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BP Oman opens training centre to support Khazzan gas field


The centre provides a world-class learning environment for young and talented Omanis, recruited from technical colleges, to develop the skills needed to become qualified technicians and operators. Photo: Hussein Al Muqbali/Times of Oman

Muscat: In line with its plans to recruit and train over 100 Omani technicians over five years to support field operations at the Khazzan project, BP Oman officially inaugurated its Technicians Training Centre in Ghala, under the patronage of Dr Mohamed bin Hamed Al Rumhy , Minister of Oil and Gas, on Monday.

BP's Technicians Training Centre, which is operated by the National Training Institute (NTI), provides a world-class learning environment for young and talented Omanis, recruited from technical colleges, to develop the skills needed to become qualified technicians and operators.

BP's Technicians Development Programme enables participants to become qualified instrumentation, mechanical, electrical and production technicians over a period of around four years.

It includes a foundation year of workshop and classroom-based learning, including health and safety, behavioural and technical training. Subsequently, the trainees will have hands-on training at a live BP operational worksite and they will enroll in BP's Technician Competency Assurance Programme, where they will work towards gaining professional certification.

Dr Al Rumhy toured the state-of-the-art training centre to speak to students and to see the classrooms and workshops.

Around 20 trainees have completed their foundation year at the Technicians Training Centre and have embarked on assignments with BP's international operations.

One group of five trainees was sent to San Juan, New Mexico, USA, for three months to gain experience with BP's North America Gas business. Another group has recently arrived at BP's petrochemicals facility in Hull, UK, where they will gain experience in maintenance operations at one of BP's most important acetyls manufacturing sites.

Commitment to Omanisation
In his welcoming address, BP Oman general manager Dave Campbell said, "This opening is one of our most significant milestones, not only because it reflects our commitment towards Omanisation, but it showcases our plans for training young Omanis, highlights our leadership in technology, and emphasises on our integrity when working in partnership with other entities."

Commenting on the Khazzan project, he said, "A lot of capabilities are needed to unlock these tight reservoirs, and since the appraisal period, we have recognised that need and started to progress filling that need with the right expertise in the global BP, and finding the right talent and developing it from the local market.

According to him, since 2007, BP Oman has hired nearly 40 graduates onto the BP graduate development programme (challengers), sent more than 50 Omani employees on international assignments, and recruited 51 trainee technicians in its five-year technician development programme.

"We have grown from an organisation with just six Omani nationals in 2007 to a workforce of more than 210 Omani nationals today. More than 70 per cent of our workforce in Oman is Omani professionals, and we remain fully committed to continually building local capability for the long term," Campbell said.

"As for our technicians, they are trained in four disciplines - instrument, mechanical, electrical and production," he said.

The trainees will work at an operational site before the new Khazzan project is commissioned, he noted.

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