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Local firms asked to partner with foreign oil training institutes

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th April 2013 04:37 PM

It is not sustainable to send people to Europe to train in oil courses, a senior official at Tullow Oil Uganda has noted.

It is not sustainable to send people to Europe to train in oil courses, a senior official at Tullow Oil Uganda has noted.

By David Mugabe

It is not sustainable to send people to Europe to train in oil courses, a senior official at Tullow Oil Uganda has noted.

Abdul Kibuuka, the Tullow Uganda head of human resource, said local firms should partner with foreign training institutions to enable the country develop a critical mass of skilled personnel for the oil and gas industry.

“The three biggest players in Uganda’s oil industry – Britain, France and China, need to partner with local institutions to build local capacity,” Kibuuka said.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of a three-month oil and gas management training at Makerere University Business School (MUBS).

MUBS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a local consulting firm, Quest Energy, to offer training in oil and gas for an initial 60 students. The students were awarded certificates over the weekend.

Kibuuka advised local training institutions to push for international certification and recognition.

“There are programmes that the Government can insist only be delivered in Uganda, but collaboration is key,” said Kibuuka.

He pointed out that Uganda has the advantage of being the first country in the region to start oil exploration and can produce the region’s training centers of excellence.

“This is the vision we should carry forward,” said Kibuuka, advising the gradaunts to be ambassadors by telling people what the realities of the industry are.

Kenya struck oil in 2012, while Tanzania is prospecting although it already has gas.

Patrick Ruharuza, the Quest Energy chief executive officer, said the training is an accelerated course with a focus on oil and gas essentials. He added that after training, the students are supposed to have a better perspective of the industry.

Ruharuza said the course is intended to demystify the oil and gas industry for people whose daily tasks will interface with the industry.

“If their jobs interact with oil and gas, they will have a better perspective and be confident. They will know how an oil and gas economy operates,” Ruharuza noted.

Some people think that the oil find will transform the economy and people’s lives, while others say if mismanaged, the discovery of oil could lead to wasted economic opportunity and unrest.

But Kibuuka is positive that the resource will be a blessing because of the patience with which the Government is handling it.

MUBS dean for faculty of marketing Prof. Geoffrey Bakunda said the university is now a benchmark institution and centre of excellence in the region for business studies and such courses will go a long way in ensuring local expertise and participation.

“These people will help our country in a number of ways and challenges.”

The students consisted of civil servants, lawyers, business people and students. Many of the participants said the oil and gas industry should not be left to a few individuals, and that only through continued sensitisation will the negative perception of the industry be removed.

“We want to build a Ugandan people that are more positive,” said one participant.

Commercially viable deposits of oil are estimated at about 3.5 billion barrels by last last year. A total of 77 wells have been drilled so far and 70 have been proven to contain economically viable oil and gas.

About $1.5b has been spent on the exploration activities.

Actual production has, however, been delayed by disagreements between the oil firms and the Government.
 
 

Local firms asked to partner with foreign oil and gas training institutes

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