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Texas Tech Petroleum Engineering Accepts Donation from Chevron

Half-million dollar gift enables teaching of modern drilling operations.

Written by Jeff Sammons

Texas Tech University officials announced a $500,000 gift from Chevron, through its University Partnership Program, that will name the Chevron Reservoir and Drilling Center in the new Petroleum Engineering Research Building.

“We are truly grateful for such outstanding support from the Chevron Corporation,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “The growth of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering is evident, and together with Chevron’s ongoing support, we will continue to expand our research endeavors and graduate the best engineers to meet the demands of the worldwide energy industry.”

The Chevron Reservoir and Drilling Center is a virtual laboratory with drilling simulation equipment, allowing faculty and students to teach and conduct research on drilling practices and well control. The center’s equipment can simultaneously replicate a variety of geologic formations and allow students and faculty to specify various well pressures and well depths. This laboratory’s visualization and virtualization potential, through the partnership between Chevron and Texas Tech, will help future petroleum engineers, graduate students and industry in managing successful and safe drilling projects.

Reservoir simulation models are used by oil and gas companies in the development of new fields to understand the nature of a reservoir and exploit resources effectively.  Models are often used in existing fields, where engineers use production forecasts to predict the best placement for wells or recovery methods, to help make investment decisions and retrieve more oil or gas. To aid in this process, the Chevron Reservoir and Drilling Center will also have 3-D capabilities, so that a student or researcher will be able to wear 3-D glasses and virtually “walk around” inside a simulated reservoir, adding significantly to the understanding of techniques and methods.

Bill Hunter, manager of Chevron’s University Affairs Program, said the company is proud to continue its long-standing partnership with Texas Tech by helping to establish the Chevron Reservoir and Drilling Center.

“We believe this lab will help provide state-of-the-art research and teaching capacity to benefit students preparing for careers in the oil and gas industry” he said. “Texas Tech students have a reputation for being incredibly creative and well-prepared to enter the workplace. Our partnership with the university is a key part of Chevron’s efforts to hire top-quality graduates to help us meet energy demands around the world.”

The new Petroleum Engineering Research Building will be a $22.8 million facility with approximately 42,000-square feet of modern classroom and research space. It also will feature a unique cluster of laboratories, including the Chevron Reservoir and Drilling Center. Through a tight integration of these laboratories, a systems approach will be taken in petroleum engineering education that covers the entire spectrum of exploration and production, including business profitability analysis. Key courses in the new facility will address responsible and efficient use of water, the region and the world’s most precious resource.

“What better to teach our students the complexities of modern day drilling operations than this Reservoir and Drilling Center provided by the generous support of Chevron,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. “This will allow our students the opportunity to get the feel and the look of a real-world production operation to compliment our hands-on approach to engineering production operations.”

Chevron (CVX) is one of the largest multinational energy corporations in the world. It is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., is active in more than 180 countries and employs over 62,000 people. The company was founded in 1984.

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CONTACT: Jeff Sammons, director of marketing, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3451, or jeff.sammons@ttu.edu.

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Marshall Watson

Marshall Watson is department chair in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering in the Whitacre College of Engineering.

View his profile in our online Expert Profile.