The latest discovery of oil and gas explorations in Kenya has caught our country off guard. The lack of experts in the field of oil and gas exploration in Kenya has greatly been felt by the Kenyan economy. Kenya has resulted to hiring human resource from outside Kenya which constitutes a higher percentage of foreign staffs working in the gas and oil exploration companies in Kenya. Currently the Ghanaians (people from Ghana) and Nigerians are the ones that account for a high percentage of workers in the oil and gas sector in Kenya, because they have a lot of experience in these areas.
The field of oil and gas industry in Kenya is a very delicate entity that only requires people who have qualification and are certified to perform in these fields. This means that people who engage in this sector have to undergo compulsory and critical courses in or outside Kenya which also involve health and safety in this industry. At the moment, Dubai happens to be the place that has majorly invested in the institutions that offer the gas and oil exploration courses but at much higher price. In Africa, we are lucky because they are a few countries that offer the gas and oil exploration courses at a reduced price as compared to that of Dubai. The countries in Africa, which offer oil and gas exploration courses, include Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.
Initially, there was no need of training personnel for such a sector; gas and oil in Kenya because there was no explorations in Kenya at that time and if a person was to train on these courses, he/she be would have been jobless in Kenya. This led to failure of introducing oil and gas exploration courses to the institutions of higher learning in Kenya. Due to the latest discovery of oil in Turkana country in Kenya, that is viable for commercial production and gas in coastal regions of Kenya, there is a need for people of Kenya to train in the oil and gas exploration sector. The high demand for experts in oil and gas drilling sector in Kenya has led to opening of an institution in Westlands, Nairobi by the Energy Resource Group (ERG) which is based in Africa. Westlands in Nairobi will be the main headquarters of the Institution that offers gas and oil exploration courses in Kenya at the moment.
The main courses that are offered by Energy Resource Group in Westlands, Kenya include:
- Basic offshore safety induction and emergency.
- Helicopter underwater escape training.
- Personal survival.
- Elementary first aid.
- Well control.
- Fire fighting.
- Slinger and first-aid response.
The purpose of Energy Resource Group in Kenya is to offer Kenyans the necessary skills to propel the oil and gas sector in Kenya in the near future so as to constitute higher percentage of workers in the sectors instead of employing large numbers of foreign people yet there are capable young Kenyans who can pursue these courses. Energy Resource Group will also give Kenyans who will qualify a chance to work in other countries. The chief executive officer of the Energy Resource Group, Mr.barry Carey said that their main aim is to push Kenya to the next level so that they can have the necessary experts in the oil and gas industry in Kenya and to make it one of the countries that offer courses that train personnel in this sector in Africa after countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Angola.
It is my hope that Kenyans will take this opportunity and enroll for gas and oil industry courses which will equip Kenyans with oil and gas production skills, so that we can take full opportunities in the recently discovered oil and gas. The government of Kenya should also offer scholarships to Kenyans, to some students who perform well in the national examinations so that they can go abroad and study in these courses so that they can be of help to the country. With more areas under exploration of oil and gas in Kenya, it means there will be more opportunities for grab in the future for those who will have qualified in the gas and oil production field in Kenya.