|How did you come to be in the oil industry?
Natural progression – PETRONAS offered a scholarship for me to study geology in the US. Joining the oil and gas industry seemed a natural fit after I graduated.
|What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
Over the years, there were many achievements that I am proud of. Some with significant impact to the business and some not so. In many cases, they were not my personal achievements. They were really team effort. But the ones that I am really proud of are the ones where I created positive experience for others – after all, people will forget whatever billion dollar project you did, but not how you make them feel.
|What is your role in your job?
Find commercial resources to replace the hydrocarbons we produce and creating value in a low commodity price environment.
|What is your or your business’ main area of growth?
Organic growth through exploration. For PETRONAS, this is complemented by growth in our unconventional plays and Discovered Resources Opportunities that are undertaken by our Development sector.
|Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the oil and gas market?
Wherever we can deliver the largest returns on our investment.The US shale liquids play a key role in keeping prices suppressed and can deliver quick return on investment. However, for the longer term and for an appropriate portfolio mix, deepwater opportunities can still deliver hydrocarbons and thus revenues over a longer period.
|Where do you see the greatest challenges?
Ability to adapt fast enough to changing environment in terms of our business focus, technology and capability and willingness to do so. Keeping our cost low through efficiency and innovative solutions will help manage our cash flow better and give us more opportunities for growth.
|What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
“Trust yourself; No matter how bad it looks, everything will turn out alright in the end.”
|What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in your line of business?
To grow and thrive in this business, you first need to “know your stuff”. You need to develop your core competencies in order to deliver the result expected of you and to build your confidence to step into new and greater roles. A strong foundation in your competencies will also build trust and respect among your peers.
|What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months and beyond?
While many upstream companies have reduced exploration spend and pulled back from deepwater and frontier exploration, PETRONAS is committed to grow organically through exploration in our focus basins, comprising a mix of play types and risks. We will grow in selected ASEAN countries, at the margin of our core business in Malaysia, followed by a global expansion based on our geological thematic strengths, which currently includes rift basins and basin floor fans in West Africa and the Latin America transform margin. Mexico is one of PETRONAS’ focus basins with the potential for material oil. Having won two highly contested blocks in the last bid round, we will continue our effort to grow our portfolio in Mexico.
|If you could wave a magic wand over the global industry, what would you change and why?
I want to make our industry safer so that no one would get fatally hurt. Not just through better policies, process and guidelines but through the magic of “hearts and minds”, so we can keep everyone safe.
|What’s the one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?
I love dancing, especially rhythm dancing even though I am not good at it!
|How do you prefer to spend your spare time?
I am happiest when I spend time with my family, whether doing fun activities or just lazing around watching television or doing nothing.
|What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I am blessed to have the opportunity to visit many wonderful destinations around the globe. Many that would be on my list of favourite destinations. But if I have to pick one, it will be Japan!
|All-time favourite book?
The complete Harry Potter series. I could not put the book down until I finished reading each one whenever I got them. I went on a 2 day marathon to finish the last book, the Deathly Hallows.
|All-time favourite film?
Many, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy tops them all. I can watch the trilogy many times over without getting bored. And no matter how many times I watch the film, I am always at the edge of my seat.
|What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
My husband, Knife and Giant water-proof matches
About Emeliana Rice-Oxley
Emeliana Rice-Oxley is the Vice President of Exploration responsible for PETRONAS global exploration business and geoscience function based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since April 2016.
She served as the Senior General Manager and Vice President of Exploration Malaysia at PETRONAS since June 2012.
She started her career as a biostratigrapher with Shell more than 25 years ago and since then, held numerous technical and managerial roles in Upstream in Shell. Her experience covers regional geological studies, prospect maturation, exploration drilling, appraisal & field development, resource maturation as well as exploration portfolio, strategy and business planning in Malaysia and Asia Pacific region, Central North Sea, deepwater Brazil and Onshore US and Latin America.
She serves as a Director of PETRONAS Gas Berhad and PETRONAS Management Training Sdn. Bhd. She is a member of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Society of Petroleum Engineers and a strong advocate and champion of Upstream PETRONAS Leading Women’s Network.
Emi holds a degree in geology, from the University of South Carolina, USA. She is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School