The University of Ibadan now has an ultra-modern subsurface research center that will boost the development of top rate manpower for the nation’s oil and gas industry, thanks to a donation by The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) operated Joint Venture. The center has 15 fully networked workstations, a high-end server complete with Internet facilities and a standby 45-Kva generator among other facilities.
“The SPDC JV’s intervention to turn around the subsurface center of the university is a careful choice to support the institution to deliver the next generation of technologies and skills that will help Nigeria to unlock more oil reserves.” said Igo Weli, SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations at the handover ceremony in Ibadan on March 14. “With all the modern facilities and promise of uninterrupted power supply, the centre has the capacity to showcase the potentials of oil and gas sector while attracting bright minds, and our hope is that students will make the best use of it.”
The Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Olayinka said: “We appreciate the contributions of the SPDC JV to education, to the geosciences and to University of Ibadan in particular. The facility will help the efforts of the university to recreate itself as a entre of excellence in geosciences training.”
The subsurface center is expected to usher in new levels of learning at the University of Ibadan and other institutions in southwestern Nigeria. Students and researchers can access real-time information and connect with other learning centers anywhere in the world from their keyboards.
A dearth of world-class research institutions and limited access to technology is a key challenge in enabling Nigerians and Nigerian companies to play a greater role in the oil and gas value chain. SPDC JV therefore focuses on building capacity in key technical skills, for example donating equipment to universities to develop capability in the production of drilling mud. In 2012, SPDC established a Center of Excellence in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Benin, and is completing work on another center on Marine Hydrodynamic at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu – Port Harcourt preparatory for commissioning later this year.