Noble Energy gives Mesa State $100,000

Two programs at Mesa State College will split a $100,000 contribution from Noble Energy as the company looks to remain active in drilling for natural gas in northwest Colorado.

Houston-based Noble’s contribution will be split equally between the college’s construction-management and landman programs.

With the contribution to the college, Noble is looking to the future, said Stephen J. Flaherty, director of government relations for Noble.

“We’re preparing so we’ll be able to respond quickly when the economy turns around” and drives up demand for natural gas, Flaherty said.

Noble can benefit by getting graduates from both programs at the college, Flaherty said.

Drilling companies need people to deal with construction issues in building and maintaining well pads, pipelines and other energy-field necessities.

Landmen make their living working with government officials, private landowners and mineral-rights holders to arrange for drilling or other land uses.

Both are four-year degrees offered by Mesa State.

Contrary to the name, women are interested in being landmen and prefer the job to be known as such and not “land negotiator,” said Jim Colosky, director of the program at Mesa.

Two women are enrolled in the 2-year-old program, Colosky said. Two veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq also are enrolled, as well as several others, among them students with family ties to the drilling and mining industries.

Either way, Flaherty said, Noble hopes to begin employing graduates of the programs, each of which offers bachelor’s degrees, as soon as possible.

“These programs were designed and implemented as a direct result of input from industry,” Mesa State President Tim Foster said. “Noble Energy has been at the table to
help with the development, which we very much appreciate.”

Mesa will name a new lab in the soon-to-be renovated science building the Noble Energy Science Lab.

Noble is a leading independent energy company and was founded by Lloyd Noble in 1932.

The company, with offices in Rifle and Denver, plans to operate two rigs this year in the Piceance Basin and drill 50 wells.

Each rig employs about 50 people and the company has about a dozen people in other jobs, Flaherty said.


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