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Vause O&G training Centre

A unique O&G industry training and simulation centre has been established in Taranaki.

The newly established Vause O&G training centre, based in Bellblock, New Plymouth,  is unique in the southern hemisphere.

Not only does the facility provide modern classroom facilities but theory is balanced with a practical learning environment. Participants have the opportunity to see,  touch and utilise the actual equipment utilised in the  O&G industry.

The centre boosts its own Christmas tree atop a 300 metre training well and provides practical workshops set up for groups of students to work on stripping and redressing the range of downhole tools they will be running in wells.

A range of cutaway tools enables a full understanding of how these tools work thousands of feet down inside a well.

Workshops range from short, simple one and two-day industry overviews to more specific workshops dedicated to the drilling process and completion of wells, including the components and options surrounding well access such as slickline, wireline, coiled tubing, snubbing and workover.

These are subject matters that industry veterans Bob Taylor (who has previously taught in Houston and Aberdeen) and Peter Vause bring a wealth of experience.

Both are conscious of the ageing workforce, the need to attract the next generation and the concerns of looming national and international skill shortages in the O&G industry.

The centre provides an ideal avenue through which they can put something back into the industry. Both are pragmatic men, but they are traditionalists tempered with the astuteness of knowing that times have changed since they were young.

The simulation training centre reflects the different world from their early days when there was space and ease about learning on the job. Greater levels of health and safety consciousness mean that companies are increasingly reluctant to put untrained people straight on the job. With hydrocarbons and high pressure fluids, the O&G industry can be a dangerous workplace.

The Vause O&G training centre is a new type of facility that provides the benefits of being on a real life O&G workplace but without the danger.  

Well pressure is simulated with air pressure or with nitrogen, with water instead of oil. This  allows precise control in a relatively benign, non explosive environment to prepare personnel for the potential dangers on live wells.

Trainees can learn safely and still experience the ‘genuine’ equipment and when they are ready they can  go out to the workplace.

Another unique feature about the centre in Taranaki is the accessibility offered from training facility to site. Unlike other global localities, the distance to travel to reach the actual O&G sites is not far, so people can easily be taken from the training centre to location to gain the practical exposure.

The Vause training centre, is already attracting the support and interest O&G companies. It is not a closed private facility but one available to the broader industry for use. As a result not only is more training being undertaken in Taranaki (instead of local companies sending staff overseas for specialised training), but the centre is attracting people from overseas keen to take advantage of its unique benefits.