EnCana donation advances energy and environmental research

    CALGARY, March 19 /CNW/ - EnCana Corporation is making a major
contribution to the advancement of research on energy and the environment with
a $7.5 million donation to the University of Alberta. This is one of the
largest corporate donations to date in the university's Campaign 2008 and was
made in honour of the U of A's centenary.
    The donation establishes the endowed EnCana Scholars Awards and EnCana
Research Chairs, one in water resources and another in environmental
engineering. These endowments address the recognition that supplying energy to
future generations will require building a critical mass of research on energy
and the environment.
    "Our world is continually demanding more energy and Alberta is in a
unique position to help. At the same time, developing our natural gas and oil
resources in an environmentally sound manner is essential. That's why we need
the collaboration of great institutions like the University of Alberta to find
new and better ways to efficiently develop our resources in a sustainable
way," said Randy Eresman, EnCana's President & Chief Executive Officer.
    "This donation will fund three important endeavors to help attract and
support the best and brightest professors and students who will be advancing
knowledge at the intellectual crossroads of energy and environment. It is
hoped that EnCana's funding today will help the University of Alberta Dare to
Discover and Dare to Deliver on Canada's goal of becoming a world leader in
environmentally sustainable energy development," Eresman said.
    U of A President Indira Samarasekera called the donation truly
    "This gift clearly demonstrates EnCana's commitment to the future of
innovation at the University of Alberta," said Samarasekera. "This will propel
the university to the forefront of energy and environmental research and will
assist us in developing the future leaders in energy-related fields as we move
into our second century. It is the knowledge energy of the EnCana Chairs and
Scholars that will advance research and innovation to the benefit of not just
Albertans, but those around the world who rely on energy generated in Canada."
    Of the $7.5-million total, $6 million establishes the research chairs at
$3 million each, and $1.5 million endows the EnCana Scholars Awards.
    The EnCana Chair in Environmental Engineering will focus on enhancing the
understanding of best practices in a wide range of environmental, social and
business arenas, and in communicating this knowledge broadly beyond the
    The EnCana Chair in Water Resource Sciences will serve as the catalyst
for comprehensively documenting, analyzing and protecting groundwater systems
in Alberta. The U of A is a leader in developing new ways to assess the impact
of industry on water quality.
    "As a public institution, the University of Alberta strives to share the
knowledge and innovation created here so that it benefits the public," said
Samarasekera. "We will work with EnCana to ensure that the research conducted
here has broad impact and reaffirms Alberta's leadership in engineering and
science related to energy production."
    The EnCana Scholars Awards were created in the spirit of the university's
100-year history of developing leaders who have had significant impact across
many fields. Each year 10 top achievers in their third and fourth years will
each receive awards of approximately $6,500 on the basis of outstanding
academic merit in disciplines related to energy and the environment.
    For more than six decades, the University of Alberta has been
instrumental in developing Alberta's renowned oil and gas industry, from the
education of its work force and leaders to geological discovery to
technological innovation.
    That innovation dates back to engineering professor Karl Clark's hot
water process for separating bitumen from oilsands in the 1920s. Since then,
alumni have played key roles in discovering Leduc No. 1 and the Pembina Field,
and researchers across campus actively explore diverse issues related to
resource development from the social and environmental to the scientific and
    Most recently the university created its School for Energy and the
Environment which works in the public interest to educate people who will have
a deeper and broader understanding of complex issues. SEE pulls together the
university's extensive expertise across disciplines - including engineering,
science, arts, agriculture, native studies, business, law and public health -
to collaborate in research and offer a range of perspectives to students.

    The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of the top 100 teaching and
research universities in the world, serving some 37,000 students with more
than 11,000 faculty and staff. Founded a century ago, the university has an
annual budget in excess of $1 billion and attracts more than $480 million in
external research funding. It offers close to 400 undergraduate, graduate and
professional programs in 18 faculties.

    With an enterprise value of approximately US$65 billion, EnCana is a
leading North American unconventional natural gas and integrated oil company.
By partnering with employees, community organizations and other businesses,
EnCana contributes to the strength and sustainability of the communities where
it operates. EnCana common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock
exchanges under the symbol ECA.

For further information:

For further information: Sandra Halme, University of Alberta, Public
Affairs, (780) 492-0442; or Alan Boras, EnCana Media Relations Manager, (403)
645-4747, m (403) 630-4911.

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