New Training Initiative

Hilary OlsonHOUSTON - March 8, 2012 - 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 programs 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, two of America's leading energy corporations, today announced they would each contribute $1 million to this new educational initiative.

"Regulators have expressed 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.

"This funding provides us with the resources to broaden our partnerships and our scope to create a new training program for regulators in the oil and gas industry that is collaborative and interdisciplinary," said Olson.

CPGE's new Education, Training and Outreach Program is involved with workforce training and capacity building in the area of carbon storage. In addition, it leads professional development programs related to energy, climate and water for teachers from Texas. Please see the complete press release (PDF format) for more details.