USU Uintah Basin Campus Receives $1.5 Million Anadarko Foundation Gift
Thursday, Jul. 17, 2008
USU President Stan Albrecht thanked the Anadarko Foundation for its investment in higher education in the Uintah Basin.
Officials and dignitaries gathered for the Anadarko Foundation gift announcement. (left to right) Paul Hacking, Jeff Duncan, Brad Miller, USU President Stan Albrecht, Robert Benhunin.
The Anadarko Foundation gift provides support for construction of the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Industrial Technology Building, which will feature educational programs critical to the natural gas and oil industry.
The Anadarko Foundation, a nonprofit organization operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, announced a $1.5 million gift July 15 to Utah State University and the Uintah Basin Applied Technology College to help fund the joint USU/UBATC Vernal Building project and to provide for a faculty endowment.
The Anadarko Foundation gift will provide support for construction of the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Industrial Technology Building, which will feature educational programs critical to the natural gas and oil industry.
“This very generous gift will provide a first-class facility in which we will be able to train industry workers in petroleum technology, well control, rig pass, OSHA, gas-compressor maintenance and a host of other industry-related programs,” said Paul Hacking, UBATC president.
Brad Miller, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation general manager, Greater Natural Buttes, said the company is excited about this opportunity to further enhance the local educational opportunities for people in the Uintah Basin, providing them with the skills and education to develop fulfilling, long-term careers in the industry.
“People are the foundation of Anadarko’s success, and our commitment to the communities where our employees live and work is one of the most important things we do as a company,” Miller said.
One of those people is Jeff Duncan, production supervisor for Anadarko in the northern Rockies.
“I was born in Vernal and I grew up in Roosevelt,” Duncan said. “I have spent most of the past 30 years working in the natural gas and oil industry in the Uintah Basin. The Uintah Basin has always been home for me, and it is comforting to know that my kids will be able to stay right here for their education.”
Beyond the technical training offered by the UBATC, the Anadarko Foundation gift will also benefit USU’s faculty endowment.
“Anadarko’s investment in higher education in our Uintah Basin campus will create opportunities for USU to offer an engineering degree component that will have significant impact on the growth and needs of industry and on the local economy as well,” said USU President Stan L. Albrecht. “Anadarko’s gift will also complement our efforts in the Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center.”
The need for highly trained workers in the Uintah Basin continues to grow, and the partnerships between USU, UBATC and Anadarko are becoming increasingly important, said Jim Kleckner, Anadarko’s vice president of operations for the Rockies Region.
“We believe our partnership with Utah State and the Uintah Basin Applied Technology College will play a key role in providing expertise from people who live right here in the local area,” Kleckner said. “Anadarko has identified substantial natural gas resources in the Greater Natural Buttes area and, with the continued application of innovative technology through trained industry experts, the area has the potential to contribute to the vital stream of domestic energy resources for American consumers for decades.”
Utah State Sen. Kevin VanTassell said Anadarko has been a tremendous community and corporate player. “This gift will certainly help strengthen all of our efforts in the Uintah Basin,” he said.
VanTassell also made reference to Anadarko’s efforts in “responsible energy development,” which have been recognized twice in 2008 by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. Anadarko was presented with the division’s Earth Day Award for minimizing surface disturbance in the Greater Natural Buttes area by consolidating its drilling operations to drill 16 directional wells from a two-tier pad and reducing the use of fresh water through the installation of evaporation and recycling ponds. The second highlight from the division came in the form of approval for Anadarko to launch a 10-acre-density directional-drilling project in the area.
“Great things are happening in the Uintah Basin,” Albrecht said. “The momentum in our community development efforts over the last couple of years, coupled with Anadarko’s investment, is going to allow all of us — USU, UBATC and the Uintah Basin — to move toward the future with confidence and security.”
Rob Behunin, USU’s assistant to the president for special projects, said Anadarko, besides its $1.5 million investment in higher education, is making a multi-million dollar investment in the Utah energy economy. On July 16, Anadarko opened the Chipeta Natural Gas Processing Plant, which will increase the flow of natural gas from the Uintah Basin to outside markets.
“This increased capacity and the new plant will add jobs and increase tax and royalty revenues to state and county coffers,” Behunin said. “This, in turn, will help to build infrastructure in the communities and enhance higher education.”
Contact: Dr. Robert T. Behunin
Assistant to the President for Special Projects
Utah State University
Contact: Paul Hacking
Uintah Basin Applied Technology College
Contact: Paula Beasley
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation