South Australia a hub for oil and gas education

The South Australian government has partnered with some of the state's largest resource producers in a new initiative to train employees of the onshore oil and gas industries, which could benefit gas suppliers by improving the quality of production. Opened on February 16, the new facility gives workers access to comprehensive qualifications without having to fly in from remote locations. 

The state government worked with Santos, Beach Energy and Senex Energy to set up the Onshore Petroleum Centre of Excellence (OPCE), which offers training in oil and gas production to employees in the state's energy sector. The centre is a part of Tonsley's Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institute, located just 10 km outside Adelaide's central business district.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Tom Koutsantonis, said the facility will open up training to a wider range of workers.

"It is a testament to the strength of our collaboration with industry partners such as Santos, Beach Energy and Senex Energy, who have committed funds, valuable equipment and expertise to the new training centre," he said. 

"There's no doubt the training facility will elevate South Australia as the nation's and the South East Asia region's premier destination for learning and innovation in onshore oil and gas."

The state government will provide $500,000 in capital costs for the first two years of operation, while Santos has provided and installed mechanical equipment, engineering design and transportation for the training centre. Beach Energy and Senex Energy have also committed funds for equipment installation and capital works. Students can experience hands-on, immersive training in onshore oil and gas production, learning safety best practice, environmental and sustainability principles.

Santos Vice President Eastern Australia James Baulderstone noted that the centre will become the premier education provider in Australia and south east Asia. 

"We are proud to be part of this initiative which will be the first choice of industry suppliers for training in accredited, specialised skills and will ensure that our industry continues to be led by a world-class workforce," he said.

The purpose-built venture is part of South Australia's Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence, which the state government announced in its 2013-14 budget.

Posted by

Richard West