WMU News

WMU hosts workshop on horizontal drilling

Nov. 19, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Directional drilling for oil, the use of which has been banned in the Great Lakes for two years as part of a federal bill recently signed by President Bush, will be the focus of a special Monday, Dec. 10, workshop in Lansing, Mich.

Bob Knoll, a leading expert on horizontal drilling technology, will lead the workshop, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn South and Conference Center, 6820 S. Cedar St. The event is sponsored by the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council's Michigan Center at Western Michigan University.

Knoll, project coordinator for the internationally acclaimed DEA-44 Project, which pursues horizontal drilling technology, will describe these advances in oil and gas exploration as well as answer questions about the expense and environmental value of the technique.

"The question oil and gas operators always have is, 'Will the added expense of this technique be worth it?' It costs a lot more to drill horizontally than straight down," says geologist Dr. William B. Harrison III, director of WMU's Michigan Basin Core Research Laboratory, which houses the PTTC Michigan Center. "Knoll answers that question by asking why anyone would consider drilling vertically. Vertical drilling hits the producing zones of a well for only a short distance while horizontal drilling stays in the producing zones much longer and gives greater production."

The workshop, which is geared toward geologists and those in the oil and gas industry, also is open to the public. For those whose registration is received by Sunday, Dec. 2, the fee to attend the workshop is $95 and includes a workbook and lunch. The cost for those who already have the workbook is $75. After Dec. 2, the fee to attend the workshop will be $125.

Knoll has more than 25 years of experience working with oil and gas projects across the globe and is known for his expertise in utilizing technology to solve problems. With a multidisciplinary background in engineering, geology and petroleum field operations and management, he has

presented more than 170 technical training programs around the world. This is the second time that the PTTC has sponsored a workshop on horizontal drilling technology featuring Knoll and Harrison says the center received many requests to bring him back.

"Bob speaks all over the world, so we are thrilled to have him back. Normally these workshops are much more expensive, but because the PTTC is underwriting much of the cost, those interested can take advantage of his knowledge quite inexpensively," says Harrison.

The PTTC is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, the National Petroleum Technology Office and the National Energy Technology Center. The PTTC Michigan Center has been located at WMU's Michigan Core Basin Laboratory since 1998.

For more information or to register, contact the PTTC Michigan Center at (616) 387-8633.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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