Extra funding for oil and gas training centre

Paul Boughton

Six of the oil industry’s biggest names have confirmed additional funding support for the new Heriot-Watt University-led Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas.

BP, Shell, BG, ConocoPhillips, E.ON and Total have together pledged more than £1 million to underpin a Training Academy for 90 PhD students over the next six years. This brings total funding for the Centre to more than £9 million. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has allocated £2.7 million to the centre and the remaining £5.2 million will come from the Centre’s academic and affiliated partners over the next six years.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said, "The shared funding from industry and government that is going into this centre will nurture a future generation of experts to provide technical and intellectual leadership for decades to come in one of the UK's great industries. It is an excellent example of how our industrial strategy is helping industry and government to work together and align research investment with priorities for economic growth. I am delighted that businesses are supporting the new centre so strongly, it is a vote of confidence in how the consortium led by Heriot-Watt, with support from the Natural Environment Research Council, have designed the programme."

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said: “Such significant industry investment is great news. It not only demonstrates that our strategic vision is right but that the Centre is seen as being relevant, credible and attractive to industry. Heriot-Watt University is well known for its strong industry links which result in innovative research, new technologies and enhanced opportunities for students. By working alongside industry specialists we also ensure that we are delivering people with the skills and training the industry wants.”

The Centre will focus on creating a highly skilled workforce with expertise that can be used across the wider energy and environmental sectors, as well as filling skills gaps in the oil and gas sector. This will equip the industry with the skills needed to meet the future challenges of energy security.

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