Craig Van Kirk

Craig Van Kirk



in our research portfolio, with additional preserved cores from CIMMM sponsors.

My students and I are also grateful for our collaborative educational program contributors Schlumberger, Itasca, Golder Associates and CMG for their Petrel, Techlog, FLAC3D, FracMan and IMEX software licenses to be used in my classes and research projects.

A few recent UNGI Alumni just after the commencement ceremony on May 10, 2014. From left to right- Abdelraof Almulhim, Talgat Kosset, Azra N. Tutuncu,

Maxwell Willis, Frank He Hwang and Chris McCullagh.

The undergraduate petroleum engineering programs in the US have significantly benefited from the daily exposure which Unconventional Resources have been receiving in the news. Petroleum engineering has the highest number of students of all undergraduate programs at Mines. The number of applicants to our graduate program has also experienced a significant increase, and our unconventional classes for Geomechanics and Shale Reservoir Engineering has attracted more than half of our graduate students every semester in the last three years. As part of these classes and UNGI and ARMA Lunch and Learn sessions, we had the opportunity to host many distinguished speakers. “Introduction to Petrel” by Tom Bratton is a great jump into practical applications in the fall semesters for “Reservoir Geomechanics” class. Other invited distinguished speakers from industry included Dr. Mike Lewan of USGS Denver, Mike Mullen and Dr. Tom Doe of Golder Associates, Dr. Lev Vernik of Marathon Oil, and Dr. David Yale of ExxonMobil. We have also received funding to help with the ARMA and UNGI student activities from Shell Oil Company, ExxonMobil and Chevron. Thanks to our speakers, UNGI consortia, and student organization sponsors for bringing the flavor of the industry to our classes.

In addition to our Mines Alumni, we now have a new group of alumni through our Department of State Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (UNGI-UGTEP) in which we are assisting the Department of State in helping countries to utilize their unconventional natural gas and oil resources and to identify and develop these resources safely. Last academic year, we had the opportunity to deliver two training sessions on the Mines campus (in January and July 2014,) Each workshop was 6 days with a 2-day international version in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dr. Ramona Graves and I taught a full Petroleum Engineering Unconventional curriculum condensed into 2-days in Hanoi. Although the unconventional accomplishments of the US may not be duplicated, these training sessions allow us to share the US experience and the fundamental understanding of the challenges involved in shale gas and oil developments. We contribute to achieving energy security with robust environmental commitment in partnering countries as well as the US economic and commercial interests. In addition, I participated and contributed in the UGTEP program as an invited technical keynote speaker at three of the UGTEP regulatory workshops. Last year, these workshops were organized between the US Department of State and Department of Interior and Chinese, Brazilian, and Botswana governments. They took place in Beijing-China, Rio de Janeiro-Brazil and Gaborone-Botswana respectively. During the Hanoi, Beijing, and Rio de Janeiro workshop, I had the opportunity to visit and give lectures at Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, the PetroChina RIPED center, China University of Petroleum, and the Petrobras and BG Group facilities. This gave me the opportunity to network, meeting other faculty and scientists in these organizations. On another occasion this past summer I was invited to speak at the World Bank Shale Gas Workshop in Latin America.

TOPCORP Module I and II attendees and several UNGI graduate students joined Dr. Eustes and Dr. Tutuncu at Noble Energy Niobrara fracturing operation at Wells

Ranch, Colorado in late August, 2013.