Wesleyan Introduces New Petroleum and Natural Gas Geophysics Program

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

With the rise in popularity of the oil and gas field, West Virginia Wesleyan College has announced that beginning in August, the College will offer a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Geophysics.

In recent years, innovations in geophysics have fundamentally changed how natural resources are discovered and produced. One of the most exciting innovations is the three-dimensional seismic survey. This has resulted in tremendous advances in successfully finding oil and natural gas.

New technology such as horizontal drilling has enabled cost-effective extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale rock layers.

“We are delighted to contribute to this rapidly-growing regional industry,” said Dr. Bert Popson, chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering.

Students will learn methods of measuring underground rock properties to locate hydrocarbon reservoirs. The most commonly used method is the seismic method. Shock waves are set off at the surface and penetrate the Earth like sonar. The returning echo can be used to tell what is below. Petroleum and natural gas geophysicists can specialize in acquiring, processing, or interpreting seismic data and frequently collaborate with geologists and engineers.

The new program has a hands-on emphasis, with its foundation courses in physics and mathematics and advanced courses in geophysics. The major will prepare graduates for employment in the natural gas industry or admission to graduate study in geophysics and related fields.

For more information, please contact the Office of Admission at (800) 722-9933.