Robert Gordon University (RGU) formally launched its Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas Institute in Nigeria at an event at the British Deputy High Commission in July.

At the press briefing, the Director of RGU’s Oil and Gas Institute, Professor Paul de Leeuw, described the key priorities for the new Institute.

During the visit to Nigeria, Prof. de Leeuw and other RGU representatives also met with a number of funding bodies and prospective students.

Prof. de Leeuw said: “RGU is committed to building on our strong links with Nigeria, which represents the university’s largest international student population, particularly as the country looks to develop the next generation of oil and gas professionals to explore its significant deep water potential.

“Oil and gas will continue to play a key role in meeting our primary energy needs and will do so for decades to come.

“Most of this demand will be met from oil and gas reservoirs currently not on stream yet, such as deep water Nigeria, and a whole spectrum of professionals – from lawyers to engineers, computer specialists to industry leaders – will be required to make the most of this potential.

“RGU has a great track record of delivering this for the North Sea and other similar basins around the world and we feel we have a key role to play in Nigeria as well.”

The university’s Oil and Gas Institute aims to become a world-class centre of excellence in oil and gas, building on the thinking, creativity, experience and facilities which have been built up through more than four decades of engagement with North Sea oil and gas.

It has received a £3.6 million (1.1 billion Naira) donation from The Wood Foundation, a philanthropic foundation set up by Sir Ian Wood and his immediate family, to support its aims, as well as a further £4.1 million (1.3 billion Naira) of funding from RGU.

“We want to ensure a strong dialogue with oil and gas stakeholders in Nigeria to ensure that we can respond to their particular needs,” Prof. de Leeuw said.

“Given its strong industry links, its location in Europe’s oil and gas capital and enviable graduate employment record, RGU is uniquely placed to do this and we look forward to continuing to develop our oil and gas offering as we move forward.”

Chris Maskell, Director of UK Trade & Investment in Nigeria, said: “UKTI enthusiastically supports RGU’s new Oil and Gas Institute and sees it as an important enabler to deepen the relationship between Nigeria and the UK.”

The Oil and Gas Institute is designed to provide a one-stop shop for industry and other stakeholders to access RGU’s oil and gas expertise, with four main areas of focus including drilling and wells excellence; operations excellence; decommissioning excellence; and business excellence.