Dr Bello Gusau, Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), has visited the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in Effurun, Delta.

This is contained in Abuja on by the PTDF Head and External Relations, Mr Kalu Otisi.

According to the statement, the visit is part of a renewed emphasis on proper implementation and delivery of PTDF institutional capacity development projects, spread across the country.

The new PTDF boss in his remarks, at the event said: ”I must say that these are facilities I have not seen anywhere except in PTI.

”In fact I was arranging to send some of my PhD and Masters Students from South Africa to come and get experience.

”When I see this here, I know PTI is supposed to be money spinning because these are money spinning machines.

”With these not only will you graduate masters for the university, you will be servicing the oil companies because before they start their own rig, all the parameters can be verified and tested here, everything is in place in PTI and we are going to market them aggressively.”

Part of the projects inspected include the construction of new buildings such as the administrative block, hostels for male and female students, and a laboratory block.

Others such as the library, welding and mechanical workshop, data and ICT centre building were renovated and equipped with state of the art facilities.

Gusau, who was accompanied on the inspection by some PTDF management staff, was taken round the facilities by the PTI Principal, Prof. Sunny Iyuke.

The PTDF provided the Institute with the latest drilling simulators known as B5000 and C6000.

The PTDF boss further said: ”These drilling and well control simulators are requirements for accreditation by the international well control forum.

”This makes PTI the only centre in Africa globally recognised to administer training programmes for oil and gas personnel employed in drilling and well control, well intervention and work over operations.”

Some of the issues raised during the tour included poor maintenance of the infrastructure and facilities provided in the institution, incomplete installation of some of the facilities on the ground and the lack of technical training of personnel.

The PTI Effurun was established in 1973 by the Federal Government as a requirement for the membership of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The statement stated that with the massive upgrade by PTDF, it was expected to become a leading oil and gas training institute with the mandate of producing middle level manpower for the industry.