IPS: TOTAL helping to build Industry Capacity in Nigeria
The Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) located at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, was established in 2003 by Total as an international collaboration between the University of Port Harcourt and the prestigious French Petroleum Institute - Institut Francais du Petrol (IFP), for development of critical skills and specialized manpower for the hydrocarbon industry. The IFP School provides 40% of lecturers that make up the IPS faculty and is responsible for 50% of taught courses and the coordination of its remarkable Msc programme.
Partners in Progress
The mission of the Institute is to meet the needs of the petroleum sector through a commitment to excellence in training, applied research, continuing education and capacity building. Over the years, the Institute has produced not only world class manpower for the oil and gas industry but also milestones towards sustainable development.
The IPS academic programmes have recently been enriched to include amongst others, a PhD in Petroleum Engineering & Project Development, an Msc in Environmental Technology & Management and an M.Sc in Petroleum Geosciences and Reservoir Engineering. The school also offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Technology which has given opportunities to students from Total’s oil producing communities. The Post Graduate degrees of the IPS are jointly awarded by the University of Port Harcourt and the IFP School. As at 2014, 350 Petroleum engineers including 1 PhD have graduated from this Petroleum Institute.
IPS also collaborates with world renowned universities such as the Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, the Colorado School of Mines (USA), McGill University (Canada), the Technical University, Delft (The Netherlands) and the Gubkin Russian State University (Russia) for continuous improvement of its activities.
Knowledge Sharing and Skills transfer
Apart from developing capacities, IPS has built a strong partnership between the Industry and social development Institutions like research institutes and agencies, which links the petroleum industry with a variety of sectors. Another benefit of the IPS initiative is knowledge sharing and skills transfer. Total is sharing its industry experience with the University of Port Harcourt. As of date, more than 12 Total Nigeria employees are engaged in teaching and providing hands-on training at the IPS. In addition, students of the institution have the privilege to undertake Industrial Work Experience at the company’s industrial facilities. The IPS is also in teaching collaborations with many other industry actors, such as the Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals, Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Nigerian Environmental Society. Other Agencies also involved in building capacity at the IPS, include the National Registry of Environmental Practitioners, Society for Underwater Technology and the Oil and Gas Trainers Association.
Driving Nigeria’s Local Content Development and Creating Employment Opportunities
Teaching and learning at IPS is hinged on a very high academic pedestal. Consequently admission into the school is limited and highly competitive. A few years ago, the Institution at the request of Total, introduced the Post Graduate Diploma in Technology (PGDT) a one year pre-Msc preparatory programme to give disadvantaged candidates from host communities, equal opportunity to benefit from this Institute. The PGDT programme is exclusively reserved for candidates from host communities. This gesture by Total is another demonstration of the company’s commitments to the communities and the local content policy of the Nigerian government.Similarly, through the IPS initiative Total is creating employment opportunities for Nigerians, thereby supporting the aspirations of the country in this respect. Since inception, over 200 brilliant Nigerian youths have obtained Masters Degrees and more than 100 others, the Post Graduate Diploma in Technology, totaling over 300 graduands, almost all of them gainfully employed in the upscale hydrocarbon industry. The employment rate of graduates of the school is 94.4% due to the high quality of industry training available to the students. This contribution by Total contributes immensely to improving the economy of not only the country but those of the immediate environment and communities where the beneficiaries come from, with the resulting multiplier effects
Today, IPS represents not only a legacy for Social Responsibility in Nigeria, but is proof of Total’s new baseline “Committed to Better Energy” which puts the emphasis on producing “better” and not just “more energy”. Through capacity development in Petroleum Geosciences and Engineering, Total shares its conviction that the path to a responsible energy future lies first and foremost in energy that is safer, cleaner, more efficient, more innovative and accessible to as many people as possible to promote sustainable development.