Students in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering are once again learning from existing oil and gas technology after the renovation of Aggie Well No. 1.
In 1983, the well was drilled after Dr. J.T. Rollins lobbied for a water well on campus to instruct students on well systems operations. Outfitted with a size-modified maroon and white pump jack, the well was a teaching tool until the pump jack aged beyond safe operating parameters.
Two former students, Kory Kress ’07 and Mike Samford ’04 of Halcyon Equipment, proposed the pump jack’s renovation and an upgrade of the surrounding area in January 2020. With funding, equipment and labor from Halcyon, the well is now capable of safely operating for extended times. Students can once again walk from their classrooms and enter a “field environment” to see and calculate characteristics such as plunger loads and displacement using up-to-date market technology.
“We have something much better than a static monument; it is a piece of working equipment that is intertwined with the university’s history,” said Dr. Ibere Alves, professor of engineering practice. “I hope this will benefit generations of Aggie petroleum engineers.”