New plans to develop the UK’s first national onshore college for oil and gas were revealed in a speech yesterday by Matthew Hancock, minister for business and enterprise. As we know, the economic opportunities in shale and gas are plentiful, and this new centre of excellence aims to train a generation of onshore oil and gas specialists.
The National College for Onshore Oil and Gas
The new centre will be called the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas and will be based in Blackpool. The centre will also have working relationships with Chester, Redcar, Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth.
MP Matthew Hancock considers the move to be a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for the UK, and says that families, towns and villages across the UK will benefit from the new industry and its supply chain, creating 64,500 jobs.
“Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on,” said Hancock.
As the North Sea production continues to decline, the UK is becoming more and more reliant on importing gas from abroad to meet its needs. The government have estimated that by 2025, 70% of the gas consumed by the UK will be imported. Therefore, making the most of domestic oil and gas resources will help the UK to become more self-sufficient in the future.
£750,000 Government Funding
The college’s development is being funded by £750,000 of government money, and this amount is set to be matched by education providers and industry bodies. More money will be made available from the National College initiative to support the college on an industry-matched investment basis.
The bid to set up the college was led by the United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), and it will be overseen by the oil and gas industry to make sure that the colleges meet the needs of the industry by delivering high level specialist training. The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of drilling, hydraulic fracturing, site development and environmental management.
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