Service Industry & University Collaboration in Teaching Production Optimization with Artificial Lift


As the number of wells utilizing artificial lift continues to grow globally, educating engineers on all forms of artificial lift and production optimization techniques has become essential. Increasing enrollments in petroleum engineering at universities, combined with decreasing availability of experienced manpower in universities and industry pose significant challenges in offering the most current, relevant, and applicable artificial lift content to students. This paper details the results of a collaborative effort between the service industry and the academe to develop a semester-long curriculum in artificial lift that has right balance of theory, design and application, and which can ultimately be shared among many petroleum engineering programs. The course has been given successfully at one university during the fall term, 2013. In this offering, students learned from practicing, experienced industry technology leaders using traditional in-person as well as and remote teaching methods. The course encouraged collaborative learning through online sessions and practical problem solving using the current software applications. All lectures were recorded for future use and sharing. Specific insights from the first course offering, i.e. critical elements which made the collaboration and the course successful, are discussed. The paper also provides information regarding plans to expand the course offering to other universities. This work is important as it confirms the value of collaboration between industry and the academe to support and enhance petroleum engineering education. The work is unique as it details the mechanisms for improved instruction across multiple petroleum engineering programs. The paper also quantifies both the performance of the students and the student perceptions of the course. This effort is consistent with SPE's many recent initiatives to strengthen petroleum engineering education.

Meeting Name

SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (2014: Oct. 27-29, Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Application programs; Curricula; Distributed computer systems; Education; Engineering education; Petroleum analysis; Petroleum engineering; Petroleum industry; Problem solving; Societies and institutions; Collaborative learning; Design and application; Practical problems; Production optimization; Service industries; Software applications; Student perceptions; University collaborations; Teaching

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2014 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2014