Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

December 23, 2013

Energy innovator

Dr. Kirk Boatright keeps training courses up to date, and has an eye on how the industry will evolve

TAHLEQUAH — A luminary within the energy industry calls Tahlequah home, and these days, he’s talking a lot about fracking.

Kirk Boatright, a former dean at Northeastern State University, runs an operation called Training Consultants International. It’s a home-based business, but it often sends him on the road. It has been in existence and evolving since 1980.

“I am called to offer technical training courses in engineering,” Boatright said. “They are among the best courses in the world.”

Over the years, his clients have included ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, British Petroleum, Devon, Marathon and Maersk. He will offer two courses in Houston in January.

In recent years, his courses have taught the engineering facets of hydraulic fracturing, often called “fracking.”

“More and more companies are becoming involved in it,” he said. “Ten years ago, we didn’t have the technology to do this, and about five years ago, the technology improved.”

Today, horizontal well-boring is much more economical. More natural gas is being used due to the increased production. For some, the drilling technique can allow the U.S. to wean itself off foreign energy sources. Others believe it will delay a conversion to renewable energy.   

Boatright does not expect renewables to significantly impact American energy consumption over the next couple of decades.

He explained the U.S. is actually a world leader in the use of wind, generating 25 percent of the world’s output. However, wind accounted for just 2.3 percent of U.S. energy consumption in 2010. The use of solar is growing, but it accounted for less than .18 percent of consumption between October 2012 and September 2013.

Even the most optimistic forecasts by environmental groups foresee no more than 30 percent of energy generated by renewables in the U.S. over the next 15-20 years.

“It is estimated by 2030 that 35 percent of our energy will still come from oil,” Boatright said. “Petroleum, natural gas, coal and nuclear will still account for almost all of it.”

Fracking has to be part of the plan

Any strategy intended to achieve energy independence for the U.S. should include fracking, Boatright said.

“The ability to recover these gasses, liquids and condensates has reduced our need for foreign energy,” he said. “The U.S. now has the largest supply of hydrocarbon liquids in the world - more than Russia, more than Saudi Arabia. That includes oil, condensate and natural gas. If fracturing is prevented, energy costs will skyrocket. We will lose the equivalent of 4.5 million barrels of oil a day.”

Boatright said many practices sought by the energy industry have environmental benefits.

“The reason there is no Keystone Pipeline is because of politics,” he said. “The product still gets sold. Trains are coming out of Canada carrying about 70,000 barrels of oil each. Is that safer than a pipeline?”

Amid concerns about the effect of carbon dioxide emissions on climate, Boatright said natural gas use has helped reduce the American carbon footprint. The U.S., while still the second-largest producer of carbon dioxide, has reduced its emissions to 1990 levels. Many sources cite the conversion of coal-fired electric plants to natural gas - made more plentiful by fracturing methods - as key to the reduction.

“Protecting the environment, in my opinion, should include building all vehicles to run on compressed natural gas within five years,” Boatright said. “You can travel as far at about a third the cost of fuel oil.”

In seeking energy self-reliance, Boatright said the goal should not be U.S. independence, but North American independence.

“I believe the real opportunity is independence as a continent,” he said. “In terms of proven reserves of fossil fuels - coal, oil, natural gas, condensate - the Middle East has 2.6 trillion barrels. The U.S., Canada and Mexico have 13.6 trillion barrels.”

Boatright offers three five-day courses through TCI: Basic Petroleum Engineering Practices, Basic Petroleum Technology, Basic Reservoir Engineering, and a 10-day course combining petroleum engineering practices and reservoir engineering.

More than 14,000 people have attended Boatright’s courses. He plans to publish four books based on decades of engineering study.


Visit Boatright’s TCI site at www.trainingconsultantsintl.com.


To read an online exclusive about Boatright’s career, go to tahlequahTDP.com


Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA