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Simulator technology helps Angola raise standards in vocational oil and gas training

Leading Angolan training institute, Instituto Nacional de Petróleos, is developing unique vocational programmes thanks to advanced simulator technology.

Instituto Nacional de Petróleos (INP) is developing unique vocational programmes to create local content and better prepare workers in Africa’s oil and gas industry.

INP was set up in 1979 by the Angolan Government and has been delivering high quality oil and gas training for Angola and the Sub-Saharan region for the last 45 years. Over that time, it has trained thousands of delegates in technical skills such as drilling and production and mining and refining. With delegates travelling from across South and West Africa to train, INP has an unenviable reputation in the region for capacity building using the latest technology to deliver courses.

Several years ago, INP invested in Drilling Systems state-of-the-art drilling and well control simulator technology including the DrillSIM:5000, DrillSIM:500 and DrillSIM:50.  This technology is used by INP to give its drilling and well control students a taste of what it’s like to work on real oil rigs and enhance understanding of drilling operations and reservoir behaviour.

“Drilling Systems’ simulators are extremely realistic and provide an unrivalled experience of what it’s like to drill on a rig without actually being there.”

Alegria Joaquim, Deputy Director, INP

Thanks to its close working relationship with the oil and gas industry, INP understands what is needed from oil and gas education and has been developing unique, vocational training programmes to deliver high calibre students with a high level of practical skills. By using simulation, learning experiences can be accelerated to support industry requirements for workforce nationalisation.

INP’s programmes cover the essential knowledge required to work in oil and gas. As well as an understanding of the environment and health and safety culture, the vocational courses allow students to practise drilling and well control operations in a variety of different roles. This develops highly practical students who understand what’s needed in the workplace and provides the oil and industry with an invaluable, well prepared local labour force.

In addition to high quality vocational courses, INP is working towards delivering fully certified IWCF well control training courses and specialist managed pressure drilling programmes.

Deputy Director at INP, Alegria Joaquim, explains: “INP is successfully bridging the gap between education and industry by creating unique vocational programmes which deliver a high calibre of student fully prepared for entry into the oil and gas sector.

“Employers are at the heart of our programmes and we tailor training according to their needs. Due to extensive training on our drilling simulators, our students have exceptional practical application skills and are ready and able to progress to higher level programmes with far less investment from oil and gas employers. This is an attractive option for oil and gas companies looking for safe, enthusiastic, skilled workers who can be productive from day one.

“Drilling Systems’ simulators are extremely realistic and provide an unrivalled experience of what it’s like to drill on a rig without actually being there. From the safety of the classroom, our students can see and feel the behaviour of oil in the reservoir underground and also get an understanding of the scale of equipment and surroundings on a rig. Using simulators can be so effective, they are also useful for any new teaching personnel starting with us, to enhance their understanding of the oil and gas industry.”

Clive Battisby, head of simulation operations at 3T Energy Group, which includes Drilling Systems, said: “Advanced certified training programmes in drilling and well control are prescriptive but region-specific vocational programmes which develop young people from the ground-up currently have no standard so very much rely on the experience of the instructors and the institution. INP has developed its vocational training in close conjunction with industry to ensure it delivers exactly what’s needed and it is setting an exceptional standard for this type of training globally.

“INP is fully sustainable and self-sufficient. Run by Angolans for Angolans, the institute is completely in tune with its local employers and labour markets. Travelling for training internationally is extremely expensive so having a high quality, well respected organisation on the doorstep is of tremendous value to the oil and gas industry operating in the region.”