TOTALTEC’s IPMA focuses on training Guyanese and teaching skillsets to the candidates so they can develop careers in Guyana’s growing oil-and-gas sector.
Since its establishment two years ago, IPMA has screened over 3,000 applicants, trained over 500 persons and placed over 300 Guyanese in jobs within the petroleum sector.
“TOTALTEC is planning to invest an additional US$2.4 million in the training programme, tripling the number of Guyanese they can train and place within the industry… it will also go towards developing an offshore survival faculty,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of TOTALTEC’s Oilfield Services, Lars Mangal, in an invited comment on Monday.
In giving a disaggregation of the intended expenditure, Mangal said the plan is to invest US$1.8 million into Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) and other offshore-related training facilities, while an additional US$600,000 will be invested into working capital.
TOTALTEC’s IPMA is located in Houston, Guyana, directly north of the Guyana Shore Base Inc., on a 1.8-acre lot which has the capacity to be expanded in order to accommodate the growing training programme.
The potential expansion will increase IPMA’s training capacity from 4,000 training days per year to 10,000 – 15,000 training days per year.
Mangal said TOTALTEC has already secured interest of financing from existing European and Caribbean investment partners, who are approaching their final stages of due diligence.
As it is now, IPMA delivers world-class training in accordance with standards and courses developed by, accredited and certified by First Competence, OPTIO, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC); International Well Control Forum (IWCF); the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and NPORS. Exercises are also done in accordance with the United Kingdom (UK)’s Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).
The academy leverages a purpose-built 80,000 square-foot facility that includes offices, classrooms, and training equipment to train industry candidates.
Mangal said companies can sponsor trainees, choosing from standard courses or customising programmes to satisfy specific training requirements. Courses are mainly provided to companies, but some are open to individual Guyanese seeking to expand their experience in the area of oil and gas.
“I think there is a very unique opportunity for Guyana and for all the stakeholders, ExxonMobil, other operators, the government and civil society, to participate in something that can truly be unique and successful and be a showcase for the world.
“This is truly a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we are experiencing here in Guyana at the moment, and I think the country is extremely fortunate to have a capable operator like ExxonMobil, which has the technical and operational capacity to find, develop and produce its resource at the pace required to maximise an early return and potential,” said Mangal.
It is for this reason that he believes it is an opportune time for young Guyanese to develop their knowledge, and participate in the oil-and-gas sector.
The government has already identified a panel to draft a comprehensive Local Content Policy which will serve as a guide for local participation in not only jobs within the oil-and-gas sector, but in commercial activities as well. The policy, as promised by the government, will later be converted to local content legislation.
And, although there is no local content legislation, ExxonMobil was reported to have spent over G$14 billion in the first half of 2020, and has utilised more than 600 Guyanese suppliers for services ranging from foodstuff to engineering.
The Guyana Chronicle reported that ExxonMobil has trained more than 50 Guyanese in countries such as Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Trinidad, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, to gain hands-on oil-and-gas experience to leverage in Guyana.
According to ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs Adviser, Janelle Persaud, more than 2,000 Guyanese are supporting ExxonMobil Guyana operations, representing 55 percent of the total workforce.
ExxonMobil Guyana’s direct workforce now stands at 155, more than 50 percent of which are Guyanese.
She had said that capacity-building is an ongoing process for ExxonMobil Guyana and its direct contractors, with more than 100,000 hours of training provided to Guyanese staff as of the first half of 2020.
Persaud also said approximately 80 percent was in the areas of professional/technical and craft/trade training.
ExxonMobil is now firmly established in Guyana, operating an office in Georgetown, with numerous ongoing exploration and development operations offshore. ExxonMobil Guyana has made 18 discoveries since May, 2015 and started production at its Liza Phase One development project in December, 2019.