University of Texas at Austin takes on new center for energy economics, formerly at University of Houston

June 28, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas—One of the energy industry’s leading advisory institutes has moved from the University of Houston to The University of Texas at Austin.

The Center for Energy Economics (CEE), including its director, Dr. Michelle Michot Foss, and her team of researchers, has joined the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences.

Formerly known as the Institute for Energy, Law, and Enterprise at the University of Houston, the center helps prepare energy industry managers and government policy makers for more competitive global energy markets.

The center focuses its research on business-government interactions, frameworks for commercially viable energy projects and strategies for dealing with more competitive energy markets. Partners include many of the world’s top firms working in energy. Key project areas include liquefied natural gas and North American natural gas supply-demand balances, energy restructuring in the U.S. and abroad, and investment in developing countries and emerging markets.

“The CEE will add a new center of excellence to the Bureau of Economic Geology’s long-established expertise and leadership in earth science research and development,” said Scott W. Tinker, director of the bureau. “CEE is a natural complement to our energy and environmental research programs.”

Foss said her team appreciated the chance to affiliate with The University of Texas at Austin, home to one of the top geosciences programs in the world.

“In particular,” said Foss, “the university’s Bureau of Economic Geology has an international reputation for assessing energy resources. We complement that with expertise on the economics of energy and how government and industry can work together to create the right frameworks for developing resources.”

The center is externally funded through corporate and government partnerships, research grants and contracts, and revenues from training programs and publications. The center’s work on liquefied natural gas is supported by 12 leading international developers with advisers that include the key class societies and technical organizations, U.S. government agencies, the Trinidad & Tobago energy ministry and Nigeria National Petroleum Company.

The CEE will support several core initiatives of the Bureau of Economic Geology, including the Gulf Coast Carbon Center and work on environmental policy, energy and water resources, and analysis of energy market data. The center will also support degree programs at the Jackson School of Geosciences, the university’s Energy and Mineral Resources program and the university’s newly formed Center for International Energy and Environmental policy, a joint program of the Jackson School, the College of Engineering and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

For more information contact: J.B. Bird, 512-232-9623.