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ExxonMobil and GE back University initiative

LNG Industry,

Colorado School of Mines, Penn State University and the University of Texas at Austin today announced a new training initiative to support the rapidly growing shale natural gas and oil development sector. The training programmes created under the initiative will be led by the faculty at each academic institution and are designed to ensure that regulators and policymakers have access to the latest technology and operational expertise to assist in their important oversight of shale development.

ExxonMobil and GE both recently announced they would each contribute US$ 1 million to this new educational initiative.

“Regulators have said that the need for increased training is one of their highest priorities due to the rapid expansion of shale resource development and the equally active evolution of technologies and best practices in the field,” said Gary Pope, director of The Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (CPGE) at The University of Texas at Austin.

To meet this demand, CPGE, which provides engineering leadership and technology innovation related to energy and the environment with special emphasis on the production of hydrocarbons from both conventional and unconventional sources, added an Education, Training and Outreach Program, directed by Dr. Hilary Clement Olson.

The series of courses, which will primarily focus on the development of shale resources, will cover:

  • Petroleum geology, both conventional and nonconventional.
  • Petroleum technology, including principles of drilling operations and well design, as well as facility design and operation.
  • Environmental management technologies and practices, including water treatment and management, waste treatment and management, air emission control technologies, spill prevention and planning and response.
  • Federal and state oil and gas regulatory requirements, including permitting and reporting, plus compliance assessment.


GE and ExxonMobil believe that natural gas plays a critical role in America’s energy future. When used for power generation, natural gas emits up to 60% less CO2 than coal. The integration of two proven technologies - horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - has opened up more than 100 years supply of natural gas for U.S. homes and business, creating an unprecedented pathway to enhanced energy security for the country. Natural gas also enables more renewable energy to join the power grid as next generation gas turbines help ensure grid stability by quickly ramping up and down to generate electricity when wind or solar power is intermittent.

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