Texas A&M University opens shale research centre in Qatar

American and Qatari flags
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Qatar, a world-leading LNG exporter and a home to the world’s largest gas-to-liquids facility, has been chosen as the location for the Gas and Fuels Research Centre, which will prepare employees for the booming shale gas sector.

Established by Texas A&M University, the Gas and Fuels Research Centre will act as an information and research hub studying unconventional oil and gas exploration.

“We would like to carry out scientific research that ultimately leads to commercial applications to create novel gas processing pathways that work better, cheaper, greener and safer than existing technologies,” Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi, managing director of the centre and chemical engineering professor at Texas A&M said in an interview with Fuel Fix.

The new research centre, which includes 19 researchers, will operate as a unit of – and be funded by – the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, although it is expected to become self-sufficient within the next three years through federal grants and industry partnerships.

The centre will also produce highly-skilled technical staff to increase the number of Qatari workers employed by the oil and gas industry, which until now has relied on foreign employees.

“The needs of the state of Qatar and the state of Texas are quite aligned,” El-Halwagi, said. “Texas takes pride in being the energy capital of the world and Qatar takes pride in being the gas capital of the world.”

Texas A&M University is the largest university in the state of Texas and ranks within the top 20 research institutions in the U.S. It’s Qatar branch was opened in 2011 and is located in Education City, Al Rayyan. The university had 543 students in 2013 and offers undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, and petroleum engineering.

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