During the summer semester of 2014 University of Utah MS Petroleum Engineering students visited 14 engineering operations and facilities. The goal was first hand exposure to oil and gas operations in Utah and Wyoming. Following the visit to Resolute Energy’s enhanced oil recovery operation in the Paradox Basin’s Aneth field [link], students toured PacifiCorp’s Currant Creek Natural Gas Combined Cycle power plant. mspe_pacificorp2The Currant Creek plant is one of PacifiCorp’s latest and most modern power plants. It entered service in March 2006 with a nameplate capacity of 540MW. The plant is served by a dedicated 20”, pipeline running at 1075 psi that connects to Questar’s ML 104. At the Currant Creek facility, two General Electric 7FA gas turbines each produce up to 145MW of electrical power. The gas turbines are connected heat recovery steam generators, which uses exhaust gas to generate steam, as in a conventional boiler. This steam is then utilized in a 250MW conventional steam turbine. The exhaust steam is then condensed into water through an air-cooled condenser, which allows the plant to consume much less water. This combined system greatly improves output efficiency and has significant benefits to air emissions and fuel consumption rates. The Currant Creek plant also features duct firing capabilities that provides additional heat energy directly into the heat recovery steam generators and adds approximately 52.5MW of additional generation capacity. A natural gas combined cycle power plant like Currant Creek offers significant environmental benefits over coal-fired generation facilities. In addition to producing approximately half the CO2 of a coal-fired unit, Currant Creek also features the latest in NOx reduction and CO oxidation catalysts. SOx emissions are also very low due to the relative purity of the natural gas feedstock. PacifiCorp’s Currant Creek facility represents an important piece of the hydrocarbon value chain. mspe_pacificorpOver the course of the field study, students encountered a diverse range of petroleum-related operations. These encompassed E&P operations, midstream and downstream facilities, as well as end-use applications. Students also met with service providers and recruiters. The Department of Chemical Engineering was fortunate to work with many of Utah and Wyoming’s key energy companies; including ConocoPhillips, XTO, Savage Energy Services, Fidelity, Resolute, Wolverine, Utah Geologic Survey, Tesoro, Newfield, Crescent Point, Red Leaf, U.S. Oil Sands, Halliburton, Questar, and ExxonMobil. Each organization’s willingness to showcase their work and their facilities offered our students a unique opportunity to understand the full life-cycle of hydrocarbon commodities and highlighted potential career paths.