and individuals that made presentations, or helped with our field sessions, described in detail inside. A special thanks to Schlumberger and Halliburton in particular for their engagement with our department at the highest corporate levels and their investments in our mission.
We have one new faculty that has joined us. We are lucky to have landed Dr. Hazim Abass as the new FAST Consortium director and senior faculty member due to his recognized leadership in both research and applied stimulation expertise. Dr. Abass has worked for the Halliburton Research Center as a team leader in their stimulation department and supervised their rock mechanics lab. He then worked in Venezuela for Halliburton, primarily in soft rock completions. Since 2001, Dr. Abass has worked at the Advanced Research Center in Saudi Aramco, leading the Unconventional Resources Team, after leading a team to develop a roadmap for tight gas and shale development in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Abass will teach stimulation classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and will lead the FAST consortium.
and staff for the success of our summer programs. Nearly 220 students were divided into 4 PEGN 316 field sessions that went to West Texas, California, the Gulf Coast of Texas and Wyoming. The field sessions have continued to be a high light of our program, but truly are an all hands on deck departmental effort. On behalf of the department, many thanks to all who assisted us in making the field sessions such a critical portion of our curriculum.
The Petroleum Department has continued its international outreach from Vietnam to Norway, to our project to assist in an effort to design a new research facility in Kuwait. I have flown to Kuwait now three times in support of this project and I am struck each time by the possibilities for both CSM and Kuwait. The ability to do research that can be pilot tested in some of the world’s largest and most challenging reservoirs, which then may lead to technologies with universal applications has great opportunities for all. Further discussions and agreements between CSM and the Kuwait Oil Company are exploring a much closer collaboration using the strengths of both organizations for their mutual benefit.
We lost a valuable member of our faculty this year. Dr. Todd Hoffman left us to return to his Montana roots, and joined the faculty at Montana Tech. We appreciated his service in PE as the Interim Director of FAST, and the enthusiasm he brought to the faculty and students. He was instrumental in changing our curriculum order to better address the changing needs of the industry and our students. We wish Todd and his family well at his new opportunity.
The students and faculty have continued to accomplish great things – starting with the SPE-ATCE in New Orleans. The students won the Petro-Bowl for the second year in a row, and Dr. Erdal Ozkan, not to let the students get all the accolades, was awarded the prestigious Lester C. Uren Award. I will let you read about the student groups elsewhere in this newsletter. I want recognize the team effort for our faculty
I have continued to participate in a variety of symposiums and meetings to educate the public on the facts associated with shale development. Supporting this is our continued work on an NSF sponsored project to quantify the risks to the environment from drilling and completion techniques. I have also worked with Dr. Bill Eustes to explore the use of shale development techniques for geothermal energy production. We are proposing to use parallel horizontal wells that are connected by long, induced fracture systems between them to form an Enhanced Geothermal System, with cold water pumped down one horizontal well, through the induced fractures (think fracking again) to harvest the heat, and back up one or more offset horizontal wells to power a conventional electrical generation station. All that is needed is enough rate and heat, for an extended period, to make this a viable energy source. I have also continued to work on patents associated with my research and the commercialization opportunities with those patents.
Mines’ PE Department continues to grow and evolve as the environment around us. I again wish to thank all of those who have assisted the department or myself during my brief stay, with special thanks for Denise Winn-Bower and Terri Snyder for their help. The PE Department has great strength, driven by those that have passed through our program. I thank everyone for their continued help to ensure that the next PE graduates had as good of an education as those reading this newsletter. I hope everyone has had another wonderful year and look forward to seeing many of you at the SPE ATCE in Amsterdam this fall.