26yo woman responsible for operation of oil wells

Serah Wakia, a 26-year-old engineer with Oil Search, has successfully obtained a Masters in Science, specialising in petroleum engineering.

Wakia, from Wapenamanda District in the Enga Province, is one of many citizens that have developed and furthered their education with support from Oil Search. 

She joined the company in 2012 as a graduate petroleum engineer in the Graduate Development Program. She held the positions of development petroleum engineer and well integrity engineer before being appointed to her current role as production engineer, overseeing the Kutubu Central Processing Facility (CPF).

As the production engineer, Wakia plays an important part in optimising oil and gas delivery from field wells into a network of pipelines that feed into the CPF, where the produced fluids are separated and the oil and gas is processed for export.

“Since PNG LNG came on-stream in 2014, our operating philosophy has changed. Production in the CPF now means that in addition to maximising our oil production, we also safely manage and export the PNG LNG project’s Hides condensates and deliver export gas to PNG LNG,” says Wakia, who holds a first degree in mechanical engineering from the PNG University of Technology.

“I provide engineering support for this and am responsible for the safe and reliable operation of our wells.”

Wakia began her postgraduate diploma in petroleum engineering through the University of New South Wales, Australia, soon after she joined Oil Search in 2012.

Upon completion of her postgraduate diploma in 2015, she was offered a space in the university’s master’s program, which took her 18 months to complete.

“I am thankful to Oil Search for providing me this invaluable opportunity and helping me to obtain my master’s. As a national female engineer, I feel Oil Search has ‘walked the talk’ in its efforts towards developing citizen employees and empowering women,” adds Wakia.

“I am humbled and honoured to serve my country and Oil Search in such capacity. I see the value of education in empowering our people, especially our women, and I would like to be a role model to our youth, challenging them to not only dream big but to work hard to break down the barriers that get in the way of their success.

Executive general manager stakeholder engagement, Gerea Aopi, says: “Oil Search is committed to the development of PNG, though our investment in its human resources, in our business and in our communities.

“We congratulate Serah on her many accomplishments and we are confident that her future will hold many more achievements and are pleased that our Company can support her continued growth.”

Press release