Visit a Petroleum Museum… They Tell Fascinating Stories!

Want to enhance your knowledge of the petroleum industry? How about a petroleum museum! At the museums, watch history come to life with interactive displays, informative guides, and live demonstrations. Some even have specific, focused, elementary, middle and high school educational tours. From Calgary to France to West Virginia, petroleum museums tell fascinating stories of oil discovery, production, to showcasing some of the modern uses of oil you might not know about.

For instance, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Energy exhibit, the Exploration gallery features the latest techniques used to search for hydrocarbons, from magnetometers and gravimeters to seismic vibrator trucks. In the Geology in the Field interactive, gaze across a barren, mountainous landscape, and watch as holographic illusions of two petroleum geologists materialize and explain what they are doing in the middle of nowhere. A massive Vibroseis truck interrupts them, sending its booming vibrations deep into the rock below.

At the Indonesian Oil and Gas Museum, the exhibits display how important the role of oil and gas is as the source of energy, for fuel, lubricants and petrochemical products. There’s even an oil tree that symbolically displays at its branches various products resulting from the refinery processes of oil and gas.

Check out our full petroleum museum listings HERE. Have plans to attend one on the list? Share your experience with us by Joining the conversation on Facebook— You can also connect with us on Twitter at!  

How Oil Drilling Works?

How does a company go about finding oil and pumping it from the ground? You may have seen images of black crude oil gushing out of the ground, or seen an oil well in movies and television shows like “Giant,” “Oklahoma Crude,” “Armageddon” and “Beverly Hillbillies.” But modern oil production is quite different from the way it’s portrayed in the movies.

Foreign guest workers drill at the Saudi Aramco oil-field complex facilities at Shaybah in the Rub’ al Khali (empty quarter) desert in March 2003 in Shaybah, Saudi Arabia. The Shaybah oil field reportedly produces 750,000 barrels per day. Courtesy: Reza/Getty Images

This article, from, examines how modern oil exploration and drilling works. It discusses how oil is formed, found and extracted from the ground.

Give it a read and let us know what you think!

Join the conversation and discuss with us on Facebook— You can also connect with us on Twitter at

Summer Energy Adventures, Anyone?

How’s your summer? Taking any time to partake in energy education? Not only can cool energy sites like an offshore oil rig or a hydropower plant be fun, they can also be stimulating and enlightening!

This recent quest from the “Energy Ant,” who takes adventures combing for interesting energy-related sites of interest to students and teachers, gives insight into how learning is fun, relatable and interesting.  Here’s his journey to the Anadarko Drilling Rig to learn how a drilling rig works. Give it a read!


We visited Kerr McGee’s oil-and-gas drilling rig (recently sold to Anadarko Petroleum)! Thanks to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, we were able to see how a drilling rig works. The rig is powered by a huge diesel engine. Next to the rig, there is a little white building, called a doghouse, from where the drilling is monitored (and where rig workers take breaks!).

New technology is used in the oil industry all the time. One way drilling has become more efficient is through the use of directional drilling. At this site, this method was used to reach an oil reserve under a small wetland — instead of having to place the rig directly above the oil. And in the wetland, drillers were able to come in from the side without disturbing the wetland.

The stuff that comes up from the ground during drilling isn’t just oil, though. It is actually a mixture of oil, gas, and water. The mixture is sorted out by a three-phase separator, which has a computer run by a photovoltaic (solar) cell. After the oil is separated from the water and gas, the oil moves by pipeline to a refinery where it will be turned into products like gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oil.

**Courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration,

 What do you have planned this summer? Join the conversation and discuss with us on Facebook— You can also connect with us on Twitter at

First Annual “New Faces of Engineering College Edition” Winners!

The National Engineers Week Foundation and partners honor top college engineering students by recognizing the most promising engineering professionals of tomorrow with their first annual New Faces of Engineering College Edition program.

Fifteen engineering students in their third, fourth, or fifth year were selected. Winners are recognized for academic excellence, leadership within student organizations, outstanding communication skills, non-engineering related community service and involvement in the engineering industry.

Moustafa Ezzat, a 5th year student from the British University in Egypt and student member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), was among the winners.

Since 2003, National Engineers Week Foundation has honored young engineering professionals with its New Faces of Engineering award.  This is the first year the popular initiative has expanded to recognize the best and brightest college engineering students.

Congratulations Moustafa Ezzat!

New Faces of Engineering College Edition is live on Facebook (  The page provides a source of academic and professional development opportunities available to students from National Engineers Week Foundation’s engineering association, university, and corporate partners.  Students can meet with their engineering peers in every field and learn about other events, internships, jobs, competitions, engineering associations and more.

Funding for New Faces of Engineering College Edition is provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). For more information, visit

Learn more about engineering careers.

SPE Dallas Section Hosts Science Teacher Barnett Shale Field Trip!

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Dallas section took local science teachers on a Barnett Shale field trip Thursday, November 18, 2011.

The tour started off at the Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute (EMGI) where Dallas section members Toni Lott, Brad Robinson, Deborah Hempel-Medina, Brian Chacka, and Patrick Crawford made a presentation covering the history of Oil and Natural Gas, Geology and the History of Barnett Shale, Drilling a well, and Hydraulic Fracturing. Teachers were engaged in the presentations and asked the presenters a lot of questions to get a better understanding of the industry and how they could relay the information to their students in the classroom.

After the overview, everyone was styling in their safety gear as they prepared to go out into the field. Each participant wore steeled toed boots, fire retardant overalls, safety glasses, ear plugs, and hard hats. The teachers were able to visit three sites where they learned firsthand about safety, advance technologies, and rules and regulations all involved in operating each site. The sites teachers visited are listed as follows.

  • Williams Company Drilling Site
  • Devon Energy Hydraulic Fracturing Site
  • Chesapeake Learning Center

After a full day of touring, teachers headed back to the Dallas Convention Center full of knowledge about the industry, their hard hat as a souvenir, and information to take back to their classrooms that included an “Oil and Natural Gas” book.

This workshop was made possible by the Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute, Society of Petroleum Engineers-Dallas Section, Halliburton Energy Services, Williams Company, Devon Energy Company, Baker-Hughes Oilfield Services and Chesapeake Energy.

Energy4me and the Society of Petroleum Engineers want to thank everyone involved.

Learn more about careers in the industry.

The Ambassadors for Pakistan have done it again!

For the second year in a row, the “Ambassadors for Pakistan” have made several visits in their community presenting energy awareness and making an impact! The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) NED University Student Chapter in Karachi, Pakistan, conducted five Energy4me presentations this year in secondary schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan.

The student-run program promotes SPE and educates the surrounding schools about the oil and gas industry and the challenges facing it today.

The schools they visited

  1. Abdullah Government College
  2. The Fahim’s A-Levels School System
  3. CharterHouse Public School
  4. A.M.S.B Al-Madrast-us-Saifyat-ul-Burhaniya
  5. Jinnah University For Women

Energy4me and SPE would like to express our thanks to the commitment and continued efforts of this student chapter!

Ambassadors for Pakistan Team (2009-present)

  • Hernan Buijs- SPE Student Development Committee Officer (mentor, motivator, and visit sponsor)
  • M Turab Mehdi – Ambassadors for Pakistan – Team Executive Head & Planner
  • Tabinda Saeed – HR Manager
  • Syeda Hasan- Team Manager

New presenters added this year.

  • Sidra Chughtai – Presenter
  • Omer Ashan – Presenter
  • Shahzeb Barber – Presenter
  • Eijaz Danish – Presenter
  • Mufaddal Murtaza – Presenter

Energy4me encourages young industry leaders to get involved in their community by giving classroom presentations or holding educational outreach programs like the SPE NED student chapter. These presentations make a huge impact and inspire future generations!

Share with us your contributions and outreach efforts in your community that you are already making with Energy4me and email us at or read more on how you can get involved in your community!

Again, thank you to the SPE NED University Student Chapter on your continued education outreach efforts in Pakistan!

North-east schools get educated at All-Energy 2011

All-Energy hosted an Education Day at its 2011 conference Thursday 19th May to help educate local schools about a range of renewable topics.

Organised by Aberdeen Council, Aberdeenshire Council, the Energy Institute and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen, the event is aimed at teachers and careers advisors to help raise awareness of the Renewable sector.

The event also hosted the final of the ‘Electrocity Challenge’ where five teams of four children from Meldrum Academy, Peterhead Academy, Mackie Academy, Turriff Academy and Mintlaw Academy went head to head in an “ElectroCity” Competition.   ElectroCity is an online game that has been developed specifically for teachers and students between years 7 and 9. Students build and manage their own virtual towns and cities, making important decisions and learning about energy generation and environmental management. Representatives from a range of businesses led round tables to provide valuable industry information to subject-specialist teachers and career guidance experts.

Colin Black, SPE CG Chairman, Aberdeen Section, said:  “This event focuses on sharing information with teachers and pupils so they are better informed about the ‘whole energy’ sector and careers within it.  This includes the ‘energy mix’ of hydrocarbons and renewable as well as the vital role the oil and gas sector plays now and in the future.

This is a global energy industry with many opportunities for young people – SPE Aberdeen aims to continue to provide background information, facts, guidance on career paths and information on how to enter the industry.  This event is a positive step towards this.” 

SPE Aberdeen, along with other hosts, provided tour guides for teachers and pupils to meet many of the businesses exhibiting at the show. 

SPE collaboration with Schools is part of the global SPE initiative  and SPE volunteers will be working closely with Schools during various events throughout this next term and anyone wishing to lend support should contact the Aberdeen Section, Career Guidance Committee at

SPE Delta Section Visits Fontainbleau High School

Guest Author – Courtney Sample, SPE Delta Section

On March 25th, four SPE young professional members and five LSU students visited Fontainbleau High School in Mandeville to discuss the oil and gas industry to four 10th/11th grade classes in AP Chemistry and Physics. Each class session began with introductions and either an explanation of job titles or class levels at LSU. The Fontainbleau students received advice about working in the petroleum industry and preparation for college.

After introductions, the presenters showed a few power point slides from the Energy4Me prepared presentation. During the presentation the students had numerous questions about the industry and college life. One major topic of discussion was degree selection and college advice. Sofia Miranda, a freshman at LSU talked about the importance of time management in college versus high school and how important studying is in college. Wendy Redpath, a junior at LSU talked about her personal experience of switching from Civil to Petroleum Engineering and the course overlap between the two disciplines. Courtney Sample, a reservoir engineer for Chevron discussed the importance of internships for students to confirm their college major choice.  Elizabeth Mann, a facilities engineer for Shell talked about recruiting and what companies are looking for in students. Everyone was very engaged during the discussions and eager to ask questions about engineering.

Another major topic of discussion was the many opportunities in the oil and gas industry. Dakoriye Charles, a freshman at LSU discussed his traveling experiences because of the petroleum industry. Jack Carona, a petroleum engineer for Griffin and Griffin talked about how his non routine job changes daily.  Richard Zaunbrecher, a deepwater exploration team lead with Shell also talked about his experience as a supervisor in the petroleum industry. Partnering with LSU made this event a great success! The college and workforce perspectives helped the students understand what it means to be a petroleum engineer. Other participants included Teddy Yao a freshman at LSU and James Stiernberg a graduate student from LSU.

Learn more about becoming a petroleum engineer.

Santa Maria students place in the Santa Barbara County Science Fair!

Guest Authors – By Gayle Pratt and Kevin Yung, Santa Maria Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

Since 2009, The Central Coast Education Collaborative – a project of the Santa Maria Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Oil & Gas Industry – has partnered with local high schools to provide 4-8 students with a five-week summer engineering internship. The purpose of the internship is to engage and provide students with a contextual view of how engineering is used to develop innovative solutions for “real world” problems.  SPE members of the Santa Maria Section and professionals within the Oil & Gas Industry mentor the students on a daily basis throughout the duration of the project.

In 2010, the engineering experience was shared with the students by having them design, build and test an ocean wave energy extraction device.  Secondarily, the students were asked to consider the potential environmental impact of placing the device into service.  Field testing was conducted at the Venoco Pier in Carpinteria, California used to support their offshore platforms.  Guest speakers provided the students with context for the project including:  “Alphabet Soup – The Regulatory Agencies, Codes and Permitting”.  The students were also challenged to research the field of wave energy and the market viability of their device using The Marine & Hydrokinetic Technology Database housed on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.  The final stage of the internship required the students to prepare a presentation summarizing their project.  The students made the presentation at a number of venues – including SPE Santa Maria functions, school board meetings, energy-related conferences and established academic competitions.

The work of the students and support of the members of the Santa Maria Section of Society of Petroleum Engineers was well documented in 3 newspaper articles – most recently a 3rd place victory and a purse of $250.00 at the Santa Barbara County Science Fair.

Plans are already underway for the 2011 internship which includes expansion of students, mentors and projects as well as the opportunity for one team to secure college scholarships.

Learn more about this project or a career in engineering!

SPE Delta Section Visits Thomas Jefferson High School

Guest Author – Courtney Sample, SPE Delta Section

On February 11th, three SPE members visited Thomas Jefferson High School to discuss oil and gas to two 12th grade classes, AP Environmental Science and AP Chemistry. We began by introducing ourselves explaining our individual paths leading to a career in the Petroleum Industry. Pete Lensing, who works for BOPCO, as a production engineer emphasized the benefits of working in the field as an intern and as a new hire.

Next, we presented a few power point slides from the energy4me prepared presentation. Before the presentation students were connvinced renewables would be the only source of energy in 2030. After an explanation and the World Energy Demand slide, they realized oil and coal would still be a vital source of energy in the future. Courtney Sample, a reservoir engineer for Chevron explained how Chevron and other petroleum companies have devoted whole Buisness Units to renewable energy and energy efficiency. At Chevron it is called Chevron Technology Ventures.

Sean OBoyle, a consultant for ExPert E&P talked about the opportunities in the petroleum field. He informed students about the different options for a Petroleum Engineer. He explained how he has had the opportunity to travel around the world and also live in the state of Louisiana.

The students had lots of questions about the industry and about education. One really good question was about school and life balance. We encouraged the students to pursue petroleum engineering so that the energy industry has more creative minds in the future to find innovative cost effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Learn more about a career in petroleum engineering or energy sources