NLC's Simulated Wellsite Facility ready to start "drilling"

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

The rig's completion was celebrated this afternoon with a barbecue and ceremony at NLC's Jim Kassen Industry Training Centre.

The project was initially started with an investment from the provincial government. Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm spoke on behalf of Minister of Advanced Education John Yap and the province, commenting on how a facility as unique as this one will build on NLC's reputation as B.C.'s Energy College.

"The training will be enhanced as they work on a range of equipment at this site that stimulates the real challenges, equipment and conditions that they're going to encounter in the field," he argues, "so Northern Lights College will be able to expand the training programs it's offering in oil and gas to build on its reputation for skills training."

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Pimm also joked that he doesn't see why the college isn't actually using to facility to drill for natural gas or oil, to which NLC President and CEO Laurie Rancourt responded, "With permission, we will."

The facility was made possible through 50 partnerships with government and industry, including a drilling rig donated by Nabors Canada and Shehtah Nabors LP.

"It always amazes me how industry steps up to the plate," says Pimm, who says NLC's students will now get to train on the same calibre equipment they will use in the field.

Like Pimm, Joe Bruce, President and CEO of Nabors Canada, believes this facility will help Fort St. John produce the highest quality of skilled workers.

"The combination of Rig 62 and Northern Lights College will provide many opportunities for the students to gain first-hand experience," he says. "We look forward to continuing the relationship and going forth in an industry that is to be viewed as being safe and one that provides career opportunities, not just a job."

In addition to the 40 metre triple-cantilever, beam-leg mast drilling rig, the facility also includes an operation service rig, a pump jack, wellhead, three-phase separator, glycol dehydration unit, line heater, flare stack, storage tank, gas compression unit, amine unit, pig receiver and launcher as well as tied-in service equipment.

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