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UND holds dedication for Oil Drilling Simulator

Minot-Bsmrck-Dcknsn(Wlstn) KFYR-TV logo Minot-Bsmrck-Dcknsn(Wlstn) KFYR-TV 10/23/2021 Michael Anthony
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - This week, officials with the University of North Dakota held a grand opening and dedication for their oil drilling simulator, which is one of the largest in the world.

Located at the former Minnkota Power Cooperative building is the University of North Dakota’s Drilling and Completion Laboratory. Within lies a test rig that department heads say will help give students an opportunity to simulate drilling operations similar to how it’s done in the Bakken.

“It actually uses real-world drill bits, real-world drill string, drills into real rock at real world conditions of 16,000 psi meaning 16,000 feet deep,” said Drilling and Completions Director Harry Feilen.

With funding from the state’s industrial commission, UND was able to create a “hands-on” experience. Assembly and construction started last year, which gave students a first look at how a drilling rig is built.

“To see all pieces of the rig and how to put them together and they worked with Harry - many of them - over the course of one year and more to put things together and that was, I think the biggest part and the biggest training part of it,” said Dr. Vamegh Rasouli, Continental Resources distinguished professor of petroleum engineering.

The testing rig is said to be one of the largest in the world. With it, UND hopes to be worldwide leader in training the future of the industry.

“We want this to be well known as a world training center. We do want to hit North Dakota, but we want the world training center to be here as well,” said Feilen.

Rasouli adds that the machinery at the facility will also be open to companies to provide real-life scenarios and train new workers. One of the future goals of the facility is to create a 30-day training course that would give workers a taste of what they will experience while on the job in oil country.

Feilen says the test rig is currently in the final phase of assembly and are just a few parts away from completion.

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