MUSCAT: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) on Thursday celebrated the graduation of 93 of its sponsored scholars who successfully completed their academic studies at prestigious universities at home and abroad.
The batch, the 30th in PDO’s history, included 17 women and 76 men who studied a wide variety of subjects as part of PDO’s Scholarship Programme. In all, more than 2,000 students have graduated through the scheme since its launch in the 1980s.
This year, eight staff members graduated with PhD degrees, 42 with Master’s degrees and 43 with Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees. The scholarships included overseas and domestic studies, distance learning, part-time studies and scholarships sponsored by other parties, such as His Majesty’s Postgraduate Studies Scholarships initiative and the Ministry of Higher Education.
The scholars gained their qualifications in different specialisations including electrical power engineering, chemical and process engineering, petroleum engineering, control systems and automation, project management, business administration, reservoir evaluation management, petroleum geoscience, exploration geophysics, petroleum and natural gas engineering and translation and interpreting studies from leading universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, the United States and Oman.
The official graduation ceremony was held under the auspices of Salim al Oufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, in the PDO Learning and Development Centre at Mina Al Fahal.
Speaking at the event, PDO Learning and Development Manager Hamed al Hadhrami said: “The graduates have learned the skills, knowledge and techniques related to their disciplines to be able to cope with the current changes in the modern oil and gas industry, particularly those associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Their academic prowess will enable the company to move forward to even greater success, serving Oman to the very best of our ability”.
He added, “I congratulate all the scholars for achieving such impressive milestones which will allow them to contribute effectively to the sustainable development of our company and country. I also thank all those who contributed to the success of this graduation including the Ministry of Oil and Gas and Ministry of Higher Education”.
The batch also featured some award-winning scholars who have been honoured for academic excellence, including Ibrahim al Haddabi, who received the Best Paper Award and Best Student Award while studying for his PhD in engineering at Kyushu University in Japan.
Suleiman al Ma’amari, who obtained a BSc in process engineering from the International Maritime College Oman, was named as an outstanding graduate. A number of other graduates were also awarded for achieving qualifications with distinction or merit.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci, who also attended the ceremony, said: “The annual graduation of PDO scholars highlights our dedication to achieving our vision of being renowned and respected for the excellence of our people and the value we create for Oman and all our stakeholders”.
He added, “I praise all the graduates for their successful and well-earned educational achievements. They have shown their commitment to flourish academically and occupationally and are already building outstanding careers and futures”.
Among the scholars, two women attained a Master’s of Science (MSc) from the petroleum and natural gas engineering programme at SQU, run in co-operation with PDO.
The ceremony also honoured the graduation of the fourth batch in the pioneering Overseas Grants and Educational Support Scheme that has been run by PDO since 2011 in line with His Majesty’s Postgraduate Studies Scholarships initiative. Five scholars from the Ministry of Oil and Gas also attended the ceremony, two of whom qualified with PhDs, one with an MSc and two with BSc.