Shale Students Show Off What They Know

utica-shale-academy-logo_500x290Morning Journal News

By Steve Rappach

SALINEVILLE – Students at the Utica Shale Academy got a chance on Tuesday to show a crowd of people some of the industry skills they have learned.

Demonstrations in proper drilling and casing were presented at the academy’s classroom at Southern Local High School with board members from the academy, Southern Local and the academy’s sponsor, the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, on hand.

Brian Logue, a representative from Express Energy Services, made his third appearance as an instructor before the class Tuesday, and he has been excited with the students’ interest in the shale industry.

“I could probably employ them all if they graduated tomorrow,” Logue said. “The students are excellent. They pay attention. They’re into it too. We’re impressed with (the program).”

Among the demonstrations Logue conducted was one showing how to properly cement casings into the ground to prevent oil and gas from mixing with ground water, and he called upon two students to assist him during a demonstration.

One of those students, senior Austin Sadler, is one of only two to currently receive certifications in the Rig Pass for safety, the Drill Instructors’ Training, and the Well Controlled Certification, which are the three certifications students can currently receive.

Sadler credits the style of the curriculum, which allowed him to complete his work at his pace.

“For schooling and assignments, they’re all online, but they’re very challenging,” Sadler said. “Some of them are a little easier, but it’s all depending on the module you’re watching before you take the test. I love it, I think it’s a great work ethic for me because it’s all at your pace.”

With his current success in the classroom along with what he’s learned from the course, the 17-year-old’s future appears to be bright as he looks to join Express Energy Services.

“As soon as I turn 18, I hope to intern at Express Energy,” Sadler said. “He (Logue) said he wants to get me into something, so hopefully it works out.”

“He’s graduating here in June, so he’s very employable,” Logue said. “We’re all interested, so there should be no problem in that.”

Academy director Eric Sampson has noticed growing interest in the academy, which currently has 43 students from grades nine through 12, since holding the first class back in September.

“When I knew I was going to be running this, and something new starts, you have ideas and plans that you want to make happen,” Sampson said. “We’ve far exceeded that. We really have, and I’m extremely pleased with the way things are going.”

Logue’s contribution to the academy, meanwhile, has been taken into consideration by the staff, and Logue was honored by the academy’s board members during a ceremony at the Riverside Roadhouse in Wellsville for his contributions to the classes.

“With Mr. Logue getting involved, it’s taken a good program and made it great,” Sampson said.

The academy, meanwhile, looks to continue its growth, and Logue hopes to continue to see the growth from other students who express interest in the shale industry.

“I’m glad that they started it because it takes young people to get into it,” Logue said. “A lot of it is for younger guys. You put the time in there, and you can put the years in there plus there’s money to be made.”

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