Kenya Pipeline targets universities for petroleum courses

Kenya Pipeline targets universities for petroleum courses

The government has laid down plans to enhance workforce skills in the oil and gas sector ahead of the first phase of oil exploration under the early oil pilot scheme.

The move arises from the increasing demand for skilled labor in the oil and gas sector as the country readies itself for the commercialization of the industry in 2022.

Early oil exploration has so far involved foreign players to a large proportion meaning that Kenya has missed out on employment opportunities manifesting themselves in the sector to this point.

Speaking during the inaugural Morendat Institute Conference which brought together stakeholders in the regional oil and gas industry, Petroleum and Mining Chief Administrative Secretary John Mosonik said training the workforce would cushion the industry from the domination by foreign expertise.

“We need to up skill our workforce in order to ensure that both local and regional populations benefit from the opportunities created by the sector,” he said.

Mr Mosonik identified the key skills deficiencies as those in pipe fitting, welding, drilling, operations and the repair of heavy equipment.

The government has already moved in to bridge the skills deficiency in the industry. Through the Morendat Institute, the government is engaging in up skilling for the oil and gas sector.

Kenya Pipeline Chief Executive Officer Joe Sang said the Morendat Institute would facilitate the training of even more experts to meet the demand.

“Through the Morendat Institute, KPC continues to train additional technicians to meet the demand for specialized services which currently stands at over 2,500 technicians against a market availability of 700 technicians all of whom work for KPC,” he said.

Mr Sang added that universities and technical institutions would have to take up the role training to meet the demand for skills in the oil and gas industry.

The University of Nairobi is already embracing the role having received a Sh100 million share from government to set up a new department for petroleum engineering.

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