Training For The Future: Why It Pays To Train Better, Earlier…

As much as this past year has been disuptive, it’s also provided the opportunity for oil players to step back. A chance to assess the way in which they approach operational performance. For several years, international operators have looked to streamline their processes and systems. Their attempts, however, have often been somewhat clunky and unfocused. Something which has played on the minds of many an oil investment company.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus has helped put into keener focus the importance of agility and adaptability as company traits. Nowhere more so is this the case than in the pursuit of a greater learning and education culture. The importance of this is made more starkly apparent when you realise that, according to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, there’s been a 70% decrease in the number of people enrolling in geoscience-related programmes since the 1980s.

TriStone Holdings Ltd is a prominent UK oil investment company; we wanted to examine where the future of operator training lies within the sector – from the industry’s nascent adoption of mixed realities, to the continual development and training of even the most seasoned of operators.

Traditional Operator Training & Workforce Challenges

Oftentimes, the main problem for operator training has been logistical – especially in the case of offshore platforms, but also in the more remote onshore basins, as well. Getting teams of instructors on-site proved costly, time-intensive and ‘pain point’ heavy more often than not. Another commonplace issue within the sector is that of a generally ageing workforce. The conveyor belt of new talent that’s coming into the industry is, in reality, currently only a tiny fraction of what would be needed to replace the senior leadership positions, down the line.

Cloud-Based OTS (Operator Training Simulator)

Amongst the greatest advances in recent training has unquestionably been the development of the Operator Training Simulator (OTS). These technologies have long been used as means of training up new operators, but now they’re being revamped. The transition away from on-premise hardware to cloud-based equivalents has been nothing short of revolutionary for the industry, seemingly with nothing but positive consequences. Any conceivable drawbacks are yet to manifest themselves, though it will take a few more years before conclusive comparisons can be drawn between the old and the new, so to speak.

The Benefits

Of course, as an oil investment company, we’re interested in the business of results. And although not operators ourselves, we were interested to gauge just what kind of ROI these introductions have made. What we found was impressive, to say the very least. French giant Total OLEUM implemented an OTS from digital engineering firm Aveva, and as a result, are now able to train up to 2,000 operators per year. Not only that, but their training time has been slashed from months to just weeks. Moreover, cloud-based software makes training infinitely more accessible, and training no longer becomes hamstrung by geographic issues.

Software such as this is also helping change the perception of the industry, it’s making it more appealing, particularly to that desperately sought-after younger demographic

Help For All

Another, perhaps less obvious benefit, of these simulators is the positive impact they can have upon existing experienced operators. Any industry revolving around machinery also revolves around the idea of change. An experienced operator only becomes so because they’ve adapted with the changes going on around them in the industry. They work with change rather than butting heads against it. These modern simulators provide a great opportunity, therefore, for easy and efficient training, regardless of previous experience. Whoever said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was quite clearly lying then, it seems…

Simulator Training When Compared With Traditional Alternatives

Not only can slaving away over books and lectures be a bit of a chore, its efficacy is arguably less than when compared with a combination of more engaging teaching materials – such as simulators and game-based learning, for instance. This is particularly true for the more complex and hands-on work that operator work almost always requires. As an oil investment company, we believe the industry’s future relies on engaging and inspiring those who will eventually end up working within it. We’ve talked in previous posts about how the industry effects brought about COVID-19 will quite possibly be long-lasting. New, radical and uninhibited thinking will help deal with that change and those effects, and where better to look for such thinking than in the people you’re trying to bring into the sector?

Contact Our Oil Investment Company

Whilst traditional simulators might have presented significant upfront costs, the transition towards a more scalable subscription-based model is incredibly appealing. The mounting evidence, then, is that it makes shrewd fiscal and business sense for operators to invest more in their training incentives, programmes and simulators. These systems will invariably prove beneficial across all stages of the oil lifecycle; from upstream extraction to downstream distribution, and everything in between.

We’ll leave that to the operators, though, whilst we focus on the investment side of things! So, if you’d like to find out more about how our oil investment company functions, then get in touch! Contact TriStone Holdings Ltd today on 0800 055 7079. Alternatively, send us an email at [email protected]


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