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Western Texas College now able to provide well control training, thanks to a $500,000 grant

Currently, the closest sites to Snyder for well control training in the state are in Odessa and San Antonio.

SNYDER, Texas — Western Texas College announced Thursday it has received a $500,000 grant that enabled the construction of a well control training lab.

According to a release from the college, the new lab benefits petroleum technology students, petroleum industry clients and well servicing employees in drilling, workover, intervention and operational procedures.

“The College obtained the grant through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board thanks to a partnership with North Central Texas College in Gainesville, Texas,” Dr. Barb Beebe, college president, said in the release.

The Texas Reskilling and Upskilling for Education (TRUE) grant delivered $500,000 to the college for the purchase of cutting-edge simulators and teaching tools from drilling systems, the world’s leading provider of advanced drilling simulation technology.

“We’re excited to be able to offer in-demand well control training in Snyder that enhances the education of our Petroleum Technology students and provides continuing education opportunities for our oil and gas industry employees,” Beebe added.

Currently, the closest sites to Snyder for well control training in Texas are Odessa and San Antonio.

“We are delighted to be working closely with Western Texas College on its new state-of-the-art simulator training facility, Euan Kennedy, director of Americas at Drilling Systems, said in the release. “In high-risk sectors like oil and gas, the consequences of human error or equipment malfunction can be catastrophic, and simulators help prepare workers for the field like nothing else.”

Drilling Systems equipped the IADC Wellsharp™ training center with state-of-the-art technology in well control education at WTC’s Opportunity Center. Students utilize the interactive virtual environment onsite during in-person classes taught by IADC-certified instructors.

“Well control training and the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) certificate allow WTC Petroleum Technology students and industry employees to show that they have learned the latest in safety and efficiency for the oil and gas industry,” Margo Mitchell, WTC’s Director of Workforce Development, said in the release. “We’re using world-class educational tools and advanced curricula.”

Students who take the course will be able to demonstrate drilling and well-control principles in real-time and improve their overall competence in safe rig operations. Upon successful completion of the course, students will obtain an IADC WellSharp™ certificate. The certificate requires 40 hours of training.

“Our simulators allow students to experience all the movement, sounds, and operations of a real rig so that they can practice everyday operations and specific emergency scenarios in a risk-free setting," Kennedy added. “This means that when working in the field, they are confident and comfortable with whatever task they face.”

For more information, contact Mitchell at College on the Square at 325-574-6581 or email cos@wtc.edu. More information is also available at wtc.edu/wellcontrol.

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