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BP Donates $5 Million to UW

Wind Energy Research Center

Governor Freuenthal & Mark NorthamSept. 8, 2007 -- BP America, the nation's largest producer of oil and gas, has donated a gift of $5 million to the University of Wyoming that will support programs within the UW School of Energy Resources (SER).

The announcement was made during a media conference prior to the UW Cowboys/Utah State University football game Saturday. Making the presentation were BP America Chairman and President Bob Malone, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, UW President Tom Buchanan, former Wyoming Sen. and UW alumnus Alan Simpson, and nearly 400 BP employees and family members.

BP America's gift will be matched by Wyoming's state endowment fund.

SER programs to be funded by the gift are: $1 million to improve the UW Petroleum Engineering Rock and Fluids Properties Laboratory through a remodeling of the facility and acquisition of new equipment; $2 million each to fund wind energy research programs within the UW College of Engineering and Applied Science, and to support the SER construction.

"This gift provides a remarkable opportunity to expand our efforts to become a world leader in energy teaching, research and outreach," Buchanan says. "It creates a corporate partnership that goes beyond traditional energy research to include support to develop alternative sources such as wind energy. We look forward to a long-term partnership with BP that will continue to provide research and learning opportunities for our students and faculty."

The SER is designed to focus UW research on energy through the university's land-grant mission of teaching, research, and service. It calls for the addition, during a three-year period, of 12 new nationally- or internationally-renowned faculty members with energy expertise, funded by legislative appropriations. Each would be expected to teach undergraduate and graduate students in addition to conducting research and service.

For more information about the SER, visit the UW Web site at

Malone says BP America's gift will help UW make a "very real contribution" to meeting America energy needs.

"Oil and natural gas -- a lot of it found right here in Wyoming -- will continue to play a critically important role in meeting today's growing energy demands," he says. "Our contributions to the School of Energy Resources and the Rock and Fluids Lab will help the University of Wyoming remain a leader in energy education and research in the Rocky Mountain region. Our support of wind research will help develop the technologies and infrastructure to deliver tomorrow's clean power."

BP America has nearly 300 employees in Wyoming who work at its natural gas operations throughout the state, primarily along the Rawlins to Pinedale corridor. BP operates more than 2,000 wells in the state. In 2006, BP was Wyoming's third largest producer of natural gas and the fifth largest producer of oil, according to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal and UW School of Energy Resources Director Mark Northam discuss a $5 million gift from BP America.


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