DALLAS–Raytheon Professional Services LLC (RPS), a subsidiary of Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN), and Petrofac Training Services have announced a first-of-its-kind offering under their jointly owned Hi-Con Training program. The new Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (THUET) course is being launched at OTC.
Approved byOPITO, an accreditation body for the oil and gas industry, this new training for high-consequence oil and gas exploration scenarios will be offered at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), and has been accepted by Shell UA and other Gulf of Mexico operators to satisfy their warm-water HUET requirement. It has also been reviewed and endorsed by the P&T Wells organization.
“With Tropical HUET, the Hi-Con Training program becomes one of the first in North America to offer this important safety course,” said Marc Pretorius, operations director at Petrofac Training Services Americas. “Tropical HUET represents our commitment to deliver the latest and most innovative training to a rapidly changing oil and gas industry.”
The THUET course ensures that workers traveling to and from offshore oil and gas installations and vessels by helicopter stay calm in an emergency. It also teaches delegates to escape a helicopter following an unexpected water landing by providing specific training in pre-flight and in-flight requirements.
“As part of our focus on service and excellence, Hi-Con Training is constantly reviewed, upgraded, and expanded, ensuring that it is current and of the highest quality,” said Tracy Cox, director of performance consulting at Raytheon Professional Services. “The OPITO-approved Tropical HUET is a safety and survival game changer and an important initiative for oil and gas workers in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Hi-Con Training’s THUET course is taught by training professionals at the NBL at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The 6.2 million-gallon, 40-ft-deep (12-m-deep) pool, once used exclusively to train astronauts, allows for an extremely realistic learning experience, and a Modular Egress Training Simulator allows participants to experience the feeling of escaping from a helicopter fully submerged in water.
The industry initiative to put additional focus on training led OPITO to update its THUET requirements, increasing the training from a four-hour course to an eight-hour course. Every four years, rig workers must recertify by completing an eight-hour repeat course.