The Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation, which is charged with ensuring the industry has a safe, skilled and competent workforce, has given the Hi-Con program its blessing.
The Hi-Con Training Program is the result of a partnership between Petrofac Training Services and Raytheon Technical Services Company. The partners deliver high consequence training to oil and gas companies at NASA's state-of-the-art training facility.
The NASA facility includes a 12.2 metre deep and 61.6m long training pool. This gives offshore workers one of the most realistic environments in the world to learn critical aspects of water survival.
Designed to support spacewalk planning and training, a designated area of the pool is being used to support Hi-Con survival training.
OPITO International vice-president for the Gulf of Mexico Albert Skiba said the use of a structured standards-based framework for training, stretching from basic offshore safety through a range of specialist response roles, had not been applied in the way it had in most other exploration and production areas of the world.
He said this announcement marked a significant step forward in creating a common global standard in offshore safety and marked a step-change in the availability of internationally-recognised, world class safety training for workers in the Gulf of Mexico.
OPITO approval ensures workers undergoing helicopter escape training, basic offshore safety induction and emergency training at NASA's facility are trained to the same standard as workers in other major oil and gas hubs around the world.
Petrofac Training Services Americas regional director Tony Littler said achieving OPITO approval would help Petrofac and Raytheon meet the growing demand for internationally recognised survival training.
"With more than 55,000 people employed in upstream activities through the Gulf Coast region, demand for quality survival training has significantly outpaced supply," he said.