Petroleum Students Tour Oil Field

ARTESIA, N.M. March 26, 2010 – Thirty New Mexico Tech petroleum engineering students toured an oil field in mid-March, many of them for the first time.

  Thirty petroleum engineering students toured an oil field operated by Yates Petroleum near Artesia, N.M., in early March. Photo courtesy of Mike Kelly

Professor Dr. Mike Kelly helped organize the tour of Yates Petroleum facilities in and around Artesia, N.M., along with engineers from the company.

“Students get to see the actual equipment in operation,” Kelly said. “They see the sort of facility they’ll be supervising after they graduate.”

Senior petroleum engineering student Jesus Barraza said the annual tours help students merge theory and practice.

“This is very helpful for freshmen and sophomores and new grad students,” Barraza said. “Our instructors teach us about the components, but now they can see it and relate to it. They get a better understanding about what they’re learning in class.”

The Yates Petroleum engineers explained the workings of oil rigs, wells and pipelines, then entertained questions from students.

Barraza graduated from Hagerman High School, which is just north of Artesia. He is the president of the student chapters of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Association of Drilling Engineers. After graduating he hopes to return to southeast New Mexico to work in the petroleum industry.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech