Marathon Man to Chair Oil & Gas Academy

Mike Horgan, UK resident manager of Marathon Oil is to become chairman of OPITO -- The Oil & Gas Academy as the organisation announces UK10 million of annual investment to develop and deliver the workforce, standards and competence assurance required for the long-term sustainability of the UK Continental Shelf.

The Academy will provide an effective link between the industry and education and training providers across the UK to improve the supply of skilled people into the oil and gas sector.

The appointment comes hot on the heels of the board's approval of UK600,000 in the first tranche of academy projects. With the industry having already pledged UK3.5 million into the academy through the Offshore Training Foundation and a further UK6 million already committed to this year's modern apprenticeship programme, this brings the total invested by the industry in skills to a staggering UK10 million.

Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK and former chairman of the board of OPITO, has passed the baton to Mr Horgan to lead the organisation as it meets the challenges of fulfilling its brief as the first-ever oil and gas academy.

Commenting on his new role Mr Horgan said: "As well as continuing with OPITO's original remit of providing industry standards and competence assurance, the academy will now provide an essential link between the employer sectors and schools, colleges and training providers, identifying long term skills requirements and bringing new skilled people into the industry to fill those gaps.

I am looking forward to working with the team at the Oil and Gas Academy, which is already working on several new projects focused particularly on schools and colleges, and would urge the industry to actively engage so that we can start to deliver in a way that benefits us all."

Joining Mr Horgan on the board are new directors Gordon Ballard chairman of Schlumberger UK, George Rafferty chief executive of NOF Energy and David Pridden, chief executive of Subsea UK.