Several hundred students in the University of Guyana’s (UG) Petroleum Chemical, Mechanical and Mining Engineering programmes will benefit from an enhanced practical experience with the commissioning of a MUD lab. The University of Guyana, in collaboration with Halliburton – one of the world’s largest oil field service companies, on Friday May 21, launched a Drilling Fluids Lab (MUD Lab) at the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Engineering and Technology at the Turkeyen Campus.
“The lab is one of two which were negotiated during the GIPEX summit in November 2019. The other, a specific high-tech software modelling lab, will be commissioned in the coming weeks,” UG said.
The entire agreement (MUD LAB, LandMark Computer Lab, training, Maintenance and Staff and Student Development) between UG and Halliburton is valued US$2.2 million or 4 billion Guyana dollars, of which the MUDD Lab project accounts for about US$20,000.
The collaboration is aimed at facilitating enhanced training for students in the Departments of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, Chemistry and certain aspects of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Other aspects of the project include maintenance, training, technical support for staff and student development.
Vice Chancellor (VC) of UG, Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martins recalled that the conversation regarding how Halliburton could support the University started close to two years ago at a Petroleum Conference in Houston, USA, where she met Ms. Cecilia James Garcia whom she described as one of the most dynamic and focused young female engineers she has ever met. The Vice Chancellor also acknowledged the contributions made by area Manager for Halliburton Franci Delano, Ms. Grace Hustson , Fabiloa Martinez and current CEO in Guyana Mr. Vahman Jurai.
“Ms. Garcia felt that UG could be the only and first University in the entire Caribbean region that can have a lab like this, and I am happy to say, that a year and a half to two years later we are realizing that dream,” Professor Mohamed said.
According to Professor Mohamed the Drilling Fluids Lab “is going to put our graduates far way ahead of the game in terms of their practical experience in analyzing fluids that are used on the FPSOs.”
The VC explained that the launching of the facility comes at a time when the University is about to rollout a suite of new programmes for persons who would like to specialize in certain areas, including eight professional courses that were developed and will be administered by the Institute of Energy Diplomacy starting this June.
Additionally, she disclosed that the University recently approved a master’s in environmental management and the School for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI) is rolling out a Procurement and Value Chain Master’s Degree very soon. This is to join with the Associates Degree in Petroleum Engineering and the master’s in petroleum engineering as well as the Masters in Renewable Energy that is already being offered.
According to Halliburton Country Manager, Mr. Vahman Jurai, the drilling of fluids or drilling of mud is one of the main services the company provides in Guyana and is a fundamental part of its operations.
Mr. Jurai said, “From the start of our operations to present date we have been continually increasing our capacity as well as providing technical support and solutions to the market, we have significantly increased our portfolio solutions to the local energy. Presently almost 90% of our services come from Guyana, and at the end of this year we will be close to 100%.”
“The gift of the Fluids Lab to the Faculty of Engineering and Technology is one of our initiatives in building capacity in Guyana. We view it as an investment in the future of the students who will grow to be potential industry leaders and who will shape the sustainability of the energy industry in Guyana,” he added.
He said Halliburton will continue to work closely with UG to provide technical support, working closely with the fluid designs and management of the fluids lab.
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at UG, Ms. Verlyn Klass, provided an introduction to the importance of the Drilling Fluids Lab and how it will be beneficial to students.
During her remarks, she noted that the lab will support the teaching of courses and give students an added advantage when seeking employment as Mud Technicians.
Mrs. Elena Trim, Dean at the time the project was initially negotiated and now present Head of Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, said, “I see we will have a greater future with the help of companies like Halliburton that always enhances programmes and helps students in other countries.”
The physical demonstration of the equipment in the Mud Lab was facilitated by Mr. Dinesh Baldeosingh, Technical Professional Senior, Halliburton, and Mr. Morris Solomon, Laboratory Technician, Halliburton.