Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Step on the gas

THE University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehra Dun, the only one of its kind in India, offers petroleum-related postgraduate and undergraduate courses. The university also trains professionals in the fields of other conventional and non-conventional energy sources solar, wind and tidal energy.

India is a petro guzzler, the seventh largest in the world. To cater to its burgeoning demand, it has 17 world-class refineries. Result: The oil and natural gas industry is one of the hottest growth areas, generating employment for over 7.5 lakh people.

To meet the demand for professionals in the industry, the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies opened last year in Dehra Dun. According to its Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Parag Dewan, "We have built this university, one of its kind, in the wake of wide-ranging reforms that have touched the energy and the hydrocarbon sector. We are witnessing rapid strides in oil exploration and the retail sector is getting a facelift as well."

International giants like British Gas, Shell, Exxon and Mobil are eyeing the piece of action. On the other hand, Indian oil majors like Indian Oil, ONGC and Gail are making international forays.

Skilled people are, therefore, needed not only on the domestic turf but wherever Indian petroleum industry has a global presence. "It is remarkable that we have completed just one year and are already receiving feelers for professionals from overseas,'' adds the Vice-Chancellor.

As per research studies undertaken by the Indian School of Petroleum, 1,5000 managers and 2,500 engineers are needed in the Pan Asia Region.

The university is offering the following courses:

  • B.Tech (Applied Petro Engineering).

  • B.Tech. (Gas Engineering).

  • M.Sc (Energy Efficiency).

  • M.Sc. (Gas Engineering).

  • M.Tech. (HSC).

  • M.Tech(Petro Chemical Engineering).

  • M.Tech. (Petro Informatics).

  • BBA (Petro Marketing).

  • MBA (Oil & Gas)

  • Executive MBA (Oil & Gas).

  • LLM (Petro Law & Policy).

There are three streams in the oil sector upstream, midstream and downstream. In upstream, there is the ONGC and the different government and private oil companies. The refineries fall in the midstream category and the petrol pumps and other retail outlets in downstream. All these need skilled and technical professionals.

At present, there are 18,000 petrol stations in India; another 6,000 are likely to be allotted in the next few years. Besides, Reliance is also coming up with a chain of 3,000 petrol stations.

Incidentally, the university also trains professionals in other conventional and non-conventional energy sources solar energy, wind energy and tidal energy. Again, it is the only university in the country to exclusively offer petroleum-related courses. There are only 240 seats right now, but from the start of the ensuing academic session, 750 seats would be available.

Job opportunities abound in India, West Asia, Sudan, Africa, CIS countries, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh etc. The US also has massive oil reserves and needs expert in this line. According to Dewan, countries like Vietnam, Myanmar and Sudan have evinced keen interest in the varsity courses.

To get admitted in PG courses like MBA, one needs to graduate with minimum 50 per cent marks and have a CAT or MAT score. For B.Tech courses, the minimum is 60 per cent in plus two; an AIEEE position is also needed. For the MBA (executive) course, only executives from companies, including oil sector, can apply.

The courses are self-financing and the university also offers scholarships to three students in each course. For this, the university conducts a test. The top three qualifying students get the scholarship.

The university has a Corporate Relation Cell that deals with placements. Presently around 100 students are undergoing internship in different oil companies. After getting the much-needed exposure and acquiring the technical qualification, the candidates can secure good jobs in oil companies that give a start of Rs 15,000 to 20,000.