Wyoming’s economy is largely based on natural resource extraction, so energy research to be conducted in the High Bay has direct implications for the future of the state and its citizens.

The High Bay Research Facility (HBRF) contains approximately 90,000 square feet of high-bay and traditional laboratory space, and affiliated office and meeting areas. The laboratories enable research that will improve understanding of how to maximize recovery from unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, part of UW’s Tier-1 Engineering Initiative. Research will be conducted in the Center of Innovation for Flow Through Porous Media (COIFPM), the Improved Oil Recovery Laboratory, and the Geomechanical/Petrology Laboratory. A Structures Research Laboratory also is part of the new building.

Significant new oil and gas reserves within Wyoming are projected to be discovered in unconventional reservoirs, and incremental improvements to new and existing production represent major new revenue streams to the state.

State matching funds provide strong incentive for industry leaders to partner with UW. These partnerships have played a strategic role in funding the High Bay Research Facility and in delivering successful solutions to today’s challenges. As evidence, this facility is funded by $37.2 million in state dollars and $16.3 million in private contributions, with an additional $9.2 million in private gifts for research equipment.

The private funds have been invested by UW’s most significant corporate partnerships with Hess Corp., Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Ultra Petroleum, Marathon Oil Co., Shell, Baker Hughes and Arch Coal Inc.