The Cullen College of Engineering expects to begin accepting students into the program in fall 2009.
“Marathon’s and Devon’s commendable and considerable generosity will benefit both the University of Houston and the public in general as we help prepare a new generation of energy industry leaders,” said Renu Khator, president of UH and chancellor of the UH System.
Marathon (NYSE: MRO) has pledged $600,000 to the program over three years. Marathon’s funds are unrestricted and will be used to address the most pressing needs of the new degree program as it develops. The company has been a donor to UH since 1989, with previous giving totaling nearly $400,000.
“We applaud the formation of the petroleum engineering program at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering, and are proud to be the first company to step forward and pledge support,” said Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., Marathon president and CEO. “The creation of this program at UH is significant at this important juncture, when global demand for energy is increasing so rapidly. Marathon is pleased to support the College of Engineering in their efforts to educate students who will one day play a critical role in developing energy that is so vital to the future of our country and the world.”
Devon (NYSE: DVN) has committed $1 million to the program over three years. The funds will provide scholarships and textbooks for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the new petroleum engineering program, materials for faculty and other needs of the program. Devon’s funds will also be used to renovate an existing laboratory and outfit it with the latest equipment to provide students hands-on experience. In recognition, the laboratory will be named the Devon Energy Petroleum Engineering Laboratory.
“We are looking forward to a strong partnership with the university as it moves forward with plans to prepare the next generation of petroleum engineers to overcome the vast challenges we face in the future,” said Devon President John Richels, “We are certain the program will be a great resource for our operations in Houston as we continue to recruit young engineers to fill a growing number of positions within our company.”
Devon, the largest U.S.-based independent oil and natural gas producer, is a pioneer in some of the most challenging oil and natural gas producing regions in the world, such as the Gulf of Mexico deepwater, the oil sands of Alberta and the Barnett Shale of north Texas. While the company’s headquarters are in Oklahoma City, it has a major presence in Houston and Calgary. Devon has been a strong supporter of the University of Houston for many years.
“Support from companies such as Marathon and Devon underscores the need for a petroleum engineering undergraduate program in this region,” said Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Endowed Chair and dean of engineering. “We are grateful that both companies decided to support our program with their generous gifts, which in turn is an investment in the long-term stability of the regional workforce.”
Both companies’ support will bolster the petroleum engineering program, considered a cornerstone in the university’s goal to become a leader in energy research and education. The University of Houston also leads the Lone Star Wind Alliance and is home to substantial research efforts in alternative fuels, energy conservation and energy systems integration.
The new Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering is expected to help alleviate concerns about the energy sector’s aging workforce. Energy education and degree programs across the country have experienced a steady decline in enrollments since the 1980s. And the Society of Petroleum Engineers has estimated that one-third of the energy workforce is over the age of 50.
When approved, the new bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering will include a revolutionary “modular” curriculum, allowing students to focus their degree in areas of specialization such as reservoir engineering or petroleum geology. The program will also require a set number of electives in areas like project management, economics and energy law.
For more information about Marathon, contact Paul Weeditz at (713) 296-3910.
For more information about Devon, contact Wendi Schuur at (405) 228-4494.
About the Cullen College of Engineering
The University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering, established in 1941, is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Over 2,300 students are enrolled in engineering courses—1,619 undergraduates, 66 post- baccalaureates, 649 masters and doctoral students in biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, industrial, and mechanical engineering. The college also offers graduate programs in aerospace, environmental, industrial power systems, materials, and petroleum engineering. Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering have ranked among the top programs nationally.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About Devon Energy Corp.
Devon is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production with North American operations that extend from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Arctic. The company is also is engaged in exploration and production activities in Brazil, China and Azerbaijan. Devon is included in the S&P 500 Index and its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DVN. For additional information, visit http://www.devonenergy.com.
About Marathon Oil Corp.
Marathon is an integrated international energy company engaged in exploration and production; oil sands mining; integrated gas; and refining, marketing and transportation operations. Marathon, which is based in Houston, has principal operations in the United States, Angola, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Indonesia, Ireland, Libya, Norway and the United Kingdom. Marathon is the fourth largest United States-based integrated oil company and the nation's fifth largest refiner. For additional information about Marathon, visit http://www.Marathon.com.