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Pickens Gives $9.4M to Geologists’ Group

June 20, 2008

By Jack Money, The Oklahoman

Jun. 20–Another donation from energy magnate Boone Pickens is on the map.

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation announced a $9.4 million gift from Pickens on Thursday.

It will be used to help produce digital geographical information system products through Oklahoma State University’s Geology and Geography Department, foundation officials said.

Those products will be made available to both professional geologists and the public through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Web site, www.aapg.org.

Jay Rosser, Pickens’ spokesman, noted that Pickens earned a geology degree from OSU.

The university is Pickens’ “longtime love,” and the degree is something that helped make the energy trader and developer highly successful, Rosser said.

“Boone has given a lot to the university to help it with its athletics and its academic programs because he wants to make OSU one of the premier institutions in America in both of those areas,” Rosser said. “Boone also has a long history of backing winners and leaders. He thinks Rick Fritz (executive director of the association’s foundation) is a leader who can make OSU’s geology program one of the finest in the country.”

Effort to ‘change the world’ The gift will come to the association’s foundation annually for the next 10 years in $240,000 increments, plus another $7 million that is provided through Pickens’ will upon his death, association officials said.

The gift is one of the largest ever made to the foundation, the association said.

“Pickens has provided funds for a unique opportunity — to merge the prowess and talents of AAPG and OSU to build a new Petroleum Geoscience Consortium,” Fritz said.

Fritz said the money will provide operating capital for the Boone Pickens Digital Geology Fund to provide geologic, scientific and resource information in a map-based format researched and built by graduate geology students.

The effort “will develop maps and data that will be seen around the world — perhaps even change the world,” Fritz said.

“(Boone) Pickens has provided funds for a unique opportunity — to merge the prowess and talents of AAPG and OSU to build a new Petroleum Geoscience Consortium.”

Rick Fritz, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation

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