Dr. Fleckenstein

Dr. Fleckenstein



of fracture


and aquifer


in Colorado.

Last year, two

papers for the

SPE and a

poster at the

AGU meeting

were presented. And this year, two more papers will be presented at ATCE. We have also been active in the geothermal drilling and completions area with two joint projects with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. One was with Dr. Tutuncu on horizontal geothermal completions and the other on NPT and ROP analysis of four recently drilled geothermal wells. We had two papers at the Stanford Geothermal Workshop and two at the Geothermal Resources Council meeting. Finally, since 2000, I have been working with the ice coring and drilling community in various ways. Currently, I am the industrial liaison for the Ice Drilling Program Office.

and developing methods that give us insight into operations. (See the Externship article for more information). Next year is the sexennial ABET review, so we might be calling on you to help us out.

On a personal note, the family is doing well. Susan is working for a new company, IHS Markit. Actually, it is the same as before; however, IHS combined with Markit in July, making it a “new” company. Our daughter continues working on her doctorate in microbiology in Utah and our son is taking a gap year from college, working as a credit union teller and steak salesman. I have a new found respect for those who work in the service industry. We need to treat them well.

I will be turning 60 this year (gasp! He looks so young!). Sometime in the next decade, I will most likely step back and retire. When I do, I would like to teach short courses around the world. It is a great way to catch up with you and to keep myself up to date on the vast activities of this industry. I hope to see you at ATCE in Dubai. If not there, maybe in next year’s field session or wherever our paths cross. Stay safe.

I am still involved with service activities such as the Drilling Systems Automation Technology Section of the SPE, faculty advisor of the CSM American Association of Drilling Engineers, and various departmental and school committees. Also, Dr. Battalora and I are crafting a new Data Analytics minor program for the department and school. Given the vast amount of sensor information and data coming from drilling, completion, and production operations, it behooves us to educate our students and ourselves in this useful endeavor. In fact, as a start, we have a Drilling and Production Data Analytics Externship program this summer. We are taking data from various sources (oil and gas, geothermal, and ice)

Susan and I at an iconic location in London.


Will in the snow.

Lower oil prices are having a profound impact throughout our industry, and education is no exception. Several initiatives I have been pursuing since I was the Interim Petroleum Engineering Department Head have been put on ice until oil prices pick up. We were assisting Kuwait with the design of a world class research center, and that has been put on hold until oil prices improve. We

are hosting several Kuwaiti students here that are advancing their education, and hope to continue to assist regardless of oil prices. Education and the advancement of technology is needed at all times, regardless of other conditions.

Dr. Eustes and I have mostly completed our work on a multi- year NSF study of the sustainability of natural gas development, and have found important relationships between wellbore construction and hydrocarbon migration. We presented these results in a variety of venues and publications as diverse as the AGU meeting in San Francisco and the KOGS SPE Conference in Kuwait City. We are happy to report that the contamination of aquifers portrayed in “Gasland” is vastly overstated, and we will continue to get the word out. These results are also important for greenhouse gas emissions; if methane is not migrating to