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CSR: SPDC sponsors 6th national science fair

ByYemie Adeoye
IN furtherance of its Corporate Social Responsibility THE Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria has co_sponsored the 6h National Science Fair in Port Harcourt.

This according to the company was to contribute its quota to the development of science education in the country.
This is coming just as Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), another Shell company has reinstated its committed to the continuous application of technology in the deepwater frontier.

The oil giant made this known in a statement issued in Lagos and made available to Vanguard.

It reads in part that some 36 secondary schools from across Nigeria participated in the two_day event, which also featured a science quiz.

Winners from the fair will go on to represent Nigeria at the 2010 International Science Fair scheduled to hold in May in California, United States. SPDC collaborated with INTEL Corporation, an educational non_governmental body Initiative For Science Education Development, CINFORES, and the Rivers State Ministry of Education in holding the fair at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu — Port Harcourt.

The Rivers State Commissioner of Education Dame Alice Nemi and her Bayelsa State counterpart lauded the aims of the fair, which they said would go a long way in promoting science education at the secondary schools level in Nigeria.

SPDC’s General Manager Social Performance and Community Affairs Tony Attah said: “Shell is committed to the development of Nigeria, and a good way to secure the future of the country is to encourage our children to learn the principles and theories of science. This has been our position in our over 50 years of mutually beneficial relationship with Nigeria.”

The science quiz and exhibition were keenly contested by the over 86 students who were assessed by judges drawn from the academia as well as the private and public sectors.

About 21 science projects were exhibited, ranging from production of biodiesel from jetropher plant, and anti_skin infection cream from local materials to design and construction of cassava processing machine. Community Secondary School, Aka Offot emerged best exhibitor followed by College of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Ekiti and St. Joseph’s College, Ondo.

International Secondary School, Port Harcourt emerged winner of the quiz competition followed by Greater Tomorrow College, Ondo, Government Science College, Eket and Homat Private Schools, Ikorodu.

Three students from the best exhibitor school and one from first place winner of the quiz contest will join over 1,500 young scientists from more than 50 countries to compete for scholarships and prizes at the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Meanwhile, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), the company which made Nigeria’s first deepwater oil discovery at Bonga, has also said that it is committed to the continuous application of technology in the deepwater frontier.

This includes more rig_less intervention on existing Bonga subsea wells, use of subsea mult-phase flow meters in both Bonga North_West and Bonga North as well as smart wells in Bonga North.

The Managing Director of SNEPCo, Chike Onyejekwe said the use of technology would ensure cost efficient and environmentally_friendly operations, and the company “would help to encourage the transfer of deepwater technology to Nigeria by recruiting Nigerians and developing local capability in subsea and deepwater engineering.”

He was speaking at the end of a pioneering course on Subsea Awareness organised by the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) in Lagos. The Shell Group had developed the Subsea Awareness Course and handed it over to SUT to deliver to the oil and gas industry at large. The session in Lagos is the first to be organised by SUT in Sub_Saharan Africa.

Mr. Onyejekwe said: “The training is crucial to some of our major deepwater projects and the new technology being applied. SNEPCo will be looking to SUT to help close the knowledge gap as some of our ongoing deepwater projects rely on new technology.”

The Chairman of SUT for Sub_Sahran Africa, Ross Agazuma said: “This course officially launches our programme in Sub_Saharan Africa.

The next step is to increase the membership base and expand to other African nations. We are happy at the role SNEPCo has played in the arrival of SUT in Sub_Saharan Africa through the Nigerian operations.

SNEPCo was the first corporate member to join and their staff have been part of the teaching faculty as well as course participants.

“SUT Sub_Saharan Africa is in talks with Covenant University about setting up an Offshore and Ocean Technology Institute that will run Master’s degree programmes in renewable and non_renewable energy.”

The Subsea Awareness course is targeted at new entrants to the offshore industry, top_level managers, and transferees from other disciplines and experienced engineers who require a refresher course and exposure to latest technology.

The Society for Underwater Technology is a multi-disciplinary, non_profit body that brings together individuals and organisations interested in exchanging knowledge and information in underwater technology, subsea and offshore engineering.


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