LSU Joins U.S.-Israel Energy Center Initiative

September 22, 2020

BATON ROUGE, LA – LSU, represented by its College of Engineering, is now part of a consortium that will lead one of the United States’ three inaugural U.S.-Israel Energy Centers, focusing on improving the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of offshore natural gas production.

The consortium, called GoMed and led by Tulane University, includes researchers from LSU, the University of Louisiana system, Argonne National Laboratory, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, the Israel Institute of Technology, the Geological Survey of Israel, and Delek Drilling. Additional industry partners are expected to join as work gets underway.

The five-year, $27 million-initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of Energy will partner with industry and develop and deploy new and critical technologies for the fossil energy, energy storage, and energy-water nexus sectors. A second U.S.-Israel Energy Center will be based at Northwestern University and focus on developing water technology. The third will be at the University of Maryland and address energy storage challenges.

LSU’s team includes Petroleum Engineering faculty Ipsita Gupta, Olufemi Olorode, Karsten Thompson, Jynotsa Sharma, and Mauricio Almeida; and Chemical Engineering faculty James Dorman, Kerry Dooley, James Spivey, Kunlun Ding, and Ye Xu.

“The U.S.-Israel Energy Center was a brainchild, in part, of former Sen. Mary Landrieu and carried forward by Rep. Steve Scalise and Sen. Bill Cassidy,” Thompson said. “Louisiana universities worked together early on, with Tulane as the lead, to prepare a competitive proposal targeting the fossil energy side of the broader energy efforts.

“[LSU has] five technical projects within the center—three in petroleum engineering and two in chemical engineering. Topics span a range of fundamental and applied research, including subsea gas hydrates, advanced well control, and design of reactors and catalysts for methane conversion processes.”

Although much of the group’s focus will be on offshore gas production from the Eastern Mediterranean because of recent discoveries, Thompson said the research will have a future impact on production operations in the Gulf of Mexico and gas processing in the Louisiana petrochemical industry.

“Most of the research has a time horizon of at least a few years before it translates to jobs, but all of these projects have the potential for a direct impact on strengthening and improving Louisiana’s energy infrastructure,” Thompson added.


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Contact: Joshua Duplechain

Director of Communications