Nicholls petroleum services program to receive more than $300,000

THIBODAUX – Tellus Operating Group LLC, a Mississippi-based oil and gas company, has finalized the first installment of a multiple-source endowment that will fund new petroleum services labs at Nicholls State University. The total endowment is expected to exceed $300,000.

Pictured from left are Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, head of the Department of Applied Sciences at Nicholls; Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president; Ty Rivet, drilling manager for Tellus Operating Group LLC; and Michael Gautreaux, coordinator of the petroleum services and safety technology programs at Nicholls.

Ty Rivet, drilling manager for Tellus and Nicholls representative for the American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE), said the Nicholls program is the “ideal choice for the receipt of these funds. We are proud to be able to support the Gulf Coast oil and gas industry in this way.”

The initial $10,000 gift from Tellus – along with an additional $3,000 from Turbo-Chem International Inc. of Houston, Texas – will help launch the first phase of the project, which includes constructing and equipping a state-of-the-art drilling fluids laboratory and student computing center. The lab is expected to be ready for student use in fall 2012 and will be named in honor of the late Nicholls supporter Johnson “Bubba” Hale Jr.

Phases two and three will include a reservoir fluids and environmental assessment and monitoring laboratory, expected to be completed by the end of spring 2013. In all, the Tellus and Turbo-Chem donations, along with additional AADE funding, will reach $153,000. An additional $184,000 grant from the Board of Regents will fully fund all three labs.

“I am delighted that our petroleum services faculty members have established this industry partnership and secured matching funds from the Board of Regents,” Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president, said. “The resulting educational benefits will strengthen Nicholls’ position as the university of choice in this region, especially among students interested in joining the oil and gas industry.”

Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, head of the Department of Applied Sciences at Nicholls, added that “the importance of an industry match cannot be stressed enough. Our faculty members were able to secure the Board of Regents grant in a competitive section under the engineering category because of the industry match. We would like to thank the AADE and our industry partners for their continued support of the petroleum services and safety technology program at Nicholls.”

For additional information about the program, go to

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