WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Three Russian oil and gas colleges — Ufa State Petroleum Technological University, Almetyevsk State Oil Institute, and Ukhta State Technical University — and US Rice University have agreed to cooperate on preparing management in the energy sector as well as on student and scientific development exchanges under the support of the Russian Trade Mission in the United States, Russia's Trade Envoy Alexander Stadnik told Sputnik.
The trade representative underlined that the first contacts between the universities were very productive.
"Not only me, but all the participants of the roundtable have a very positive assessment of the first meeting’s outcome,” Stadnik explained. “Some members of the Russian delegation could not believe that such constructive collaboration with the United States is possible during the current situation.”
Former Assistant Secretary of Energy and Executive Director of the Energy Initiative Group at Rice University Charles McConnell echoed Stadnik calling the meeting productive, but stressing that there is still much to be done.
Russia’s largest oil companies Lukoil and Tatneft expressed interest in participating in the project.
In addition, it is planned to build this cooperation through a number of state programs already existing in Russia. Particularly, in cooperation with Rossotrudnichestvo in the United States, to consider options for connecting this initiative to a program for the selection of foreign citizens for studying in Russian universities.
During his speech at the round table, Stadnik talked about the prospects for developing mutually beneficial cooperation between universities, and highlighted the measures taken by Russia to tackle corruption as an essential part in the field of foreign economic activity.
A number of other major Russian oil and gas universities expressed their desire to participate in this exchange program, and a meeting between them and Rice University is set for this summer.
The roundtable on cooperation in the field of training leaders in the energy sector was held on the margins of OTC, the largest international exhibition and conference on oil and gas technologies.