Imperial Oil Invests Big
In Oilsands Research

The University of Alberta and Imperial Oil Limited announced late last month that the company will contribute $10 million over the next five years to establish a new research facility, the Imperial Oil Centre for Oil Sands Innovation. 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, the centre will strive to find more efficient, economically viable, and environmentally responsible ways to develop Canada's oilsands resources — one of the largest crude oil deposits in the world.

R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, acknowledged the collaboration between Imperial Oil and the University of Alberta. “The Imperial Oil Centre for Oil Sands Innovation is an excellent example of cooperation between the private sector and the academic community that can help us meet our economic and environmental goals,” he says in a U of A news release.

“The Government of Canada is committed to the sustainable development of our natural resources, and it’s only through researching and commercializing innovative new energy technologies that we will achieve this.”

“The Government of Alberta has long been committed to investing in innovation and new technology, not only in oilsands development, but also in clean energy research," said the Hon. Victor Doerksen, Alberta Minister of Innovation and Science. "This new centre will build on the good work being done in this sector and help to ensure the sustainability of our oilsands and heavy oil industry."

At a gathering of industry representatives, government officials, and engineering researchers in Edmonton, 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.”

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