University of North Dakota’s drilling and completions lab provides unique insight for students
Monday, February 7, 2022

The University of North Dakota’s petroleum engineering program is home to one of the world’s largest full-scale oil drilling and completions labs which is helping to prepare students for the real world.

Soon, this triplex mud pump will be running at UND’s drilling and completions lab. In the meantime, students have worked to assemble this and other pieces of machinery to create a full-fledged test facility.

This setup in Grand Forks will be able to test drill bits and mimic drilling at 16,000 feet deep. This training facility is what has attracted students from all around the world.

Since last summer, more than 50 students looking to further their degrees in petroleum engineering are getting their hands dirty to learn the inner workings of the machines they’ll be a part of in the future.

“I’ve been working my heart out here. When I see it and get to know how they run, it literally changed my entire understanding from what I got out of the books,” said Vasanth Gokapai, a petroleum engineering student.

It’s an experience like no other.

“To actually get their hands on it I think brings it to the real world. When you study books and you study numbers that’s good in theory and everything but when you actually get out here and do it, it changes your perspective a little bit,” said Harry Feilen, drilling and completion labs director.

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