GTI and TICORA Geosciences partner to serve emerging resource gas development

The Chicago-based Gas Technology Institute said Thursday's it's acquiring for an undisclosed amount a 51% interest in Denver-based TICORA Geosciences Inc., a coalbed methane and shale resource evaluation firm.

Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Chicago, said Thursday that it's acquired for an undisclosed amount a 51% interest in TICORA Geosciences Inc., a Denver-based coalbed methane and shale resource evaluation firm.

TICORA, which will join GTI�s E&P Services group, will continue to provide geologic-based technical support to major and independent coal and shale gas producers and the natural gas research community.

Revenues generated by TICORA will provide GTI with one new source of funding. The not-for-profit organization, which had received the majority of its funding from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is currently undergoing a transition from a FERC-funded research and development organization to a privately funded institution.

In 1998, FERC approved an agreement to shift funding for the GTI, then called the Gas Research Institute, from surcharges on interstate gas use to a market-driven program (Oil & Gas Journal, Aug. 17, 1998, p. 40). That agreement continued industry funding for GRI's core and non-core R&D projects for 3 years -- $164 million in 1998, $132 million in 1999, and $98 million in 2000. Industry would fund only core projects from 2001 to 2004. Those projects would be capped at $70 million in 2001 and $60 million/year for 2002 through 2004.

GTI, created from the merger of the Gas Research Institute and the Institute of Gas Technology in April -- will focus on R&D efforts gas industry-related issues such as environmental quality and improving gas system reliability and maintenance costs.

TICORA and GRI and have been partners on a number of projects, including recent work on the Lewis Shale gas resource and coalbed gas in the San Juan and Powder River basins, said David Hill, emerging resources manager of GTI E&P Services Division. GTI said the merger would allow it to create a full-fledged service company thoroughly knowledgeable about coalbed gas development.

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