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Chevron Canada Limited and RDC announce new research chair

Memorial University's research capacity in offshore petroleum development continues to expand, with a $1-million investment by Chevron Canada Limited and the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC).

The funding will support the creation of the Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Reservoir Characterization in the Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science. Chevron Canada Limited and RDC will each invest $500,000 over the next five years in partnership with Memorial University.

"Chevron is excited with the research and teaching opportunities that will emanate from this new chair position," said Mark MacLeod, vice-president (Atlantic Canada), Chevron Canada Limited. "Research in reservoir characterization aligns well with the needs of Chevron in Atlantic Canada. As well, our affiliation with Memorial University and RDC in this manner is consistent with our objective to be the partner of choice in the region."

The new chair will maintain a vigorous research program, sustain a strong record of peer-reviewed publications and external funding, advise and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and contribute to the teaching mission of the Department of Earth Sciences, including courses in petroleum geology.

Potential research focus areas include the determination of reservoir architecture, establishing geological flow units, using seismic data in the construction of reservoir models and identifying petroleum growth reserve potential. The chair would focus on some of the geologic uncertainties faced by industry operations in offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Offshore petroleum development is a vital component to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Keith Hutchings, minister, Innovation, Business and Rural Development, and minister responsible for RDC. "Today's investment will strengthen this province's understanding of petroleum geology while identifying offshore development opportunities."

The chair will establish an applied research program in petroleum geology and is expected to complement and expand existing Memorial expertise in geology and geophysics.

"Addressing key industry challenges, undertaking relevant R&D and fostering future researchers dedicated to petroleum research is a priority for RDC," said Glenn Janes, CEO, RDC. "The work of this new research chair will be critical to the future growth of Newfoundland and Labrador's energy sector."

This position will strengthen interdisciplinary teaching and research through collaboration with the recently appointed Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering at Memorial, Dr. Lesley James.

"The Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Reservoir Characterization reflects Memorial's commitment to growing interdisciplinary collaboration and research," said Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research), Memorial University. "It is also aligned with the goals of our new Research Strategy Framework. Specifically, to engage with community partners and collaborators locally, nationally and internationally to create, share and apply research, and to support fundamental and applied research excellence in areas of strategic opportunity."