Malaysia's Domestic Oil & Gas Industry is projected to register a 1.59% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in oil production, according to the EIA. This will lead to an increase in Oil & Gas activities across the board. Malaysia will need 500 new drilling engineers for the next 5 years to replace retired drilling engineers in oil and gas industry. New projects such as Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) and Risk Sharing Contracts (RSC) for marginal and stranded fields have attracted new entrants like Hibiscus Energy, SONA Petroleum, Dialog Group, Sapura Kencana, Coastal Energy, ROC, etc., which have added the demand for drilling engineers. Taking into account rig and drilling contractors like UMW Oil & Gas, Tanjung Offshore, Perisai Petroleum etc, the demand for drilling engineers is expected to remain high. Current number of drilling engineers in Malaysia is estimated at 1000 based on the number of rigs operating in Malaysia. The ratio of expatriate and local drilling engineer is 1:4. Based on industry survey, training a drilling engineer requires roughly RM 1.2 million over 5 years.

The offering of a Master in Drilling Engineering programme is expected to fast track the development of local drilling engineers to meet the high demand and to heed the nation's call as part of the Economic Transformation Programme.

The curriculum has been designed with inputs given by members of oil and gas industry such as PETRONAS, Malaysian Oil and Gas Services Council, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford, Baker Hughes and many others Drilling contractors and universities in the world. The programme comprises 14 courses with 12 major engineering courses, 1 management elective course and 1 University requirement for Research Methodology course.

The MSc in Drilling Engineering programme will expose students to a wide range of real work challenges and will enrich students' learning experiences through case studies. Apart from lectures, the MSc in Drilling Engineering programme offers a variety of learning approaches such as industry subject matter experts, visit to rig setup, industry projects, internship placement, seminar, case studies and research based projects – all of which are targeted to authenticate the classroom learning experiences.

Course Structure

The course is aimed at practicing drilling engineers. It focuses on the concept of effective well construction, and aims to develop high levels of professional skill in the key areas of well design, drilling and drilling operations management both for onshore and offshore drilling.

The students are required to undertake 44 credits of courses which consist of 14 courses with 12 major engineering courses, 1 management elective course and 1 University requirement for Research Methodology course. The duration of the MSc in Drilling Engineering programme is recommended to be 18 months (tri-semesters).

Drilling engineers are expected to be able to communicate effectively with people from various disciplines and expertise. The programme is designed to encourage close interaction amongst students and industry practitioners.

Course Content

Semester 1

  • DAM5113 Basic Petroleum Geology
  • DAM5123 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • DAM5153 Principles of Well Construction
  • DAM5143 Drilling Technology
  • DAM5133 Mechanics of Materials for Drilling Engineering 15

Semester 2

  • DAM5183 Advanced Well Engineering
  • DAM5173 Subsurface and Subsea Drilling and Production System
  • DAM5193 Risk Management in Drilling Engineering
  • DAM5163 Production Technology and Completion Design
  • SNB5032 Research Methodology 14

Semester 3

  • DAM5213 Petroleum Economics
  • DAM5223 Drilling Project Management
  • SFB5012 Engineering Economy, or 
  • SNB5012 Operations Management, or 
  • SNB5022 Strategic Management
  • DAM5247 Industrial Based Project & Dissertation

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold a Bachelor Degree with minimum CGPA 3.00/4.00 OR 2nd Class Upper Division in the relevant field OR equivalent from a recognized university.

Candidates are required to show proficiency in written and spoken English in one of the following forms:

  • A minimum TOEFL iBT score of 79  (Result is valid for 2 years only) OR
  • A minimum TOEFL CBT score of 213 (Result is valid for 2 years only) OR
  • A minimum TOEFL PBT score 550 (TOEFL iBT score Result is valid for 2 years only) OR
  • A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (Result is valid for 2 years only) OR
  • A minimum ELTS score of Band-6 (Result is valid for 2 years only) OR
  • A minimum MUET score of Band-4 (Result is valid for 5 years only) OR
  • A minimum Cambridge English : Advanced (CAE) score Grade C OR
  • A minimum Cambridge English : Proficiency (CPE) score Grade C OR
  • A Minimum Pearson Test of English (PTE) Score 53

However, this requirement is waived if candidate;

  • have obtained Bachelor / Master or other relevant degree from Malaysian recognized institution whereby all courses are fully conducted in English or;
  • a native of an English speaking countries or;
  • graduated from English speaking countries institutions

Career Opportunities

Graduates with an MSc in Drilling Engineering degree will enhance their employment and career prospects in the global oil and gas industry. The degree is also a good starting point for a career in R&D and academia.