Second world-class oilfield institute to open shortly

MUSCAT, APRIL 1 –
Close on the heels of the launch last month of the Oman Oil & Gas Institute (instOG), a specialist training facility for oilfield related technical and engineering professionals, the Sultanate’s pivotal energy sector is now gearing up for the unveiling of a second equally world-class training institution in Muscat.
Takatuf-Petrofac Oman (TPO), a partnership of Takatuf Oman (the human capital solutions provider wholly owned by Oman Oil Company) and Petrofac (the UK-based international oil and gas engineering services provider), will be launched shortly at the Innovation Park Muscat (IPM) near Oman’s tech hub Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM).
“This is a world-class institute that will support the training of technicians and operators not only for various projects that are currently in the pipeline, but will also support the training needs of operators and others,” said Isam al Zadjali, CEO of Oman Oil Company, the wholly government owned energy investment group.
Oman Oil Co is a 70 per cent investor in TPO, with Petrofac pitching in with the balance 30 per cent of the project cost, he said.
Speaking at a recent media briefing, Al Zadjai said the new facility, along with instOG that was opened last month, will support the industry’s need for Omanis with the requisite technical and operational skills.
“The idea started a long time ago to ensure the hiring, training and development of the hundreds of Omanis that we will need for the various projects that are in the pipeline. Therefore, we joined forces with Petrofac to achieve this. The institute will target technical college graduates, we will put them through an 18-month programme so they can learn the ropes. After their training, they will be sent to our projects, such as Duqm Refinery, Salalah LPG and Ammonia, and so on. We will also make the institute available to others in the sector to benefit.”
Much like instOG, Takatuf-Petrofac Oman has been set up to address deficiencies in the quality and training of operators and technicians — a concern voiced privately by many operators as well, he said.
“A number of operators have their own training programmes, but as the energy investment arm of the government, we are offering a world-class institute for the training of operators and technicians with a partner that is well-known in the market,” Al Zadjali stated.
Weighing in on the subject of whether Oman has enough capacity to meet the training needs of the oilfield sector, Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, commented: “We definitely need more institutes.”
He cited in this regard the presence of 108,000 expatriates in the Oil & Gas sector — numbers that can be potentially Omanised if nationals can be suitably trained and upskilled. The official also stressed the need for institutes to be accredited and upgraded to deliver quality training. Institutes like instOG and TPO will be able to “bridge the gap” until “quality institutes” materialise, he added.
UK-based Petrofac, the JV partner in the new institute, is currently executing projects worth several billions of dollars in the upstream, midstream and downstream segments of Oman’s energy and petrochemicals sectors.