Oil Tech Program, GCCC
Steve Quakenbush email@example.com
5:11 PM (15 hours ago)
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GARDEN CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
NEWS RELEASE DATE: July 24, 2012 FOR USE: Now CONTACT: Steve Quakenbush, 620-276-9627
GCCC LAUNCHING NEW PROGRAM IN OIL TECHNOLOGY
Regents approve training for careers in exploration and production
Southwest Kansans interested in careers in the fast-growing U.S. energy field can count on Garden City Community College. GCCC has received approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to initiate a new Oil Technology Program.
The program is designed so that participants can take a set of core classes, and then focus on one of two options:
• Oil exploration
• Oil production
Those who enroll, according to the newly approved plan, can develop real-world job skills in the process of drilling and extraction of oil from underground reservoirs.
Students will be able to earn stackable credentials and can choose an exploration certificate, involving 22 college credit hours, or a production certificate, including 36 credit hours. Either can lead to an associate in applied science degree, based on completion of 67 credit hours.
“I have been convinced since I first arrived in Garden City that the region of Southwest Kansas offers some tremendous potential for growth and development, and this program will clearly support and underscore that potential by imparting the skills and knowledge necessary to capitalize on our natural resources,” said Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president.
“During the time it takes for climate-friendly alternative energy technologies to mature, our nation is going to remain very solidly dependent on fossil fuels,” Swender added. “We will be training the people it takes to make these fuel sources available, and also playing a very significant role in boosting the Kansas economy and strengthening America’s vital energy independence.”
TRADITIONAL & INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES
The GCCC Board of Trustees approved the program unanimously in May, after it received a green light from the GCCC Curriculum Committee. The proposal subsequently went through a multi-step review process at the state level, including input from the presidents of the 18 other Kansas community colleges, consideration by the KBOR Technical Education Authority’s Program-Curriculum Committee, and by the full Kansas Technical Education Authority and the KBOR Academic Affairs Standing Committee.
The curriculum will involve a series of classroom, lab and field courses covering safety, moving, set-up and operation of equipment used in mineral exploration.
The drilling component of the curriculum focuses on traditional drilling methods as well as directional drilling. In directional drilling, an innovative new process, students will get an overview of wellbores, and learn about two- and three-dimensional controls, drill string design, stuck pipe prevention and blowout prevention. Those who complete the program will be certified to work as geological technicians, petroleum technicians or roustabouts.
Students concentrating on the oil production segment will pursue a production certificate or the oil technician associate degree in applied science. Each will learn about well completion, well site maintenance, recovery and production methods, in addition to hydraulic, pneumatic and electronic core competencies.
The president noted that directional drilling offers particular potential because it allows oil recovery where conventional vertical access isn’t available; it makes it possible to place multiple wellheads in one location for greater efficiency, as well as reduced cost; and it increases the exposed section length through a reservoir, by drilling at an angle.
Among specific courses are Math for Technicians, Applied Communication, Physical Geology, Introduction to Mechanics, Basic Hydraulics and Pneumatics, Electro-Hydraulics, Electro-Pneumatics, Electricity I and II, Drilling, Recovery and Production Methods, and other courses covering topics ranging from production and well completion to compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements.
EMPLOYMENT POTENTIAL & INDUSTRY SUPPORT
Job growth in oil exploration and production is expected to increase significantly in Kansas in the years ahead, according to industry projections. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecast the creation of one million new jobs by 2020 in oil and gas construction and extraction.
Starting wages in field range from nearly $12 to more than $40 per hour, depending on qualifications, equating to potential annual earnings of greater than $80,000. Oil engineers with bachelor-level degrees command salaries as high as $97,000, according to the 2012 PayScale College Salary Report.
GCCC obtained the support of various industry partners in creating the program, including American Warrior, Chesapeake Energy, Cimarex Energy, Petro Santander, Inc., and others. Representatives will serve on a program advisory board, and the companies will be called on to offer apprenticeships, assist in program development, help in obtaining equipment and, in some cases, provide equipment or facilities for on-site training.
EXPERIENCE & INFORMATION
For those who enroll, primary outcomes include understanding geological processes in the accumulation of oil reserves; discovering the options and procedures for fossil fuel exploration, drilling, well completion, production, recovery and processing; and building a thorough command of industry terminology.
Since the program includes considerable hands-on experience, students will also learn how to operate basic electrical, hydraulic and fluid-dynamic equipment, as well as pumps, compressors, oil instrumentation equipment and oil processing equipment. In addition, participants will be expected to perform all industry work functions in compliance with safety protocols, and understand the economics of oil recovery and production.
The program should be in full operation by the spring semester, and students hoping to start right away will be able to take some of the core courses in the fall term, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 22.
Those interested in finding out more should contact the GCCC Technical Education Division at 620-276-9521 or 620-275-3259.
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