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Realistic Drilling Rig Added to ETEC’s Training Toolkit

A 35-ton crane maneuvers equipment into place.
A 35-ton crane maneuvers equipment into place.
Crew members erect the substructure of the rig trainer.
Crew members erect the substructure of the rig trainer.
Under the shimmering summer sun, the derrick is hoisted for installation.
Under the shimmering summer sun, the derrick is hoisted for installation.

The Energy Technology Education Center has enhanced the hands-on training opportunities available to new and incumbent workers in the natural gas field, installing a drilling rig Monday that replicates equipment and conditions at a working well site. While many training facilities have simulators, ETEC’s steel training rig − purchased from Arkansas State University through a ShaleNET U.S. grant − is one of just three in the entire country and the only one in the Appalachian Basin. Drill pipe can be connected and dropped down the wellbore, which is cased and cemented, providing trainees with a safe and educational environment in which to learn what (and what not to do) on a functioning rig. ETEC, dedicated in May 2012 near the entrance to Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center south of Williamsport, is a collaborative venture to train industry employees and emergency responders.

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