£400k investment in digital upstream training tool promises global access for all

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A new global training platform offering an affordable and accessible alternative to exclusive upstream training has been launch by Norwell Engineering, the international well engineering and drilling project management firm based in Aberdeen.

The e-learning platform, called Norwell EDGE, has kept the cost of individual training low ensuring it is open to everyone – regardless of where they are in the world or financial status.

EDGE has taken five years to develop and will offer 50 in-depth upstream awareness training modules, with a comprehensive exam and, a second advanced course for specialist personnel.

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Frustrated by a lack of concerted effort by the oil and gas industry to tackle skills and competency gaps, Norwell decided to invest £400,000 to create its own solution and make training as widely available as possible.

Co-founder Mike Adams, said: “We have seen first-hand the challenges operators & NOCs around the globe are facing through a lack of competent and well trained workforces. In the current situation there are a lot of specialists, all of whom have completed their own specialist courses and health and safety training but very few understand what the other is doing – that can have dangerous consequences as we saw with Deepwater Horizon.

“While the industry has spent a lot of time discussing what needs to be done and introducing new guidelines, we have seen very little change on the ground. Upstream training is still too expensive and only open to a lucky few. We felt it was time to step up and deliver something that will make a real difference.”

The platform has recently undergone a rigorous six week beta testing phase which saw more than 1,100 testers from 45 countries taking part and provide feedback.

One tester in Uganda, Gideon Marshall, said: “ This innovation is exactly what we need to enhance our competency. It is a lifesaver for those who want to spread our wings in the Upstream sector.”

Norwell EDGE enables individuals to learn in their own country at their own pace and build a training history that follows them throughout their career. Subscription is contract-free, so users can dip in and out of training as it suits them.

For companies, it makes wide-scale training feasible and enables them to audit contractors’ training histories. For national oil companies, it also provides a way of affordably upskilling large numbers of national personnel.

Rossini Silveira, SPE Uganda Treasurer and Lecturer in Petroleum Studies at Makerere University and Petroleum Engineer, in Kampala said:

“As a Petroleum Engineer myself, with near 30 years’ experience across the globe, I am exasperated by the disparity in the level of training available to oil & gas professionals, especially in under-developed countries where both local training and travel opportunities are limited.

“I am extremely excited by Norwell EDGE’s potential. Suddenly we have fully accessible training for individuals in any corner of the globe connected online. Training that is not limited to employer directives and training that is always up to date. I see great potential for young professionals and students here to make leaps in their understanding of Upstream Oil & Gas at a pace that allows them to absorb in-depth, concepts in a modern and flexible way, beyond what can be taught here.”

The content which includes modules ranging from Well Planning to Well Integrity Management has been developed by Norwell’s in-house senior engineering team along with partners including Axis Well Technology.

Connon Craig, AXIS Well Technology’s Well Test and Integrity Manager said: “This is a fantastic step forward in training delivery for people within the industry and for the industry itself. This new concept in training is something that Norwell should be very proud of and is something that Axis Well Technology is delighted to be involved in.”


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