How a passion for chemistry and learning fueled a career in Oil and Energy

If helping people reach their destination is at the heart of what we do, our supply team are at the beating heart of our operations.

A key part of our supply team are our Schedulers. They play an important role in managing and maintaining fuel stock levels and scheduling the movement of fuel through our pipelines and terminals to ensure continuity of fuel supply to our customers.

We meet Anas Abu-Taleb, a Scheduler at our Geelong Refinery who describes how he got his start with Viva Energy and what it takes to work in a team that ensures our operations run like a well-oiled machine.

how-a-passion-for-chemistry-and-learning-fueled-a-career-in-oil-and-energy

Offshore to onshore

“I started my career working in upstream oil and gas as a Field Engineer preparing and running high-tech oil field drilling tools in Western Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales, and offshore in the North-West Shelf and Timor Sea.”

As a Chemical Engineer with a Master’s degree in Energy Systems, the opportunity to work with Viva Energy meant that Anas could build his experience in the downstream part of the industry, an area that was more relevant to his qualifications, and complement it with his upstream knowledge.

When Anas moved into what was initially a three month internship at our Geelong Refinery, his experience working in upstream oil and gas enabled him to utilise his knowledge of operational intricacies and share it with his downstream colleagues. The oil industry’s shared focus on safety and team work also provided a good grounding for Anas’ start at the refinery.

Anas was also able to draw on his experience with on the spot problem solving due to constantly changing priorities and conditions, and his knowledge of mechanical and electrical engineering. “My internship project was within the Economics and Scheduling team and involved using maths and process engineering to accurately predict the yields and properties of the different products we were refining. The main focus was on Light Gas Oil, an important ingredient for making Diesel fuel which is crucial for our transport system and customers to ensure that market demand, product specifications and regulations are met.”

A passion that has fuelled a career

The opportunity to work at a refinery means that Anas gets to live out his passion for organic chemistry, thermodynamics, energy, and rotating mechanical equipment.

Anas’ role as a Scheduler for our diesel, kerosene, marine fuel oil and bitumen products involves scheduling production rates to ensure adequate fuel stocks to meet customer demands, ensuring fuel specifications meet both Federal regulations and our own product quality standards, and prioritising operational movements based on demand, safety, and economic efficiencies.

Achieving all this requires an understanding of how our process units operate, an ability to evaluate current stock levels and fuel production times, maintaining stringent product specification requirements, meeting quality targets, arranging tank sequences, blends, and shipping instructions, and monitoring the end quality of the fuel.

“Having an understanding of the refinery’s process units, storage availability, import and export requirements and their influence on product quality, is vital for ensuring we deliver the highest quality fuels to our customers on time, every time.”

Flexibility and teamwork are key

“The fast-paced nature of my role and the large quantities of fuels I work with excites me. It requires strong stakeholder engagement and communication and working collaboratively within our team, but also with the laboratory and the jetty at the refinery, and our Supply, Operations, and Product Quality teams.”

Being able to manage operational and timing constraints and plan ahead is essential as is dealing with changing priorities and moving targets. However, there are times when information is limited and it means that the knowledge and experience of the wider Viva Energy team becomes invaluable when making critical decisions.

Any matters related to safety takes highest precedence in everything we do, and that product quality is maintained to the highest standard, all while ensuring supply to customers is maintained.

A love of learning

“Learning is what drives me. I’ve spent time with panel operators and technologists to better understand a process or operational procedure and the product quality of the fuels I schedule. I even organised to spend a day with a lab technician at the refinery watching the process to batch a load of jet fuel so it is ready for supply.”

We think this energy will propel Anas to a great career.

Interested in a career at Viva Energy?

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