ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, Nov. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A $1 million dollar investment by Statoil Canada, matched by the Research & Development Corporation (RDC), will boost Memorial University of Newfoundland's research expertise in reservoir engineering. The funding will create the Statoil Chair and Statoil Associate Chair in Reservoir Engineering at Memorial University and foster the development of a new Petroleum Engineering research program in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Statoil Canada and RDC will each contribute a total of $1 million over the next five years. "Today's announcement is an excellent example of the opportunities that are created when industry, academia, and government partner," said Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. "This partnership will result in positive outcomes as it will further develop Newfoundland and Labrador's research expertise in reservoir and arctic operations. It also represents some of the innovative work of RDC and its contribution to enhancing exploration and development opportunities for this province." "Statoil is a technology-based upstream energy company, so investments in R&D and education and training are important for us," said Hege Rogno, vice-president, Offshore Upstream, Statoil Canada. "We have a long track-record of collaboration, technology sharing and knowledge transfer, which sets us apart. With the goal to strengthen the areas of petroleum technology, reservoir engineering and R&D in the province, we are very pleased to enter into a partnership with Memorial University and the Research & Development Corporation." Recently, Statoil signed a similar agreement, focused on R&D collaboration, with the University of Texas. "Universities and academic institutions in North America represent important arenas for Statoil in research and competence development," said Ms. Rogno. "With plans to significantly develop our operations in Canada and the US, we want to further develop our position in the market for talented and skilled individuals." "R&D investments in petroleum reservoir engineering align with Newfoundland and Labrador becoming a world-class leader in new technologies for exploration and development in harsh environments," said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer, RDC. "Today's announcement will also foster new generations of researchers critical to the future growth of this province's offshore petroleum industry." The Statoil Chairs in Reservoir Engineering will become an integral part of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The chairs will establish, promote and focus their teaching and research programs on reservoir engineering. The chairs will also develop the reservoir engineering capability within current programs.