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REF NO.: 75

SUBJECT: Hibernia support to bolster geophysics program at Memorial University

DATE: Jan. 31,2014

• $1.98 million Hibernia contribution to create an education and research            
   fund for Department of Earth Sciences
• Program to benefit from new facilities and specialized equipment for
 geoscience studies
• Provides funding for post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and     
 Technicians
 
Memorial University’s Department of Earth Sciences will use a $1.98 million contribution from Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) to create the Hibernia Project Geophysics Support Fund to enhance geophysics education and research.
“I thank the Hibernia owners for their continued investments in Memorial University,” said Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research).
“Our success is predicated on strong government, industry and community partners. With this level of support, we are better able to fulfill our primary mandate – to provide a nationally-competitive, flagship, teaching-research university, unequivocally committed to the public good and its special obligation to the people of this great province.” 
“Oil and gas producers are seeking high-calibre geoscientists,” said Jamie Long, president, HMDC. “HMDC’s contribution reflects our ongoing strong support for Memorial University’s geoscience teaching and research program. The university is educating some of our future employees, and collaboration between industry and academia is enhancing the province’s geophysical expertise.”
The funding supports geophysics field-based studies for undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as student and faculty research projects. It will also enable the purchase of specialized equipment for geophysical exploration.
“Geophysical field equipment is used for research and undergraduate and graduate teaching,” said Dr. John Hanchar, who leads the Department of Earth Sciences. “These additions to our capability for geophysical exploration on land will allow for the training of graduate and undergraduate students and allow us to undertake a wider range of geophysical student research projects than previously possible.”
HMDC’s funding will also support the renewal of the undergraduate geophysics laboratory, with 12 new dual-monitor workstations and associated geophysical software licenses. The department will update its geophysics research computing laboratory with eight new dual-monitor workstations, along with applications software, data storage servers and a large format colour plotter.
In addition to supporting the purchase of new equipment and the hiring of additional personnel, the funding will also support the establishment of a guest-speaker series, which will host up to three geophysical experts annually for the next three years.
Earlier this year, HMDC provided an additional $420,000 in funding to support the university’s development of a new environmental geology and geophysics field school. 
 
About Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd.
Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) is the operator of the Hibernia field which began petroleum production offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in November 1997. HMDC is owned jointly by ExxonMobil Canada (33.125 per cent), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875 per cent), Suncor Energy (20 per cent), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5 per cent), Murphy Oil (6.5 per cent) and Statoil Canada Ltd. (5 per cent).

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For more information, please contact Kelly Foss, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Science, at 709-864-2019 or kfoss@mun.ca.

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