FARMINGTON — Members of the New Mexico Legislature in Farmington for committee meetings toured San Juan College's School of Energy this month.

The tours were led by the dean of the School of Energy, Randy Pacheco.

"I was hoping that they would walk away with a real understanding of what we provide and that what we do provide is needed in the energy industry," he said after the tours.

Pacheco first led members of the Legislative Finance Committee and the following week, he led members from the Legislative Education Study Committee on tours.

During the finance committee tour, Pacheco showed them the school's simulated oil well site.

"It's very unique," he said. "Here is where they (students) learn to operate safely."

Randy Pacheco talks about the three-stage separator on July 9 during a tour of San Juan College’s School Energy in Farmington.
Randy Pacheco talks about the three-stage separator on July 9 during a tour of San Juan College's School Energy in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

The simulated site has a compressor, a dehydrator, a separator, and other components used on well sites.

Rep. James Strickler, R-District 2, told the group that more than 100 wells exist inside the Farmington city limits.

Another legislator asked Pachecho about technology advancement in the industry.

"It's all happening so fast. We are trying to keep up," Pacheco said.

Pacheco said the school teaches mostly San Juan College students during the fall and spring semesters and then uses the facility to teach industry professionals during the summer.

Pacheco, after the tour, said construction for the new School of Energy near the San Juan College Campus is running on schedule.

"It's coming along great," he said. "We're on time, on budget. We're pretty excited."

He said he expects the building to be completed by early next summer, but the move from the current school of energy may take as much as 90 days.

The move will include the well simulator.

"We're going to move this thing up there and reconnect it," he said.

Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638.and ezah@daily-times.com. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.