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Petroleum Commission trains engineers, geoscientists in skills transfer

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
Mr E. Asante (2nd right), an engineer, briefing the team on the operations of the separator equipment
Mr E. Asante (2nd right), an engineer, briefing the team on the operations of the separator equipment

The Petroleum Commission (PC) has begun a programme to give its engineers and geoscientists practical training as a means to enhance the commission’s regulatory capacities, protect the industry and boost local content and participation.

The training programme, known as Competency Training and Talent Management, is an arrangement between the PC and Halliburton, a leading petroleum industry player.

Highly skilled staff of the commission attending the training programme will be coached to improve on their transferable skills, protect the industry and boost local content and local participation in Ghana’s upstream oil and gas industry.

Experience

Speaking at the commencement of the training in Takoradi yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PC, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, said in spite of Ghana having discovered oil about 13 years ago, the oil and gas sector was still in its infant stage in terms of experience in modern upstream activities.

He said even from the baseline of having minimal experience, workers in the industry had worked assiduously to build the requisite capacity and maximise the benefits that accrued from the industry to the nation.

He was hopeful that with the staff gaining increased expertise, it would, in turn, increase the benefits the country received from the oil industry.

“The training will equip the staff with emerging knowledge and skills that will situate the commission strategically to enable it to address issues that confront the sector,” he said.

He explained that in the PC’s pursuit to progressively build the needed capacity and meet the requirements expected of the complex and fluid oil industry, building the capacities of its staff must be a process and not an event.

“The PC is the fulcrum of all these efforts, since it has the mandate to regulate and manage the utilisation of Ghana’s oil and gas resources, as well as recommend to the Minister of Energy policies in the sector it has coordinated for infusion into the broader national policies for the sector,” he said.

Competency training

Mr Faibille said in its quest to ensure continuous training for its staff, as well as build their skills, the commission, in July 2019, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Halliburton for skills transfer to its Ghanaian counterpart, hence the tailor-made competency training and talent development programme.

“The choice of Halliburton as the ideal partner for the exercise is due to its pedigree as the world’s largest provider of products and services for the oil and gas industry. The company manages more than 50,000 employees and has operations in more than 70 countries and as such its prowess cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

Optimising production

The Senior Area Manager of Halliburton Africa and others, Mr Bharath Kannan, said it was obvious that it was only when people were provided with the needed upgrade in skills that they would be in a position to deliver on their mandate.

He said the training programme was delayed owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed his company’s commitment to the project.

The instructors and the trainees were taken through the various departments of the PC to ascertain the kinds of services it provided for Ghana’s oil industry.