Pioneer students of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC JV)-sponsored Centre of Excellence in Marine and Offshore Engineering at the Rivers State University (RSU CoE), Port Harcourt, have commenced the mandatory six months Research Internship with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) in Lagos. The Research Internship is a key requirement for the award of the Master of Science degree after a year of academic work.
While four students are working with SNEPCo, three others are with Total Exploration and Production Nigeria and the remaining three students are with BW Offshore in a successful collaboration between industry and academia.
SPDC General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, said, “The Research Internship enables the students to have critical industry-experience, hands-on practical training and opportunity to undertake post-graduate research under competent industry supervisors and working with state-of-the-art facilities.
“The programme enables us to graduate industry-ready young Nigerians and domicile in-country several services usually provided by expatriates”.
Director of the RSU CoE, Dr. Ibiba Douglas, said, “All 10 pioneer students of the Centre have commenced internship in the respective companies to which they are engaged and after the Internship phase, in December 2019, the students, on their return to school, will defend their M. Sc. thesis in order to graduate.”
Meanwhile, eight post graduate students of another SPDC JV-sponsored Centre of Excellence in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Benin (UniBen CoE), who recently concluded the compulsory six months Internship with SPDC, have described the experience as “a landmark in their career.”
Orilade Success, writing on behalf of his fellow Interns, said, “The past six months have been a landmark experience in our careers. We have taken note of the learnings and feedback and, moving forward, we won’t let you down as ambassadors of this reputable organization. This is certainly a step in the right direction for all of us.”
In 2013, SPDC collaborated with the University of Benin to begin academic work at the Centre of Excellence for post graduate studies in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering and the Director of the UniBen CoE, Professor Joseph Ebeniro, said, “SPDC JV investment in talented Nigerian youth, supported by other industry stakeholders, is providing special academic platform to produce industry-ready graduates for employment in the E&P industry, as well as undertake research to address industry challenges.”
Weli said, “SPDC JV has a long history of support for education in Nigeria. As part of its commitment to the holistic education of Nigerians, especially young people from its areas of operations, SPDC JV currently runs four categories of scholarship schemes.
“These are Regular Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (providing annual financial support to secondary school students); Cradle-to-Career (another Secondary School Scholarship Scheme focused on providing quality full-boarding secondary education in reputable private secondary schools to selected talented primary six pupils from public schools across Nigeria and developing the recipients into functional citizens that can confidently face life and compete favourably with their counterparts from anywhere in the world); and University Scholarship Scheme (started in 1953 and is a flagship programme providing support to Nigerian students in all accredited Universities across Nigeria).
“The fourth category, the SPDC JV Post Graduate Scholarships scheme (launched in 2009 and aimed at building a talent pipeline in our host communities) is a one-year master’s degree program offering selected post graduate scholarships for the training of graduates in the core competence areas of petroleum Engineering, Subsurface Studies and facilities engineering in three of the topmost universities in these fields in the United Kingdom.”