articles | 23 April 2015

OPITO to help Cyprus oil and gas search

OPITO will play a major role in helping Cyprus to become a regional centre of technical excellence for oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Following discussions with senior Cypriot government officials, the global oil and gas skills body has invested in a new office in Cyprus, which opened its doors on Wednesday.

OPITO is a unique, not-for-profit organisation, wholly owned by the oil and gas industry and responsible for ensuring it has a safe, skilled and competent workforce. The Chairman of OPITO International Gordon Ballard flew to Cyprus especially to co-host the launch event with the High Commissioner.

Cyprus has the potential of developing in an oil and gas hub for the region because the Eastern Mediterranean is considered a new energy frontier with an estimated 122 trillion cubic feet of gas in the area. Additional exploration is on the horizon and developments in neighbouring countries such as Israel, Lebanon and Egypt. Speaking at the event the British High Commissioner said:

“Today’s event demonstrates in a clear way the strong and wide-ranging ties which exist between Britain and Cyprus. OPITO’s decision to establish a presence here is a significant example of collaboration of our two countries, of working together in partnership on issues of common interest and mutual benefit. It is also the result of joint efforts at different levels over a period of more than a year.

The United Kingdom has been successfully developing its own hydrocarbon resources for a few decades. We have gained experience and developed unparalleled knowhow and expertise in this field. OPITO embodies this expertise in the field of education, training and developing a skilled hydrocarbon work force. The British High Commission will of course continue to support OPITO and its activities in Cyprus”.

Group chief executive of OPITO International, David Doig, presented OPITO activities internationally and the organisation’s plans for Cyprus and the region. He said: “The recent discovery of natural gas resources offshore Cyprus is a major opportunity to create jobs and opportunities for the island and its people. We are honoured and excited to help lay the foundations for the creation of a world-class learning infrastructure which will develop a Cypriot workforce capable of supporting the oil and gas industry in the eastern Mediterranean and establish Cyprus as a recognised oil and gas centre of technical excellence, contributing significantly to the future economic well-being of the country.”

Chris Wright, formerly with OPITO in Dubai, has been appointed to head up the Cyprus office and will be responsible for building a safety training infrastructure to ensure Cypriot oil and gas workers are trained to OPITO’s world class standards.

Two Cypriot nationals will also be employed to work in OPITO’s Cyprus office with more jobs to be created as the organisation implements its skills strategy for the eastern Mediterranean.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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