CHANCE MEETING ABOARD OIL RIG

Geology majors discover WCU connection

Kurt Remington ’10 and Dan Morrow ’74

Six thousand miles from home, on the open seas 80 miles from shore, with boundless skies overhead and bottomless depths below, may not seem a likely place to discover it’s a small world. But that’s what happened to Kurt Remington ’10 (right) and Dan Morrow ’74 (left). The two met while working on a drilling rig for two different Houston-based companies two years ago in waters off the coast of northern Israel. Remington was a “mud logger” monitoring samples from the well drilling and Morrow, the well-site geologist, was the supervisor on the mission. One day the two were talking when they discovered they were both WCU graduates. “We were chatting and we both said we were from North Carolina,” said Remington. “Then Dan said he went to school at WCU and I said, ‘No way, me, too!’” Remington, now a well-site geoscientist for Weatherford Laboratories, lives in Magnolia, Tex., and is working on a well near Carlsbad, N.M. Morrow, a consultant geologist for Noble Energy, has worked almost continuously in the oil and gas business for 40 years in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, California, the Gulf of Mexico, Ghana, Israel and Cyprus. Having the same alma mater has turned out to be not the only surprise from the mission. The underexplored site where they worked became the Leviathan 1, the world’s largest natural gas discovery of the past decade. The well has 16 trillion cubic feet of gas with likely market value of tens of billions of dollars. It could lead Israel, with its goal of energy independence, to a role as a major supplier in the Middle East. Production is expected to begin in 2015.