WA Govt Develops New Skills Program for Oil and Gas Industry

Western Australia's engineers and oil and gas specialists will develop better skills for more efficient drilling and production operations through a new program launched in Perth March 31.

The National Drilling and Well Control Program is a joint venture between the School of Petroleum Engineering at the University of New South Wales and the International Association of Drilling Contractors.

It was launched today by Resources Minister Francis Logan.

Mr Logan said the program was a significant milestone that would contribute to WA's international reputation as a leader in oil and gas research and development.

"WA accounts for 67 per cent of the national crude oil and 65 per cent of gas production and due to the rapid current growth of the oil and gas industry in the State, the industry requires more specialists with expert knowledge," he said.

"In response to that demand, the State Government is working hand-in-hand with academia and industry professionals through initiatives such as this program to expand the existing training and education programs to help address WA's skills shortages within the resources sector."

University of NSW Business Development Manager Maria Tarabay said the program would provide students with practical training, as well as relevant theory instruction.

"The university's leading training facility offers students a highly stimulating study environment," Ms Tarabay said.

"For instance, a newly installed rig-floor drilling and well-control simulator is capable of perfectly simulating real-life drilling operations.

"This unique program is the only one of its kind in Australia and the South East Asia region."

Mr Logan said the State Government aimed to make skills training and education readily available for people involved in the oil and gas industry to ensure WA's long-term economic prosperity.

The State Government also planned to establish WA as a subsea oil and gas centre of excellence, servicing Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

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