Gabon, Training Petroleum Pioneers

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In 2010 Gabon launched its first school dedicated to petroleum training – the Oil and Gas Institute (IPG) – in Port-Gentil, the capital of the country’s hydrocarbons sector.

The aim was to create a center of excellence in the field of petroleum training to provide strong technical and professional education for all trades in the petroleum industry; from exploration to the marketing of hydrocarbons.

The IPG is the result of a public-private partnership between Libreville and the oil companies present in the country, at the forefront of which Total, Addax Petroleum, Eni, Perenco and Shell. The operating budget of the school is around $9,8 million.

The courses are given by specialists from large specialized training organizations, universities, private schools and companies in the oil and gas industry that have signed an agreement with the IPG.

Ultimately, the institute will welcome around 60 students each year from Gabon, as well as from other French-speaking countries in Central Africa. The offer is also expected to expand: the IPG started offering professional courses in 2014, including specialization courses for engineers. Exploitation, geosciences, drilling, logistics, industrial maintenance, economics, finance and management were among the proposed themes.

Training costs around $163 000, fully covered by the public-private partnership. Courses are given by specialists from major training organizations in the sector, such as IFP Training from the French Petroleum Institute. Ultimately, the state hopes to make the IPG a pool of excellence in the sub-region, open to Gabonese students and managers in the Gulf of Guinea.

Gabon produced 10,901 tons of oil in 2019, up 13% from the previous year. In line with the national development strategy, the government launched an offshore block licensing round in 2018 and introduced a more attractive oil and gas code in 2019 in order to attract new investment.