University of Texas at Austin

International Grants

Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Foss and CEE team have been involved in international technical assistance and capacity building projects, especially in the former Soviet republics as they started to reform their energy sectors and invite international investors. Training manuals were developed for energy project finance, oil & gas accounting, and petroleum contracts and used in capacity building programs. Other countries where CEE team was involved most actively in the 1990s included Mexico and Turkey. For a complete of countries and brief project descriptions, please see CEE Global Experience.

In 2000-01, CEE researchers undertook a sponsored research project on natural gas commercialization in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK.  We focused on facilitating legal/regulatory frameworks; emphasized midstream/downstream, in particular gas commercialization via power generation and LNG (receiving markets).  Based on the above survey, we generalized minimum requirements for commercial frameworks that lead to integrated gas/power project investments and allow optimal value creation from gas resource assets.  This project further expanded CEE's global knowledge base and allowed it to formalize its commercial frameworks approach.

The agglomeration of this global experience and knowledge encouraged CEE to develop its New Era in Oil, Gas & Power Value Creation program and, at the same time, pursue its own grants to develop local capacity in countries where stakeholders have been struggling with energy sector reforms to facilitate resource monetizatioan and delivery of electric power.

Partnership to Strengthen Local Capacity for Economic, Financial and Social Analysis of Energy Sector Initiatives (2002-2003)

Funded by the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development (now known as Higher Education for Development).

Although Bangladesh possessed large natural gas resources, the country was struggling with reliable and affordable supply of electricity to its population. A set of energy sector reforms were under consideration.

Through faculty exchanges, mentoring, and training sessions in Texas and Bangladesh, this partnership enhanced energy economics education and research capacity at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s Department of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering. The partnership revised the curriculum and updated teaching materials for BUET/PMRE, created a new energy economics course, developed short courses for industry professionals and journalists, enhanced the capacity of BUET/PMRE staff to provide energy training. Drawing on the curriculum developed by the partnership, BUET also developed an online Ph.D. program. The partners produced case studies and reports on energy policy issues of relevance to Bangladesh and established local chapters of international organizations for energy professionals. 

As a result of these activities, PMRE has been better equipped to undertake research, perform policy analysis, act as an adviser to industry and government stakeholders, and offer graduate-level and professional courses in energy economics and regulation. BUET staff noted improved accuracy in media reporting on energy issues. The partnership helped contribute to ‘reverse brain-drain’ with the recruitment of a faculty member in Texas to return to Bangladesh. Prof. Tamim of PMRE credited the partnership experience while serving as Acting Energy Minister in 2007-08. This partnership was the first test of CEE's LP Partner model. Read the partnership success story.

Energy Sector Governance in Ghana (2003-2005)

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Built on the foundations of the Bangladesh grant, CEE implemented the LP model in Ghana, where new regulatory agencies were established to implement reforms in the electricity sector and prepare the country for the arrival of natural gas via the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).

After consultations with numerous stakeholders from Ghanaian public institutions, private sector, universities, and NGOs, the Resource Center for Energy Economics and Regulation (RCEER) was established within the University of Ghana. Shortly after its launch, RCEER was hired by the Ministry of Energy to study the effects of deregulating petroleum product prices on the consumers.  With the support of many sector professionals and in collaboration with other entities, RCEER wrote a report on natural gas with two parts, a primer on fundamentals and a detailed guide to natural gas in Ghana; published a Guide to Electric Power in Ghana; held educational outreach activities associated with natural gas and electricity; developed university and professional course syllabi; and initiated a database for the Ghanaian energy sector. The knowledge of local circumstances and access to local information sources proved uniquely valuable for all of these activities.  In addition, many energy sector professionals were trained in Ghana with several attending the Houston session of CEE's New Era program.

Overall, the Resource Center met a need, providing information on energy issues to both the public and the professional community in a timely manner.  Its public outreach activities were well attended and offered valuable forums for discussion of energy issues faced by the nation.  Media coverage of these events furthered the transparency of these issues.  This experience allowed us to enhance the LP model into a "Smart Development" initiative.

Smart Development Initiative for Energy Sector Governance (2005-2010)

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In September 2005, the Center for Energy Economics was awarded a $3.5-million cooperative agreement to continue work in Ghana with RCEER and other partners in the region, to replicate the Smart Development (SD) approach elsewhere in Africa, and to refine SD variables and metrics further.

Through this cooperative agreement, we expanded our network of energy professionals and sector stakeholders in the region. We have worked with several local educational partners and various other stakeholders in West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Côte D’Ivoire), including energy companies (state-owned and private), regulators, ministries, universities, NGOs and journalists both to improve general understanding of energy industry economics and technology and to assist with specific problem solving and project evaluation. 

In 2006, we focused on getting stakeholders in Ghana ready for natural gas from WAGP and increased interactions with Nigeria. Given the electricity shortages in the region, the opportunity to bring in gas-fired power generation and the commercial frameworks necessary to facilitate investment across natural gas and electric power value chains were the focus of our and our partners' activities. In 2007, we started working with another LP, Kumasi Institute for Technology and Environment (KITE), as the regional programs needed more detailed logistical support and new content on communication with different audiences, community relations and public participation, and energy and environment interactions.

Between 2005 and 2009, with our partners in Ghana and Nigeria, we conducted four regional workshops in Abuja and Accra with about 250 participants. These workshops targeted key stakeholders, including journalists, members of the parliament, staff of regulatory agencies, ministries, state companies, consumer groups, and private firms among others.  There were two custom study visits in Texas for sector professionals from Nigeria and Ghana.  More than 30 delegates from four WAGP countries attended the Houston session of CEE's New Era program.  We coordinated some of these activities with NARUC, which had active partnerships with regulators in Ghana and Nigeria.  Our partners in Ghana published Guide to Natural Gas in Ghana and West African Energy Security Report with the assistance of Prof. Adeola Adenikinju of University of Ibadan in Nigeria, with whom we later collaborated to establish the Centre for Petroleum Energy Economics and Law.

The discovery of oil in Ghana in late 2007 (Jubilee field) and the realization of the potential for similar discoveries of gas helped to increase demand for our programs as the country wanted to develop professional capacity at the ministries, regulatory agencies and national oil company, GNPC.  In late 2009, with the participation of our Ghanaian partners and several international experts in technical petroleum industry training, commercial operations, and community relations, we conducted an extensive "needs assessment" of Ghanaian vocational schools, universities, policy and regulatory agencies, and NGOs. The team also interacted with other donor partners, including the World Bank, DFID, GWZ, and NORAD.  Almost immediately KITE implemented some of the recommended activities, including two grants to implement public outreach and education activities.

In 2010, CEE-UT received a one-year extension of the five-year cooperative agreement. As part of the extension, CEE-UT developed an Oil Value Chain course held in Uganda in summer of 2011 as a model for other emerging oil and gas producing countries.

Angola (2007)

Funded by Angola Educational Assistance Fund (Citizens Energy)

We worked to build capacity of the Center for Investigative and Scientific Studies (CEIC) at Catholic University of Angola (UCAN). AEAF was created in 1996 in order to help establish UCAN as Angola’s first private university and premier institute of higher learning. CEE-CEIC pPartnership activities included training, Angola energy publications (following our model in Bangladesh, Ghana and West Africa), energy curriculum development, and public outreach activities. Key accomplishments include the first issue of an annual energy report and the first-of-its-kind international energy conference in Luanda.

Mexico (2015-2017)

Funded by the Department of State