The growth in oil and gas activity in Côte D’Ivoire has seen investment in standardised safety training in the region far outstrip that of other hydrocarbon-rich West African countries, according to international learning technologies company Atlas Knowledge.
Uptake of International Minimum Industry Safety Training, the global standard for health and safety training, has rocketed in the country in the last two years and now accounts for almost 15% of the worldwide total.
On a country-by-country basis, this represents the largest uptake of IMIST across Atlas’s network of international training partners.
An OPITO standard, IMIST was developed and launched in 2011 to provide a comprehensive and consistent level of health and safety training for the 1.5 million people engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities across the globe and enhance workforce verification, safety and compliance.
Delivered by Atlas and its partners in 12 languages across 48 countries, the standard ensures that workers have the necessary safety awareness and training to reduce risk and ultimately reduce the number of incidents.
PROMETRIC Engineering and Inspection Services has been Atlas’s IMIST affiliate partner in Côte D’Ivoire since 2013. The centre in Abidjan has seen more than 1,500 workers complete their training as the country continues to invest in its workforce as part of the drive towards its goal of producing 200,000 boe/d by 2020, more than three times the current 60,000 boe/d.
Kevin Short, Commercial Director at Atlas Knowledge, said: “Cote d’Ivoire lies on the West Africa transform margin, an area which has yielded oil discoveries in the multi-hundred-million-barrel range in neighbouring Ghana in recent years.
“A modest oil producer since the 1980’s, the country is potentially on the cusp of major activity with a number of discoveries in recent years and further exploration underway in the deep and ultra-deep waters off the west coast. Early in the process it recognised the need for trained, skilled oil and gas workers in order to maximise the burgeoning industry’s potential.
“The tremendous uptake we have seen in IMIST since it was introduced in country demonstrates a real desire by the Ivorian industry to train its people and operate to world-class safety training standards. The level of people going through the programme in Cote d’Ivoire is unsurpassed by any of the other Atlas training centres delivering IMIST worldwide.”
The IMIST affiliate programme is an exclusive partnership between Atlas and selected IMIST invigilation centres worldwide. The initiative was developed to support key invigilation centres to grow and develop IMIST in specific regions. Launched in July 2013, the programme offers approved training centres the opportunity to work closely with Atlas to promote and deliver IMIST to IOCs, NOCs, legislative bodies and service companies in their region.
Over the last 18 months IMIST has expanded rapidly with invigilation centres opening across West Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. PROMETRIC Engineering and Inspection Services is the sole approved invigilation centre in Côte D’Ivoire.
Managing director, Mohamed Nehme said: “The significant rise in exploration and production activity we have seen in the last three years is matched by the massive expansion in skills and labour development. We are committed to providing quality training for the Ivorian workforce and IMIST is an important element of assuring a common standard of competency for the local workforce regardless of which region they are operating in.
“The consistently high levels of uptake we have experienced mirrors the real desire within the country to achieve its ambitions whilst minimising the risk for all those engaged in offshore activities. As a centre we have matched this interest with continued investment in our capabilities to ensure we continue to be the leading training provider for the oil and gas industry in the region.”