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Ohio Utica Shale

Stark State opens new Canton training facility for drillers

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Stark State College late last week:

(Aug. 21, 2014 - North Canton, OH) Phase I of Stark State College’s expansion in downtown Canton was revealed Thursday with the opening of the $2.3 million Well Site Training Center at the corner of Third Street SE and Cherry Ave. The 7,000-square-foot site will focus on developing the workforce needs of the growing oil and gas industry in the region, according to Dr. Para M. Jones, president of Stark State College.

“This facility showcases our mission of creating public/private partnerships to provide students with state-of-the-art education and training and prepare the workforce needed by business and industry in the region.” said Jones. “Students will have hands-on learning experiences, much like those they would experience in the field or on oil rigs, but in a controlled and safe learning environment,” said Jones.

The training lab houses an indoor ShaleNET well site trainer along with:

  • a pump jack/well head which brings the reservoir fluids to the surface
  • a gas production unit with a three-phase separator/heater treater to separate the reservoir fluids into each phase (gas, oil, water)
  • stock tanks to hold produced reservoir fluids
  • natural gas compressor which regulates the gas pressure for entry into a gathering/distribution pipeline
  • meter run/meter shed that records flow of the gas components through gathering/distribution pipeline

Funding for the Well Site Training Center, and a new Downtown Canton Satellite Center which will open in spring 2015, came from a $10 million State of Ohio capital appropriation awarded in January 2012. The College purchased the Cornerstone II building at 400 Third St. SE for $4.9 million to house the satellite center and allocated $2.3 million to build the Well Site Training Center across the street. Remaining funds from the state award will support the renovation of Cornerstone II as the satellite center.

Jones said that the state appropriation provided Stark State with added leverage in applying for additional funding for curriculum development and equipment. Stark State is part of a four-college consortium funded through a $14.9 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to develop and implement the first-ever national curriculum for shale oil and gas. Stark State will receive $2.76 million to provide the ShaleNET credit curriculum in the Utica Shale region. The College’s partners in the ShaleNET curriculum are Westmoreland County Community College (PA) and Pennsylvania College of Technology in the Marcellus Shale region, and Navarro (TX) College in the Eagle Ford and Barnett Shale region. Corporate partners include Chevron, Shell, Anadarko Petroleum Corp, Chesapeake Energy, XTO, and Encana. The partners have worked together to develop stackable credit certificates leading to associate of applied science degrees and to bachelor’s degree that can be earned online.

In addition, a $500,000 grant from The Timken Foundation has funded oil and gas training equipment for the training center.

In the energy field, Stark State College has for many years led in programming, training and research partnerships with international and world-renowned companies such as The Timken Company, Lockheed Martin and LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc., which has its global headquarters on Stark State’s campus in North Canton.

“There is a strong and growing supply chain around the oil and gas industry in Stark and surrounding counties,” Jones said. “We will continue to work with our business partners in the region to evaluate needs and develop education and training programs to support that supply chain.”

Jones noted that under the direction of Kathleen Steere, coordinator of oil and gas programs, her staff, and an advisory board comprised of community leaders and experts in the oil and gas field, Stark State is quickly becoming a regional training hub for oil and gas with about 90 students declaring oil and gas majors. The first student graduated in May with an associate of applied science in industrial process operations and two others graduated with one-year certificates in pipeline technician.

Programs developed and offered at Stark State as part of the ShaleNET grant offered at Stark State include associate of applied science degrees in industrial process operation technology, petroleum industrial mechanics technology, petroleum technology - instrumentation electronics technician, petroleum technology - pipeline technician, and petroleum technology - production technician. One-year certificates are offered in industrial process operation technology, instrumentation electronics technician, petroleum industrial mechanics technology, pipeline technician, production technician and welding. Training for Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is also offered.

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.