Members of East Africa’s Upstream sector, in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, have been central to the development of a new online training platform delivering an affordable and accessible alternative to exclusive oil and gas training.
Norwell EDGE, an e-learning tool, was launched by Aberdeen based Norwell Engineering, Thursday 22nd March 2018. It aims to make access to world-class upstream training affordable and open to everyone – regardless of where in the world they are- “and offering a real alternative to the expensive and exclusive training that is currently available”, the company claims in a press statement.
“The cutting-edge platform has recently gone through a rigourous 6-week testing phase which involved more than 200 oil and gas professionals and students from East Africa providing feedback”, Norwell declares. “They were part of a global community of testers that included more than 1,100 volunteers from 45 countries. As a thank you they were granted exclusive access before the site went live today”.
Rossini Silveira, SPE Uganda Treasurer and Lecturer in Petroleum Studies at Makerere University and Petroleum Engineer, in Kampala said:
“As a Petroleum Engineer myself, with near 30 years’ experience across the globe, I am exasperated by the disparity in the level of training available to oil & gas professionals, especially in under-developed countries where both local training and travel opportunities are limited.
“I am extremely excited by Norwell EDGE’s potential. Suddenly we have fully accessible training for individuals in any corner of the globe connected online. Training that is not limited to employer directives and training that is always up to date. I see great potential for young professionals and students here to make leaps in their understanding of Upstream Oil & Gas at a pace that allows them to absorb in-depth, concepts in a modern and flexible way, beyond what can be taught here.”
The release explains that EDGE has taken five years to develop and will offer 50 in-depth upstream awareness training modules, with a comprehensive exam and, a second advanced course for specialist personnel. “Frustrated by a lack of concerted effort by the oil and gas industry to tackle skills and competency gaps, Norwell decided to invest $500,000 to create its own solution and make training as widely available as possible”, the press statement adds.
The statement quotes the tool’s co-founder Mike Adams, who recently met with EDGE beta testers in Nigeria, as saying: “We have seen first-hand the challenges operators & NOCs around the globe are facing through a lack of competent and well trained workforces. In the current situation there are a lot of specialists, all of whom have completed their own specialist courses and health and safety training but very few understand what the other is doing – that can have dangerous consequences as we saw with Deepwater Horizon.
Norwell EDGE enables individuals to learn in their own country at their own pace and build a training history that follows them throughout their career. Subscription is contract-free, so users can dip in and out of training as it suits them.
For companies, it makes wide-scale training feasible and enables them to audit contractors’ training histories. For national oil companies, it also provides a way of affordably upskilling large numbers of national personnel.
The content which includes modules ranging from Well Planning to Well Integrity Management has been developed by Norwell’s in-house senior engineering team along with partners including Axis Well Technology.