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STEM programs create new possibilities for young people in Sakhalin

ExxonMobil affiliate helps Sakhalin State University expand educational opportunities.

ExxonMobil invests in education programs around the world that focus on inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Education ranks as one of the most important policy issues to improve global economic development.

On Sakhalin Island, Russia, where ExxonMobil affiliate Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) develops oil and gas on behalf of the international Sakhalin-1 Consortium, the outflow of young people to the mainland to receive higher education creates a talent gap, as few graduates return to their home land. To address this issue, ENL is supporting higher education on the island through a partnership with Sakhalin State University (SSU), in addition to investing in large-scale educational programs. Since 2001, ENL has contributed more than $15 million to various educational projects, expanding educational opportunities to the local communities of Sakhalin.

“I feel deeply honored to recognize that our cooperation creates new opportunities for young Sakhaliners. Jointly with the Sakhalin Government and Sakhalin State University, we will bring up a new generation of engineers, technicians and scientists who will build the bright future of Sakhalin.”

Jim Flood, ExxonMobil Neftegas Limited Chairman

In 2012, the Institute of Oil and Gas Technology (TNI) was established as part of SSU to provide new opportunities for youth to receive a high-quality technical education without leaving the island. Sakhalin-1 Consortium’s donation to TNI enabled the procurement of modern high-tech educational and scientific equipment. This includes several laboratories for students to receive critical training in rock formations, well-drilling and other complex machinery. With our support, an additional campus opened in Okha, a city near the Sakhalin-1 facilities, becoming the first higher education institution in the city. Our funds provided state-of-the-art equipment for several laboratories at the institution.

Students at the Institute of Oil and Gas Technology - STEM program
Photo — Students at the Institute of Oil and Gas Technology

In 2014, Sakhalin-1 Consortium provided assistance to SSU to create an innovative educational center with a focus on STEM. The center provides new learning opportunities to students studying STEM subjects, expanding the educational capacity of the school. It also includes the development of an intensive English program.

Our ongoing support of SSU is designed to improve educational quality in Sakhalin, and also to engage experts and professors from various leading Russian and foreign universities. In 2013, ENL funding supported a TNI faculty visit to Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and the University of Houston in the United States for continuing education and training to develop further core curriculum programs and cultivate joint educational and research projects. One result of this collaboration is the execution of a cooperation agreement between TNI and the University of Houston.

“I would like to express my appreciation to Exxon Neftegas Limited for its support. Not only does the company provide opportunities to participate in such much-needed events for the young people of Sakhalin, but it is also a major employer, which is especially important for students. Social partnership between the university and the industry can hardly be overestimated since it is intended to benefit the future of the Russian science.”

Igor Minervin, Sakhalin State University Principal