Chesapeake Center Dedication Draws Hundreds

Chesapeake Center Dedication Draws Hundreds

Sara Plummer
Chesapeake Center Dedication Draws Hundreds

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) dedicated the recently completed Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Compression Training Center during a public ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 25 on the OSUIT campus in Okmulgee.

The 23,920-square-foot center is the first of its kind in the energy industry, allowing students to learn to diagnose, service and maintain gas compression equipment in a state-of-the-art facility.

“We are pleased to open this new training center on OSUIT’s campus,” said Oklahoma State University (OSU) President Burns Hargis. “It is a world-class facility, providing our students unparalleled facilities in which to learn.”

Thanks in large part to this facility, enrollment in OSUIT’s Natural Gas Compression program is expected to more than double from its previous level, according to Dr. Bill Path, President of OSUIT. Classes began in the new facility in September.

Chesapeake Center's training floor

“The new training center will enable OSUIT to more effectively teach students the technical skills necessary to maintain and operate natural gas engines and gas compressor units in an industry-quality, laboratory,” said Path. “OSUIT is committed – through the Natural Gas Compression program – to help this vital industry meet its need for trained technicians. Our graduates will work to build, maintain and operate America’s vast energy infrastructure and keep it running strong in the coming decades.”

A leadership donation by Chesapeake Energy Corporation, coupled with donations from Devon Energy, ONEOK and Energy Transfer, launched the project in 2012.

“We are grateful for the generosity of our energy industry partners,” Hargis said. “OSUIT is a vital supplier of high-quality talent for a variety of industries and no industry is more important to the future of Oklahoma than energy.”

OSUIT offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Natural Gas Compression, where students complete four semesters of coursework and two semesters of paid internships. OSUIT has offered the natural gas compression training curriculum since 1974, and created an independent program for the study in 1999.

“We are pleased to join with other energy companies to invest in technical education,” said Jerry Winchester, Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Oilfield Services. “As America’s natural gas production grows, it is more important than ever that we have a trained workforce assisting with the safe and reliable transfer of natural gas to markets.”

For more about the Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Compression Training Center or the Natural Gas Compression program at OSUIT, go to the training center dedication event page.