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Shell and OPITO commit to the safety of 15,000 from the Iraqi workforce

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Up to 15,000 Iraqi oil and gas workers will be trained in how to deal safely with the potential hazards of hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

Shell and oil and gas training standards body, OPITO, have joined forces to ensure workers are trained to the globally recognised H2S standard. A corrosive and hazardous gas, also known as 'sour gas', H2S occurs in the production of oil and gas fields which have a high content of this gas in their reservoirs.

This is the first industry-led training programme to be rolled out across Iraq since OPITO signed an agreement with The Ministry of Oil to help develop the country's local workforce with the necessary skills and training to safely utilise Iraq's hydrocarbon resources and provide qualifications needed for Iraqi's to access jobs in the country's energy sector.

As one of the largest international companies in Iraq, Shell has invested in a new training centre in Majnoon (near Basrah) and worked closely with OPITO to customise the training standard relating to H2S for the Iraqi workforce.

Hans Nijkamp Shell Iraq Vice President and Country Chairman said: 'One of the biggest risks in producing oil and gas, particularly sour gas, is the presence of H2S. To reduce that risk we, along with our Majnoon project partners Petronas and Missan Oil Company have committed to training Iraqi's in the safe handling of this hazardous gas. Our training centre in Majnoon is now up and running and is the first OPITO-approved centre in Iraq. This is a major step in our journey towards building a safe Iraqi workforce that is accredited to international standards. We are immensely proud of our partnership with OPITO to deliver the standard and to have our centre accredited so that we can get people trained as quickly and effectively as possible.'

David Doig, group chief executive of OPITO, said: 'Shell has shown real leadership in the development and roll-out of this training standard and must be recognised and commended for investing time and financial resources in its delivery which will ultimately save lives. We are confident that the other major employers operating in Iraq's oil and gas sector will follow Shell's example and commit to training their workers in this standard.'

He added that this initiative represents an acknowledgement of OPITO's role in influencing and shaping common global safety standards. 'But, more importantly, it is the catalyst for the development of a learning infrastructure for the people of Iraq who, if they are to successfully re-build their country, must create a safe, sustainable and profitable oil and gas industry.'

Associated Companies
» Royal Dutch Shell plc
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