Top Energy Training

Oil and gas online curriculum designed to support technical and non-technical industry professionals

Since 2012, the TOP Energy Training consortium has bridged the knowledge gap between oil and gas inspectors and operators in North America.

TOP Energy Training rises to the challenge

To address the challenge that the surge in unconventional resource technology created, ExxonMobil and General Electric approached three universities, The University of Texas at Austin, Penn State, and the Colorado School of Mines, with seed money to develop and teach a technical training program for oil and gas inspectors.

The three schools agreed to collaborate on curriculum and methodology to create their flagship training program, TOPCORP.

The universities surveyed state agencies to uncover any existing training available, preferred training methods, and available time for training. In response, TOP Energy Training designed the TOPCORP program to include a set of online prerequisite courses followed by in-person workshops at each of the three schools.

A blended approach to learning

TOP Energy Training rolled out its first TOPCORP workshop to oil and gas inspectors in 2013. Since then, UT Austin, PSU, and MINES collaborated to host three annual workshops for oil and gas inspectors to enhance the assigned online coursework. The blended educational approach allows field inspectors to receive online updates from a wide range of technical experts, develop new skills in the classroom, and expand their knowledge and network base through well-site visits and peer-to-peer interaction.

Top-notch inspection corps remains essential for good environmental outcomes

TOP Energy Training is proud to contribute to this critical work. TOPCORP has provided over 42,000 hours of technical instruction to U.S. and Canadian inspectors from 37 local, state, provincial, and federal agencies.

TOP Energy Training leadership recognized that the online curriculum content developed for TOPCORP could have value to a broader audience than just the regulatory community. 

For example, technical and non-technical industry professionals, lawyers, teachers, students, journalists, landowners, municipal staff, and consultants must stay up to date with ever-evolving oil and gas technology trends to be effective in their jobs and careers. As a result, TOP Energy Training online content is now available to these audiences, accessible through this website.

Oil and gas industry training from expert-level instructors

Course enrollment includes instruction from oil and gas industry experts and course curricula developed by leading universities. In addition, faculty members from numerous universities are featured in each course to provide students with their depth of knowledge and experience. 

Additionally, industry, environmental, government, and legal professionals lend their perspectives to each course. 

TOP Energy Training is an efficient and cost-effective educational program designed to meet the needs of industry professionals, regardless of their experience level. 

Our students come to us with varied backgrounds: municipal, state, and federal regulatory agency personnel; oil and gas attorneys; non-technical oil and gas professionals; university instructors wishing to broaden the subject matter and expertise available to their students; university law, business and engineering students anticipating their entry into the profession; and high school STEM teachers.

Self-paced online education designed for industry professionals at all levels

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.

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 primary goal of the drilling process, but a variety of complex technologies and operational methods are involved in its creation. In addition, this course discusses completions, formation evaluation, stimulation, production, decommissioning, and reclamation.

Environmental Stewardship

This course examines the intersection between the oil and gas industry and the broader environment by presenting the global water cycle, energy-water nexus, and 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.

Emerging Trends

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

Effective Communications

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

Each training course has a self-assessment check at the end of each lesson to ensure that students have a firm understanding of the material covered. In addition, the self-assessment will help to ensure that students are ready for the final assessment after the course. These self-checks and final assessments are optional but extremely useful to reinforce and assess learning.