For over a decade, the Bureau of Economic Geology has worked diligently to establish productive relationships with industry and academics in China. Recently, Bureau director Scott W. Tinker and lead researchers Julia Gale and Svetlana Ikonnikova traveled to Qingdao, China, at the invitation of the president of the China University of Petroleum (CUP)—Dr. Fang Hao, a geoscientist—to discuss potential collaboration on research into unconventional reservoirs and shales. The team spent several days presenting some of the Bureau’s work on unconventionals; listening to presentations by faculty and students of the university, many from Africa or other Asian countries; and considering how the two institutions might work together.
The result of these high-level discussions was a detailed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the institutions “to encourage academic cooperation through research and study in furtherance of the advancement of learning” regarding the subject of unconventional reservoirs. The MOU pledges that the Bureau and CUP will exchange researchers and students, establish a joint laboratory, and foster the exchange of academic publications and scholarly information. The new partnership promises to expand our understanding of unconventional reservoirs in both countries, leading to the more efficient and successful extraction of their oil and gas resources.