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Q&A: Reps from oil & gas industry will be at expo

Event planned by Marietta College students; open to the community

The first Marietta College Oil and Gas Technical Exhibition on Friday will not only be attended by plenty of college students, it was also organized by them.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center, nearly 50 companies will have equipment and tools to help engage students in what it means to be in the oil and gas industry.

Those who wish to attend are asked to register at mcogte.org although walk-ins are also permitted. Registration is free to everyone, while the lunch at 11:30 a.m. is $10 for community and industry members.

The event is open to the public and high school students are especially encouraged to attend, said Marietta College junior Derek Krieg, a petroleum engineering major from Fly in Monroe County. He’s one of several students who has spent months planning the exhibition.

Question: What are the nuts and bolts of this event?

Answer: We’re trying to bring hands-on educational learning opportunities to our students. We’re also looking to involve high school students, who can learn about college and about engineering, and the community. There are people who might just be interested in oil and gas development.

We have contractors and companies that have technology that they are bringing to our campus. We have almost 50 companies. They’ll have their technology and tools on display, which is huge. We have a lot of big names, like Halliburton and Baker Hughes, that will be there.

Q: What was the motivation behind organizing this kind of event?

A: With the market and low prices right now, there are fewer and fewer students getting internships in the industry. And if you don’t have that internship experience there aren’t that many opportunities to see the technology that’s in the field being used. Nobody in the industry is really doing these types of events…there are trade shows but this is more like a conference. We’re going to have a bunch of speaker sessions. The event starts at 10 and we’ll have speakers all day. We have someone coming from Texas who is going to be tearing down and putting back together a well head. We’ll have lunch and a keynote speaker who is the COO of Edgemark, which has a couple of wells in Washington County.

Q: When you started reaching out to companies, were they receptive?

A: This is the first year we’re doing this–we got the idea in the spring–and we weren’t sure how many companies would want to come. The Ohio Oil and Gas Association has its trade show the weekend before, so we didn’t know if that would impact things. But what we’ve essentially done is given them a different market. They can show their tools to future engineers. When our students graduate in a year or two they will be engineers and they’ll be deciding what tools to use. We were also able to keep it low cost for them. It’s going to be a lot larger than we imagined, especially for the first year. We got really strong interest and support and now we want to make sure we fill the place with students and the community.

Q: Has this been entirely planned and organized by students? How many students took part?

A: Yes, we’ve done all the outreach and the company signups. Where we had assistance from the college was use of the buildings, rental equipment and things like that. It was all voluntary. We’re students who want to enrich our education and the education of our peers. Planning was myself and two others, primarily, with Evan Levine as our chairman. We had three to five other students who helped with company signups.

Q: What has the experience of putting this together been like? Have you learned a lot?

A: We’re definitely seeing the opportunities to grow it next year. There might be ways to partner with professional societies in the area and combine with them to make it even bigger. There’s nowhere to go from here but up and that’s pretty exciting. The coolest thing has been working with the administration and with peers and seeing how it’s blown up and then handling what that means logistically. There are a lot of little logistical things like trying to determine the number of people coming for the food order. That’s a huge part of the budget and you want to be in the ballpark.

Q: Is there anything or anyone at the event that you’re personally excited to see?

A: I think just seeing the students and the community have a first-hand look at some of these technologies with the people who designed them, that will be a pretty cool experience.

Kate York conducted this interview.

If you go

¯ What: Marietta College Oil and Gas Technical Exhibition.

¯ Where: Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.

¯ When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

¯ Cost: Free; lunch is $10.

¯ Who: Open to the public.

¯ To register: visit mcogte.org

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