Well engineering development programme

Published on: 01 October 2012


In 2011 Tullow launched a Well Engineering Development Programme with a group of 17 engineers from Ghana, Uganda, Ireland, South Africa, and the UK.

Each participant receives structured theoretical and practical training over 2-3 years including spells working on different rigs and rig types, i.e. land, jack-up and deepwater, in the various countries where Tullow operates. The training content and philosophy is demanding and is based on best-in-class industry experience. The programme consists of externally assessed self-study modules, formal training courses and final examinations. It aspires to be one of the best well engineering foundation programmes offered in the industry.

The programme benefits both new engineers entering our industry for the first time, and more experienced engineers who want to certify their competence. And with three women on the programme we’re also helping to build a more balanced team in a commonly male dominated profession.

Tommy O’Sullivan, Wellsite Drilling Engineer based in Dublin, says:

So far I have been acting as a Well Site Drilling Engineer (WSDE) at the Ngamia-1A well Block 10BB in Kenya. My primary role is to assist the Drilling Supervisor in the daily drilling operations.

Drilling is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week operation. Each shift is twelve hours long (or more).When I arrived at the rig in January I was on night shifts, from six in the evening until six in the morning. That takes a while to get used to.

The work is varied and demands all your energy. I certainly don’t suffer from insomnia! Every day presents new challenges which keep the job interesting and exciting. There is always something demanding your attention.”

Being part of the programme gives the participants opportunities to travel the world, learning from the experts in different situations.

Roger Addy, Completions Engineer based in Ghana, says:

“Since the programme was rolled out, I have had the opportunity to travel to Houston, Texas for a 2- week Completions and Workovers course with PetroSkills. I also travelled to Aberdeen for a Formation Damage course with Senergy and a Sand Control management seminar with Schlumberger. Prior to that, I had attended several other training courses in London and Aberdeen and went on to obtain the rotary drilling Subsea/Surface Supervisor Well control certificate after sitting the International Well Control forum (IWCF) examinations.”

We look forward to reporting on our trainees’ progress, and the development of the programme over the coming years.


Mike Williams, Group Well Engineering Manager with Susan Namuganyi, Ugandan well engineering trainee

South Africa , United Kingdom , Uganda , Kenya , Ghana

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Page last updated: 01 October 2012