Posts filed under ‘Education’

PetroSkills Announces New O&M JV

PetroSkills announced the startup of PetroSkills O&M, a new joint venture with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Focusing on both operations and maintenance (O&M) technicians employed in upstream, midstream and downstream roles, PetroSkills O&M offers companies a full slate of both instructor-led training and e-learning content.

Ron Hinn, Managing Director of PetroSkills O&M, described the new offering as PetroSkills’ response to “the bigger crew change” that will be occurring across operator ranks over the next decade. “The demographic changes impacting the engineering ranks within E&P represent a small percentage of the numbers that will be impacted in the operations and maintenance ranks,” Hinn said.

PetroSkills O&M currently offers competency development and competency management resources for Production Field Operations, Gas Process Operations and Drilling Operations, and efforts are now underway to build out capabilities within the Pipeline, Refinery and PetroChemical operations and maintenance disciplines.

O&M represents the fourth discipline “vertical” for PetroSkills to enter. The rigor and processes utilized to build PetroSkills’ offerings within the E&P, Facilities and HSE sectors will also be applied to O&M. This includes the use of member company subject matter experts to direct and maintain detailed competency profiles for each technician discipline. The result is an “industry shared viewpoint” of the skills or competencies required to perform successfully at a given level. Training offerings are subsequently aligned to deliver the necessary competencies.

What Is PetroSkills?

PetroSkills provides unique, competency-based training programs – not just a collection of courses. Course content is based on detailed skill and competency maps developed with input from member companies. Each discipline is fully described through these competency skill maps to ensure that professionals can identify the competencies needed at their individual level.

Competency maps are available to both individuals and companies via a Web-based Competency Analysis Tool called CAT Enterprise, which allows professionals to track their development, determine what skills they need, and create a customized plan to close learning gaps.

The member curriculum advisors and the PetroSkills Board must approve each course, ensuring practical, up-to-date, relevant training. After attending a PetroSkills course, professionals will return to their workplace and immediately apply the skills learned to create value. Both the PetroSkills coursework and the instructors are reviewed approved by the PetroSkills Board and member curriculum advisors.

March 31, 2010 at 4:59 am Leave a comment

Paradigm Introduces Academic Software Program

Paradigm, provider of upstream enterprise software solutions, announced its Academic Software Program, which will provide institutions of higher learning with access to Paradigm’s state-of-the-art E&P software. The program includes innovative applications in seismic processing and imaging, interpretation and modeling, reservoir characterization, reservoir engineering, and well planning and drilling engineering.

            “At the Centre for Petroleum Studies at Imperial College London, we aim at preparing students to be fully operational when they start working in industry,” said Director Alain Gringarten, one of the many institutions benefiting from the program. “Practicing with software products used by oil and gas companies is part of our curriculum, and we are very grateful to Paradigm for providing us with valuable access to its interpretation and reservoir engineering suites.”

            The Paradigm Academic Software Program provides academic access to key industry software products such as Paradigm™ VoxelGeo®, Stratimagic®, SeisEarth®, GOCAD®, SKUA®, Geolog® and Sysdrill®. In continued dedication to university research programs, Paradigm will also provide participating universities with free access to application software development kits. Qualified universities may apply for the Paradigm University Grant Program, which provides access for classroom and/or research-based use.

            “Paradigm software products are critical to our research and teaching activities in energy and geoscience,” said John Shaw, Chairman of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at  Harvard. “We use their structural modeling capabilities extensively as a means of integrating various data types and developing new methods of petroleum trap and reservoir characterization.”

            Paradigm continues to expand collaboration with university professionals. Through the Academic Software Program, the software package for university members of the GOCAD Consortium will include the possibility to license Paradigm SKUA 3D modeling software.

            “We are very enthusiastic to see SKUA becoming widely available to universities, for both teaching and research purposes,” said Guillaume Caumon, Director of the GOCAD Research Consortium. “The availability of Paradigm’s state-of-the art geosciences software and corresponding developer kits to universities is clearly a win-win situation, and will help bridge the gap between academic research and practical industrial applications.”

            “Academic institutions play a critical role in the development of our industry,” said Jean-Claude Dulac, Paradigm’s Exec. VP of Science & Technology. “Given that educators are responsible for training future industry leaders and innovators, we believe that by investing in education today we are actively helping to overcome the challenges of tomorrow.”

March 2, 2010 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Subsea UK, OPITO Team Up for Subsea e-Learning Modules

Alistair Birnie, chief executive of SubsSubsea UK, and OPITO, The Oil & Gas Academy are working together to develop a series of subsea modules within the Academy’s successful Petroleum Open Learning (POL) program.

A flexible self-learning tool aimed at increasing technical knowledge, POL allows learners to take responsibility for their own training and study at their own pace. Learners complete a set of program modules, eventually gaining a recognized National Certificate accredited by City & Guilds. Employers benefit by being able to develop the capabilities of their current and future workforces easily.

The new subsea modules are targeted at a wide audience that includes technicians and engineers. The curriculum will focus on subsea controls, valves and process components, subsea hardware, pipelines, flexible pipelines, risers and umbilicals, ROV systems, subsea operations and subsea intervention operations. The six-module course will be completed by spring 2011.

“The UK Subsea sector has a dominant position in a global market, having strong connections with major projects ongoing all over the world,” said Birnie. “To retain this position and beat off worldwide competition, we must keep investing in people and in developing new capabilities to ensure we maintain our key differentiators. This partnership with the Academy and its POL program offers a significant step towards that goal.”

David Doig, CEO of OPITO Group, said: “Developing and nurturing skills of the oil and gas employees will not only serve to enhance the industry but also extend the timeframe of activity in the North Sea. It’s vital the industry invests in the skills of our existing workforce to allow them to reach their personal potential, but also to ensure we have a flexible and accessible route into the energy sector for the next generation.”

February 23, 2010 at 2:01 am Leave a comment

Oilennium Expands to Keep Up with Demand

Oilennium Ltd., provider of oil and gas training programs, announced that Samantha May has been appointed to the position of Commercial Manager. May will be responsible for financial management and will oversee marketing communications, new business and client development initiatives. With 12 years experience in the oil and gas industry, she brings an in-depth knowledge of marketing, operations and facilities management. 

            Before joining Oilennium, May worked for six years for Specialised Management Services Ltd. (SMS) in Great Yarmouth, where she served as Business Development Manager in charge of marketing and sales activities, including marketing communications. She also represented the company at major conferences and exhibitions in Abu Dhabi, Houston and Aberdeen. Most recently, she served as Business Development and Facilities Manager, with responsibility for managing the company’s base in Aberdeen, in addition to driving new business and development efforts. Previously, she worked for Weatherford’s eProduction Solutions arm for six years in a marketing communications capacity, with responsibility for producing effective sales literature and marketing outreach events in Dubai, Egypt, Doha, Aberdeen and Houston. 

            “With demand for our training and eLearning development services escalating, it was important to strengthen our customer support and operations at our headquarters in Loddon.  With the addition of Sam May, the pace at which we are able to progress projects and operate the business will be greatly enhanced,” said Kevin Keable, Managing Director of Oilennium.  “Samantha will help us to cultivate long-term relationships with existing customers, and to further expand market share globally. Her experience, knowledge of the industry, and high energy will greatly contribute to our continuing growth and success.”

February 15, 2010 at 5:29 am Leave a comment

Paradigm to Sponsor 2010 AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Program

Paradigm, provider of enterprise E&P software solutions, announced its Gold Level sponsorship of the 2010 American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA), a highly competitive scholarship program focused on promoting petroleum geoscience training and advancing the careers of geoscience students.

            Paradigm will provide participating universities with licenses, support and training for the Paradigm software so students will have the tools they need to complete a technical assessment of field hydrocarbon potential, from seismic interpretation, geological modeling, and petrophysics to reservoir engineering and risk assessment.

“On behalf of the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Committee and the Association, I would like to formally thank Paradigm for its software contribution to the IBA program this year,” said Steven Veal, AAPG IBA Committee Chairman. “We cannot achieve the level of quality of data, activity and organization that is necessary for such a program to succeed without the key support of sponsors like Paradigm.”

Section and regional finalists will be selected to compete before a panel of industry experts for receipt of the award. Results for the 2010 IBA program will be announced at the 2010 Annual AAPG Conference & Exhibition, to be held April 11-14 in New Orleans.

“The AAPG IBA program provides an excellent opportunity for students to grow and better understand sciences, technologies and decision processes that drive the global E&P industry,” said Jean-Claude Dulac, Paradigm Exec. VP, Science and Technology. “Paradigm believes that by directly investing in the advancement of geoscience education today, we are actively participating in the industry solutions of tomorrow.”

February 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

University of Houston Hosts PetroChallenge

Hundreds of high school and university students will participate in PetroChallenge 2010, a computer simulation competition taking place at the University of Houston’s College of Technology. High school students will compete Jan. 9-10 and university students Jan. 11-12. Past competitors have described the event as “an intense treasure hunt.”

            Each student team forms a petroleum exploration company sent on a virtual mission to remote islands that have invited companies to begin exploration. Each team has a $200 million budget to find commercially viable volumes of oil and gas. Students learn basic geology and form strategic partnerships with other teams to drill exploration and appraisal wells.

            The high school PetroChallenge teams will consist of students from each of the three IPAA (Independent Petroleum Association of America) energy academy schools: Milby High School, Lamar High School and Westside Engineering and Geosciences Academy. Similarly, the university level PetroChallenge teams will be comprised of students from different colleges, each discipline bringing its particular strengths to the exercise. The students will face the challenges, opportunities and dilemmas of a real exploration team. Tasks include:

  • Finding basins by using magnetic/gravimetric surveys;
  • Prospecting by using 2D seismic, common risk segment maps and spawning ground maps;
  • Partnering, using 2D seismic and 3D seismic maps;
  • Ordering rigs from a catalog of available equipment;
  • Selecting services by consulting a provider track record;
  • Selecting a drilling location by using 3D seismic and environmental impact assessment surveys.

During this process, students gain insight into the risks and challenges of petroleum exploration. In each task, teams are expected to budget wisely, review purchased scientific data and oilfield information, discuss options and submit the decisions to the simulation. A real-time scoreboard will keep the competitors energized and focused on making well-informed decisions.

            Simprentis, the software company that developed the program, saw a demand for industry-based educational events that would allow students to explore potential careers. PetroChallenge events have been held since 2004, when 600 students from five countries (Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Scotland) participated simultaneously.

            Jack Christiansen, director of the Petroleum Technology Initiative at the College of Technology and organizer of the competition, described the purpose of the event: “Students who participate in PetroChallenge 2010 will finish with a greater understanding of technological and scientific developments in the oil and gas industry. Based on a preliminary trial, we believe that this event will provide students with the closest experience possible, in an academic setting, of working in the oil and gas industry in the exploration and production phase.”

            Doris Richardson, director of the IPAA Education Center and coordinator of the high school competition, is equally enthusiastic. “The PetroChallenge two-day competition is the perfect vehicle to reinforce curriculum being taught in our energy academies,” she said. “It will provide our students with an opportunity to integrate classroom curricula, understand and solve complex industry challenges, and collaborate as a team.”

            Both the high school and university PetroChallenge events will take place in the College of Technology’s state-of-the-art computer labs. A training session for facilitators precedes the competitions. Participation in the event is free to all students.

January 5, 2010 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Three Training Companies Launch Plato Alliance

Three leading E&P learning companies, IHRDC, Nautilus and NExT, announced the creation of Plato Alliance, a new venture delivering an unprecedented range of integrated learning solutions to the E&P industry.

            “Plato Alliance combines the talents of the most experienced learning providers in the business to offer programs worldwide – customized to client needs and managed from start to finish,” said Henry Edmundson, founder of the Plato Alliance. “We are offering a one-stop shop for the complete planning, implementation and management of a client’s professional development program.”

            Plato Alliance brings a unique, integrated portfolio of complementary learning products to the industry including:

  • Over 500 courses and programs in all geoscience and petroleum engineering domains taught by more than 300 instructors;
  • More than 80 geology field seminars in a wide variety of geological environments;
  • The industry’s largest e-learning library, including 1,000 hours of technical learning in all geoscience and engineering domains, an overview of the entire value chain of oil and gas industry, and key business essentials for energy professionals;
  • Management programs covering all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including digital business simulations; and
  • Competency management consultation and systems.

            Plato Alliance combines these products in programs specifically tailored to client needs. The programs are designed to accelerate the development of professionals at all levels through blended learning, “learning by doing” and mentoring. Customized programs vary in length from weeks to several years.

            With clients, Plato Alliance will help design and build customized programs using 20 years’ experience in competency management – a  robust process for assessing competency development needs and identifying learning solutions – and by providing the Web-based competency management system, CMS Online.

            The three alliance companies also will continue to operate as independent learning providers outside of the alliance.



For over 40 years, International Human Resources Development Corporation has been a leader in training and competency development for the global oil and gas industry. IHRDC offers instructional programs that teach management and petroleum business essentials using challenging business games and digital workshops. Their e-learning products, Petroleum Online, IPIMS and Business Essentials, offer a wide range of on-demand learning worldwide. They also provide competency management services and the competency management system, CMS Online.


About Nautilus

For over nine years, Nautilus has provided the industry with geoscience training through its unique GTA membership concept. In 2009, Nautilus will deliver over 300 courses worldwide, of which more than 80 will be conducted in the field in a large variety of geological environments. More than 140 Nautilus instructors have an active technical involvement in the AAPG and SEG. Classroom courses are currently held in North America, Europe, South East Asia and Libya, while field venues include the USA, Mexico, Belize, Canada, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, South Africa and Borneo.


About NExT

For over 10 years, NExT has delivered tailored training programs in more than 50 countries. Its faculty includes over 250 instructors with a wide variety of technical and regional experience. A hallmark of NExT programs is “learning by doing.” Customized programs vary from weeks to two or more years. Through its global presence and experience in most oil and gas fields, NExT can fill these programs with relevant examples and case studies that make each course unique, specific and practical. NExT was founded by Schlumberger with strong affiliations to three leading universities: Texas A&M, University of Oklahoma and Heriot-Watt.

October 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

PetroSkills Debuts New Data Management Course

The need to manage the growing influx of subsurface data better enables efficient business processes, which in turn creates business value. Improving data management practices provides competitive advantage to companies across the E&P industry.

            PetroSkills announced a brand new, two-day course, “Introduction to Data Management,” that provides an overview of upstream data management and focuses on the subsurface domain.  The instructor is Dr. Alan Pointing, head of practice for Venture Information Management’s subsurface data management team in London. The first class is scheduled for Nov. 2-3, 2009, in Houston.

            To register for the course, please visit:

October 1, 2009 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

PetroSkills Hosts Open House at New Conference Center

I attended the open house event at PetroSkills’ new conference center near Katy Mills mall, upon invitation of my friend Patty Davis. In addition to tours of the facility and a nice box lunch, PetroSkills VP Gerry Ross revealed the results of a Zoomerang survey of about 60 Gulf Coast area training executives at energy companies (2% response rate).

The top five areas requiring training, according to respondents, were: Drilling and Completions,  Shale Gas, Geology and Geophysics, Deepwater, and Gas Production.

The survey also showed that practicality and customizability of course content were more important that price, according Gerry Ross, who promised not to use that as an excuse to raise course tuition.

Ross said PetroSkills updates its Competency Analysis Tool every year and updates each course every three years, garnering input from major oil companies on its board. Instructors are also vetted by that Board.

PetroSkills is looking for oil and gas equipment, models and simulators to showcase at its large, new conference center to help students learn and understand the latest technology better.


September 16, 2009 at 3:28 am 1 comment

Carol Dinkins Joins UH Energy Advisory Board

Environmental litigator Carol E. Dinkins, a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP, will join the newly formed Energy Advisory Board of the University of Houston (UH).

            “Carol is an environmental legend in Texas and on a national level, particularly for regulatory and enforcement matters within the energy industry,” said UH President Renu Khator. “I am delighted she will support the University of Houston’s efforts to become ‘The Energy University’ and help guide the board toward achieving that goal.”

            The advisory board, which will meet quarterly, is tasked with strategic planning and external coordination. Its next meeting is set for Oct. 28. In addition to Dinkins, board members include:    

  • Tim Cejka, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co.;
  • John Gibson Jr., president and CEO of Paradigm;
  • John Hofmeister, chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership Energy Collaborative and founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy;
  • Ryan Lance, Sr. VP, international exploration and production, ConocoPhillips;
  • David McClanahan, president and CEO of CenterPoint Energy Inc.;
  • Lamar McKay, chairman and president, BP America Inc.;
  • Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company and director of Royal Dutch Shell;
  • H. David Ramm, partner of DKRW Energy LLC;
  • Corbin Robertson Jr., chairman and CEO of Natural Resource Partners; and
  • Bruce Williamson, chairman, president and CEO of Dynegy Inc.

            Formation of the advisory board is the latest step in a roadmap laid out in Khator’s UH Energy Initiative, which aims to capitalize on the region’s and the university’s strategic interests and strengths. Involvement in energy-related initiatives spans virtually every UH college and includes faculty in a dozen disciplines.

August 27, 2009 at 2:11 am Leave a comment

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