KUALA LUMPUR – Surrounded by majestic emerald green mountains, Kuala Lumpur (KL) is fast becoming Asia’s energy hub. Transocean’s new Far East and Australia Division (FEA) offices and training center, which opened in October, are the latest example of energy-related companies expanding here, though the company’s role in Malaysia goes back 45 years.

As elsewhere in the world, Transocean’s FEA objectives include being customers’ trusted partner and being recognized for innovation and excellence.

“It’s vital that we continue to deliver efficient and effective solutions to our customers’ drilling needs,” said Transocean Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Newman, who helped open the new facilities on October 19, 2011, with Dato’ Wee Yiaw Hin, Executive Vice President, Exploration and Production, PETRONAS. “Our offices and training center support this goal by developing our people to be the best they can be.”

The drive for safer, more effective and efficient offshore drilling requires even more robust training programs to keep up with changing technology and help develop a younger, more nationalized workforce.

“Integration between the offices and the training center is fostering a new environment, one where people work closer together,” said Kaustubh Dighe, Managing Director for Transocean’s FEA Division.

To better integrate people and teams, the new offices and training center occupy 32,000 square feet in two halves of the same floor in the G Tower. The Tower also houses a hotel where most Transocean personnel stay when visiting KL, making it easier and more cost effective to attend classes.

“It simplifies a lot of peoples’ lives being consolidated here,” said Paul Jr. King, Marketing Manager, Australia, during a break in Business Review meetings with Transocean senior managers and FEA leaders. “One of the most important things I did and enjoyed when I was a Rig Manager (Discoverer Enterprise) was meeting the crews when they came in to town for training. That face time and getting a bite to eat shows commitment, and the guys on the rigs love to meet people from the office.”

The training center plans to educate 1,200 personnel a year from the FEA and all over the world as one of four of the company’s global training centers. The other three are in Aberdeen, U.K., Houston, U.S.A., and Macae, Brazil.

One of the center’s goals is to provide cutting-edge instruction from all angles.

“Instructors can listen, watch and video record Drillers from a booth while students use the conventional drilling simulator,” explained Marty Weber, the Center’s Training and Development Manager. “Then, everyone can go to the classroom and review the video and learn how to improve. The continuous improvement process never stops.”

The company has led the industry in training for several years, and one of the latest trends developed by Transocean focuses on competency, in particular the Drilling Competency Assessment Program and Crane Competency Assessment Program. The training center helps personnel earn DCAP and CCAP certifications and others, including the International Association of Drilling Contractors WellCap.

Those certifications certainly stand out when operators ask for the resumes of all the crewmembers to confirm they are getting top-notch crews.

“At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here,” Kaustubh said. “Being recognized for innovation and excellence takes time, money and effort, and we get a lot of satisfaction helping our people develop and advance.”

And that’s the way it has been for 45 years for Transocean in Malaysia.

Things got going here in 1966, when a Transocean predecessor company drilled the first well by a semisubmersible (Sedco 135A) in the country’s history. Today, Transocean’s FEA Division team supports 17 rigs under contract in six countries, from the ultra-deepwater drillship Dirubhai Deepwater KG 2 in Brunei to the inland barge Hibiscus in Indonesia.

The KL team also keeps up with the next trends in ultra-deepwater frontier drilling and the growing demand for high-specification jackup rigs.

“We want to continue being a part of the industry’s evolution and setting the standard,” Kaustubh said. “At the same time, we are creating a sense of ownership and belonging with our customers. That’s a great foundation to build on.”