Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Eagle Ford Shale Center for Research, Outreach & Education Established at A&M-Kingsville

KINGSVILLE - August 12, 2013

Contact: Adriana Garza-Flores
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Thursday approved the establishment of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Eagle Ford Center for Research, Education and Outreach (EFCREO), housed in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering.

            With a focus on promoting efficient sustainable development, the EFCREO center aims to bring together industry and communities affected by the Eagle Ford Shale development to address a broad spectrum of issues ranging from roads and transportation to oil and gas recovery and production to educational and environmental concerns. Research will be organized into six primary areas including: oil/gas production enhancement, condensate refining process improvement, environmental technology and impacts analysis, sustainable transportation control and development, sustainable community development and planning and public health monitoring.

            “The center is going to allow our College of Engineering to help make the Eagle Ford Shale play as sustainable as possible in terms of technological improvements, environmental protection, the social fabric of the affected communities, and the overall economic development of the region,” said Dr. Stephan Nix, dean of the College of Engineering. “We are excited to be able to assist the communities and industries involved in this game-changing opportunity.”

            Additionally, the EFCREO will provide A&M-Kingsville students with research opportunities that will prepare them for careers in fields associated with the natural gas play and the unconventional oil/gas production.

            Dr. Jianhong-Jennifer Ren, interim associate dean of the College of Engineering, has overseen the initial development of the center and said the university is eager to contribute to the sustainability of the Eagle Ford Shale.

            “The Eagle Ford Shale activity is projected to continue for the next 40-70 years and it is imperative that the region develop a special-skilled workforce,” Ren said. “As a public institution of higher learning, we have a responsibility to produce students who will be able to fill the needs of the highly-skilled workforce associated with the Eagle Ford Shale.” 

            With ten well-established engineering disciplines and strong social science and business programs, A&M-Kingsville is uniquely poised to lead research efforts in the area, Ren said.

            “We have a very solid research foundation at our university and we are able to utilize our strengths in these areas to provide technical support to both industry and South Texas communities,” she said.

            Education and training—key components to the EFCREO mission—will extend beyond the traditional curriculum and will reach beyond A&M-Kingsville students. The center will begin offering short training classes beginning in November to professionals already working in the field who are seeking to expand their skill set. The first training course is sponsored by A&M-Kingsville and Frac Water Engineering & Associates and is scheduled for November 5-7. The course will concentrate on supply, flowback and waste water treatment associated with hydraulic fracturing.

            The EFCREO will promote outreach among stakeholders by organizing workshops and meetings in the communities affected by the shale development. An initial workshop held in April 2013 on the A&M-Kingsville campus focused on water supply and municipal wastewater treatment; solid waste management and land reclamation; air quality assessment and controls; and transportation and road safety. Transportation and water technology are the themes of the next EFCREO workshop planned in November at the Convention Center in Cotulla.  

            “We have received very positive feedback about the EFCREO from communities and industry, alike,” Ren said. “Stakeholders in the region are eager to work on the challenges and needs associated with the Eagle Ford Shale boom and A&M-Kingsville is ready to provide all the support and expertise needed to ensure sustainable development in the area.”

            For information on the EFCREO and upcoming workshops and training opportunities, contact Ren at jianhong.ren@tamuk.edu or center liaison officer Clarissa Torres at 361-593-2798.

This page was last updated on: August 22, 2013