International energy company Statoil has signed an agreement with The University of Texas at Austin to fund $5 million of research over five years focusing on geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering.Statoil Logo

This is Statoil’s largest research agreement with a university outside Norway and its first in the United States.

“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with the university, a world-class academic institution, renowned for its leading research and education within several important areas for us,” said Bill Maloney, executive vice president for Statoil in North America.

“Statoil wants to further develop its position in the market for talented women and men to join us. We plan to significantly grow our activities in the United States and Canada. Universities and academic institutions in North America represent important arenas for Statoil in research and competence development, both on a regional and global level,” said Maloney.

“Statoil is a world-class energy company with a commitment to research and education, and we look forward to working with them in the years to come to develop talented young people who will become the energy leaders of tomorrow,” said Scott Tinker, the director of the university’s Bureau of Economic Geology in the Jackson School of Geosciences. He will sit on the strategic board helping to guide the program.

“Statoil is a huge oil and gas company with the most unique, sophisticated research capabilities. Having spent a sabbatical at Statoil’s Research Center in Trondheim, Norway, I am very proud that we can work together with so many excellent researchers and provide new, cutting-edge research to develop unconventional resources worldwide,” said Tad Patzek, chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department in the Cockrell School of Engineering. He will also sit in the program’s board.

The University of Texas at Austin and Statoil have been research partners for years. The new agreement focuses on four areas:

  • Integration of geological, geophysical and petrophysical data in earth models,
  • Trap integrity in salt basins – sub-salt imaging and seal versus pore pressure challenges,
  • Drainage of deep marine reservoirs – static and dynamic reservoir models and drainage methods
  • Unconventionals – improved development and drainage of shale plays.

“This agreement is vital for Statoil’s long-term ambitions in the US,” said Helge Haldorsen, vice president for strategy in Statoil North America.

“We are in a growth mode, and this agreement will allow us to access world-class research and long-term recruitment opportunities. By extending and formalizing our collaboration with UT, we aim at stimulating research and competence development within important strategic areas both for UT and Statoil,” he said.

For more information, contact: John Bird, Geology Foundation, Jackson School of Geosciences, 512-232-9623;  Maria McGivney Arrellaga, Cockrell School of Engineering, 512-232-8060.