5 Reasons You Should Choose Oklahoma Mud School
Reason #1: OMS is the oldest mud school in existence.
Oklahoma Mud School has been around longer (since 1978) than any other mud school and has a 35 year history. We've worked hard developing our curriculum over the years to make sure our students actually possess the basic entry level skills they need to achieve success as a drilling fluids engineer. It's not just about checking mud. Understanding mud chemistry fundamentals is also important and provides a starting point when formulating treatments designed to remediate a contaminated mud system.
We have our own proprietary software, including interactive oil and water based mud sheets that students can customize to their liking and our exclusive "Catfish & Color TV Calculator" that features easy to use programs that make hydraulic calculations a breeze. Just about every problem a student will face on the rig can be solved with the 'Catfish'.
Students use this software from day one and when they graduate it's included on a DVD along with tons of other industry materials, such as various oil, gas, and drilling fluids related manuals and programs that are used by permission or included because they are free to use, public domain materials found on the internet. This DVD is a learning resource and provides reference information to help the graduate elevate skill levels. A mud man needs to update his skills and knowledge as the industry evolves. Mud systems currently in use are constantly evaluated and improved as to products, techniques and disposal methods employed, with emphasis on safety and environmental issues. It's important for a mud man to keep up.
Reason #2: Students visit a real drilling location and check the mud!
Reason #3: Our students work with our own software.
OMS is the only mud school that offers a weekend field trip to a location where real live drilling is occurring. Each student fills out the top of a mud sheet, checks and records the mud parameters and recommended treatment, and conducts and records an inventory of all mud products onsite. Each student then compares their mud sheet with the real mud sheet hung in the doghouse by the drive by engineer earlier in the day. In addition to and before checking the mud, the students are given a tour of the drilling location. Each piece of equipment is identified with an overview of how it works.
OMS tuition is $3,000.00 US. Always has been. Always will be. All of these new schools charge outrageously high tuition rates. Why? It can't be because they have experience operating a school or in formulating lesson plans. The owners/instructors ARE mud men, but they lack teaching experience. The curriculum is entry level and virtually the same at all schools, including OMS, so what is the justification for the exorbitant rates? It comes down to what the primary motivation was for opening the school. In these schools it's apparently MONEY! Schools have to make a profit to stay open, however, charging high rates just because some students will pay it is a blight on the school's reputation and brings into question the integrity of the school owners.
A school shouldn't have to cast dispersions or resort to subterfuge to recruit students. One school's web site stated (in an obvious reference to OMS) that a student could not receive a good entry level education in just 4 weeks. They said their school would expand classroom time to 8 weeks. This change would supposedly increase classroom hours, but such is not the case. A more careful look reveals that they only have half-day classes, operating only 4 or 5 hours a day. That's why they go 8 weeks.
Attend 8 weeks, 4 hours a day, or 4 weeks, 8 hours a day. Running an 8 week school is appropriate only if offering night classes. Night school allows students to attend without quitting their jobs, but benefits local students only. Offering an 8 week school during the day costs the student twice the money in expenditures for room and board. Responsible people with regard for the fact that most students have trouble coming up with their tuition and more times than not, rely on family members to help out, would never institute a class schedule that would cost the student more.
Life is full of decisions. Prospective students who sign up for overpriced schools may have more money than sense. Not everybody who goes to mud school will become mud men. Some people are not suited for this type of work. You can't always be right, but after interacting with students during the first week of school, if we believe a student may not benefit from the training we discuss it with them. If the student thinks we are mistaken in our evaluation and wants to continue, they may do so. However, if the student agrees with our evaluation and elects to drop the course, then OMS refunds all tuition paid, and, based on a formula, reimburses the student the costs of travel (food & fuel) to the school and the return home.
Reason #5: OMS Has An Extensive Array of Old & New Laboratory Equipment
Students learn to check mud using a variety of equipment. OMS has several models of each piece of testing apparatus. This insures that when students are working in the field they will be familiar with different models of the same piece of equipment. You never know what kind of equipment you will have to work with when you arrive at the rig. Normally, mud companies provide new engineers a basic mud kit which contains, more often than not, a ragtag assortment of basic testing equipment, some of which you may or may not recognize. For instance, if the mud kit contains a half area filter press and you are only familiar with a full area filter press, it can be a little scary. You will have to use some type of resource to find out how to correctly operate the half area press as it is different from the full area press in several ways, including the amount of mud used, size of the filter paper, time to run the test, and the calculations used to determine the amount of filtrate collected from the sample. If the engineer is doing drive byes this type of problem can turn a short rig visit into a lengthy ordeal as you learn to operate equipment that you should have mastered in mud school. This is one of the reasons that OMS urges new mud men to purchase their own personal mud kits. It's nice to use your own equipment. When you care for and calibrate your own equipment, your life expectancy increases.
OK. You've graduated, found a job, and have just now arrived at the first rig that you will be responsible for. This is your first day on the job. You remain in your vehicle, looking around, taking it all in. You have no experience and you've never been to a rig before. You mentally go over all the things you need to accomplish. As you stare at the mud sheet you will be filling out it dawns on you that you don't have a clue where to find the information you need to fill out the top of the mud sheet. Uh Oh! Besides that, you aren't recognizing the rig equipment. You saw pictures of this stuff in your mud manual, but these pieces are different. Confusion. Panic. Now what? .
Your School Instructor Said You Could Do This Job Without Any Experience. Really?
Can this really happen? Of course. Happens everyday. And it's scary. You sold yourself as a bone fide entry level mud engineer who possesses the skills to manage a basic fluid and perform all tasks associated with the job. Now here you are, first day on the job, and somehow your instructors let you graduate without making sure you knew how to find information you need to do the job. Tragic. At this point you have three options. Place a call to your boss and tell him you need help finding the information needed to fill out your mud sheet and perform basic calculations. You'll probably be fired. Or you can head over to the company man's trailer and appeal to his good nature. He'll be nice and tell you what you need to know, but as soon as you're out of sight he'll call your boss and complain about being sent an incompetent engineer.