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Meet Our Instructors
Bill Murchison, CEO, Instructor, Albuquerque Training Center
Bill has a B.B.A. from Texas Christian University. Bill has been working for MDS since 1997. Before joining MDS, he managed several other companies in other industries. Bill has over thirty years of experience in training and teaching. He is a certified IADC WellSharp and IWCF well control instructor and assessor.
Tim Arnold, Vice President, Instructor, Albuquerque Training Center
Tim has a Petroleum Engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines, and has over thirty years of experience in drilling operations. Tim joined the MDS teaching staff after retiring from Marathon Oil Corporation in February 2011. Tim has a varied experience, working on land rigs, jack-ups, semisubmersibles, and drill ships. Tim is a certified IADC WellSharp and IWCF well control instructor.
John Breidenthal, Manager, Instructor, Houston Training Center
John has a Petroleum Engineering degree from the University of Kansas, and has thirty seven years of experience in drilling. He has worked as a field drilling engineer for deepwater and jackups, drill site manager, production supervisor, and well control instructor for a major oil company. John has varied experience working on land rigs, jack-ups, and drill ships. He is a certified IADC WellSharp and IWCF well control instructor.
Bob Haagensen, Instructor, Albuquerque Training Center
Bob has a B.A. from the University of Colorado and an M.A. from Western State College. He has over thirty-two years of operational experience, working both internationally and domestically. His primary area of expertise is drilling fluids. Before joining MDS, Bob worked for MI Drilling Fluids. In addition to excellent operational experience, Bob also has sixteen years of teaching experience. Bob is a certified IADC WellSharp and IWCF well control instructor.
Willie Lyon, Instructor, Houston Training Center
Willie Lyon has a Petroleum Engineering degree from Texas A&M, and has forty-five years of experience in drilling operations. He joined MDS in 2009 as a Lead Instructor. He has worked as a production engineer, drilling engineer, manager of engineering, manager of operations, and as a drilling consultant. Willie has a varied experience, working on land rigs, jack-ups, semisubmersibles, and drill ships. Willie is a registered PE and is a certified IADC WellSharp and IWCF well control instructor. He is also a member of the AIME/SPE and the IPAA.
Tom Cowper, Instructor, Permian Training Center
Engineering from Texas Tech University. He has over thirty years of operational experience on both the contractor and operator side. He worked as a roughneck, while earning his engineering degree. After graduating, he held the following positions: assistant driller, driller, construction engineer, division engineer, drilling engineer, rig design supervisor, rig supervisor, drilling supervisor, district drilling engineer, drilling foreman senior drilling advisor, and consultant. Tom has varied experience, working on land rigs, jack-ups, semi-submersibles, and drill ships. Tom has his IADC WellSharp and IWCF Supervisory (Level 4) Well Control certification for Combined Surface/Subsea.
Richard Quick, Instructor, Houston Training Center
Richard has thirty seven years of experience in drilling. He has held positions from roustabout to drilling superintendent, including four years as a well control instructor. Richard is previously retired from a major oil company where he was part of a well engineering process safety team. He is a certified IWCF & IADC well control instructor.
Gordon Poss, Instructor, Baaken Training Centers
Gordon Poss teaches well control courses in the Rocky Mountain and Baaken areas. Gordon has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He has over forty years of operational experience. After graduating, he worked as a drilling engineer, senior drilling engineer supervisor and specialist, as well as a drilling manager. Gordon has experience with HPHT drilling, MPD operations, desert operations, exploratory drilling, offshore drilling and workover, and research and development. He has varied experience, working on land rigs, jack-ups, semisubmersibles, and drill ships. Gordon is a registered PE and is a certified IADC Supervisor (Level 4) combined surface/subsea well control instructor.
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