TOP Energy Training is the premiere source for training energy regulatory professionals.

What is TOP Energy Training?

Our educational consortium is composed of Colorado School of Mines, The Pennsylvania State University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Together we designed and created online courses for oil and gas professionals, focusing on the fundamental technology, science, and engineering of oil and gas operations.

Since 2012, we have delivered more than 35,000 hours of content to professionals as part of our flagship program for field inspectors and regulatory personnel. Now we are making these high-quality online courses available to professionals, educators, and students who would like a better understanding of the ever-changing technology in the industry.

Our Energy Training Courses

Each TOP Energy Training course requires approximately fifteen hours to complete. At the end of each lesson, there is a short, self-check quiz to help you assess your understanding of the content. These self-check questions will prepare you for the final assessment at the end of the course. Both the self-checks and the final assessment are optional.

Petroleum Geology & Engineering

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the historical, economic, and scientific context of modern energy exploration and production. It looks at global economic interdependencies in the energy sector, and explains the science of petroleum geology.
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Petroleum Technology

The end goal of drilling operations is simple: to create a safe, stable hole in the ground. The mechanics of accomplishing this goal, which will be covered in this section, are more complex. This course introduces the technologies that make drilling and completions possible, typical operational methods for drilling and completing wells, and methods for solving problems that come up during the drilling process.
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Environmental Stewardship

This course covers the intersection between the oil and gas industry and the wider environment. It starts with an overview of the global water cycle and the energy-water nexus before closely examining the other concerns. The course ends with an overview of sustainable development as a best practice in all industrial environments.
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Emerging Trends & Communications

Split half and half between communications and rhetorical strategies and emerging technical and industrial concerns, this is the most varied of the courses. It provides an overview of hydraulic fracturing, induced seismicity, and subsurface containment, before a deep-dive in best practice of how to talk about these complicated processes.
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Once you finish the lessons in a course, you can complete a final assessment. You will be able to make several attempts to complete  the final assessment. Once you pass the assessment, you will receive a course completion certificate verifying your mastery of the materials.

Meet the Instructors

When you take an energy training course from TOP Energy Training, you have access to expertise from faculty members at numerous universities, as well as professionals with a range of industry backgrounds and environmental approaches.

  • Michael Arthur

    Professor of Geosciences, Penn State

    Margaret Ash

    Manager, Field Inspection Unit
    Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

    Matt Balhoff

    Professor, Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

    Linda Battalora

    Top Energy Training Leadership Team Member
    Teaching Professor, Department of Petroleum Engineering
    Colorado School of Mines
  • Mike Batzle

    Baker Chair, Geophysics Department, Colorado School of Mines

    John Beckworth

    Lecturer, Law, The University of Texas at Austin

    Paul Bommer

    Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

    Dan Brockett

    Educator, Shale Energy Team
    Penn State Extension
  • Terry Engelder

    Professor of Geosciences, Penn State

    Alfred William Eustes III

    Professor, Petroleum Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

    Cliff Frohlich

    Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences
    The University of Texas at Austin

    Lee Ann Kahlor

    Associate Professor, Department of Advertising, Moody College of Communication
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Jim Ladlee

    Top Energy Training Leadership Team Member
    Assistant Director Energy, Business & Community Vitality Programs Programs

    Art Markman

    Professor, Department of Psychology
    The University of Texas at Austin

    Dave Messersmith

    Business Operations Manager, Marcellus Education Team, Penn State Extension
    Penn State

    Drew Nelson

    Senior Manager, Natural Gas
    Environmental Defense Fund
  • Hilary Olson

    Top Energy Training Leadership Team Member
    Senior Lecturer and Research Associate, Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering
    The University of Texas at Austin

    Jon Olson

    Chair and Professor, Hildebrand Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering
    The University of Texas at Austin

    Mike Parker

    Principal, Parker Environmental and Consulting, LLC

    Bridget Scanlon

    Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Steve Sonnenberg

    Professor, Boettcher Chair in Petroleum Geology, Department of Geology & Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

    Bryan Swistock

    Senior Extension Associate, Water Resources Coordinator, Penn State Extension

    Rick Tallini

    President, Otto Cupler Torpedo Company Inc.

    Azra N. Tutuncu

    Professor, Harry D. Campbell Chair, Petroleum Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines
  • David Yoxtheimer

    Hydrogeologist, Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research,
    Penn State
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Why Should I Take a TOP Energy Training Course?

State and Federal Government Employees

Inspectors, regulators and policymakers can anticipate learning outcomes that enable them to better understand the latest scientific, engineering and technological mechanisms in place within the upstream oil and gas industry. The technical knowledge provided by our online courses allows government employees to fully appreciate environmental and human health & safety challenges, and better understand mechanisms in use and being developed to ensure protection of the environment and the public sector.

Oil and Gas Attorneys and other Legal Professionals

Attorneys and other legal professionals can anticipate learning outcomes that enable those with little experience in the oil and gas industry to quickly understand the fundamentals of the latest science, engineering and technology used within the upstream side of the business. Our online courses deliver a broad overview of terminology married with multi-media content and high quality visuals to provide a basic knowledge of the technical fundamentals of the industry.  

University and High School Students

University students in the various energy fields can anticipate learning outcomes that provide a broad, fundamental background in petroleum science, engineering and technology. Students in allied fields will be well prepared for future careers in the energy sector. Our online courses work well as introductory textbooks in university-level petroleum engineering or broad energy overview courses. Our online courses can also serve as textbooks for advanced level high school courses in petroleum related topics (e.g., petroleum engineering, petroleum technology or environmental science). 

Oil and Gas Professionals (non-technical)

Oil and gas professionals who work in a non-technical capacity (e.g., accountants, business managers, etc.) can anticipate learning outcomes that enable them to better understand the broad technical aspects of the oil and gas business that they contribute to in their day-to-day work activity. Our online courses deliver a broad overview of terminology married with multi-media content and high quality visuals to provide a basic knowledge of the technical fundamentals of the industry. 

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