Hoeven: Hess Corp. Grant to UND Petroleum Engineering Department Helping to Build One-Of-A-Kind Program

Engineering Program, EERC Research, Core and Sample Library Make for a Unique National Program at UND

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said the University of North Dakota (UND) is well on its way to building a one-of-a-kind Petroleum Engineering Program on the campus that will combine the academic strength of the School of Engineering, the resources of the North Dakota Geological Survey’s Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library and the research acumen of the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC).

The senator also thanked and congratulated the Hess Corporation for awarding the university $5 million in support of UND’s $15.5 million capital campaign to expand its Petroleum Engineering Program. The Hess grant, along with a $2.5 million match from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund, will help finance several laboratories in UND’s planned 30,000 sq. ft. Collaborative Energy Complex, including the Hess Innovation Lab, a 3D Visualization and Reservoir Simulation Lab, a Drilling Simulator Lab as well as an education exhibit on the history of oil and gas in North Dakota.

“UND’s Petroleum Engineering Program will offer students an experience they won’t find anywhere else in the country,” Hoeven said. “These three elements – academic training, an exceptional library of geological cores and a research facility focused on shale oil energy development – will make the program both unique and one of the best of its kind in the nation. It’s a great investment for UND, a great investment for Hess and the petroleum industry and a great investment for our state.”

UND’s Petroleum Engineering Program has grown from four students in 2011 to 200 students in 2014 in response to the growing demand for skilled labor in the oil patch. The program aims to provide students with a systematic understanding of the petroleum industry and develop their technical problem-solving skills. These are combined with a strong grounding in ethics and safety, among other academic studies.

Hess has been operating in North Dakota for more than 60 years, and this grant is part of the company’s efforts to develop their workforce locally, both in the U.S. and abroad. Last month, Hoeven joined Hess in Tioga to celebrate the company’s recently completed expansion of its Tioga Gas Plant. The senator has worked for more than a decade to help develop North Dakota’s energy sector by building a strong legal, tax and regulatory environment to attract investment and encourage innovation.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy, Hoeven is also working to implement a states-first, all-of-the-above approach to energy development for the nation, which would increase energy production, expand consumer choice, grow the economy, provide good paying jobs for Americans and strengthen national security.