Sh133b initiative to train oil and gas engineers unveiled

Kampala, Uganda HABARI DAILY I Over 200 Ugandans have been selected to embark on a two-and-a-half-year-old journey to become engineers and technicians in the country’s oil and gas sector.

This training opportunity has been spearheaded by TotalEnergies EP Uganda, one of the firms prospecting for oil and gas in the Albertine Graben.

Speaking during the launch of the training at the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) on Tuesday, Philippe Groueix, the General Manager, TotalEnergies EP Uganda said, this move is their contribution towards the development of local capacity in the oil and gas industry.

He said the firm will invest up to $36.4m (sh133b) in the training program aimed at empowering the benefiting youth with skills and international competency-based accreditation to work on the Tilenga project during the production phase.

“This is happening at such a crucial time when the country is scaling up oil and gas activities. The Tilenga Academy aims to train young Ugandans with the best international Oil and Gas standards.”

Groueix said the Tilenga Academy training, which has been undertaken in partnership with UPIK demonstrates their commitment to maximizing national content, and enabling a net positive outcome on the project by developing the country’s human resource capacity required in the oil and gas industry.

He said the inception of this training is a significant milestone towards the readiness for first oil, set for early next year.

The first cohort of 100 trainees are already camped at UPIK, and training sessions have commenced. This will be followed by further training sessions at international Oil and Gas training centres and hands-on experience during the Tilenga Project’s construction phase.

The selected trainees will undertake a wide range of courses, some of which include theoretical training in Oil and Gas, production, maintenance, as well as health, safety, and environment.

31% of the trainees will specialise in Production, 27% in Mechanical Maintenance, 26% in Instrumentation Maintenance, and 16% in Electrical Maintenance.

Groueix, who passionately talked about his firm’s inclination towards national content development, said this at the heart of their operations.

“This underpins our commitment to achieving shared prosperity for Uganda and Ugandans because of this project. Participation of Ugandans in the oil and gas sector can only be supported through such projects,” he said.

Earnest Rubondo, the executive director, Petroleum Authority of Uganda, said that the Workforce Skills Development Strategy and Plan (WSDP), which was undertake by the Government in 20213 revealed that a total of 13,000 direct, 42,000 indirect and over 105,000 induced workers will be required at the peak of activities.

“Over 2,000 jobs will be required during the operation and maintenance phase, including maintenance engineers, drilling rig operators and technicians, mechanical technicians, field production technicians and related trades,” he said.

Rubondo said in addition to the 200 trainees under TotalEnergies, CNOOC and EACOP will be training their field operations engineers and technicians in the Tilenga Academy, where they will be awarded with the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) Level 2 International Certification.

Bernard Ongodia, the UPIK Principal, said that their training programs are driven by knowledge that a few years down the road, the oil and gas sector will be one of the most crucial in Uganda’s economy.

TotalEnergies, an upstream affiliate which is leading the development activities towards production in the Tilenga project area – Contract Area 1 (CA-1) and License Area 2 North (LA-2N) within the Albertine region, is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity.

The Tilenga project will produce 190,000 kboed at plateau from the 6 fields of Ngiri, Jobi Rii, Gunya, Mputa-Nzizi-Waraga, Kasemene-Wahrindi, Kigogole-Ngara, Nsoga and Ngege fields. Over 400 oil wells will be constructed on 31 well pads to produce oil and gas resources. The first oil production is projected to start in 2025.

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