Edmonton, AB — Imperial Oil Ltd. will contribute $10 million over the next five years to establish a new research facility, The Imperial Oil Centre for Oil Sands Innovation, at the University of Alberta. It is the largest investment ever made by Imperial in a university, and the largest single corporate cash commitment ever received by the university’s Faculty of Engineering.
Administered by the Faculty of Engineering, the Imperial Oil Centre’s mandate will be to find more efficient, economically viable, and environmentally responsible ways to develop Canada’s oil-sands resources, one of the largest crude oil deposits in the world.
At a gathering of industry representatives, government officials, and engineering researchers in Edmonton recently, Tim J. Hearn, Imperial chairman, president and CEO, emphasized the strong link between science and technology with business and environmental improvement. "For Imperial, this contribution is an investment in Canadian education and intellectual capacity to develop a vital energy resource, both economically and with care for the environment," Hearn said.
Engineering dean Dr. David T. Lynch said, "This significant corporate support substantially increases the university’s capacity for research and education on the orderly development of our natural resources, with particular focus on energy and the environment. It will provide major benefits locally, nationally and internationally through the activities of our graduates and the impact of our groundbreaking research. It also solidifies a long-standing and rewarding relationship between the University of Alberta and Imperial Oil."
Imperial Oil is one of the country’s largest producers of crude oil and natural gas liquids and a major producer of natural gas. It is also Canada’s largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, sold primarily under the Esso and Mobil brands, and a major producer of petrochemicals.
The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering is among North America’s leading engineering research and teaching centres, with 4,300 students, 30 research chairs, $73 million in annual external support, over 120 new professors, several new buildings and outstanding facilities.