The Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning Conference was held Feb. 26 to March 1 at the National Center for Employee Development in Norman. More than 300 people from 14 countries attended the annual conference, which is recognized as one of the premier gas processing conferences in North America.

The conference serves as a forum for new ideas, developments and operations for preparing and purifying natural gasses and other fuels for market. Industry professionals attending the event presented information on technological advances, case studies, theoretical breakthroughs and current research in the field. University of Oklahoma engineering graduate students also were invited to share their projects at the conference reception.

“The Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning Conference has gained a world-wide reputation and has many attendees from all over the world,” said Lily Martinez, program coordinator for the OU Center for Community, Energy and Economic Development (CEED). “It’s a crucial conference for all professionals involved in the gas processing, conditioning and sweetening  industries.”

Four OU chemical engineering students were awarded scholarships at this year’s conference. Accepting the scholarships were Dean Rufeisen, Lauryn Carver, S. Michael Fedell and Bree Cooper.

Kirk Garton, executive director for CEED, said the conference is a “hidden and unique gem” with a lot of OU history. He said it’s especially interesting how individuals from competing companies are able to collaborate and share research at the event.

“It isn’t a topic that makes the average person go, ‘wow!’ initially,” Garton said. “I think the concept of how they present and challenge papers and research is quite interesting. This is THE event for people that do what these people do.”

The conference honors Laurance Reid, who joined OU as a professor in 1940. Reid was active in the young natural gas industry and was an early supporter of the short-cycle absorption process. He co-developed and co-patented the Townsend Sulfur Removal Process in 1952, and by 1970 he held seven United States and 11 foreign patents.

In 1951, he was named chair of the OU Engineering School. That same year, the first Gas Hydrate Conference was held when Reid and about 25 of his personal friends gathered to collaborate and share ideas.

As the scope of the conference broadened, it was renamed the Gas Conditioning Conference. Reid, who coined the term “gas conditioning,” served as conference chair until his death in 1986, and the conference was subsequently renamed in his honor.

Since its inception, the conference has presented more than a thousand papers. While it adapts to changes in the industry and technology, the conference is committed to abiding by Reid’s original guidelines—keep the conference small, encourage a free exchange of ideas and emphasize practical operations, not research.

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