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Academics unfazed by slump in oil prices

Petroleum scientists and engineers have said they are certain that they are offering the oil industry what it needs as oil prices continue to fall.

On 6 January, the cost of oil dropped to a 12-year low of $32 a barrel after months of decline. Newly cautious oil companies are now laying off staff and curbing research spending.

“It is a threat to our research partnerships,” says Nick Schofield, senior lecturer in igneous and petroleum geology at the University of Aberdeen, “but the counterargument I make to companies is that now is the best time to carry out technical work. Then, when prices rise and work becomes more profitable, we will have the knowledge to proceed.”

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