EnCana donation advances energy and environmental research

CALGARY, March 19 /CNW/ - EnCana Corporation is making a major contribution to the advancement of research on energy and the environment with a $7.5 million donation to the University of Alberta. This is one of the largest corporate donations to date in the university's Campaign 2008 and was made in honour of the U of A's centenary.

The donation establishes the endowed EnCana Scholars Awards and EnCana Research Chairs, one in water resources and another in environmental engineering. These endowments address the recognition that supplying energy to future generations will require building a critical mass of research on energy and the environment.

"Our world is continually demanding more energy and Alberta is in a unique position to help. At the same time, developing our natural gas and oil resources in an environmentally sound manner is essential. That's why we need the collaboration of great institutions like the University of Alberta to find new and better ways to efficiently develop our resources in a sustainable way," said Randy Eresman, EnCana's President & Chief Executive Officer.

"This donation will fund three important endeavors to help attract and support the best and brightest professors and students who will be advancing knowledge at the intellectual crossroads of energy and environment. It is hoped that EnCana's funding today will help the University of Alberta Dare to Discover and Dare to Deliver on Canada's goal of becoming a world leader in environmentally sustainable energy development," Eresman said.

U of A President Indira Samarasekera called the donation truly transformative.

"This gift clearly demonstrates EnCana's commitment to the future of innovation at the University of Alberta," said Samarasekera. "This will propel the university to the forefront of energy and environmental research and will assist us in developing the future leaders in energy-related fields as we move into our second century. It is the knowledge energy of the EnCana Chairs and Scholars that will advance research and innovation to the benefit of not just Albertans, but those around the world who rely on energy generated in Canada."

Of the $7.5-million total, $6 million establishes the research chairs at $3 million each, and $1.5 million endows the EnCana Scholars Awards.

The EnCana Chair in Environmental Engineering will focus on enhancing the understanding of best practices in a wide range of environmental, social and business arenas, and in communicating this knowledge broadly beyond the university.

The EnCana Chair in Water Resource Sciences will serve as the catalyst for comprehensively documenting, analyzing and protecting groundwater systems in Alberta. The U of A is a leader in developing new ways to assess the impact of industry on water quality.

"As a public institution, the University of Alberta strives to share the knowledge and innovation created here so that it benefits the public," said Samarasekera. "We will work with EnCana to ensure that the research conducted here has broad impact and reaffirms Alberta's leadership in engineering and science related to energy production."

The EnCana Scholars Awards were created in the spirit of the university's 100-year history of developing leaders who have had significant impact across many fields. Each year 10 top achievers in their third and fourth years will each receive awards of approximately $6,500 on the basis of outstanding academic merit in disciplines related to energy and the environment.

For more than six decades, the University of Alberta has been instrumental in developing Alberta's renowned oil and gas industry, from the education of its work force and leaders to geological discovery to technological innovation.

That innovation dates back to engineering professor Karl Clark's hot water process for separating bitumen from oilsands in the 1920s. Since then, alumni have played key roles in discovering Leduc No. 1 and the Pembina Field, and researchers across campus actively explore diverse issues related to resource development from the social and environmental to the scientific and technological.

Most recently the university created its School for Energy and the Environment which works in the public interest to educate people who will have a deeper and broader understanding of complex issues. SEE pulls together the university's extensive expertise across disciplines - including engineering, science, arts, agriculture, native studies, business, law and public health - to collaborate in research and offer a range of perspectives to students.

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of the top 100 teaching and research universities in the world, serving some 37,000 students with more than 11,000 faculty and staff. Founded a century ago, the university has an annual budget in excess of $1 billion and attracts more than $480 million in external research funding. It offers close to 400 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in 18 faculties.

With an enterprise value of approximately US$65 billion, EnCana is a leading North American unconventional natural gas and integrated oil company. By partnering with employees, community organizations and other businesses, EnCana contributes to the strength and sustainability of the communities where it operates. EnCana common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ECA.

ECA stock price

TSX $15.12 Can 0.200

NYSE $11.85 USD 0.160

As of 2017-11-17 16:02. Minimum 15 minute delay