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Simulated well site digging up new opportunities at local College

Students at Fort St. John’s Northern Lights College are one step closer to some more valuable training. On Monday, July 9, the Fort St. John campus announced its Expanded Simulated Well Site Training Facility will open in the near future, providing a hands-on educational experience for students in search of safety and rig training designed to provide employment in the oil and gas industry.

Work is currently underway at the local campus to install the full sized rig, designed to provide students practical work experience in real working conditions.

The rig is set to become a focal point of the Simulated Well Site Training Facility, being developed in conjunction with the Jim Kassen Industry Training Centre/Oil and Gas Centre of Excellence.

Bob Zimmer, MP for the Prince George-Peace River area, says this type of training is important when considering the future of the industry.

“Ensuring that students have access to practical training facilities for careers within the oil and gas industry is important for our Western economy. Our government is working to ensure the next generation is ready to prosper from the opportunities this industry has to offer so that our region’s economy can continue to create jobs and growth.”

The new simulated well site will be held within a three acre fenced area in the southwest corner of the college. Within that area will be a gravel pad laid over geotextile matting, simulating an all weather well site.

The rig project recently received $930,000 in funding from the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, along with a slew of other local donations.

Some donations include a 40-metre triple-cantilever, beam-leg mast drilling rig from Shehtah, appraised at approximately $5.5 million, along with a donation from Nabors Canada, who provided the donation of Drilling Rig 62.  

President and CEO of Northern Lights College, Laurie Rancourt, says the rig is a significant attraction for the college.

“This drilling rig project has been a part of the vision for the Fort St. John Campus for more than a decade. Now that it is coming to fruition, the rig quickly will become a focal point in helping to provide skilled and trained workers to meet the needs of our partners in the oil and gas industry.”

For more information on programs and training opportunities at Northern Lights College, visit the College’s official website.

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