Energy expo gives industry chance to tout jobs, explain operations
RIFLE The EnCana Energy & Job Fair had only been open for 15 minutes when about 100 people were milling around the Garfield County Fairgrounds indoor arena.We advertised the expo opening at 2 p.m., and already, it looks like were getting a great turnout, said Kathy Friesen, EnCana community liaison.Last year, about 500 people attended the expo, and it only ran from 3 to 8, Friesen said. We expect to surpass that number this year. More than 30 gas and oil companies, contractors and government agencies set up booths in the arena, and in the south hall under the fairground grandstands. Representatives from drilling companies, frac-ing equipment manufacturers, trucking companies, computer monitoring programs and nearby colleges passed out free pens and ball caps and lots of brochures to people passing by. The purpose of the job fair and expo, now in its second year, is for people to get information, fill out applications, pass out rsums, and learn about the oil and gas industry, said Friesen.Garfield County oil and gas auditor Doug Dennison said the expo gives people an opportunity to get an up-close look at the industry from a person-to-person perspective.The public is concerned with the impact that exploration and production of natural gas is having on the area, Dennison said. As a liaison between government, citizens and industry, I see the need for educational forums. The expo fills this need as well as showing industrys willingness to de-mystify their activities.At the Halliburton booth, Gary Morris, who works in human resources in the companys Rock Springs, Wyo., operation, explained Halliburtons energy services in the western United States.Under Halliburtons international umbrella, theres a wide range of energy services, like contracting in Iraq, he said. What we do here is all service work related to drilling oil and gas, except the drilling rigs themselves. Equipped with drilling bits, diagrams and sand samples, Morris demonstrated how natural gas and oil is extracted from the ground. I want people to understand what it is that we do, he said.Halliburtons competitor, Schlumberger, also had a booth at the expo. Schlumberger is also an international gas and oil industry company that serves companies like EnCana and Williams. We take geologic measurements to determine where oil and gas is, said Ian Rivers of Schlumbergers Grand Junction operation. And technology that were developing helps save natural resources, and not only just for the gas and oil companies.Over at the south hall media center, EnCana staffers were well equipped to answer questions regarding the recent discovery of gas seeping into Divide Creek south of Silt.EnCana is working with 30 residents to test 47 wells, ponds and springs, stated a press release included in the expos media packet. Sampling results from all monitoring stations in the seep area of Divide Creek show no detectable hydrocarbon constituents including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. (See related story, page 5.)Also in the south hall, Jim Byers of the Bureau of Land Managements Glenwood Springs office had topographic maps set up at the BLM booth showing all existing and approved wells in Garfield County. The tiny red and yellow dots indicating wells were scattered through the countryside south of Silt, while large compacted clusters of wells appeared near Rulison and again near Parachute.Two colleges also had booths at the expo: Mesa State College and Colorado Mountain College.Were here to see how we can help train workers already working in the field, said Teri Masten, CMC division director. We also offer safety courses, and we have a very strong natural resource management program. Wed like to see how we can partner with some of these companies to train people for the industry. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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