The University of Texas at Austin, along with its partners in TOPCORP, The Pennsylvania State University and Colorado School of Mines, has been chosen to provide oil and gas inspector training for the state of California. The training will take place in the Bakersfield area during the months of February, April and June and will be made available to 60 oil and gas inspectors from the California Conservation Commission, Division of Oil and Gas. The contract is valued at around $400,000.
The program includes 20 hours of innovative online training, complemented by hands-on classroom and field experiences, and was specifically created for oil and gas inspectors by the TOPCORP faculty. This blended educational program was designed in direct response to over 400 U.S. oil and gas inspectors who completed a TOPCORP survey. Since August of 2013, TOPCORP has provided training for regulators from over 30 different U.S. states, Canadian provinces and U.S. federal agencies.
More than 80 participants have completed one or more of the four courses. The courses cover petroleum geology & engineering concepts, petroleum technology, environmental management technology and communication and hot topics, with the goal of providing each participant a well-rounded understanding of various aspects of oil and gas operations, techniques and technology.
“Societal license to operate is a huge issue related to energy sustainability, and effective regulation is a key part of making the public comfortable with oil and gas operations,” said Dr. Jon Olson, chair of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. “To build trust with the community and the industry, regulators need opportunities to keep up with the latest technological advances. TOPCORP is stepping up to make that a reality.”
The TOPCORP program has been funded by a diverse group of industry, regulatory agencies, foundations and environmental groups, who all share the belief that good regulatory oversight is important to maintaining public trust and industry compliance.