Statoil Canada Invests $1M to Grow R&D and Petroleum Education in Newfoundland

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW/ -- A $1 million dollar investment by Statoil Canada, matched by the Research & Development Corporation (RDC), will boost Memorial University of Newfoundland's research expertise in reservoir engineering.

The funding will create the Statoil Chair and Statoil Associate Chair in Reservoir Engineering at Memorial University and foster the development of a new Petroleum Engineering research program in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Statoil Canada and RDC will each contribute a total of $1 million over the next five years.

"Today's announcement is an excellent example of the opportunities that are created when industry, academia, and government partner," said Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. "This partnership will result in positive outcomes as it will further develop Newfoundland and Labrador's research expertise in reservoir and arctic operations. It also represents some of the innovative work of RDC and its contribution to enhancing exploration and development opportunities for this province."

"Statoil is a technology-based upstream energy company, so investments in R&D and education and training are important for us," said Hege Rogno, vice-president, Offshore Upstream, Statoil Canada. "We have a long track-record of collaboration, technology sharing and knowledge transfer, which sets us apart. With the goal to strengthen the areas of petroleum technology, reservoir engineering and R&D in the province, we are very pleased to enter into a partnership with Memorial University and the Research & Development Corporation."

Recently, Statoil signed a similar agreement, focused on R&D collaboration, with the University of Texas. "Universities and academic institutions in North America represent important arenas for Statoil in research and competence development," said Ms. Rogno. "With plans to significantly develop our operations in Canada and the US, we want to further develop our position in the market for talented and skilled individuals."

"R&D investments in petroleum reservoir engineering align with Newfoundland and Labrador becoming a world-class leader in new technologies for exploration and development in harsh environments," said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer, RDC. "Today's announcement will also foster new generations of researchers critical to the future growth of this province's offshore petroleum industry."

The Statoil Chairs in Reservoir Engineering will become an integral part of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The chairs will establish, promote and focus their teaching and research programs on reservoir engineering. The chairs will also develop the reservoir engineering capability within current programs.

"The new Statoil Chairs in Reservoir Engineering will significantly strengthen Memorial's research capacity in this strategic area and we are committed to pursuing other opportunities, such as a Canada Research Chair or NSC Industrial Chair, to further build our expertise in this area," said Dr. Gary Kuchens, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. "I have every confidence that the Statoil chairs will lead to innovative new research that will benefit both engineering students and the wider community."

The recruitment process for the new chair positions will start immediately with the goal to have a chair in place by April 2012.

About StatoilStatoil is an international energy company with operations in 34 countries. Building on more than 35 years of experience from oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf, Statoil is committed to accommodating the world's energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions. For more information, go to

About Statoil Canada in NewfoundlandStatoil ambitions are to become a producing operator offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, while gaining knowledge about the region's sub-arctic conditions. The company is a partner in the Terra Nova (15%) and Hibernia (5%) fields, as well as the Heron (9.7%) and in the Hibernia Southern Extension (10.5%) field developments. Statoil is also a major exploration operator, holding four significant discovery licenses and five exploration licenses. In 2009, it made a discovery on its Mizzen prospect located in the Flemish Pass Basin, opening a new relatively unexplored basin for the province. Statoil is currently operating a two-well exploration program offshore Newfoundland: the first is on Mizzen, the second on its Fiddle head prospect, to be completed by the end of 2011. It also recently completed a D seismic program in the northern Flemish Pass Basin.

About the Research & Development CorporationThe Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. For more information about RDC, go to



About Memorial University of NewfoundlandFounded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland's war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the largest in Atlantic Canada, with about 18,000 students. Memorial provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines. With locations in St. John's and Corner Brook in Newfoundland, Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, the French-owned island of Saint-Pierre, and Harlow in England, Memorial is committed to experiential learning. The university's many interdisciplinary programs abound with opportunities for experiential learning, ranging from on-campus employment to work terms around the world.

Outstanding research and scholarship, extraordinary teaching and a focus on community service are the university's hallmarks. Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized facilities in areas such as music, linguistics, folklore and human genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural health care and archaeology. For more information about Memorial University of Newfoundland, please go to

About Dare To: The Campaign for Memorial UniversityMemorial University of Newfoundland is undertaking a $50 million private sector campaign as part of an overall redevelopment program. Dare To focuses on student financial support, academic excellence and physical Infrastructure. Investment in these three key areas will position Memorial as a destination of choice for academics, students and staff from around the world. For more information on the campaign, please visit

    Media Contacts:


Caron HawcoCommunications Lead, Offshore CanadaStatoil Canada Ltd.709-738-8471,



Jeff GreenManager, Marketing & CommunicationsResearch & Development Corporation709-758-0973,



Scott BarfootDirector of CommunicationsDepartment of Innovation, Business and Rural Development709-729-4570,



Laura BarronCommunications Co-ordinatorCapital Campaign, Memorial University of

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SOURCE Statoil

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