenty years. I am feeling optimistic for this thought, Indonesia may be top country in economics in 2045.

PK (Persiapan Keberangkatan)

PK is more like Program Kepemimpinan (Leadership Program) for me. All of BPI awardee should attend this program to receive scholarship contract that funds their study. PK also one of the important thing that make LPDP distinct from other scholarship program. I found myself lucky to attend this program. Yet the program was very tiring but it was very worth valued. I got batch sixty six or the PK-66. We call ourself as the Laskar Dewantara. Inspired by the spirit of fostering Indonesian education inherited from National Heroes, Suwardi Suryaningrat or famously known as Ki Hadjar Dewantara. He was the founder of Taman Siswa, school for indigenous people in the era of Dutch colonialism. His famous proverbs could be seen in Indonesia Ministry of Education motto, Tut Wuri Handayani.

Laskar Dewantara consisted of best people from their fields all over Indonesia, Elementary school teacher, general practiticioner, university lecturer, foreign ministry staff, national development staff, private sector professional, humanity volunteer, social media consultant, NGO, veterinarian, spatial designer, researcher, lawyer, entrepreneur, dentist, to civil servants. This is the perfect networking program for future Indonesia professionals, entrepreneurs, and officials.

We can meet famous, cool-people-you-can-not-meet-unless-in-pk like Marty Natalegawa, Roby Muhammad, Butet Manurung, and many others. Marty Natalegawa was a foreign minister of Indonesia on SBY era, known as his eloquent and stylish manners. Roby Muhammad as I first knew his name and his face was actually very inspiring talker. I like his idea about passion is actually bullshit, nobody has only one passion in his life. Pursue what you’re interested in with your best effort and success might come. Well he proved that in his life journey, from physics graduate student to social network analyst. Butet Manurung, known for his activity in teaching indigenous people in the jungle with SOKOLA RIMBA.

My batch, PK-66 got the chance to do rafting as the outbond activity. Aside from inspirational and motivational from famous speakers, we also had outdoor activity for team building. Lucky for us, we got rafting at Paralayang River in Pangalengan, West Java. It was the best day of PK, having fun all day. In short, PK is one of the offering point of LPDP scholarship you should get.

Selection Process

Well, about the selection process I could not say much. The selection process was normal: Administration – Interview – FGD and essay writing. Notes for you that will undergo the process:

  1. Preparation is the king, Never attend the selection without proper preparation about knowing yourself and your study plan. The scholarship wants people who will come back to Indonesia with their knowledge, to build Indonesia. Make sure your plan in the future fits with this.
  2. Believe in yourself. You will meet highly competitive people in the selection with high achievement. No need to compare yourself to others, the only man you need to beat is your ego.
  3. LGD and Essay. I did not finish my essay back there. In LGD, I am one of the most ordinary contributor in the group. Do not concentrate too much in this section because it seems that they are giving less contribution than the interview.

Well, good luck for you all who intending to apply for LPDP scholarship!

Ronald Sukianto

PK-66 Laskar Dewantara


Urban Legend in North Tapanuli

North Tapanuli is a regency in North Sumatera, Indonesia. It is where I reside for almost two years, working at the Sarulla drilling project. North Tapanuli is inhabited by Bataknese, one of major ethnic in Indonesia. I want to share a few urban legends that believed there. There is even one ghost sighting caught on camera on one of the list. Here are the list:

  1. Onan Begu (ghost market or pasar hantu in Bahasa Indonesia) is located on WJP drilling area. WJP drilling area supply the steam for NAMORA I LANGIT power plant. The WJP that accounts for several production wells actually have a story among the locals. WJP is the most remote area amongst the other drilling area, which is also remote by the way. But the WJP is even remote because no mobile phone signal exist there. Added that the location is far away into the dark woods. It is called Onan Begu because it was actually a flat field in the middle of the woods before becoming a drilling pad. Ghost and spirits are believed to gather there. Right now after it became a drilling area, mysterious howling and sounds often heard in the dark trees, sometimes the crew says that they see a white woman fly around the area. One time I obliged to install the electrical grounding for our unit in the location. While sitting in the fron row seat, I glanced to one of the fence nearby that area. You know in a drilling site, they put a police line to restrict people entering the area. One segment of the police line suddenly moving up and down in a slightly slow motion. Maybe it’s the wind or something was sitting there. Yeah, anything can happens right?
  2. The deadly turn. Between NAMORA I LANGIT and SILANGKITANG power plant area (around twelve kilometres) there is one turn that believed to be haunted. The road is a main road for Sumatera land transportation so the legend is widely known among truck driver. From NAMORA I LANGIT, the turn is located after the steep descent with rather blind-sided turn to the left. There is a sign that reads “CAUTION! ACCIDENT PRONE” or “AWAS RAWAN KECELAKAAN.” Accidents happen there mostly involve heavy truck and other heavy vehicle with low control. Right beneath the turn is a 20 metres deep cliff, where the vehicle often ends up in. The legend says a bad woman inhabited in the bottom of the cliff, demanding death people every year for retribution. Around 30 metres after the turn, you can find a cave on the left side with a skull sign in front of it. It was said to be the woman’s place that no one is permitted to enter. Actually I ever saw a truck crashed into the cliff, making three of the passengers dead in the place. Luckily I saw only the truck and the dead victims were already evacuated.
  3. NAMORA I LANGIT and SIMATANIARI. Name of place near the NIL Power Plant. NAMORA I LANGIT means very near from the sky and SIMATANIARI means near from the sun. They are the highest place in the region so the naming sounds very acceptable.
  4. Begu Ganjang is name of traditional ghost legend in Tapanuli region. People believe Begu Ganjang is a ghost that treated and kept by human (black magic), in order to gain wealth and honor.Begu Ganjang fed by human blood and flesh. Begu Ganjang also could be sent to kill a rival or an enemy. However, in my opinion Begu Ganjang is just a myth from the past. It was often that people accused of using Begu Ganjang killed and burned alive. People in the past could easily be manipulated and misleaded by ghost info in a motive of social jealously.
  5. The Fourth Roustabout. Is a story about mysterious roustabout. Roustabout is a crew that works in drilling
    Examine the red circle
    Examine the red circle

    rig, mostly doing task like lifting, hoisting, cleaning, and mixing chemical.However, one time a night drilling supervisor in NIL area caught a unusual sight of roustabout working near the shale shaker. Through the security camera, he saw three man cleaning the shale shaker area. The three man were wearing blue coveralls and yellow hats. However, the three man seemed not noticing another man/woman standing in the middle wearing all white clothes. They were really sure that only three of them working there. The identity of the mysterious guest is still unknown. The drilling rig actually had a sad story, happened around 10 months ago. One of the night drilling supervisor had a heart attack on rig site after having an argument with his boss. Unfortunately he cannot survived and died on the ambulance. It was the exact rig where the fourth roustabout sighting.

That is all I got for the urban legend. Do you have any other urband legend in your region? Please comment!




I am a participant of Chevron Pacific Indonesia University Partnership Program 2013. Chevron Pacific Indonesia or CPI are one of the biggest Oil Production Sharing Contract in Indonesia. They manage big oil and gas blocks in Indonesia, such as Riau and East Kalimantan. Chevron also manage geothermal plant in West Java, the Salak and Daradjat field. Chevron University Partnership Program is one of their CSR program to foster university student participation on internship program in oil and gas company. On 2013, it was exclusive only for ITB and UGM students. Hope the program continue to give equal opportunity for all university in Indonesia.

In short, I applied for Facility Engineer Intern and got accepted as one of participant. First is administration selection, followed by psychology and aptitude test. If you passed, you will invited to panel interview section. Medical check up invitation will arrive if you pass the interview section. Induction day was held for all participants before assigned to specified operations. As for me, I was assigned to Sumatera Operation where the Duri and Minas oil field are existed.

Power Generation and Transmission Department

As a Facility Engineer Intern in Power Generation and Transmission Department, I was supervised by a lead mechanical engineer and a reliability mechanical engineer. Bang Albert Marihot was a lead mechanical engineer at that time, he had more than ten years experience in facility engineering field as he worked in Freeport (copper and gold mining company) and Indonesia Power (power plant) before. Pak Hendra Oktawira was a new reliability engineer, had experienced many years as reliability engineer at a petrochemical company.

The responsibility of PGT department is to supply and sustain electricity power for all Sumatera operation. That is including drilling and residence facility. If the power goes out, that means a reduced PGT’s key performance index. The department mostly habitated by electricity power engineers, project engineers, and mechanical engineers. Mechanical engineers mainly acted as reliability engineer of all equipments involved in power generation, transimssion and distribution process. I was assigned on the implementaion of Risk Based Inspection method on the transmission and distribution equipment. The equipment is steam turbine, gas turbine, heat exchanger power pole.

Power Pole

Electric Power Pole

Do not mind the electric things appear above, even at that time I did not really understand about the how electricity in power pole works. As a mechanical reliability engineer, our task is to maintain the mechanical integrity of the pole that sustain all electrical equipments. The pole sustain all mechanical loads from the weight of equipment and external load from wind forces. One pole falling down could cause disruption of the transmission of electric power for the operation, that means NPT that cause loss of money. Loss of money = blamed employee.

The unusual things done here are the Risk Based Inspection applied for the power pole equipment. RBI is usually applied for pressurized oil and gas equipment with high risk consequences. However, we applied the RBI methodology to the maintenance process of power pole. As you know before that RBI is documented in American Petroleum Institute (API) 580 and 581. They are standard which widely used for oil and gas equipment throughtout the industry. In RBI, we assigned each equipment a risk value and then group them based on their risk level. Each risk level might need different mitigation and maintenance effort. Risk defined as probability of failure (PoF) times the consequence of failure (CoF). In a more simple way, we sometimes use risk matrix to define the risk value. There is 3×3 matrix, 4×4 matrix, or 5×5 matrix which more complex. There may be an equipment that has very low probability of failure but might cause disastrous consequence when failure happen. RBI tried to accomodate the effects of both probability and consequence to make a proper preventive maintenance process. As for example: power pole in several Chevron areas were more susceptible to corrosion due to high H2S gas in the enviroment will raise the PoF. If we compare the poles to other in lower corrosion level area, those poles should be assigned a higher risk level so the maintenance treatment will be different. They might need extra thermal, NDT, or thickness inpsection more frequently than the lower risk one. That sums up my works in the internship period. Mostly I learned how maintenance engineer works. I sometimes attended meeting with the inspection vendor, weekly meeting with director, presenting my assessment and giving recommendation. I also gain knowledge of electricity generation process with their transmission and generations equipments.

Such a wonderful experience for a summer internship as an Facility Engineer! *Of course the money was also very good for a college student.

UPP 2013 Alumni – Facility Engineer Intern – SMO Area



Sarulla Geothermal Operation – Powering North Sumatera

Hi there, right now I am writing this post while laying on my bed during my off day. During on duty day, I commute to North Tapanuli area, North Sumatera, Indonesia. I have worked on the drilling project of Sarulla Operation Ltd. geothermal power plant for 1 year since April 2015. The project actually commenced at the end of 2014, had objection to drill sufficient production and re-injection well to supply the phase 1 geothermal power plant. Sarulla Operation Ltd. or SOL (which I will be saying for it from now) would supply a total of 330 MW power, which project divided into 3 phases with 110 MW each. Sarulla Operation Ltd. is a consortium of three companies from USA, Japan, and South Korea. Japan, represented by Kyushu Power mostly participated on the later project for power generating technology. South Korea, represented by Hyundai Construction started early as the main contractor for infrasructure for power plant and drilling pad infrastructure. USA with Ormat Technologies contributed mainly on drilling and exploration project, and also contributed to power plant technology.

There will be two power plants, Silangkitang (SIL) power plant and Namora I Langit (NIL) power plant. Right when I write this post, SIL power plant is in the middle of construction. Whereas the steam production well had been drilled and tested. During early 2015 until early 2016 I served as MWD Engineer of Sperry Directional Drilling Services to drill 3 production wells and 2 re-injection wells. Last time I visited the site was on January 2016, last time I took a peek on the site on April 2016 the drilling rig had been gone. The central heat exchanger (probably condenser) has been in place, with piping has been installed on the well head. Just for information, UNOCAL (now: Chevron) drilled 3 wells back on early 1990s which well will also be utilized for the SIL power plant. From the news I heard from the wind, one of SIL production well gave around 30 MW capacity when tested. For a single well, it is kind of enormous. I hope the test result turn to be true to make Sarulla as the first biggest geothermal power plant in the world. Hopefully this power plant could overcome the electricity supply deficit in the North Sumatera province.

The rising of geothermal project in Indonesia

Before SOL, there were some company participated in geothermal project in Indonesia such as Supreme Energy on South Sumatera Province, Star Energy on West Java Province, Chevron Geothermal on West Java Province, Pertamina Geothermal Energy on several provinces across Indonesia. However, SOL has proved the rising trend of Indonesia geothermal project investment from foreign investor. In Sabang, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam it is rumored that Turkey company invested for geothermal drilling project there. Also on West Java, Sukabumi it is also stated that PT Jabar Rekind Geothermal (a province owned company) will started drilling for geothermal. Those project has became one of way to fulfill the target of 35000 MW electricity supply target, set by Joko Widodo the 7th President of Indonesia. President Jokowi indicating commitment about sustianable energy in Indonesia, asking several percent of 35000 MW coming from non-fossil and non-coal source. I predicted the trend of geothermal drilling project will be bullish in upcoming year.

I hope SOL project become a huge success, which then initiate other private and public investor to invest in geothermal and other renewable energy sector in Indonesia. In demand of electricity on rural area across Indonesia, renewable and sustainable energy project also boost the economic wheel. In the end, equal development would be achieved. Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua also have the rights to develop. Starting from electricity and infrastructure and in the end the human resource. Let’s see North Tapanuli in several years ahead the SOL project. I am curious to see the transformation that a geothermal project could make to a rural area.

Jakarta, 14 April 2016

Sekolah Pasar Modal Bursa Efek Indonesia 2016

Hari ini tanggal 16 Maret 2016, saya berkesempatan untuk mengikuti sekolah pasar modal yang diadakan oleh BEI yang bertempat di gedung IDX SCBD Jakarta. Pendaftaran sekolah pasar modal cukup mudah, semua dilakukan online di Investar dengan sistem kuota per hari. Saya mengambil SPM tingkat 1 dan 2 dalam satu hari sekaligus dengan tujuan hemat waktu. Syarat mengikuti SPM tingkat 2 adalah sudah memegang SID (nomor tunggal investor pasar modal) yang sebenarnya pasti dibuat saat kita mengikuti SPM tingkat 1.

Pada batch saya, Danareksa adalah agen perusahaan efek yang ditunjuk oleh BEI untuk mendaftarkan para peserta SPM. Agen perusahaan efek adalah badan yang mengurus transaksi jual beli saham dimana kita sebagai investor saham adalah klien mereka, jadi setiap transaksi yang kita lakukan akan masuk beberapa persen sebagai komisi ke kantong agen. Ada puluhan agen perusahaan efek yang terdaftar di OJK, namun kebetulan saya mendaftar di Danareksa karena “paksaan” BEI. Kita juga perlu membuka rekening sumber dana investor, yaitu rekening tempat dana transaksi saham disimpan untuk keperluan transaksi jual dan beli saham. Rekening ini berbeda dengan rekening tahapan bank-bank biasanya. Beberapa bank yang memiliki layanan rekening sumber dana investor adalah BNI, BCA, Mandiri, dan Permata. Pada kesempatan ini kita “dipaksa” memilih Mandiri atau BCA karena hanya mereka yang bekerja sama dengan SPM.

Tingkat 1 secara umum membahas tata cara dan pengenalan berinvestasi di pasar modal. Keluaran dari tingkat ini adalah kita secara resmi terdaftar sebagai investor saham di BEI. Sedangkan SPM tingkat 2 lebih cocok untuk yang berminat menjadi trader saham yang mencari capital gain dari penjualan saham saat harga tinggi dan pembelian saat harga rendah. Tingkat 2 membahas analisis teknikal yang cenderung prediktif untuk melihat tanda-tanda kenaikan atau penurunan berdasarkan ilmu-ilmu statistika. Studi kasus di tingkat 2 cukup menarik, dimana kita diperlihatkan keandalan sejumlah metode statistik dalam memprediksi sinyal kenaikan atau penurunan harga saham IDX. Kasus batch kami adalah PT Jasamarga Tbk (IDX:JSMR) yang termasuk likuid karena harga sahamnya naik turun dalam waktu yang relatif singkat. Seperti yang saya bilang sebelumnya, analisis ini tidak cocok untuk investor jangka panjang yang mengendapkan sahamnya untuk jangka waktu yang panjang. Analisis yang cocok untuk investor jenis ini adalah analisis fundamental yang sayangnya tidak dibahas di tingkat 2 karena keterbatasan waktu.

Selain mengenai analisis saham dan pasar modal, ada juga pengenalan tentang KSEI dan KPEI. Intinya KSEI berperan sebagai penyimpan dan penyelesaian semua transaksi di pasar modal. Jual beli yang kita lakukan via broker harus divalidasi oleh KSEI agar settle, resmi secara hukum. Orang-orang KSEI bekerja sebagai bagian administrasi lah intinya.

Acara ini gratis tanpa biaya, namun untuk tingkat 1 kita diwajibkan menyetor 100 ribu rupiah yang akan digunakan sebagai modal awal kita di rekening dana untuk transaksi saham. Selama SPM, makan siang dan snack pagi dijamin ketersediaannya. Tempat seminar juga cukup nyaman, di dalam auditorium BEI yang lengkap dengan fasilitas audio dan video mutakhir. Jadi kesempatan ini sangat sayang untuk dilewatkan. Bagi siapapun yang memiliki waktu luang, ayo daftar SPM di IDX Jakarta untuk belajar berinvestasi!

Lahendong – Tomohon City , Future of Indonesia Geothermal Energy and North Sulawesi Tourism

Perks of being a Field Engineer : good compensation benefit  travel around the world.

My “green hat” job or people usually say as probation period as a field engineer was on a geothermal drilling well at North Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is exactly at Tomohon , the city of flower in Minahasa region. Tomohon is notoriously known for their traditional market that trade bats, cats, dogs, and rats meat. Seems like they hate rodents so much, they almost eat everything. Most of North Minahasa people are non-moslem so they also eat pork a lot. There is a annual flower festival in Tomohon which attracts many foreign tourists. Tomohon also famous of their native girls with their bright skin, slim, and westernized looks which are the favourable characteristics in Indonesia. Aside from girls, flower, cats and bats meat, and liquor (cap tikus), Tomohon is rich of geothermal potential.

Lahendong Geothermal Power Plant

Lahendong Power Plant, located in South Tomohon is one of the biggest electricity supply in North Sulawesi. The capacity of each phase is around 20 MW. Now the project has almost completed the third to achieve 60 MW. Lahendong area is suspected to have 200 MW of potential reserve. Yet the well development still run right now, only with steady effort. They only contracted one rig to did the well drilling for reserve development. I suspected the commitment of Pertamina Geothermal Energy (State owned) is still halted due to high cost of geothermal drilling costs. However on 2014 – early 2015, there were one drilling rig doing activites on Tompasso area for exploration. The Tompasso area still has not utilized right now for their steam.

Works at Kasuratan and Tondangow Districts

I had the opportunity to drill two wells each in Kasuratan district (Area 3) and Tondangow district (Area 13). Apexindo Rig #4 was contracted to drill there, they are the best crew I’ve known for drilling geothermal well. To complete one well, they only needed around 2 months. Compared to Sarulla geothermal well drilling rig, they could took up to 3-4 months to complete one well.

Geothermal well usually drilled in four hole size, 26″ – 17 1/2″ – 12 1/4″ – 9 7/8″ subsequently. That is for big hole production well, for re-injection well it usually use 12 /4″ and 8 1/2″. However the size should differs depend on drilling engineering calculation. MWD Engineers usually works from early size until second last size. On early size when the well direction is still vertical, our tools make sure the collision issue to nearby well is avoided. On kick-off section, we work full-time while building and turning the motor to desired path. On tangent section we still work to give correction for missing path. On last section we do not usually take MWD on BHA due to very high temperature. MWD tool has temperature limit around 150 degrees of Celcius. On last section, the temperature with mud circulation mode could reach 170 degrees of Celcius.

A list of popular tourists destination in Tomohon area:

  1. Bukit Kasih – religion tourist place for Christians.
  2. Tomohon Traditional Market – the place that sold bats and cats meat, and other traditional groceries. Only appears on early morning if you want to see the exotic meat.
  3. Tondano Lake – one of the biggest lake in Indonesia, not far from Tomohon city.
  4. Ragey Restaurant – pork satay restaurant, also serve Paniki (made from bats meat).
  5. Flower gardent – looks very good on festival time around August every year.
  6. Tomohon Night Market – flea market that sold traditional and hawker food.
  7. Tompasso – famous for its peanuts.

It should be more place that is interesting to visit, I’ve only known about the seven of them for two times visiting Tomohon. Plus, I only had time to wander when drilling is not commenced which means only on casing point break I can go around Tomohon.

It’s all wrap about my review for Tomohon City after three months total of living there. Hope you find it interesting!


ex-MWD crew of Lahendong Well Drilling