Midland College Oil symposium helps students, local employees

Midland College Oil symposium helps students, local employees

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Midland College PPDC and the Society of Petroleum Engineers co-hosted a symposium about optimizing the unconventional on Thursday.

"An unconventional well is your horizontal wells," said Curtis Helms Jr., Director of the Petroleum Professional Development Center. "Unconventional is the technique of which we complete the wells, the horizontals. So it includes the drilling process, as well as the completion process, which is fracturing."

The symposium was geared for students and interns in the area, looking to get into the oil and gas industry.

"Just in general, the Permian Basin is a great place to be right now," said UTPB Graduate Student, Paritosh Bhatnagar. "Since I go to UTPB, it's a great place to study all the geology, all the engineering and geophysics aspects of that. It's a great way to meet new people, learn about the new technologies. That's what I'm here for, just to expand my knowledge in the industry."

Although Thursday's symposium was aimed at students, workers already in the industry were welcome to join in.

Like Flo Akintunji, who works for Unitex Oil & Gas.

Flo said Thursday's numbers show there are just under 400-active wells here in the Permian Basin, with about 80-percent of those wells drilled horizontally. But they have a problem.

"You put an artificial lift in there, maybe an ESP pump and you have a failure after three to four months," said Akintunji. "One of the big takeaways that I've got so far are there are ways to optimize these pumps. There's things you can do that can extend their life."

Flo said the symposium showed exactly why the oil and gas industry needs to keep having these types of conversations.

"What happens is you get used to doing things a certain way all the time," said  Akintunji. "I know the Permian Basin. There's a lot of flow of information but you do your own thing and you can get boxed in too. This is the way we've always done it and you can lose track of what's available technology wise."

You can find more information on the symposium here.

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