It's the end of the semester in colleges across the country, so students are using this time to take their final exams, finish any last-minute work and say goodbye to their friends before heading home for winter break. It's a time when campuses are shutting down for the next month, but at Indiana State University, the action is just about to pick up.
Earlier this week, a crew of about 10 oilfield workers and equipment arrived in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana, with plans to drill for the next week, according to the Associated Press. Illinois-based Pioneer Oil hopes to find crude oil underneath the land owned by Indiana State University, just as its students and staff take off for their respective vacations.
The city of Terre Haute has a rich history of oil, and producers believe the area around the campus is a hot spot, but up until recently, they have not had the technology to quickly extract oil from the area without disrupting the campus or community.
Steve Miller, Pioneer's chief financial officer, told the local publication the Tribune-Star that new solutions like horizontal drilling have made subterranean pools of oil, which are traditionally hard to reach, more economically viable.
"It's very exciting for us to be drilling," Miller said.
While the company plans to be done quickly, it needs to remember that time is of the essence. The university has agreed to the project and is being paid an undisclosed sum, but if this operation hinders the student experience when they come back next semester, it could be problematic. Using the right oilfield equipment can ensure timely completion of such projects.