Shell announces renewed shale gas push in the US

Oil giant Shell and the University of Texas have signed a five-year agreement to pump $7.5M into shale gas and other unconventional power source research.

Shale gas has been a game changer in the states turning the country from an importer into a net exporter.

But, the UK’s shale market has failed to win business or political support.

However, Shell and the Austin-based university hope the work will ‘address short- and long-term challenges’ facing the growing worldwide unconventional oil and gas industry.

Shell’s president, Marvin Odum, said: “This agreement marks an important milestone in Shell’s commitment to continually research and develop innovative technology that will help to meet global demands by bringing more energy resources to market.

“We chose to collaborate with the University of Texas (UT) because it brings together an extraordinary amount of talent from both organizations that will push the technological envelope in the field of developing even the most challenging hydrocarbons safely and responsibly.”

The new Shell-UT Program on Unconventional Resources will be managed by the university’s Bureau of Economic Geology with participation across the campus, including geoscience, engineering, economics, business, environmental and regulatory affairs.

“In addition to top-ranking geology and petroleum engineering programs, the university has dedicated centers working in energy law, economics, finance and energy and environmental policy.”

UT president, William Powers, added: “Increased production of shale gas and other unconventional hydrocarbons could significantly enhance US energy security.

“Since these are largely available, affordable, and reliable domestic energy sources that contribute directly to the U.S. and global economy.”

The agreement will also support students at The University of Texas at Austin which both parties hope will greatly ‘enhance their employability’.

Luke Walsh

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