Moscow is a very exciting city where you will have no problem finding something to do in your spare time.
By ANDREAS MØLL KLEIVEN, ODIN KVALVÅG DAHLEN, HANS MARTIN BJØRNESET, PETTER SANNES and PATRICK WRECZYCKI
As a Norwegian coming to Moscow, you face some slight language problems if you do not speak the language. Luckily, this has not been a big problem because of fellow students and friends, along with professors and others, have been helping us all the time. People are very friendly and we have had nothing but positive experiences when it comes to finding our way and settling in Moscow.
It should be mentioned that a bit of practice in reading Cyrillic has been immensely helpful for navigating in the metro. Actually, it is necessary if you want to get around without getting lost or using a lot of time, it it is not that difficult to learn either. Not everybody you meet speak English and asking for help can be a bit difficult, every phrase of Russian you know will come in handy at some time during your stay. Learning to read the names of the stations and street names is therefore something you should invest some time in.
The courses we have completed so far this semester have been very interesting. Some of the themes are familiar, but there is one large difference between studying at Molde University College and Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. This becomes evident when we experience the deep expertise that the Russian professors have within the oil and gas industry in other parts of the world. While we have logistics experts in Molde with knowledge about the industry, it is largely focused upon upstream offshore logistics and Norwegian examples. Here in Moscow we feel that we have had a more international approach and also a larger focus upon downstream logistics. We feel like this semester will leave us with a deeper understanding of the entire value chain and insight into global issues.
LES MER: Molde + Moskva = Master
The subjects cover trading and forwarding of petroleum, gas on an international market, technology used in the industry, overview of the global energy market, project management and international logistics with focus upon shipping and pipeline transport. The last subject was focused upon the Eurasian pipeline grid both when it comes to crude and gas transport and the logistics of shipping it by tankers. Many of the modules based themselves on a lot of work where you needed to find information yourself, and in busy periods we had to use the internet to learn a lot to be able to answer the main task. This method of encouraging learning by doing, gave good learning outcomes and was very suitable for courses that in many cases was held for the first time. We think the experiences the professors had with us this semester gave them good insight into what they can expect from students next year. Therefore, we believe that the courses will be more refined and the learning objectives will be communicated more clearly in the future.
The synergies you get when petroleum experts surround you has come as a surprise to us. The continuous exposure to relevant examples and input from company presentations and people within the industry is stimulating for a student aiming to become a part of it. Especially interesting is it when the industry takes so much interest in us, and we have had presentations and lectures from UniPer, Rystad Energy, Total, Schlumberger, and several others.
It must also be mentioned that the conference «New Generation: Across the universe» was a great experience for us. This was a conference for oil and gas majoring students from over 50 countries all over the world. We had a challenging and interesting case solving competition and generally gained contacts and friends. The mixture of different disciplines competing together to solve a case and spending time together during this week was very rewarding. The case we were set to solve was focused on the Achimov formation in the Novy Urengoy region of western Siberia. The tasks where to find suitable technologies to extract hydrocarbons from this condensate field. The formation has a complex geological structure at over 4000 meters below the ground. The case was given to the students from Schlumberger, and professors from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas and industry representatives judged the competition.
For us Norwegians who are supposed to be logistic specialists, this was a difficult task. We were in competition with reservoir engineers, geologists, geophysicists and many other highly knowledgeable people. Despite the tough competition, Odin Kvalvåg Dahlen, Hans Martin Bjørneset and Petter Sannes managed to achieve third place from 20 groups. They were accompanied by two students from France and Belarus. These two students were not engineers either, but specialists in economics and social relations. Because of our backgrounds, the team was very pleased to achieve such a good place in the competition. The competition was divided into two sections; first, all the groups were divided into four groups with five groups competing between each other. The winners from these four went to a final and presented their solutions to all the participants and judges.
Moscow and Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas has so far given us unforgettable experiences, and we expect to have more in the weeks to come. Even though we have been to the red square countless times by now and have seen the skyscrapers of Moscow city business centre from all angles, it is still exciting and we are always noticing something new. The parks in Moscow are not used for ice-skating like we did in the beginning of the semester, but now they are green and spring changes the scenery of Moscow. The city is completely different and the contrasts you experience during just one semester is wonderful.
We felt a little bit sceptical in the beginning of the semester and was maybe a little bit careful about where we went and how late we stayed up. Since then we have experienced Moscow as a very safe city and the prejudice we had before coming here has been proven wrong. The stories we heard belong to the past and we have no problem recommending this semester to other students that would like to have an unforgettable time in a beautiful city.