Oil & Gas

Spurred by the likelihood of rising fuel demand in developing economies and increasingly stringent regulations for carbon dioxide emissions in developed economies, several of the leading oil producers have been investing heavily in partnerships with universities for biofuel research. The most substantial of these investments is $500 million from BP for a 10-year consortium among University of California at Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois, which was announced in February. Chevron is funding three major partnerships, including a $25 million, five-year partnership with the University of California at Davis and a $12 million, five-year partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology. An eight-year, $22.5 million partnership with Iowa State University is being funded by Conoco Phillips. Biofuel industry insiders still classify oil producers’ involvement in biofuels as “testing the waters,” but believe that future development of biofuels will depend on the use of oil’s infrastructure and processing capabilities. Source: Nature Biotechnology

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