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Tom Hunt Energy Hall

Empowering the future of energy

Take a virtual expedition deep underground to explore a drilling rig from the inside out! From natural gas to solar and wind energy, every source of energy is fueled by science.

Each time you take a ride in a car, flip a light switch or take a hot shower, you’re seeing energy in action. But how do we harness natural resources like oil, natural gas and alternative energies to make it all happen? Here inside the Tom Hunt Energy Hall, the answers are yours to discover.

Experience what it’s like to turn the valves of a full-size wellhead, or use 3D technologies to map likely underground energy deposits. You’ll even have the chance to explore a drilling rig from the inside out as you take a virtual trip deep underground. And with global demand for energy on the rise, you’ll discover how fossil fuels and alternative energy sources are all playing a powerful role.

Exhibit highlights include:

Formation and Location

Where do energy deposits come from, and how do we find them? Explore these and other questions as you:

  • Discover how microscopic marine organisms are transformed into hydrocarbons
  • Learn how scientists use clues from the surface of the earth to locate energy reservoirs
  • Study core samples under a microscope to find clues that could point toward oil and natural gas
  • Create a detailed view of underground layers in our state-of-the-art 3D visualization lab

Drilling and Production

Locating energy underground is just the beginning. Discover the science and technology behind drilling and production by:

  • Exploring galleries of working rigs all over the world
  • Seeing and touching real drill bits designed for different mining jobs
  • Operating the valves of a full-sized wellhead
  • Taking a virtual journey 6,500 feet underground to explore a Barnett Shale drilling rig from the inside out
  • Zoom in on your hometown or street as you explore the thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines that traverse the country

Looking Ahead

Discover how renewable energies like solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric energy fit into the picture today, and what’s in store for tomorrow. Explorations include:

  • A glimpse into the future of alternative-energy cars
  • A high-definition animation showcasing how food, wood and other biofuels can be a vital part of the energy mix
  • Interactive opportunities to explore the potential of nuclear fusion
  • Dynamic displays showing energy use in real time