Students in West Virginia University’s Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will continue to gain industry-standard geology and geophysics software knowledge thanks to two major grants from Schlumberger with a combined commercial value of $17.8 million.

Schlumberger, one of the world’s leading oilfield services company, is providing updated software plug-ins, licenses and maintenance to WVU under the latest agreements. In 2007, the company made its initial in-kind software donation to the University in conjunction with the Schlumberger Worldwide University Software Program. The program was founded in 1998 and strives to provide students and faculty of Earth Sciences departments all over the world with hands-on experience through technology advancement.

“Having software that is widely used in industry is a huge opportunity for our students and our researchers,” WVU President Jim Clements said. “We are very grateful for the generosity of Schlumberger in support of our petroleum and natural gas, as well as geology and geography programs. As a land-grant university, it is important that we provide quality educational experiences for our students that will advance them as the next generation of scientists and engineers, and this support from Schlumberger is a tremendous asset in that mission.”

The grants will specifically contribute to enhancing technology in the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in the Statler College, and the Department of Geology and Geography in the Eberly College.

Gene Cilento, Glen Hiner Dean of the Statler College, says the grant couldn’t have come at a better time for the department.

“As a result of recent natural gas discoveries in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in the Statler College is growing in leaps and bounds,” Cilento said. “We have been using the Schlumberger geo-modeling software in the department for quite some time, albeit on a limited basis. This gift will now allow all of the students and researchers the ability to access this state-of-the-art reservoir simulation software. We are grateful to Schlumberger for their generous gift and continued support of our College.”

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robert Jones says the grant will allow the department to provide the highest-quality equipment for students to conduct research.

“Schlumberger’s investment in the Department of Geology and Geography ensures that our students have access to the finest equipment available to the industry today,” Jones said. “We are extremely fortunate and grateful to Schlumberger for its long-term continued support of our programs.”

Geophysics professor Tom Wilson says the new software resources will allow the department to provide students with the latest industry developments in the evaluation of petroleum systems.

Students will learn to develop geology and geophysics databases in an integrated analytical environment, be introduced to regional basin classification systems, and conduct detailed evaluation of a local prospect using geophysical logs and 3D seismic analysis tools.

The software is critical to student’s success in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Imperial Barrel Competition, an annual, international basin evaluation competition for graduate students. In spring 2012, the WVU team earned a second place finish in Eastern section finals.

“Providing our software to colleges and universities is an important part of our goal to actively contribute to advance research and education throughout the world,” said David Seabrook, vice president, North America, Schlumberger Information Solutions. “In addition, when students and researchers work with technologically advanced E&P software, they are able to make valuable contributions that increase the industry’s knowledge base.”

Wayne King, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation, said, “We sincerely appreciate Schlumberger’s generosity and desire to see our students gain hands-on experience with the resources used in their future careers.”

Schlumberger has become one of the world’s leading oilfield services company through supplying technology, information solutions and integrated project management to customers working in the oil and gas industry. Founded in 1926, the company employs more than 115,000 people of more than 140 nationalities in approximately 85 countries.

The grant was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015. For counting purposes in the campaign, the commercial value of the gift in-kind was significantly discounted, a common practice among university foundations across the country.



CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation

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