I have just completed the first half of a two year diploma at SAIT in “Exploration Information Technology (EXPT)” and I would like to give you a student’s perspective of my experiences during this time.
Shortly after classes began in September 2011, our class was offered a chance to attend “Seismic in Motion” – free of charge – thanks to industry sponsors. This is an educational field day that is organized by the CAGC each year. Companies that specialize in Seismic in the Oil and Gas Industry have an opportunity to educate students, Industry personnel, Government Regulators, Aboriginal Interests and Public Stakeholders. I really enjoyed this event, because it materialized all of the theory that I had learned at SAIT thus far. Our group was able to walk around a site in Waiparous, Alberta and observe all of the components of a Seismic operation. We started our morning at the Remote Medical Services station learning about all the safety precautions and personnel behind the scenes. We were lucky enough to see their Bell 212 helicopter land during our session. After that, we moved on to the next station which was a demonstration by “Bear Slashing” of Bonneyville, Alberta. Different methods of Seismic line clearing were demonstrated; such as mulching and chainsaw felling. It was very impressive to witness a mulcher chew up a full sized tree in mere minutes. Various types of explosives and their methods of transportation were explained. Later in the day, we witnessed a charge of dynamite exploding about 10 meters below ground level. It was very exhilarating to feel the energy wave from the explosive charge! A delicious hot lunch and soft drinks were served mid day. As the day progressed, we watched demonstrations on portable drill rigs, wireless geophones, data recording trucks, Vibroseis and a very impressive mock rescue with trained climbers. The field trip was capped off with a helicopter rescue and portable drilling rig move. I would recommend this field trip to anyone in the industry.
As my first semester progressed at SAIT, I knew that I had selected the right program. “Exploration Information Technology” is a program that offers direct and practical education in the Oil and Gas Industry. With many years of industry experience, an instructor like John Fernando offers up a plethora of knowledge in the field of Geophysics. The program is constantly adapting as the Oil and Gas Industry advances its’ technology. John Fernando’s involvement with the CSEG (Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists) in various committees gives the program a very important link to the Oil and Gas Industry. He frequently invites his students to the “CSEG Technical Luncheons”. I personally attended a luncheon in January that featured Lee Hunt as he spoke about “Quantitative Interpretation, New Challenges, and Economic Value.” This luncheon talk had great technical depth, but I was able to follow most of it due to the knowledge I acquired at SAIT in my Geophysics classes. On top of the knowledge I absorbed from Lee Hunt’s lecture, I was able to meet several people involved in the Oil and Gas Industry. These kinds of experiences are invaluable for students that are interested in gaining a strong foot hold in the Oil and Gas Industry.
A couple of weeks after the “CSEG Technical Luncheon” I applied for a summer student position at Cenovus Energy. I was successful in landing the job, and currently, I have just finished my first week of work. I know that Cenovus Energy is a great company and I couldn’t be happier. Two other students in my class received jobs at Cenovus Energy as well. My first year of “Exploration Information Technology” is now over, but I will continue to acquire knowledge at my summer job and through future opportunities at events held by the CSEG. As an example, I am volunteering at the “GeoConvention 2012: Vision” in May 2012. Cenovus Energy was happy to give me some time off work as they know that it will be beneficial to my future development.
I would like to thank John Fernando, CSEG, CAGC and SAIT for making my first year a terrific experience.