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REF NO.: 335

SUBJECT: New interim leader for Memorial’s Oil and Gas Development Partnership

DATE: May 31

Dr. Jim Wright, director of Major Research Partnerships, will be heading up Memorial University’s Oil and Gas Development Partnership (OGDP) until a new executive director is recruited. Until the new OGDP director takes office, the OGDP will be administered under the auspices of Memorial’s Major Research Partnerships unit because a large portion of the OGDP’s activities relate to research and research partnerships.

“Placing the OGDP under Major Research Partnerships in the short term will provide stability and give us time to aggressively seek a new executive director for the OGDP,” said Dr. Eddy Campbell, vice-president (academic). “There will be no changes to the OGDP mandate. The OGDP will continue to expand its research and educational initiatives, such as the master program in oil and gas studies program. It will also foster the use of the new Landmark Graphics Visualization Laboratory, a unique teaching and research facility that enables the rendition of complex, three dimensional data of the type characterizing petroleum reservoirs.”

Dr. Campbell says the OGDP is a vital component in the university’s efforts to help realize the potential of an industry that is relatively new to the province. “The university has a commitment to the needs of the province, its people, its culture and its economy. The oil and gas industry will have a long and increasingly important role to play in the economy of the province. We want to prepare our students for senior positions in the industry and to facilitate its sustainable development through the leading-edge research.”

Oil and Gas Development Partnership

Since its inception in 2000, the OGDP has positioned the Memorial University and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador as a leading centre of oil and gas expertise. Building on achievements in petroleum geophysics, harsh environments and cold ocean research, the OGDP is currently focusing on reservoir characterization and engineering, petroleum geology and geophysics, analysis of very large data sets, autonomous underwater vehicles, off-shore process technology, asset integrity, offshore safety and risk analysis and environmental impacts. The second group of students is expected to enrol in the master’s program of oil and gas studies, a program designed to prepare future leaders for the petroleum industry. Mr. Gerrit Maureau resigned as executive director of OGDP on February 28, 2005.

Dr. James A. Wright

James A. Wright holds a B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Science and M.Sc. and PhD degrees in Geophysics all from the University of Toronto. Following a NATO – NRC Post Doctoral Fellowship in Germany, he accepted a faculty position at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and the director of Major Research Partnerships in the Office of the Vice President (Research).

Dr. Wright has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of applied geophysics, focussing on marine geophysics. He is especially involved in exploration seismology, both for petroleum and mineral resources. He is the project manager for the PanAtlantic Petroleum Systems Consortium (PPSC), a consortium of research teams from DalhousieUniversity, the Universityof New Brunswick and Memorial University of Newfoundland formed to stimulate, in collaboration with industry and government, commercialisation of oil and gas related R & D in Atlantic Canada. He is acting director of the Inco Innovation Centre at Memorial and serves on the Board of Directors of the Centre for Marine CNG Inc. Dr. Wright is a registered Professional Geoscientist in Newfoundlandand Labradorand is Newfoundland and Labrador Director on the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists.

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For further information, please contact Michelle Osmond, communications co-ordinator (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science), Memorial University of Newfoundland, (709)737-8287 or


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