July 20, 2010

Students showcase process being utilized in the Gulf disaster


LSU students in the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, concerned over public confusion about the process of relief well drilling, developed a teaching tool to visually demonstrate the process in simple, easy-to-understand terms.

The group of students put together the relief well demonstration in only five days, including the fourth of July holiday weekend.

"The other students and I decided to build this model because there seemed to be a lot of misconceptions about relief wells, how they function and what they are," said Casey Roberts, LSU petroleum engineering junior. "The interesting thing about this model is that it's actually very similar to what BP is performing in the Gulf of Mexico right now."

The demo, viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHnWefOI0aw, is meant to outline the basic principles of the relief well control process so that more people are aware of what's being planned to stop the Deepwater Horizon blowout. This student-run and -developed project was based on understanding gained from the facility director, Darryl Bourgoyne, and was supported by the Roy "Phatts" Sullins Memorial Fund. All work was completed at LSU's Petroleum Engineering Research and Technology Transfer, or PERTT, Lab, the only such university-owned training and research facility in the country.

This project is an example of the unique practical learning experiences LSU petroleum engineering students receive through the PERTT Lab. While the project was completed by students actually working at the lab, all petroleum engineering students are exposed to these opportunities through the two laboratory courses taught at PERTT. Faculty also benefit from the ability to conduct and learn from research done using the full-scale systems at the lab.

In Louisiana, engineering is critical to the economy and environment. The LSU College of Engineering is dedicated to creating engineers who solve society's problems, make ideas reality and generate prosperity that improves the quality of life.


Article by Ashley Berthelot, LSU Media Relations, 225-578-3870, aberth4@lsu.edu


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