What's New in 2013!

Oil & gas course prepares students for industry

Tivoli, TX – December 5, 2013, by Tim Delaney, Refugio County Press. The course is so new, educators won’t find it among curriculum listed at the Texas Education Agency.

The course is “Fundamentals of Petroleum” and Jackie Hanselman began teaching it this fall at Austwell-Tivoli High School. Hanselman said TEA is using A-T High School as a pilot program for the course.

“They want us to evaluate it and let them know how to improve it,” he said.

The course serves as a substitute for calculus, something Hanselman sought initially.Turns out, Laredo’s United Independent School District fostered the idea for the course.

“But I haven’t heard a whisper about them going forward with it,” Hanselman said.

Hanselman said he taught mathematics and agriculture the last two years and was looking for a subject that could take the place of calculus. “It’s a good solution for students who weren’t calculus students,” he said. Hanselman, who is certified to teach any of the sciences, was qualified to teach the course. “I took a petroleum/engineering course in summer 1977 at the University of Houston. It was really helpful,” he said.

Backing up a bit, Hanselman said he called the TEA, looking to see what was available to teach. “I have a friend at TEA – Ron Whitson, who referred me to a guy at Texas A&M University. Come to find out, we had class together there. His name is Dr. Kirk Edney,” Hanselman said.

That’s how Hanselman found out about the budding course. The three-part course can be taught all at once in one semester, or in two semesters or three. “They give me a lot of leeway,” he said.

Once more, because the course is a tech class, 38 percent more money is available to the class as opposed to others. Hanselman said the money can be used for field trips so students can learn all aspects of the oil & gas industry. He plans a field trip to a rig platform soon.

Hanselman touched on some of the subject matter: exploration and geology, long section or drilling and terminology. “There is a tremendous amount of vocabulary,” he said.

The course is taught by Hanselman, and students take online tests through the University of Texas. The textbook, “Fundamentals of Petroleum,” is a compilation of information by Debby Denehy, who acts as support for the course. “I’m excited about it. The kids like it. And I am assuming UT will give a certificate when the students complete the course,” Hanselman said.

The textbook for the course is Fundamentals of Petroleum, produced by the University of Texas at Austin Petroleum Extension Service. Jackie Hanselman, a teacher at Austwell-Tivoli High School, started teaching the unique course this fall in a Texas Education Agency pilot program.







University of Texas at Austin Announces ‘Interactive Rig’

Petex e-Learning specialist Itzel McClaren has developed a 3D interactive offshore model. Austin, TX — September, 2013, Oil Information Technology Journal. The Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) of the University of Texas at Austin has announced an Interactive Offshore Oil Rig (IOOR). This 3-D ‘e-product,’ a snip at $99, is claimed to provide a ‘unique learning perspective’ on the inner workings of a semi-submersible oil rig. PETEX director Zahid Yoosufani said, ‘The IOOR is useful for oil and gas industry personnel seeking a better understanding of the individual parts of this extremely complex mechanical unit. With thousands of offshore rigs actively drilling for oil and gas around the world, effective training is now more critical than ever.’

The IOOR provides an inside view of rig components along with visuals and audio describing ten different areas of the rig including a 360 degree Rig View, Power and Hoisting Equipment, Circulating and Cementing Equipment and much more. The IOOR includes an online assessment. Users who pass the test earn a completion certificate from UT. The IOOR was developed by Petex eLearning Specialist Itzel McClaren with assistance from the university’s Faculty Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering. The tools used to develop the IOOR are 3D Studio Max, Adobe Illustrator, and Articulate Storyline. Delivery is provided by Moodle LMS. Check out the Petex/IOOR demo.





3D Rig Tool Provides Interactive Learning Experience


AUSTIN, TX — August 7, 2013, Drilling Contractor Magazine. The Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) at the University of Texas at Austin has launched the 3D Interactive Offshore Oil Rig as a learning tool for the inner workings of a semisubmersible. The tool provides an inside view to see and hear about each component of the rig – what it does and where it is located – and lets users zoom in for expanded views. Options include visuals and detailed audio describing 10 areas of the rig, including a 360° rig view, power and hoisting equipment, and circulating and cementing equipment.

An online assessment is included that tests the learning progress of the user. A passing score earns users a completion certificate from PETEX and UT Austin.

“The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig is the only product of its kind on the market for offshore drilling and is especially useful for oil and gas industry personnel seeking a better understanding of the individual parts of this extremely complex mechanical unit. With thousands of offshore rigs actively drilling for oil and gas around the world, effective training is now more critical than ever,” PETEX director Zahid Yoosufani said.

The tool, developed by PETEX with assistance from the university’s Faculty Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering, is available for subscription and licensing purchases. For more information or to try a demo, click here.





PETEX Makes Learning Programs More Portable


MIDLAND, TX — July 31, 2013, The Midland Reporter Telegram. Since 1944 The University of Texas at Austin Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) has helped the oil industry train new workers and update current ones. During that time, PETEX itself has had to stay on top of changes in learning methods and technology.

Lately, that technology has taken the form of thumb drives (the Learning Stick) and iPads in addition to PETEX’s traditional instructor-led classes.

PETEX has long offered a wide range of courses online in addition to its numerous books and other resources. But in recent months, said Petex Director Zahid Yoosufani, there has arisen a demand for courses in formats portable enough to be engaged while enrollees were far from Internet access. Offshore platforms and remote western or southern regions of Texas are cases in point, where there may be Internet, but its bandwidth is tied up with more important functions than accessing a training course or uploading exam results.

Yoosufani’s development team worked for about six months to develop a way to consolidate all the school’s learning systems into a program that could be loaded onto a USB stick.

“What has resulted,” he said, “is that all that learning can be put on a USB stick, which does not require Internet access, but it behaves as if it was Internet connected. All the interactivity and all the functionality that you would normally get from online training is maintained.”

On occasions when the enrollee is able to connect to the Internet, information can be uploaded to the server. Records are also kept locally so that the worker’s company can monitor progress even if Internet connectivity is almost never available.

All of PETEX’s e-products are available through the Learning Stick — including courses, ebooks and videos — although each one is customized to contain only the courses wanted and purchased by the company.

A few of the e-courses include: Petroleum Exploration, Rotating System, Rotary Rig Types, Open Hole Fishing, Routine Drilling Operations, Reservoir Drive Mechanisms, Circulating Systems, Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing, Artificial Lift and many others.

Some interactive programs allow viewers to see and manually rotate a visual of a drilling rig, either offshore or land-based depending on the program chosen. The programs also point out various parts of rigs and explain what they are.

If the company wants 1,000 people to take the same training, PETEX will license them to make that many copies of a master version. If a number of individuals need separate groupings of courses, that can be done also. “This is an enterprise tool, not a retail tool,” Yoosufani explained. “It can be customized.”

Most users of PETEX learning tools are field personnel who are either new to the industry or who want to learn new skills or improve current skillsets. Their programs are overviews rather than being specific to one manufacturer. And while PETEX sells books and other resources to companies large and small, Yoosufani said their normal client for e-learning is a mid-sized drilling or production company. The largest ones can afford to have their own training department, although even those often buy books or resources from PETEX, and the smallest ones do one-on-one training in most cases.

Those in industry support roles, such as legal teams, accountants and others, take these courses to familiarize themselves with terminology and procedures that they need to be conversant about in those roles.

The Learning Stick has been available for about 18 months with very positive response from the industry. A brand new program, headed to the launch pad in August, is a version designed for the iPad and other mobile devices. As portable computing has moved from laptops to those smaller devices, demand has grown for PETEX to develop learning products for them.

“The exact same content that we’re offering either online or on the USB stick will also be available on the iPad,” he reported. The iPad content can be downloaded and, like the USB stick, can be used offline.

“We created this content that is downloadable to their iPad. So this way, once they’re connected and they’ve got the content, for the duration of the license that we agree to, they can look at the content even without Internet access,” Yoosufani explained.

As technology continues to advance, all parties must not only keep up with the demands of the job, they also must stay abreast of teaching methods. The good news is that those information delivery methods are becoming more and more flexible, able to meet the needs of the end user in all types of applications.





UT Austin Announces Interactive Oil Rig


AUSTIN, TX — July 31, 2013, Fort Worth Business Press. Offshore drilling has gone interactive with the Petroleum Extension Service at The University of Texas at Austin launching an interactive offshore oil rig.

This 3-D e-product provides a unique learning perspective on the inner workings of a semi-submersible oil rig used in offshore drilling operations.

The virtual rig gives users an inside view of the unit—what it does and where each component is located – and lets users zoom in for expanded views. Detailed audio describes 10 different areas, including a 360 degree rig view, power and hoisting equipment, and others.

The product includes an online assessment that tests users’ learning progress. A passing score earns users a completion certificate from PETEX and UT-Austin. Developed by PETEX learning specialist Itzel McClaren and the university’s Faculty Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering, the product was a collaborative effort between scholars and oil and gas professionals.

“The interactive offshore oil rig is the only product of its kind on the market for offshore drilling and is especially useful for oil and gas industry personnel seeking a better understanding of the individual parts of this extremely complex mechanical unit,” said Zahid Yoosufani, PETEX director, in a news release.






Zahid Yoosufani Named Director of Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) at The University of Texas at Austin


AUSTIN, TX — June 11, 2013, Houston Business Journal. On April 1, 2013, Zahid Yoosufani assumed the role of director and unit leader for the Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX™) at The University of Texas at Austin. Since its inception in 1944, PETEX has become a leading educator and a “trainer of choice” for workers at all levels of the oil and gas industry in both Texas and around the world. As director, Yoosufani provides leadership to all components of PETEX including instructor-led training, publications and e-learning tools. PETEX is a department of the university’s Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE).

Yoosufani’s appointment comes from Jeff Treichel, executive director, ad interim, of CIE. In addition to PETEX, CIE is comprised of the K-16 Education Center, Professional Development Center, Thompson Conference Center, University Extension and University of Texas-University Charter School.

“Zahid has expertly managed PETEX in the last year as the interim director, including the creation of new e-products and business development. He also brings a wealth of knowledge to this role, both from his three and a half years at PETEX and his previous experience from a long and successful career at IBM,” said Treichel. “Zahid brings such a forward-thinking approach to his work at PETEX that it has been exciting to watch his innovations take hold in our division and become new standards of training in the oil and gas industry. I look forward with great anticipation to seeing how Zahid will take PETEX and its clients to the next frontier in top-of-the-line training—either online, in the classroom or on a mobile device.”

As interim director, Yoosufani has achieved significant market growth for PETEX by introducing new training products and publications, enhancing customer service and growing the PETEX customer base worldwide. His international experience and engineering background, coupled with his deep understanding of global business and cultural environments, has allowed PETEX to penetrate new regions and form key alliances with several international companies. While Yoosufani has managed all product and service lines over the last year, he has also been instrumental in the development and launch of innovative e-learning tools and products such as e-books, streaming videos and animations, online skills analysis and assessment tools.

Yoosufani came to CIE in 2009 after serving 30 years at IBM where he held a variety of technology and management positions. His last position for IBM was senior advisor for IBM Global Services Market Intelligence Center of Excellence where he formed a worldwide community of IBM sales and marketing teams to define the needs for market information and leverage the resources for efficiency, speed and execution. Previous to IBM, he held positions in finance, as Controller for ARA Services/Aetna Insurance in Hartford, Connecticut, and education, as Chairman and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering at the Mehran University of Engineering & Technology in Pakistan.

Yoosufani earned a Master’s of Science in Manufacturing/Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Karachi in Pakistan. Yoosufani is also active in the non-profit sector where he volunteers to promote educational and training opportunities for the poor and support environmental causes in third world countries. He is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.





Interactive Offshore Oil Rig Brings Complex Mechanics to Life


AUSTIN, TX — July 22, 2013. The Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX™) at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to announce the launch of its new Interactive Offshore Oil Rig. This innovative, 3-D e-Learning module provides a unique learning perspective on the inner workings of a semi-submersible oil rig, one of the most intricate and powerful units used in offshore drilling operations. PETEX is a leading provider of training and training materials to oil and gas industry workers in Texas and around the world.

REQUIRED The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig gives users an inside view to see and hear about each component of the rig—what it does and where it is located— and lets users zoom in for expanded views. Options include visuals and detailed audio describing ten different areas of the rig, including, a 360° Rig View, Power and Hoisting Equipment, Circulating and Cementing Equipment and much more.

This product includes an online assessment that tests the learning progress of the user. A passing score earns users a Completion Certificate from PETEX and The University of Texas at Austin.

PETEX’s Director Zahid Yoosufani says, “The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig is a unique product in the offshore drilling market and is especially useful for oil and gas industry personnel seeking a better understanding of the individual parts of this extremely complex mechanical unit. With thousands of offshore rigs actively drilling for oil and gas around the world, effective training is now more critical than ever.”

The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig is available for subscription and licensing purchases. For more information, contact us online or at 800.687.4132. View the demo by clicking Offshore Oil Rig Demo.




The Original Rig School™—Sharing Knowledge and Connections!


AUSTIN, TX — June 27, 2012. Alumni of PETEX’s Rig School™ know the value of this unique course (also known as Introduction to Offshore Operations). You probably know others in your organization or throughout the expansive global offshore oil and gas industry who have attended the PETEX school as generations of employees have completed this legacy course since its inception in 1976. In fact, its name evolved from an earlier edition of the course —the School of Offshore Drilling Practices—as far back as 1965! It was introduced in the 1970s as Introduction to Offshore Operations but was quickly named the Rig School by the many students who attended and referred the course to their colleagues. A well-attended Rig School Reunion event held in London in 2009 attests to the popularity of this special school.

For over 35 years, the PETEX Rig School has held a long-standing reputation of quality content, interactive learning, and fun networking opportunities. Held a minimum of three times each year, enrollment is consistently strong among those seeking knowledge of offshore-related topics from the geophysics of offshore exploration and well planning to production, storage, catastrophes, insurance, economics, and maritime law.

For insurers, accountants, and attorneys, this course is a must-attend. Not only do you earn professional and continuing education credits but you enjoy exceptional interactive opportunities among various professionals from major companies in related fields of work—plus, you can participate in interesting field trips and fun social events. No wonder students around the world are talking about this one-of-a-kind school offered only by The University of Texas at Austin-PETEX.

Since 1944, the Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) of The University of Texas at Austin has led the charge, satisfying clients’ needs with quality courses, publications, and training aids. PETEX remains committed to serving the specialized training needs of the oil and gas industry. To enroll in the Original PETEX Rig School or any of our courses, click Training Courses :: Intro to Offshore Operations: The Rig School –A PETEX Legacy for Over 35 Years! :: Petroleum Extension Service and register online or call (800) 687-7052; or email plach@www.utexas.edu. As a contributing member of today’s vital offshore oil and gas industry, this is a course you won’t want to miss.