Cairn energises CDT



(l-r) Dr John Clayburn and Professor John Underhill confirm the agreement at Cairn’s HQ in Edinburgh

Cairn Energy, one of Europe’s leading independent oil and gas exploration and development companies, has become the tenth member of a group of oil and gas companies who are underpinning the provision of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas, led by Heriot-Watt University.

Their engagement serves to underline the value, worth, potential and the important niche that the CDT scheme represents.
Professor John Underhill

The contract for the CDT was awarded in 2013 to a consortium of 17 Universities, led by Heriot-Watt, and two NERC Research Centre affiliates, before being launched in 2014. The initiative is set to run initially for six years and will oversee the training of three cohorts of PhD students on four-year studentships in that time.

In announcing Cairn’s participation, Professor John Underhill, NERC CDT Director, said, “I am delighted to welcome Cairn to our team of industry sponsors. Their contribution will further enhance the success of the CDT’s Training provision and PhD student experience. Given that Cairn’s support has come at a time of such oil price challenge, their engagement serves to underline the value, worth, potential and the important niche that the CDT scheme represents in producing informed earth and environmental scientists for the future and the value attached to NERC and Government support of the scheme”

Dr John Clayburn, Head of Geoscience, Cairn Energy PLC, said, “Cairn is excited to be part of this innovative collaboration.  We are delighted to be contributing to an initiative designed to attract and train top postgraduate talent for the future energy industry”.

The total investment in the CDT now sits at an impressive £9million, comprising £2.7million from NERC to support 10 studentships per annum, £5.3million from the host higher education institutions and over £1million already pledged to support the Training Academy by the sponsor companies, a sum that will rise further to £2.4million with continued success.

The CDT’s success has led to it being described by AAPG Europe President, Professor Keith Gerdes, as “A truly game-changing initiative, which represents the most exciting development in the provision of training for the energy industry in the UK that has occurred during my career.”