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OPITO-Approved Survival Training at NASA's Johnson Space Center Helps Raise the Bar on Offshore Safety in Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON, TX, Apr 19, 2012 -- The Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) International announced today that the Hi-Con Training Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center has been approved to deliver a suite of survival training courses to the OPITO standard. OPITO is wholly owned by the oil and gas industry and is responsible for ensuring that the industry has a safe, skilled and competent workforce.

The Hi-Con Training Program is the result of a partnership between global training providers Petrofac Training Services, a member of the Petrofac group, and Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC (RTSC), a subsidiary of Raytheon Company. Together, the partners are delivering high consequence (Hi-Con) training to oil and gas and other industries at NASA's state-of-the-art training facility.

"Houston is the energy capital of the world, however the use of a structured standards-based framework for training, stretching from basic offshore safety through a range of specialist response roles, has not been applied in the way it has in most other exploration and production areas of the world," said Albert Skiba, OPITO International's vice president for the Gulf of Mexico.

"Today's announcement marks a significant step forward in the creation of a common global standard in offshore safety and marks a step-change in the availability of internationally-recognized, world-class safety training for workers in the Gulf of Mexico," Skiba added.

OPITO approval ensures that workers undergoing helicopter escape training, basic offshore safety induction and emergency training (BOSIET) at NASA's facility are trained to the same high quality standard as workers in other major oil and gas hubs around the world.

"With more than 55,000 people employed in upstream activities throughout the Gulf Coast region, demand for quality survival training has significantly outpaced supply," said Tony Littler, Americas regional director for Petrofac Training Services. "By achieving OPITO approval at NASA's facility, Petrofac and Raytheon will help meet the growing industry demand for internationally recognized survival training."

Unlike other survival centers, NASA's facility includes a 40-foot-deep, 202-foot-long training pool which provides offshore workers with one of the most realistic environments in the world to learn critical aspects of water survival. Designed to support spacewalk planning and training, a designated area of the pool is now used to support Hi-Con survival training.

"Hi-Con Training at NASA was already a program apart from any other in the world due to the uniqueness of the facility and the advanced approach to training offered by Raytheon and Petrofac," said David Appel, director of Raytheon's Surveillance, Range, and Infrastructure Solutions (SRIS) product line. "With OPITO approval, our customers are further assured of access to the highest quality training." 

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