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Section A: General News


Energy-related degrees offered




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June 18, 2014 | 2,655 views | Post a comment

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will add a minor in petroleum systems as part of its broader Energy Resource Initiative.

Like the Eagle Ford in South Texas, the energy industry is rapidly developing in other areas where shale oil and gas production is expanding. As many graduates get hired into the industry, additional courses are proving helpful. Likely to attract students from the mining engineering and management, geology, geological engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and chemical engineering disciplines, the new minor will be available to any student at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology beginning this fall.

The minor in petroleum systems is the education component of a broader Energy Resource Initiative, which will serve both upstream and downstream energy industries and encompass a state-of-the-art laboratory for petrophysics/geomechanics research. Mines anticipates adding a faculty member renowned throughout the industry and higher education for expertise in this area to supplement its existing strong faculty in geology, mining, civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering.

In April, the university announced a new Shale Research Initiative in which researchers will investigate the geomechanical and hydrological properties, mineralogy, and composition of various shale units to further the scientific and engineering applications of shale and other fine-grained rocks. In partnership with RESPEC Consulting & Services and supported by the Department of Energy and the state of South Dakota, initial work will assess the feasibility of what would be the nation’s first underground shale research laboratory.

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is equidistant from three of the largest energy-producing basins in the United States: the Williston Basin (Bakken, N.D.) to the north, the Powder River Basin to the northwest, and the Denver Basin directly south. Set to begin this fall, the new minor will offer an 18-credit program in a mix of new and existing courses, including core courses in drilling and production engineering, fluid mechanics, and a petroleum field course. The minor is expected to be approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents this week.

Additionally, the SD School of Mines is developing a Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Systems, a 12-credit-hour program of graduate-level course work open to both Mines graduate students and outside professionals.
 

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