“PETRONAS: A Sustainable Energy Company of the Future”
Nasir Darman, CTO Petronas

The James Watt Lecture – 23rd January 2020

Our Annual ‘James Watt Lecture’ was this year delivered by Nasir Darman, Chief Technology Officer of Petronas.

Celebrating the birth of the founder of Heriot-Watt University, the university alumni ‘The Watt Club’ decided this year to deliver a poem “Address to Energia” based on Robbie Burns interpretation of the request from James Watt. This might be his answer!

The attached video features the poem read by Ken Cockburn

Founded in 1821, Heriot-Watt is a leader in ideas and solutions. With campuses and students across the entire globe the University spans the world, delivering innovation and educational excellence in business, engineering, design and the physical, social and life sciences.

Download Nasir’s Presentation
PDF – Scottish Energy Forum Talk By Nasir Darman

23 January 2020
Royal Scots Club
29 Abercromby Place
Thu 23 Jan 2020 | 6:00 PM - Edinburgh
“PETRONAS: A Sustainable Energy Company of the Future”, Nasir Darman, CTO Petronas

The event was held at the Royal Scots Club, 29 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6QE

Proudly Sponsored by:
Speaker & Event Details


Nasir Haji Darman is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Group Research and Technology, Project Delivery & Technology Division, PETRONAS. In this position, he steers and drives all technology activities in PETRONAS Group wide. He joined PETRONAS in 1991 and has worked in many technical and managerial positions. He started his career as a Research Engineer in PETRONAS before moving on to resume various positions in various OPUs in PETRONAS.

In his current position, Nasir leads all technology projects and setting technology direction for PETRONAS activities, both in domestic and international assets. He also holds an honorary professorship from Institute of Petroleum Engineering Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh United Kingdom as part of his contribution to the society.

He has published many technical papers in local and international journal especially in the area of sub-surface engineering. He is the recipient the SPE 2010 Asia Pacific Regional Technical Award on Reservoir Description and Dynamics. Currently, he is the SPE Northern Asia Pacific Regional Director.

Nasir Haji Darman graduated in BSc from Texas Tech University and PhD from Heriot Watt University, both in Petroleum Engineering, in 1990 and 2000 respectively.

Event Details

The industry is facing tremendous changes, with global outlook of increasing energy demands and shifting energy mix towards cleaner resources, requiring oil and gas players to diversify their portfolio and step out. The industry accelerates investments in technology and innovative solutions not only to meet the changing demands, but also to future proof themselves in facing the disruptions.

Over the next few years, PETRONAS will focus on producing new resources in better ways through technological solutions which include efficient hydrocarbon recovery techniques, low carbon technologies, digitalization, unmanned subsea factory, robotic solutions, renewable energies, usage of advanced material and others.

PETRONAS is investing substantially in Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilisation technology development. We also believe there is huge potential for natural gas to be partnered/paired with renewable energy in addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change.Our Facilities of the Future technology leverages on megatrends of digital, automation, robotics, hyper connectivity, AI / ML, where it aims to reduce operations cost by 50% in 2026, targeting at the main cost levers of surface operations, maintenance and logistic. This will change the way we operate our assets (operations philosophy) and our technical and capability requirements.

James Watt Event

This Scottish Energy Forum Event is held in partnership with the Watt Club, the alumni association of Heriot-Watt University, who have a long-held tradition of recognising James Watt’s birthday each year by “supping” together. In recognition of Heriot-Watt’s long established association with the founding ‘Scottish Oil Club’, the annual January “James Watt Lecture” is delivered by a leading commentator who will address aspects of the role of oil and gas in the broader energy sector.

The role of research and contribution of universities in supporting industry to address global societal challenges will also be discussed. After the presentation there will be the opportunity to network, “sup” together and toast James Watt’s contribution to science and engineering.


The event will be held at the Royal Scots Club, 29 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6QE.

Members and guests are invited to convene between 17:30 and 18:00 for coffee/tea and biscuits (pay-bar available).

Out meeting commences at 18:00. An opportunity for informal discussion between members and guests will follow the presentation in the Bar until commencement of the Discussion Dinner (Chatham House Rule) at about 20:00.

Menu:- Haggis & clapshot croquette with white onion sauce ~ Slow cooked skirt of beef with a Leith claret jus, seasonal vegetables & potatoes ~ Drambuie parfait ~ Coffee & mints


6PM – Meet for Tea, Coffee, Drinks

6.30PM – Speaker Presentation followed by Q&A

7.30PM – Drinks Reception

8PM – Dinner followed by further Q&A under Chatham House rules

10PM – Event finishes

Special Venue Information

The Royal Scots Club offers availability of overnight accommodation to SEF members. Contact the Royal Scots Club on +44-131-556-4270 or book here.

Booking Conditions

Please note that booking a ticket for an SEF event does not guarantee you a place until your request is processed and accepted by the SEF. We will operate a ‘wait list’ if our events are over-subscribed with priority being afforded to members of the SEF.

Neither video nor audio recording is permitted at this event.

During our events we actively encourage reasoned debate amongst the audience and with our invited speaker; however, we request that all participants are mindful and respectful to others points of view. Attendees who cannot abide by these simple courteous rules, or who disrupt proceedings or use defamatory remarks, will be invited to leave the presentation and escorted from the building.

We reserve the right to refuse entry to those attendees who do not hold a valid ticket and accompanying proof of identity.