Cal­gary U. opens fa­cil­ity in Beijing

Part­ner­ship with Kerui Group aims to re­duce China’s use of coal

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York

The Univer­sity of Cal­gary, in part­ner­ship with Chi­nese oil and gas company Kerui Group, has opened a re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing cen­ter in Beijing, the first such fa­cil­ity in China op­er­ated by a for­eign univer­sity.

The cen­ter will pro­vide re­search and train­ing into ex­tract­ing tight oil, shale gas, coal-bed meth­ane, nat­u­ral-gas hy­drates and oil­sands bi­tu­men to help China re­duce its de­pen­dence on coal.

China has vast amounts of un­con­ven­tional or hard-tore­cover nat­u­ral gas sup­plies. It also has the world’s largest de­posits of shale gas - 134 tril­lion cu­bic me­ters. That in­cludes more than 25 tril­lion cu­bic me­ters of re­serves (eco­nom­i­cally re­cov­er­able with cur­rent tech­nolo­gies).

In a cer­e­mony in Beijing last month, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Kerui and the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment along with Univer­sity of Cal­gary Pres­i­dent El­iz­a­beth Can­non signed an agree­ment for the cen­ter.

“The univer­sity has a lot of strength in un­con­ven­tional re­sources,” Can­non told China Daily in an in­ter­view. “This is an op­por­tu­nity to bring our ex­per­tise over­seas. This cen­ter will en­able us to de­velop and ex­pand our part­ner­ships not only with in­dus­try but with Chi­nese univer­si­ties in the un­con­ven­tional oil and gas space.”

More than 600 stu­dents from China are study­ing at the Cal­gary school.

Kerui Group is a pri­vate Chi­nese oil and gas company with 7,000 em­ploy­ees that op­er­ates in over 45 coun­tries. It is con­tribut­ing C$ 11.25 mil­lion (US$9.87 mil­lion) for the 4,000- square- me­ter re­search space in Beijing,

in­clud­ing build­ing rental and op­er­a­tional costs and the ini­tial pur­chase of lab­o­ra­tory equip­ment. Ac­qui­si­tion of ad­di­tional lab equip­ment in­clud­ing com­puter sim­u­la­tion soft­ware will be sup­ported through re­search projects funded by in­dus­trial part­ners from China, Canada and glob­ally.

John Chen, a Univer­sity of Cal­gary fac­ulty mem­ber and pe­tro­leum en­gi­neer, will serve as the first di­rec­tor of the Beijing re­search cen­ter.

Bruce Gra­ham, pres­i­dent and CEO of Cal­gary Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, be­lieves the cen­ter will build upon the ex­ist­ing ties be­tween Canada and China.

“It not only strength­ens the re­la­tion­ship with our sec­ond­biggest trad­ing part­ner, it will also foster the re­la­tion­ship be­tween com­pa­nies in Cal­gary, Al­berta and China and that in­cludes an op­por­tu­nity to bring more jobs to the area and the prov­ince,” he told China Daily.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies have al­ready in­vested in Al­berta’s fast-grow­ing oil-sands in­dus­try. In 2012, China Na­tional Off­shore Oil Cor­po­ra­tion (CNOOC) agreed to pur­chase Cal­gary-based oil pro­ducer Nexen Inc for $15.1 bil­lion. “I think this will en­cour­age even more Chi­nese in­vest­ment in this valu­able re­source,” said Gra­ham.

The cen­ter can also serve as a cat­a­lyst for im­proved re­la­tions be­tween China and Canada, ac­cord­ing to Can­non.

“I think univer­si­ties can play a unique role in de­vel­op­ing re­la­tion­ships be­tween coun­tries,” she said. “I be­lieve we can pro­vide a bridge for stronger po­lit­i­cal and business ties.”

n‘ It ot only strength­ens the re­la­tion­ship with our sec­ond­biggest trad­ing part­ner, it will also foster the re­la­tion­ship be­tween com­pa­nies in Cal­gary, Al­berta and China and that in­cludes an op­por­tu­nity to bring more jobs to the area and the prov­ince.” BRUCE GRA­HAM PRES­I­DENT AND CEO OF CAL­GARY ECO­NOMIC DE­VEL­OP­MENT

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Univer­sity of Cal­gary Pres­i­dent El­iz­a­beth Can­non (right) and John Chen (left), who will serve as the first di­rec­tor of the new en­ergy re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing cen­ter in Beijing that is a part­ner­ship be­tween the col­lege and Chin­abased Kerui Group, in Beijing last month.

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