14 Dec 2015 05:39:00 PM

This PETRONAS Vice President returned to Malaysia after seven years in Houston

Once you’ve decided to put down roots, it can be hard to move again and leave what you love behind. However, that difficult decision is exactly what Emeliana Rice-Oxley, Vice President Exploration Malaysia, Upstream Malaysia of PETRONAS had to do – and it was a sacrifice she was prepared to make for her country of birth. 
Emeliana Rice-Oxley is the epitome of a Malaysian success story. Her extensive experience in the oil and gas industry has seen the jet-setting executive oversee exploration operations in the UK, Brazil, US and Latin America for oil giant Shell. When she was based in Houston, Texas in 2010, she decided to settle down there with her family for some time and did not think that she would be returning for some time.

However, a tempting job offer from national oil and gas company PETRONAS in 2012 left her with a hard choice to make. Returning to Malaysia would mean leaving her children and friends in the United States behind, while staying on in Houston meant giving up on an opportunity to do more for Malaysia. Ultimately, the allure of being able to provide meaningful contribution to her home country was too great to resist, and provided the catalyst for Emeliana to come home. 
Opportunities in Oil and Gas
With 25 years of working experience in the international oil and gas industry, Emeliana feels that despite challenges, PETRONAS has created an investment environment that is conducive to big players and smaller and independent local and foreign companies alike, creating a healthy and competitive market for all. 
"The various Petroleum Arrangements offered by PETRONAS help create a vibrant upstream business for selected service industries and the spin-off development of Malaysia’s O&G industry. It certainly makes Malaysia attractive for returning experts and expatriates alike."
International Experience
Emeliana’s international exposure helped her greatly in readjusting to life in multicultural Malaysia, making her more open-minded and appreciative of feedback, as well as developing excellent teamwork skills that she put to good use across her work experience.
The supportive and collaborative way of working made me more tolerant, adaptable and empathetic and I appreciate and welcome different ideas and views and social norms."
Why Come Home?
No matter where you are in the world, Emeliana believes that home is where the heart is and Malaysians are always bound together by our shared experiences, making us uniquely Malaysian – which is why those abroad should return to be part of the country’s growth for the future, particularly with Malaysia’s rapid development towards modernisation.
Malaysia is a relatively young country, but we have come a long way since 1963. We have so much to offer beyond teh tarik, nasi lemak, rendang and family. And because of this, returning home should be an exciting decision to look forward to – to be a part of the Malaysian success story!”
* Extracted from an interview that was first published in Going Places, Malaysia Airlines' inflight magazine, September 2015.


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