TOP Energy Training is the premier source for training energy professionals.

What is TOP Energy Training?

Our educational consortium is composed of Colorado School of Mines, Penn State University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Together, we design and create 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 42,000 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.

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  • “This program has given me the confidence to be a successful professional, and I am excited to use this knowledge throughout my career.”
    Crystal, oil and gas field inspector
  • “Highly recommend! The TOP Energy online training courses provide oil and gas regulators and inspectors with a fundamental understanding of industry operations, as well as insight into technical trends and solutions that are changing the way the oil and gas industry does business.”
    Patrick A
  • “As a trainer of personnel with a wide range of knowledge base, using the information within [the Effective Communications] course will help me better communicate with this audience.”
    Oil and gas field inspector
  • “As someone who is wishing to be in a management position someday, [the Effective Communications] course really made me think about how I communicate with my inspectors and reevaluate myself to become a better speaker/communicator with my coworkers.”
    Oil and gas field inspector
  • “[This lesson made me] think to create an outline using this information prior to meeting with a landowner or operator.”
    Oil and gas field inspector

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. However, once you finish a course, you have the options to complete a final assessment if you would like to receive a course completion certificate. You will be able to make several attempts to complete this final assessment. Once you pass the assessment, you will receive a course completion certificate verifying your mastery of the materials.

Petroleum Geology

This course covers information starting with a broad overview of historical, economic, and scientific contexts related to modern energy exploration and production. Following an examination of “big picture” questions about the influence of energy in the world, we finish the course with regulations, leasing, and permitting to prepare you for the next course, Petroleum Engineering & Technology.
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Petroleum Engineering & Technology

In this course, we dive into the mechanics and processes involved in drilling operations. Creating a safe, stable hole in the ground is the basic goal of the drilling process, but there are a variety of complex technologies and operational methods involved in creating that hole. In addition, this course discusses completions, formation evaluation, stimulation, production, decommissioning and reclamation.
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Environmental Stewardship

This course examines the intersection between the oil and gas industry and the wider environment by presenting the global water cycle and energy-water nexus as well as other environmental concerns and health, safety, and security. The course ends with an overview of sustainable development as a best practice in all industrial environments.
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Emerging Trends

Energy production is an ever-changing and evolving field. Covering emerging technical and industrial concerns, this course provides an overview of underground injection, carbon capture utilization and storage, induced seismicity, and subsurface containment.
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Effective Communications

This course contains three lessons designed to assist learners when conversing about topics related to the oil and gas industry. These communication lessons provide knowledge and training on rhetorical strategies, knowing yourself and social networks, and how to overcome difficult situations.
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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 Emeritus of Geosciences, Penn State

    Margaret Ash

    Manager, Field Inspection Unit
    Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission 
    (retired 2020)

    Matt Balhoff

    Professor, Hildebrand Department of 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 (d. 2015)

    John Beckworth

    Lecturer, Law, The University of Texas at Austin

    Paul Bommer

    Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Hildebrand Department of 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

    Associate Professor, Petroleum Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

    Cliff Frohlich

    Senior Research Scientist Emeritus, 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

    Clean Energy Program Officer,
    The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation
  • Hilary Olson

    Top Energy Training Leadership Team Member
    Senior Lecturer and Program Manager, Hildebrand Department of 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 (d. 2019)
  • David Yoxtheimer

    Hydrogeologist, Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research,
    Penn State
View all our instructors

Who Should 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 science, engineering and technology 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.  

Oil and gas professionals in either technical or non-technical capacities (e.g., accountants, business managers, etc.) can benefit from the program. Technical professionals, perhaps those at the start of their careers, will be better equipped to quickly become significant contributors to multi-disciplinary teams. Those technical professionals with limited, recent field experience will receive a refresher on fundamentals, as well as an introduction to the latest technical applications and practices in the industry. Non-technical professionals 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. 

University and High School Students

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). 

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