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Petroleum engineering majors up at UW

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 12:24 am •  Published: November 13, 2012

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An increase in domestic oil and gas production has been accompanied by a surge in petroleum engineering majors at the University of Wyoming.

Petroleum engineering enrollment at UW this fall is 219 students. That's up more than 50 percent from last year and by far the most students since UW revived its petroleum engineering major in 2006.

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering head David Bagley says it's relatively easy for students to enroll in the program.

He says 60 to 70 percent of students complete the program, a rate comparable to other engineering students.

Increased oil and gas production coincides with growing numbers of petroleum engineers approaching retirement age.

UW School of Energy Resources Director Mark Northam calls it a "perfect storm" for higher enrollment in petroleum engineering.