Oil Show donates funds for scholarships

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship funds were distributed to local colleges and universities Wednesday, thanks to the Permian Basin International Oil Show.
The oversized checks were presented to University of Texas Permian Basin, Odessa College, Midland College, Texas Tech University and the Desk and Derrick Club at the UTPB CEED Building.
This year’s gift totaled $282,500, a news release said, which brings the grand total since 2007 to $1.1 million.
UTPB, OC and MC received $80,000 each; Texas Tech received $35,000; and Desk and Derrick received $7,500.
In the release, oil show Executive Director Tony Fry said the main purpose of PBIOS, which takes place every other year, is to provide education, information and activities related to the oil and gas industry.
Over the last decade-plus, the oil show board of directors decided that the show would help in the education and training for future employees and entrepreneurs in the form of scholarships.
The industry not only needs engineers and geologists, but also welders, instrumentation and electrical technicians and other trade people. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher and be Permian Basin residents.
The college presidents and other recipients expressed thanks for the scholarship funds.
“We’re thankful and we’re proud to be included,” OC President Gregory Williams said. “We know the oil industry is impactful. We know the oil show is doing some really good work and for them to continue to think of us year after year and to give scholarships to our students is a wonderful thing.”
This is the largest scholarship donation so far, Williams said.
“It continues to increase and I’m impressed by the fact that they continue to do that, so I know they’re doing good work and they’re trying to do all that they can for us,” Williams added.
UTPB President Sandra Woodley said it is an amazing contribution to the university.
“We are so proud of the fact that the U.S. News & World Report recently named our petroleum engineering as one of the best in the country,” Woodley said. “And our graduates make more money than almost anywhere else when they graduate, which is amazing.”
In building a strong engineering program, Woodley said, it helps significantly to be able to have these scholarship funds to recruit and retain more students.
“It’s not just engineering, but also related fields like geology. Chemistry is another area that feeds into chemical engineering, so we have a number of oil and gas-related disciplines that will benefit greatly from this $80,000,” Woodley said.
Williams and Woodley said they didn’t know how many students the funds would impact because it would depend on student need and what other aid they might be receiving.
Woodley said UTPB is trying to maximize its scholarship dollars.
Tommy Pipes, president of the upcoming Permian Basin International Oil Show, said this was an opportunity to share with local institutions of higher learning some of the funds that were received in the previous oil show.
“We’re a nonprofit organization and our oil show is dedicated to education in the oilfield. We have vendors from all over the country come in with their wares and show what their latest technology is. Our local workforce and workforce from out of town can come in and learn what’s new in the oilfield. And so we thought that this would be a wonderful way for the Permian Basin Oil Show to give back to the community by supporting our local institutions in education through scholarship funds,” Pipes said.
“So we have decided to support to Midland College and Odessa (College) and UTPB, as well as Texas Tech University so some students who may not be able to go to college can get an education through scholarships,” Pipes said.
He added that the young people are the future of the industry.
“… It’s a win-win for us and for the youngsters that want to go into the industry, as well as the institutions here that are helping build our future leaders,” Pipes said.
Pipes said this is the most that PBIOS has been able to contribute.
“It’s exciting it’s exciting to support the community, to support the colleges and also support the youth,” he said.
The oil show has grown and been successful for many years. “Of course, you know the oilfield has its down times and it has its boom times, but we have a very good board and we are very frugal during the years whenever things are a little leaner. Whenever things are booming, well then our show reflects that with respect to revenue. We’re a nonprofit organization, so this is the way that we want to return the money to the community,” Pipes said.