The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) is under a new leadership and going by his first engagement on assumption of duty there is a renewed emphasis on proper implementation and delivery of PTDF Institutional capacity development projects, spread across the country. Barely a week after taking over the leadership of the Fund on the 5th of October, 2016, the new Executive Secretary, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau paid a visit to the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurum, Warri, Delta State to inspect the infrastructure upgrade project being executed by PTDF to enhance the teaching, research and learning capacity of the Institute, in order to effectively produce the middle level manpower requirement of the oil and gas industry.img_8743

The full range of the upgrade project which commenced a decade ago, include the construction of new buildings such as the administrative block, hostels for male and female students, a laboratory block while some others such as the library, welding and mechanical workshop and data centre building were renovated and equipped with state of the art facilities. PTDF also upgraded the ICT infrastructure and facilities by ensuring that the whole of the Institution was brought together into a single data centre.

The laboratory block is equipped with facilities for research and training in diverse areas of onshore and offshore operations as well as in exploration, drilling and production. These include the unit operation laboratory, the refining simulation laboratory, the Petroleum analysis laboratory, instrumentation laboratory and fluid mechanic laboratory, all of them with functional state of the art equipment.

The Executive Secretary who was accompanied on the inspection visit by some Management staff of PTDF was taken round these facilities provided by PTDF in the Petroleum Training Institute by the Principal, Professor Sunny Iyuke.

“I must say that, these are facilities I have not seen anywhere except in PTI, infact I was arranging to send some of my PhD and Masters Students from South Africa to come and get experience. And when I see this here, I know PTI is supposed to be money spinning because these are money spinning machines. With these not only will you graduate masters for the university, you will be servicing the oil companies because before they start their own rig, all the parameters can be verified and tested here, everything is in place in PTI and we are going to market them aggressively”.

 Also inspected were the Metalographic, Corrosion, Polymer, Drilling, Cementing, and Chemistry laboratories.img_8701

Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau urged the management of PTI to explore the possibility of forming academic partnerships with PTDF Researchers and Chair holders in the universities, with the possibility of using the facilities for sample testing for their research works.

One of the landmark achievements of the comprehensive upgrade project executed by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund at the Petroleum Training Institute is the rehabilitation and restoration of a dormant and disused demonstration training rig. PTDF not only made the rig and the flow stations functional but transformed it to be the only demonstration land rig in Africa where International oil companies send their personnel for hands-on training.

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund also provided to the Institute the latest drilling simulators known as B5000 and C6000. These drilling and well control simulators are requirements for accreditation by the international well control forum, thus making PTI the only centre in Africa globally recognised to administer training programmes for oil and gas personnel employed in drilling and well control, well intervention and work over operations.

The Fund also upgraded the welding and fabrication workshop of the Institute. As a result, PTI is now positioned to provide trainings in basic welding procedures of Manual Metal Arc Welding in Fillet, Plate and Pipe, as well as in Advanced and Specialised Welding processes and material characterization which before now could only be conducted abroad.

The Mechanical Workshop is an important part of the Institute’s practical training facility. PTDF provided the Unit with state of the art machines such as  the  lathe machines, bend machines, milling and grinding machines and other tools relevant for training.

img_8861In recognition of the importance of diving in offshore activities of the oil and gas sector, PTDF took a bold step to upgrade the Offshore Technology Centre of the Institute for the training of professional divers for International Certification.

Among the materials procured and supplied by PTDF are the Schuber bottles, the underwater diving apparatus, helmet, panels, communication box, diving cameras, diving tank and aqua blast.

While most of the facilities provided by PTDF are serving the purpose for which the upgrade is being implemented, some components of the upgrade are still lagging behind on implementation. These include the new administration building and the two hostel buildings.

The Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau who also inspected the uncompleted facilities promised to take a holistic look at all the issues affecting the timely completion of the buildings. “As you might have known, I have just been in office for a week or less than that, and the fact that we decided to come back to PTI is suggestive of the importance that we are attaching to the activities that are going on here. So to that extent I assure you, we will advert our minds to all the challenges we have seen here and we will go back and see what we can do”.

He urged the Institute to vigorously pursue a commercialization drive by identifying areas of comparative advantage that they can market to generate funds.

img_8988In his remark, the Acting Registrar of the institute, Alhaji Abubakar Saddiq Tanimu described the Executive Secretary’s visit as a new dawn that signifies a new beginning in the collaboration between PTDF and PTI to chart a course that will be for the collective good of the industry.

Some of the issues raised during the tour include poor maintenance of the infrastructure and facilities provided in the institution, incomplete installation of some of the facilities on the ground and the lack of technical training of personnel to handle some of the equipment already installed at the workshops and laboratories.

The intervention of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in the Petroleum Training Institute has reflected in the quality of the teaching staff and in the quality of students that graduate from the Institute. PTI is as a result of becoming a centre for the recruitment of graduate technicians and those with the relevant skill set derived from practical training using the sophisticated equipment and simulators provided by PTDF.

The Petroleum Training Institute, Effurum, was established in 1973 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a requirement for the membership of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

With the massive upgrade by PTDF, It is expected to become a leading oil and gas training Institute with the mandate of producing middle level manpower for the Industry.



Kalu Otisi Esq.

Head, Press and External Relations, PTDF

October 18, 2016