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Chevron invest £182,000 in Heriot-Watt University
Oil industry giant look to Heriot-Watt for future workforce
Caroline Nguyen
Wednesday, 19 October, 2011 | 09:00
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Credit: Heriot-Watt Uni

The world’s sixth largest oil company has invested £182,000 into Heriot-Watt University, as part of a new initiative to sponsor growth in the energy-sector workforce.

The investment is part of Chevron's University Partnership Program (UPP), set up between the company and Heriot-Watt three years ago. The funds that are to go toward scholarships, course books and classroom refurbishment.

Eric Sirgo, general manager of operations at Chevron Upstream Europe, presented the funds at the Heriot-Watt Edinburgh Campus on 28 September. Mr Sirgo said: “Chevron operates in 130 countries, employing over 60,000 people and approaching $200 billion turnover. What a business like ours needs is top quality people. The Chevron University Partnership Program is part of our drive for people, partnership and performance.”

The UPP is designed to create long-term, strategic relationships between Chevron and chosen universities. The majority of institutions involved in the partnership are American, making Heriot-Watt one of only two universities in Europe taking part.

The aim is to create a world-class, globally mobile workforce to benefit the future energy and oil industry. Providing improved research facilities and materials in the areas of mechanical, chemical and petroleum engineering support students through their related degrees.

Professor Julian Jones, vice-principal of Heriot-Watt University, told The Journal: “Partnerships work where each member has a good knowledge of the others' needs and shared values in fulfilling them. "We welcome Chevron's support in helping us to produce top level graduates who in their turn will support the company and its industry."

Heriot-Watt is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities for creating graduates specialized in practical aspects of business, industry and society.

This year sees the first round of students to graduate from Heriot-Watt under the UPP program, with Chevron employing two of these graduates as drilling engineers. Other Chevron projects have included the development of a system that utilises solar power to increase oil recovery from reservoirs.

However, the company has also been criticized for its involvement in controversies such as an $8 billion pollution lawsuit following oil recovery in Ecuador, a $6 million fine for violation of the Clean Air Act USA, and wiki-leaked negotiations between Chevron and Tehran to develop a cross border Iraq-Iran oilfield.

In 2010, the world consumed a total of 87 million barrels of oil per day. If the level of carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current rate, scientists estimate the loss of ice from the Antarctic ice sheet to be from 47 to 148 cubic kilometers per year.

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