CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Halliburton, a leading oil field services company, is giving $3 million to the University of Wyoming in support of a major new energy research complex and funding for research.
Halliburton’s contribution puts UW within $2 million of the total of $15 million in private funds it needs for construction of the 60,000-square-foot High Bay Research Facility. The building will provide an area for large-scale energy research projects.
The state will match the $15 million in private donations once the total is reached.
Of Halliburton's donation, $2 million will help fund construction of the research complex and $1 million will support research.
Gov. Matt Mead, UW and Halliburton officials announced the latest donation Tuesday during ceremonies in the Wyoming Capitol rotunda, which were attended by many legislators.
Mead said he flew to Houston to meet with Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar over dinner to discuss the collaboration with UW.
"What we are doing at the University of Wyoming now and will be doing, no one else in the world is doing," Mead said.
"We get the attention of industry when we say that," he added.
Lesar said his company struggles to make public-private partnerships work, but generally none get beyond the discussion stage.
"Here, you guys get it done,'" Lesar said.
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It would not have happened, he said, without Mead's personal sales pitch of the project.
Halliburton has more than 77,000 employees in more than 100 countries, including 1,500 in Wyoming.
"Wyoming is a very important place to us," Lesar said, "Giving like this is fun, but we see a benefit to the state and the university and to U.S. energy production."
UW President Dick McGinity said the facility is expected to be finished in 2016.
McGinity said he has three goals as president: to see that every graduate is prepared to succeed, to achieve measurable excellence in areas of research and to interact more closely with the university's constituents.
"UW cannot achieve the goals that I've outlined or meet its responsibilities without meaningful and mutual beneficial partnerships with the state of Wyoming," he said.
Halliburton's involvement, he added, will provide a valuable three-way partnership.
The energy research facility will include a digital rock physics lab, geomechanics lab, a core-flood facility and a structural engineering lab and supporting facilities, according to a UW media release.
Previous donations came from Hess, ExxonMobil, Marathon, Ultra Petroleum, Baker Hughes and Shell, the release said.
The remaining $2 million will be coming shortly, the release said.