WEST Virginians owe a huge thank-you to Schlumberger Limited, the world's largest oilfield services. The company,, headquartered in Houston, gave nearly $18 million worth of grants for geology and geophysics software to West Virginia University.
Schlumberger made its first in-kind software donation to WVU in 2007.
The gift boosts the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, and is a reminder of the importance of choosing a college major wisely.
Starting salaries for petroleum engineers average $98,000 a year, according to PayScale. That easily tops the 130 majors listed.
That level of pay is more than 50 percent larger than aerospace engineering, which was No. 2 on the list. Math and engineering majors dominate the top salaries.
That reflects the supply and demand for petroleum engineers. Consider that a word to the wise.
Schlumberger's investment means more WVU
students will be able to get a top-notch education in petroleum engineering.
With the activity in the Marcellus shale and Utica shale formations, they may stand a better chance of remaining in West Virginia after graduation — thanks to Schlumberger.
n n n
THE city of Wheeling has come up with a new housing development plan: Encourage residential use of empty downtown buildings.
Unfortunately, the cost of renovations exceeds the expected rents.
Accordingly, the city's Historic Landmarks
Commission is looking for a way to have taxpayers subsidize the renovations through the federal Community Development Block Grant program.
Why is "federal" money always the first response to every civic problem? If living in downtown Wheeling makes sense, some businessman or woman will figure a way to make a buck on this.
Many things would be nice for society. But the
nation is living on its credit card.
The federal debt has been nearly 10 percent of the national economy under President Obama.
Americans have to stop looking to Washington for help. That's the only way to save the nation.
n n n
THE decline of the coal industry and the rise
in abuse of prescription painkillers have made
impoverished McDowell County miserable.