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  • Lackawanna College

    Petroleum & Natural Gas Industrial Mechanics


    Students who obtain the associate degree in Petroleum & Gas Industrial Mechanics will be qualified for positions focused mainly on the delivery and distribution of petroleum and natural gas. They may find themselves as compression station technicians, pipeline technicians, or midstream operations technicians.

    Employees in those positions will monitor and maintain equipment specific to the delivery of energy products including compressors, engines or prime movers, pipelines, and dehydration facilities. They will also troubleshoot obstacles that may prohibit the maximum efficiency of the system and operate within the safety standards that are agreed upon across the industry.

    Fast Facts

    • The median wage for geological and petroleum technicians is $56,470 as of May 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are more than 1,400 compressor stations that maintain pressure on the natural gas pipeline network and assure continuous forward movement of supplies throughout the country.
    • 305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines exist in the United States, according to U.S. EIA.
    • Students are exposed to a tremendous amount of experiential learning in the lab in addition to traditional lecture courses.
    • Placement in industry-based 160-hour internships provides additional hands-on learning opportunities.
    • Our graduates have found successful careers in states including Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, and New Jersey.


    Petroleum & Gas Industrial Mechanics students will master:

    Compression Technology
    • Describe the function, calculations, and uses of a reciprocating gas compressor including the major parts of a reciprocating gas compressor, emergency shutdown, auxiliary equipment, suppression pulsations, compressor valves, volume efficiency, horsepower requirements, rod loads, cylinder clearance, valve maintenance, compressor inspection, and safety precautions.
    • Apply basic mechanics required for the compression process as it relates to compression cycle, PV diagrams, estimating compressor capacity, piston displacement, and estimating compressor horsepower requirements.
    • Apply principles of compressor evaluation, maintenance, systems to help prevent catastrophic failures, calibration of a gas flow meter, and troubleshooting of reciprocating compressors.
    • Demonstrate in-depth practice and understanding of compressor performance software.
    Natural Gas Engine Technology
    • Describe basic aspects of natural gas engines and their operations systems including safety, hand tool and rotational motion, product information, operation, gas engines, operation fuel systems, electronic system overview, maintenance and troubleshooting, system operation and troubleshooting, internal components, ADEM III and GERP, lubrication and cooling system, gas ignition, intake and exhaust, intro to CAT Electronics System, operating, testing, and adjusting.
    • Describe natural gas engine components including troubleshooting, basic disassembly procedures and tooling, electrical system failure testing, ADEM III control system, and valve wear.
    • Midstream and transmission pipeline systems technology including natural gas pipeline design; maintenance and repair; pipeline or gather system design; pipeline materials and construction; general flow equations for steady-state flow of gas through pipes; incompressible fluid hydraulic flow, pipeline components; basic pipeline protection, integrity monitoring, and leak detection methodologies; friction and pressure drop calculation; optimization process; and pigging.
    • Maintenance and troubleshooting of liquid glycol dehydration systems.
    Safety Certifications and Industry Standards
    • Ensure student’s safety and expertise through PEC Basic Orientation (Safeland, Safegulf, SEMS, and TRAP); PEC H2S Clear; OSHA 10 Construction; and Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and AED certifications.
    • Response to confined space, emergency entry and exit, excavations, job safety analysis, lockout/tagout procedures, safety shutdown valves, and back pressure control.
    • Relate and analyze electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic process control systems, and electronic instrumentation and controls.
    • Standard measurement devices: orifice, turbine, rotary, diaphragm, ultrasonic, and Coriolis meters.
    • Software and hardware associated with WIFI, IP, and SCADA; PLC systems and calibration processes.
    • Demonstrate understanding and operations of instrumentation, measurement, and control systems including real gas laws, basic thermodynamic principles, and energy relationships.
    • Measuring flow in closed pipe systems; oil and gas storage, metering and export, control and safety systems, pressure temperature and liquid-level measurements; and moisture measuring and control devices.
    • Discuss leadership, ethics, and regulations within the petroleum and natural gas industry, including the effect of corporate leadership on the company’s credibility and reputation, real-world ethical issues facing the petroleum and natural gas industry, and the relationship of the industry to federal, state, and local governments, including regulatory agencies.

    View the curriculum guide (for students beginning in Fall 2018) – PDF

    Petroleum and Natural Gas programs are only offered at the College’s center in New Milford.