Pillar Staff Trained on Environmental Aspects in Oil and Gas

With the looming exploitation of Oil and Gas resources which have already been reported to be more than 6.5 billion barrels, the Norwegian Government under the Oil for Development Cooperation with the Government of Uganda, carried out capacity development training course in “Environmental Management Challenges in the Oil and Gas sector.” 

The one week training course which was held from the 25th – 29th August 2014 at Serena Lake Victoria Hotel was a follow up of the 1-week basic course in petroleum industry knowledge provided to staff in environmental pillar institutions and selected District Environment Officers in Fort Portal in December 2013. 

This immediate objective of this second phase training course was to increase the participant’s awareness of and knowledge in environmental challenges and issues inherent in the different phases of oil and gas exploration and production, while the ultimate objective was to improve, in the long term, the effectiveness of the environmental regulators in the oil and gas industry. 

This course targeted staff from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Ministry of Energy’s Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Ministry of Water and Environment, National Forestry Authority, World Wide Fund (WWF), and targeted environment officers from the Albertine Grabben districts of Hoima, Buliisa, Nwoya, Ntoroko, Arua among others. 

Themes focused on environmental aspects’ key areas; Exploration phase, Development and Production phase, Transportation, Storage and Refining phase and also in Accidental Spills and Emissions in the Oil and Gas sector. The participants were further equipped with knowledge in waste management, performing compliance monitoring, contingency planning, Carrying out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA’s), environmental aspects of seismic surveying among others. 

Speaking to NEMA NEWS, Patience Nsereko, NEMA’s Environment Monitoring Officer (Oil and Gas) said that “…the training course increased our (participants) understanding of the likely environmental challenges expected in the oil and gas industry especially with the sharing of experiences in the management of environmental challenges and regulation of the sector in Norway.” 

The course was coordinated by NEMA and facilitated by senior officials from the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA).