Major HSE Training Program Starts in Iraq


Royal Dutch Shell and international oil and gas training standards body OPITO have teamed up to train up to 15,000 Iraqi energy industry workers to deal safely with the potential hazards of hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

Shell and OPITO aim to ensure that the workers are trained to the globally-recognized H2S standard. A corrosive and hazardous gas, H2S (or “sour gas”) occurs in the production of oil and gas fields that have a high content of this gas in their reservoirs.

The initiative is the first industry-led program to be rolled out across Iraq since OPITO signed an agreement with the country’s Ministry of Oil to help develop its local workforce and give it the necessary skills and training to develop its hydrocarbon resources.

Shell has established a new training center in Majnoon (near Basrah) and has worked closely with OPITO to customize the training standard relating to H2S for the Iraqi workforce.

Shell Iraq Country Chairman Hans Nijkamp commented in a company statement:

“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 center in Majnoon is now up and running and is the first OPITO-approved center 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 center accredited so that we can get people trained as quickly and effectively as possible.”

OPITO Group Chief Executive David Doig added: 

“Shell has shown real leadership in the development and roll-out of this training standard and must be recognized 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.”



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