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Qatar Petroleum, BP and Texas A&M University to Develop LNG Safety Research Programme

The landmark agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of State for Energy & Industry Affairs.

The programme, which will extend and complement the existing BP-sponsored programme run at the Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, will help advance the science and technical understanding of key safety issues impacting the worldwide LNG industry. The research will be carried out at the Texas A&M University branch campus within the Qatar Foundation university campus in Doha and will encompass practical testing at Qatar Petroleum's Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College which is currently being constructed at Ras Laffan Industrial City.

H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada said, 'We, at Qatar Petroleum, believe that this MoU represents a significant step in our quest to develop the Qatari human resources, and we are sure that such partnership with leading institutions will contribute to the advancement of science, and enhance technical skills of safety in the LNG industry. We are proud to be a part of this program which will certainly be a remarkable achievement for Qatar Petroleum and the Oil & Gas industry in Qatar.'

Signing the agreement on behalf of BP in Doha today, Steve Peacock, President of BP's Middle East and South Asia Exploration and Production Unit, said,

'BP is delighted to support what is Qatar's first postgraduate university research programme to be sponsored by an international oil company. The programme will create a unique and enduring training and development opportunity for graduates from the Qatar Foundation and enable them to benefit from the outstanding post-graduate teaching and research training provided by Texas A&M University. As Qatar continues to develop its leading role in the LNG world, such activities will facilitate the transfer of relevant technologies and build human capacity in LNG safety for the benefit not only of Qatar but also the LNG industry worldwide.'

Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Acting Director Ras Laffan, who was also present at the signing ceremony, added: 'This MOU illustrates again the leadership and commitment of QP in the education of the people in Qatar and those in the MENA region.

The facilities and research programs, expected to be launched in 2008, will be of great benefit to Qatar Petroleum and the Petro-chemical Industry in the State of Qatar as it will enable Fire and Emergency Response Services and Fire Engineers to learn more about the behaviour of LNG fires and it will also offer students in Fire Engineering the opportunity to do PhD research.
The soon to be erected, Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College with its LNG Fire Training props, offers the ideal facility to conduct such research.'

Dr. Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, said the research partnership represented a special opportunity for Texas A&M to conduct important research in a region where LNG is a vital natural resource.

'Texas A&M at Qatar strives to produce research that helps the State of Qatar meet its most pressing needs,' Weichold said. 'Safety is essential to ensuring LNG producers maintain steady output, and our faculty researchers are ready and able to help BP and Qatar Petroleum innovate ways to make their processes safer.'

Dr. Jim Holste, associate dean for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M at Qatar, welcomed the invitation to partner with industry leaders on safety research.

'We are delighted to be a part of this research partnership related to LNG safety,' Holste said. 'The combination of industrial experience provided by BP, the safety expertise of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center in College Station and the Texas A&M University at Qatar faculty, and the exciting new facilities of the Emergency and Safety Training College being developed by Qatar Petroleum at Ras Laffan cannot be found elsewhere in the world. The research partnership being established today represents a significant contribution by the State of Qatar to future progress in the LNG industry.' via ameinfo.com


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