Four hundred student delegates from twenty five universities from all over Africa descended on the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to participate in the 11th Students’ Technical Conference and Exhibition.
The event, organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council (SPENC) witnessed the presentation of twenty seven undergraduate technical papers, four graduate (PHD) technical papers, the exciting Petroquiz competition and a first of its kind Career Fair organized by Shell Petroleum Development Company.
The Annual Conference started with a welcome address by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria who was represented by Prof Mosto O. Onuoha (PTDF Chair, UNN). He welcomed the Society of Petroleum Engineers and all the delegates to the University of Nigeria and thanked the SPENC for giving the university the singular honour of hosting the conference. He also commended the efforts of the Society towards promoting professionalism in the Oil and Gas industry and in congruence with the theme, hinted on the need to grow Africa’s hydrocarbon reserves in existing fields and frontier areas.
Engr. Osayande Igiehon, the Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council, appreciated the Vice Chancellor and his management team for supporting SPE in achieving the Students Technical Conference and Exhibition. He attributed the growth and development of the organization to the sponsoring organizations, membership and volunteers in the last 40 years. He cited the debuting Career Fair organized by Shell Petroleum Development Company and the upcoming Petroleum Engineering Education Summit planned to hold on April 22 at the International Conference Centre in Abuja as two initiatives being championed by the Council to improve human capital development in Nigeria. He urged the students from Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda to take advantage of the opportunity and build themselves for the future of the oil and gas industry through the Petro Quiz and paper presentations and invited the entire participants to the 37th Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) holding from July 30 to August 1, 2013 at the Eko Hotel, Lagos
The theme lecture was presented by Dr. Saka Matemilola of Shell Petroleum Development Company. He exhaustively discussed the fundamentals of oil and gas exploration and production which he identified to be of three facets viz; Technology, Human Capital and Government. With the theme of this year’s conference “Way forward for Growing Africa’s Oil and Gas and Reserves through Technology, Human Capital Development and Sustainable Government Policies” he stressed on the need for individuals to possess the right skill and competence and appropriate policies by the government to enable the industry carry out its activities properly in addition to a clarion call for transparency in the award of oil blocks and effective monitoring of compliance with the terms of award.
The keenly contested Petroquiz competition saw Unilag emerging tops as they waltzed through the other twenty schools, emerging the best in Reservoir Engineering, Geology, Drilling, Mathematics and HSE/General Knowledge after the 8-hour contest. They were followed closely behind by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Nnamdi Azikwe University in second and third place respectively. The winning chapters got a cash prize from the National Council and a sponsorship to the 37th Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE).
Similarly, the technical paper contest witnessed participation from thirty one candidates. The results were announced by Engr. Osayande Igiehon with contestants from the University of Ibadan and IPS -University of Port Harcourt emerging first in the undergraduate and post graduate categories respectively.
The Career Fair powered by Shell featured several enlightening discussions with a keynote address delivered by Engr. Victor Udora, the Maintenance Integrity and Execution Manager of SPDC. He inspired the raptly listening audience with his personal experiences and gave advice on how to maximize life opportunities.
The event came to a glistening close with the presentation of awards to the participating dignitaries as well as the deserving students. In all, it was another milestone contribution of the Society of Petroleum Engineers to the African continent, a feat they have become famous for seamlessly replicating all over the world.