The original report was published in The Financial Times Deutschland on Thursday, July 5, 2012
In a sector where technology develops very rapidly, it is crucial to keep staff updated. Sonatrach's solution lies in a policy of continuing education and specialist training
Sonatrach relies on its proprietary training centers to fulfill its employees’ needs for knowledge, know-how, enterprise, culture and vision, according to Abdelkader Benchouia, Vice-President of Downstream Operations.
“A budget of 7 billion dinars ($89.4 million) has been allocated to upgrade our system of education to international standards,” he says. “An ambitious program has been ad-opted, which aims to develop specialization in finance,
management and engineering, in order to attract bril-liant university students and to raise the education standard of our employees. Another goal is to teach and promote the culture of health and safety in the group.”
Sonatrach has three training tools at its disposal: the Algerian Petroleum Institute (IAP), the State Holding Council (CPE), and Naftogaz Petroleum Institute. “IAP has entered into a co-operation agreement with the IFP (French Petroleum Institute), which has provided teaching staff and materials, so the standard of education is excellent. I studied there until 1977,” says Vice-President of Pipe Transport Allaoua Saidani, providing an example as to how Algerian companies acquire high levels of capability and experience.
The effort to educate and train is ongoing, not just at Sonatrach, but on a national basis, as Youcef Yousfi, Minister of Energy explains: “We have recently created the Algerian Institute of Mines in order to train the technicians and engineers needed to exploit our huge mining potential, which is currently totally under-exploited.”
In addition to providing employment and quality training, Sonatrach acts as a responsible corporate citizen, helping needy people and promoting scientific, cultural and sporting activities. The group also contributes to preserving nature and safeguarding tangible and intangible elements of the country’s cultural and historical heritage.
Following various sustainable development principles, Sonatrach reconciles economic growth with its commitment to the safety of people and property. It is also committed to reducing the impact of its activities on the health of employees and neighboring populations and facilities. Since 2001, it has had its own central office dealing with health and safety concerns.
Several actions have been taken to reduce or eliminate the impact of the oil and gas industries’ activities on the environment, particularly in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Significant investments have been made to reduce gas flaring: although the volume of flared gas has quadrupled in 30 years, the ratio of associated flared gas to produced gas has been reduced from 80% in 1970 to 7% in 2007, and Sonatrach is aiming to further reduce both gas flaring and CO2 emissions.
A UNITED WORLD SUPPLEMENT PRODUCED BY:
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Paloma Garralda (Project Director);
Alain Caignard, Jose Ignacio Alegre and
Brianne Bystedt (Project Co-ordinators)