With Kenya becoming a centre of interest with the recent oil strikes, there is growing need for specialised studies on oil exploration.
Tullow Kenya has unveiled a new scholarship scheme for Kenyans to pursue postgraduate studies in fields related to the upstream oil industry in UK universities.
The oil explorer that earlier this year announced the country’s first major oil find, has already identified the first batch of 10 students from the East African nation who will be leaving for the UK to pursue Masters’ degree studies.
“As we embark on the exploration journey in Kenya, we collectively need to build local capacity early to be able to support a promising oil and gas industry. National capacity means human resources, and growing Kenyan business to support the industry,” Martin Mbogo, the country manager for Tullow Kenya said.
This is part of the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme (TGSS) run by Tullow Oil, an oil and gas exploration and production group that is listed on the London, Ghana and Irish Stock Exchanges.
In March 2012, Tullow Kenya, a subsidiary of Tullow Oil, announced the first major oil discovery in Kenya at Ngamia -1 well located in Block 10BB in Turkana County.
The 10 Kenyan beneficiaries were drawn from both the public and private sector and will be studying a range of subjects from Exploration Geophysics and Petroleum Engineering to Oil and Gas Law and Environmental Science at top universities such as Robert Gordon University, Coventry University, Imperial College and the University of Manchester.
They are among 93 scholars from across Africa beginning their post-graduate courses, technical training and vocational studies this September in British and French universities under the scheme.
They are drawn from countries where Tullow operates and include Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and Ethiopia.
The Kenyan scholarship beneficiaries, who leave the country in September and October to pursue Masters, were unveiled at a Nairobi hotel at the weekend.
“Upon successful completion of their courses, we look forward to the pioneer 10 beneficiaries making an impact in the global oil and gas industry and in the Kenyan economy,” Mr Mbogo added.
In a statement, Tullow Kenya said that TGSS forms a key part of Tullow’s overall approach to education and capacity building, and will support postgraduate degree, technical training and vocational studies. The scholarships aim to support Kenyan nationals to participate in the oil and gas industry, and in other sectors that promote economic diversification, with the aim of addressing both existing industry skills gaps and national capacity development requirements.
The scholarship scheme, which is administered by the British Council, attracted nearly 700 online applications from Kenya. After a rigorous selection process, which included personality assessments and International English Language Tests (IELTS), the 10 emerged successful.