A grant from ExxonMobil will support science and technology education programs at the University of Wyoming, including research into technologies that improve the production of oil and gas, UW announced on Thursday.

ExxonMobil is contributing $2.5 million to provide laboratory equipment for the university’s Improved Recovery Program, which is part of the newly created Center for Advanced Oil and Gas Technologies. The center is part of the School of Energy Resources and focuses on oil and gas extraction from unconventional reservoirs.

“This contribution is part of our commitment to support math and science education and technological advancement in the field of energy,” says Randy Broiles, vice president, Americas, ExxonMobil Production Company. “We believe that by investing in Wyoming’s higher education, an even greater number of students will be able to contribute to the next generation of energy development.”

Expansion of the Improved Recovery Program has direct implications for the future of the state and its citizens, as Wyoming’s economy is based on natural resource extraction. Wyoming is believed to hold significant unconventional oil and gas resources. When combined with enhanced production from existing reservoirs, there is the potential for new and additional jobs and revenues that will benefit the state.

The ExxonMobil contribution will be matched by the state, resulting in a total gift of $5 million. State matching funds help UW pursue partnerships with industry leaders.

“It is encouraging to see that ExxonMobil and other industry partners are contributing so significantly to the University of Wyoming. This shows confidence in the university, the state and the people of our state. I thank ExxonMobil for this generous gift -- its impact is major and should not be understated,” says Wyoming Governor Matt Mead.

Teaching and research programs at the School of Energy Resources include reservoir geo-mechanics, hydraulic fracturing, characterization and flow, drilling and completions, and improved recovery. The school will focus specifically on increasing faculty expertise, research facilities and outreach.

“Energy extraction from unconventional reservoirs is a vital area of research for the University of Wyoming and for the future of our state,” UW President Tom Buchanan says. “We are grateful to ExxonMobil for its generous gift in support of energy engineering research. UW’s students and faculty will benefit greatly from continued research into oil and gas recovery.”

The significant UW fundraising initiative also supports the construction of the Energy Engineering Research Facility, a new facility that will provide the space and infrastructure to house and support large-scale research related to energy development, conversion and conservation. Space within this research-focused facility will be designed so that it can quickly be converted to house a variety of projects.

The energy and engineering facility projects are tied to the work of the Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force, which recently released its strategy for creating a “Tier 1” engineering program at UW.

“ExxonMobil’s partnership with UW is another defining statement regarding the importance of the university’s advanced energy agenda,” says Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president. “UW takes great pride in ExxonMobil’s investment in UW’s students and faculty. Partners such as ExxonMobil bring remarkable leadership and prestige to Wyoming’s university