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For many years, the University researchers work on a problem of resource efficiency, paying close attention to an issue of replenishing vital resources: water, oil, and gas. In 2009, the University was awarded a category National Research University with development program as a world-class university, aimed at training specialist and technology development for a resource-efficient economy. 

Currently, resource efficiency is one of the crucial problems of humanity. Even now about 30% of the Earth population consumes low-quality water. Researchers assume that by 2040, about 16% of liquid hydrocarbons will be extracted from hard-to-recover reserves. In these conditions, it is only advanced technologies and qualified specialists that will help to resolve these challenges. High interest to the problems of study and development of unconventional oil and gas resources is highlighted by the ever-increasing number of international conferences and seminars held with the support of the largest international associations of geologists and petroleum engineers, such as EAGE, SPE, AAPG, and others (more than 100 events in 2015).

The University considerable experience and highly qualified research teams allowed establishing the StrAU Hard-to-Recover Natural Resource.

In recent years, the University has done a lot in the area of hard-to-recover natural resources. As a result of these activities, in 2016 TPU began to establish a project office which is meant to develop a technology of searching and extracting hard-to-recover oil reserves by 2019.

The University jointly with one of the largest national oil company Gazprom Neft developed a specification for a project in Estimation of Oil and Gas Potential of the Pre-Jurassic Complex on the territory of Tomsk region. The object of research is deposits of hard-to-recover hydrocarbons in the Gazprom Neft licensed areas. The project is conducted with support of Tomsk region administration. The University is the project coordinator. In addition, the University team studies fractured reservoirs in Eastern Siberia for Rosneft, carries out field development audit of the Severo-Ostaninskoye deposit for Tomskgazprom and designs a technological scheme for development of this deposit

TPU teams paid great attention to the applied problems in the fields of development of unconventional oil and gas resources (shale oil/gas, hydrocarbon deposits in deep-lying horizons of lithosphere and weathering crusts, hydrocarbon deposits on the shelf).

The University School of Earth Sciences & Engineering possesses advanced technologies and equipment, and considerable experience in the mentioned field. These allow the school to be a renowned expert in the field of replenishing the resources of oil, gas, and water. The school conducts joint research projects with the University of Paris-Saclay, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the University of Technology of Troyes, and Siberian State Medical University. Among the University partners, there are academic research centers, such as Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS), V.S. Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy SB RAS, and Institute of Geochemistry SB RAS.

TPU collaborates with national and international education institutes in training of specialists. The University jointly with Heriot-Watt University carries out the following double Master degree programs: Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Evaluation and Management, and Geological and Geophysical Problems in Development of Oil and Gas Fields, and special workshops.

The University is going to develop a number of original Master degree programs: Development of Non-Conventional Oil and Gas Resources, Management of Development of Shelf Oil and Gas Fields, and others. These and other programs are designed to train highly qualified specialists and to meet strict requirements in the field of petroleum field development.

As a result, the University is expected to reach excellence in the mentioned fields and use it to make a positive impact on society, industrial and business fields, and educational sphere. This goal will be reached through transparency in educational and research activities and mutually beneficial cooperation with national and international partners. 

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