In preparation for the production phase, Tullow Oil has trained 10 Ugandans who will become future experts in oil production operations in Uganda.
The apprentices completed courses in hydrocarbon production technical skills and production operations at TTE International, one of Europe's leading technical training institutes in petroleum and chemical industries based in the UK. They are Ronald Ssempebwa, Stanley Kiganda, Denis Kiyingi, Dennis Kiwanda, Innocent Osuna, Mark Olweny, Kenneth Opitto, Godfrey Ojambo, Alfred Busobozi and Collins Opio.
Tullow Uganda general manager Jimmy Mugerwa said: "We are proud to have supported our very own Ugandan talent in achieving this milestone as part of our commitment to supporting national capacity development in oil and gas. This team will play a critical role in the future development and production of Uganda's resources."
The ten also received practical experience sessions at Tullow's Bangladesh production facility, which gave them an opportunity to acquire an understanding of systems and equipment on the plant. They received training in oil and gas separation, gas dehydration, natural gas liquids recovery, fractional distillation, oil pumping and metering, injection and water treatment, as well as environment, health and safety management.
They were also trained in the control of major accidents and hazards and substances hazardous to health and management of major emergencies such as fire and explosion.
The beneficiaries were certified by renowned oil and gas training institutes including; Offshore Industry Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO), City&Guilds and the National Examination Board of Occupations Safety and Health (NEBOSH) in the UK. The experience Opio, the production supervisor trainee, said: "We trained at a running facility, therefore, it is no longer just theory."
"I gained more professional knowledge for my job. I now understand the production process and guidelines better," he added. Kiganda said he has been able to attain competence to manage and fully support any activity related to petroleum production.
Meanwhile, Makerere University Business School (MUBS) has started courses in oil and gas management. The courses that comprise 12 sessions will be delivered over six weekends at a fee through a combination of lectures and tutorials.
"It will be disaster if we do not position ourselves with the needed skills and other people are brought in to take up key positions in oil production," said Patrick Ruharuza, the executive officer for Quest Energy, an oil and gas consulting firm.
Ruharuza was speaking at the launch of the courses at Shanghai Restaurant in Kampala. The courses are aimed at supporting the development and maintenance of oil production and also ensure optimum participation in the sector.