OPITO Sees Increase in Oil, Gas Investments in Safety Training

The oil and gas industry has not backed down on its commitment to a safe workforce despite the two-years-and-counting downturn it’s experiencing.

OPITO, the international training standards body, is set to have a record-breaking 108 new additions – more than double the number originally projected – to courses delivered by its network of training providers by the end of 2016.

Since the downturn began, OPITO has seen an uptick in centers applying to deliver basic safety training to its workforce, specialized training (firefighter and lifting operations) and training for offshore installation managers.

OPITO approved 14 new survival training centers from October 2015 to March 2016, mostly in the United States and West Africa. Parts of West Africa, particularly Nigeria, have been the site for unrest recently. Attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure has caused oil production to fall almost 40 percent, said Nigeria’s oil minister.

On July 5, OPITO organized a one-day seminar in which leading figures from the Nigerian government and the country’s oil and gas sector convened to discuss the importance of standardizing training across the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

“West Africa is at the start of a journey and skills and safety development of the indigenous population is very high on everyone’s agenda,” OPITO global chief executive David Doig told Rigzone. “OPITO is working with governments and industry to see the introduction of more world-class standards in the region and ensure the competency of the offshore workforce for years to come.”

Doig said the hazards and risks surrounding the oil and gas industry remain the same, regardless of the oil price.

“Looking back to the number of incidents and accidents recorded around the previous lows of 1986 and 1999, the figures show a clear correlation between poor safety performance and a global downturn,” Doig said. “What the industry didn’t have then, however, was the standards-based approach to training and that is, I believe, a fundamental change in terms of ensuring people go to work and return home safely at the end of the day.”



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