National Oil and University of Nairobi has signed a petroleum capacity building, research and development agreement.
The accord will see the two institutions collaborate in institutional capacity building through short-term courses and staff exchanges, information swap and sharing of equipment and technical expertise.
As part of the agreement between the two institutions, National Oil will provide industrial attachment to University of Nairobi students enrolled in petroleum related courses as well as train students on the use of various analytical instruments.
“The partnership with National Oil will therefore enhance the university’s capacity to deliver industry-ready graduates for the upstream sector,” said National Oil Chief Executive Officer Sumayya Athmani/
Athmani revealed that recently, National Oil recruited a total of 34 management trainees who are currently being taught various aspects of the upstream petroleum exploration and production including geology, geochemistry, geophysics, petroleum economics and law.
“The trainees will undergo two years of intensive training locally and internationally before being deployed to various petroleum exploration and production activities in the country,” she said.
National Oil Chief Executive says the agreement comes at a time when Kenya and East Africa are facing a shortage of qualified personnel to work in the emerging petroleum sector which has seen a rise in activity following recent oil and gas discoveries.
Athmani said the agreement is part of a wider strategy by National Oil to develop adequate technical and human capacity as Kenya prepares for success in the upstream sector.
To enhance public participation in the emerging oil and gas sector in Kenya, National Oil is leading a national dialogue process where it brings together stakeholders bi-monthly to discuss opportunities for investment in the upstream petroleum sector.
“The outcomes of these meetings will also be used in enriching Kenya’s petroleum policies,” she said.
She said that National Oil will continue engaging stakeholders in the petroleum sector with a long term view of opening up the industry for local participation.