The oil and gas industry has, over the recent years, invested heavily in multi-billion dollar projects aimed at developing an exploration and production infrastructure in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The integrity management of such facilities will be critical for the industry in the coming years. Competency of Personnel stands out as the most important of these areas. Although office-based personnel plays an important part, the personnel working offshore such as OIMs, supervisors, ballast operators and topsides operators will make critical decisions that may affect the safety of an entire production unit. Alliances between offshore industries, contractors and community colleges generate curricula exclusively tailored to provide specific training and retraining to new hires on the duties and tasks performed by the oil and gas production technician and encumbered workers of the offshore industry. Offshore oil and gas extraction organizations are faced with unique challenges, when needing competent, skillful, safe, and well trained workers. Liabilities from non-trained personnel, and the understanding that safety is priority #1 on the platform, are paramount in concepts of the offshore workforce. Unlike other areas of the world, production in the Gulf of Mexico has been predominantly on the shallow water continental shelf and many organizations are faced with the challenges of developing new sets of skills for different types of production facilities used in deep water. Training of technicians, who will be operating an offshore deepwater platform, should cover topics that include ballast control and stability management, vessel station-keeping, riser management, response to hurricanes and loop currents, hydrocarbon and operations safety, process equipment and systems, troubleshooting, sub-surface geology, petroleum engineering and drilling technology. This paper discusses collaborative initiatives and discusses specific solutions. Based on a multi-year experience generating of such curricula, recommendations are provided to industries that want to establish such training programs for their technical personnel.

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