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We worked with SANAD to provide an engaging way to refresh skills and improve safety for personnel working on land-based assets in Saudi Arabia. All through the power of virtual reality.

Saudi Aramco Nabors Drilling Company, or SANAD, is a 50-50 joint venture partnership between the world’s largest oil firm, Saudi Aramco, and leading drilling company, Nabors Drilling.

Owning and operating onshore land rigs, extracting oil for Saudi Arabia and beyond, they wanted an effective and standardised way of training its land rig workers in hazard awareness.

“We approached 3t to design a range of immersive virtual reality solutions to train our workforce and test competence. Using real-life scenarios, we wanted to assess workforce safety compliance and push the boundaries of human performance.” Coy Wilcox, Head of Training at Saudi Aramco Nabors Drilling.

The approach

We developed an engaging virtual reality training programme to teach land rig workers shut-down procedures and how to work safely at height and on the drill floor. Active learning at its very best, the highly realistic virtual reality programmes take delegates through procedures. When the correct actions aren’t followed, delegates see and experience tragic outcomes such as explosions, suffocations and critical accidents.

In an industry-first, the virtual reality programmes then automatically link with a custom-built competency management system so SANAD can track and monitor personnel performance.

The results

Actively involving someone in making mistakes improves memory retention and prevents mistakes happening in real life. As well as improving awareness of the hazards on site, our programmes are helping to speed up workers’ competency rates assuring SANAD of the highest levels of safety across its assets.

The 3t platform allows SANAD to gather a wealth of information on individual performance which wouldn’t be possible with any other training method. As well as allowing them to track the progress of their internal training, the system gives wider insight into how well procedures are being followed and understood and enables management to make fact-based decisions on future training.

“This is proving extremely effective and we are now planning to extend our virtual reality training across other land rig roles and procedures. We believe our positive experience can benefit the wider oil and gas sector by highlighting new and innovative ways of addressing workforce development.”

Coy Wilcox, Head of Training at Saudi Aramco Nabors Drilling