Exxon, GE Donate $1M Each for Shale Best Practices Training

Exxon Mobil and General Electric announced yesterday that each company is investing $1 million to help fund training in shale development best practices at three universities, including PennState.

A new multi-university initiative announced today (March 8) will provide best-practices training for people working in the rapidly growing shale natural gas and oil development sector. The effort involves Penn State, the University of Texas at Austin and the Colorado School of Mines; training programs will be led by faculty at each academic institution and are designed to ensure that regulators and policymakers have access to the latest technological and operational expertise to assist in their oversight of shale development. ExxonMobil and GE, two major U.S. energy corporations, each will contribute $1 million to the new educational effort.

As part of the initiative, the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research has added the Shale Gas Regulators Training Program.

"The program affords the University a unique opportunity to further develop shale gas best-management practices and to offer new regulators the chance to learn the latest science-based concepts related to geology, petroleum technology and environmental quality," said Thomas Murphy, co-director of the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research. "Penn State looks forward to providing development training that will help ensure a strong, yet consistent, regulator process across the Appalachian Basin.”

The training program will draw upon Penn State’s significant expertise in shale-gas geology, reservoir engineering and related sciences, and also upon University researchers’ leadership in advancing the understanding of the environmental, economic and social issues related to shale-gas development.

In addition, a training program for regulators in the oil and gas industry has been added in the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, and a program of courses designed to provide training in the responsible development of unconventional energy resources has been added in the Colorado School of Mines’ Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute.*

*PennState Live (Mar 8, 2012) – Initiative to provide training in shale-development best practices