May 8, 2009

A recent contribution to the College of Engineering of cutting-edge technology and an oil rig model for petroleum engineering students enhances LSU’s long-standing status as a leader among universities developing and transferring technologies to enhance drilling performance and safety.

On Thursday, May 7, the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering (PETE) and NOV M/D Totco® unveiled a RigSense system and a Physical Drilling model at LSU’s Petroleum Engineering Research Technology Transfer Laboratory (PERTT Lab) facility. The ceremony recognized the relationship developed between PETE and NOV's IndustryConnect Program and gifts, valued at $225,000, of physical drilling model and RigSense system to benefit PETE students, faculty and industry training.

John Rogers Smith, PhD, PE and PETE associate professor explained “LSU’s PERTT Lab is unique in utilizing a full-scale rig circulation system, multiple wells, and the ability to inject natural gas into the wells to support undergraduate and graduate education, university research, and industry activities to develop and transfer new technologies.”

In 2008, NOV M/D Totco® established the IndustryConnect Program with the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering (PETE) at LSU for the purpose of developing industry relevant skills and solutions in universities by exposing, educating, and developing PETE students with NOV technologies.

NOV made two contributions to the LSU PERTT Lab:

  1. A RigSense system, which gives students the ability to train with new and modern instrumentation technology.
  2. Financial assistance to develop a physical drilling model. The model is a fully functional small scale rig with a circulation system, current RigSense instrumentation and performance drilling enhancement using the e-Wildcat Auto-Drilling System.

“Through NOV’s gift, LSU will enable our professors and staff to advance their research efforts and provide one-of-a-kind experiential learning opportunities for our students” stated Stephen O. Sears, PhD and PETE Department Chair. “Using this equipment and model will enable our students to become even better prepared for successful careers in the industry.”

LSU’s PERTT Lab provides a versatile teaching, system development, and research environment for performing multiphase flow experiments on field scale tubulars at high pressures. It represents nearly $2 million in industry and government capital investment since the early 1980's. Much of the equipment was assembled to support research and training activities in the area of blowout prevention. The facility has subsequently supported research and development for a much broader range of technologies including pipeline leak detection, mud pulse telemetry, solids and environmental control for drilling fluids, and managed pressure drilling. It continues to be used for undergraduate and graduate classes as well as industry schools in well control and blowout prevention.

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of comprehensive systems and components used in oil and gas drilling and production, the provision of oilfield tubular inspection, internal tubular coatings and other services, as well as in providing supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry.

NOV M/D Totco® provides technological leadership, innovation, and response to the needs of the industries it serves. The foundation products of drilling instrumentation, sensors, data acquisition and controls have made NOV M/D Totco the acknowledged leader in drilling activity information gathering and now provide the platform to be the premier solution provider of integrated reporting and information services to the back offices of both operators and contractors alike.

NOV M/D Totco’s donation to the College of Engineering helps our University advance the goal of the Forever LSU campaign. Forever LSU is a historic undertaking by the LSU community to attain more than $750 million in support for our University by the end of the year 2010. To find out how you can be LSU’s next hero, visit

Article by Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, 225-578-5706,

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