‘New dawn’ for energy training, says industry veteran

20 April 2018

The founding partner of new oil and gas training and technology company 3T Energy Group said yesterday its launch was creating a new market.

Energy finance veteran Graeme Sword, one of the partners behind private-equity firm Blue Water Energy (BWE), was speaking after two BWE-owned companies were merged to form 3T in an attempt to bring the latest technology and training to the sector.

In combining simulator developer Drilling Systems and industrial training provider AIS, BWE hopes to bring a “radically different approach” to current oil and gas training.

A well-known figure in Aberdeen’s oil and gas sector, Mr Sword was at one time a partner of private-equity firm 3i and at the heart of many an oil and gas deal.

Explaining the rationale behind the merger of Drilling Systems, acquired by BWE in 2015, and AIS, bought at the end of last year, he said: “We think we can create a new market for more advanced training. We’re shifting some of it from the classroom and making it more real-life in the workplace, with simulation and virtual reality, using some of these new technologies.

“Operators have laid off a lot of people in the downturn; they’ve not been training or recruiting.

“Our view is that the market has shifted a lot in that people no longer want to be taught solely in a classroom.

“There’s a new generation of people coming into the industry who are much more technology-literate and used to doing things on tablets, simulators and even through video games.”

One example of this technology already being used in the field is Drilling Systems’ On-The-Rig (OTR) product – a mobile simulator using extremely realistic scenarios.

OTR allows engaging training, competency and assessment to be conducted on-site, even in remote locations, removing the need for people to be transported elsewhere for continuous learning and assessment.

Mr Sword said: “There’s a huge opportunity to combine some of these new technologies through simulation, combined with some classroom training, and we’re combining the two.

“It’ll be all done on a technology platform so people can check their accreditation, book courses and run the whole thing online. It’s an advantage for both the employer and employee.” Mr Sword added it could be a “new dawn” for the sector.

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