Pupils learn about oil and gas

Pupils Declan Bonner (Meldrum), Olivia MacLeod & Michelle Murray (both Ellon) and Alex Ryan (Meldrum)
Pupils Declan Bonner (Meldrum), Olivia MacLeod & Michelle Murray (both Ellon) and Alex Ryan (Meldrum)

Pupils from Ellon and Meldrum academies attended the OPITO’s Indusrty Awareness programme recently.

The found out what it’s like to drill for hydrocarbons, live offshore and experiment on heavy oil.

The oil and gas industry skills organisation aims to help broaden the career horizons of the next generation through a planned timetable of activities, allowing 80 pupils from 22 schools to spend time with company personnel and experience a variety of activities first-hand.

Sessions throughout the programme included taking part in engineering and heavy oil challenges, drafting field development proposals, an interactive tour of an oil rig and operating a drilling simulator.

Companies participating in the event included ABB, Aker Solutions, BP, Conoco Philips, EnerMech, Maersk Training, Proserv, Statoil, Sparrows, Stork and TOTAL.

Tove Stuhr Sjoblom, senior vice president for Statoil’s UK and Ireland operations said: “We are very pleased to support this initiative by OPITO to help young people gain an insight into the exciting career opportunities the energy industry has to offer.

“Despite the current economic challenges, this industry is here for the long term and we are committed and passionate about providing accessible energy for all.

“Young bright minds, combined with new technology and innovation, will be fundamental for driving our industry forwards.”

OPITO UK managing director John McDonald added: “The industry as a whole has been experiencing many difficulties as it adjusts to the lower oil barrel price and redundancies have been widely reported. However, the North Sea basin still has significant recoverable hydrocarbons.

“It is vital that we create a skilled and competent workforce for the future, ensuring that our industry operates effectively, efficiently and remains a major contributor to UK and Scottish economies.

“Inspiring the next generation remains high on the agenda for OPITO, Government and the industry and to have the support of these organisations at such a crucial time is very encouraging.”