OPCE – the place where workers in the oil and gas industry can earn formal qualifications – officially opened

Image credit: www.tafesa.edu.au

The Onshore Petroleum Centre of Excellence (OPCE) training facility – the first of its kind in South Australia, situated in the Sustainable Industries Education Centre at Tonsley TAFE – was officially opened on Monday.

Image credit: www.tafesa.edu.au
Image credit: www.tafesa.edu.au

As an initiative of South Australia’s Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence, OPCE will train industry workers in a fully immersive, simulated oil and gas production environment.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said that industry workers will now be able to undertake a Certificate II in Petroleum Production Operations. The Minister also revealed that TAFE is currently finalising a Certificate IV qualification to meet the skill requirements of the OPCE partners.

“It is a testament to the strength of our collaboration with industry partners such as Santos, Beach Energy and Senex Energy, who have committed funds, valuable equipment and expertise to the new training centre. There’s no doubt the training facility will elevate South Australia as the nation’s and the South East Asia region’s premier destination for learning and innovation in onshore oil and gas,” he said.


A Governance Board chaired by industry will oversee the operation of the OPCE training facility that was established under a Deed between the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Santos, Beach Energy, Senex Energy and TAFE SA.

According to the Minister’s media release, the simulated production environment will include different pump types, gas compressors, a pig launcher and receiver, gas metering skid, field separator and small tanks, as well as associated pressure safety valves, flow valves and other instrumentation. Water will be used to simulate oil and air will be used to simulate gas flow. Further, the facility will include a field nodal compressor for Type B gas regulation training, as well as static equipment displays for demonstration and educational purposes such as various valve types, flanges, a well head and a second field nodal compressor.

Santos has provided a large chunk of the needed oil and gas production and mechanical equipment, engineering design, transportation and installation of the equipment in the training facility.

“We are proud to be part of this initiative which will be the first choice of industry suppliers for training in accredited, specialised skills and will ensure that our industry continues to be led by a world-class workforce,” Santos Vice President Eastern Australia James Baulderstone said.

The company operates the SA Cooper Basin Joint Venture (of which Beach Energy is a member).

“Providing training opportunities that lead to jobs in the oil and gas sector is important for South Australia, in particular with all the activity in the Cooper Basin. Beach is proud to be supporting this initiative,” said Beach Energy Managing Director Reg Nelson.