Baker Hughes opens Western Hemisphere Education Center
TOMBALL, Texas -- Baker Hughes recently opened its Western Hemisphere Education Center, just north of Houston, replacing seven other legacy training centers across the hemisphere. The cross-training facility, designed to train company employees from all product lines, primarily serves Baker Hughes’ North America and Latin America regions, as well as the Europe/Africa/Russia-Caspian and Middle East/Asia-Pacific regions.
Training encompasses classroom learning, hands-on mechanical and electrical training in workshop labs, and field operations training on rigs and wells. The complex, built on a 100-acre parcel of land owned by Baker Hughes, features a classroom building, a 162,000-sq-ft training yard, and a workshop.
The center’s yard includes a pressure pumping pad, where the company conducts hands-on training in cementing and blending operations, for both land and offshore. Adjacent to the pad is the CT area, with two test wells; the first is a 1,000-ft vertical well, and the second is used for horizontal well training.
Nearby, the gantry area contains six wells in total. Four 1,000-ft wells are used by the Baker Hughes Wireline Services group. Two of these wells are cased and two are openhole, which contain fiberglass casing instead of steel. The wells on the outside of the gantry are 600 ft deep, and are used primarily by the Artificial Lift and Sand Control training teams.
A training rig sits over a 1,600-ft well, and includes a classroom adjacent to the rig floor, which enables real-time review and feedback during the training experience. A second training rig is planned to sit over the 2,000-ft well also in this area.
Adjacent to the yard is a 53,000-sq-ft workshop building that supports all training teams. In the workshop, technicians learn the mechanics of Baker Hughes’ tools—how to take them apart and put them back together. The building also houses eight classrooms; cementing/fracturing simulation rooms; a 40-person fluids and chemicals lab; a mechanical, electrical and workmanship standards lab; and a cafeteria.
The center’s 90,000-sq-ft classroom building currently houses 21 classrooms, with six more planned. At any given time, it will hold approximately 500 students, and as many as 100 training personnel. Learning methods found in the classroom building include: bilingual and translated courses; innovative classrooms that encourage small-team collaborative learning; and a state-of-the-art telepresence classroom with HD video conferencing capabilities.