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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – As many businesses across the country closed their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, several students at the University of Oklahoma lost their summer internships.

With internships a graduation requirement for some majors, students’ graduation tracks were in jeopardy.

The Ronnie K. Irani Center for Energy Solutions is a program that provides practical experiences and develops entrepreneurial mindsets for students pursuing energy and earth science degrees.

When students lost their summer internships, Executive Director David Ferris collaborated with energy companies to develop meaningful projects for students and companies.

“The Irani Center for Energy Solutions is committed to providing opportunities that are real-time and real-world so that both the students and the sponsoring company benefit,” said Ferris.

Despite logistical issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and a volatile energy market, six companies agreed to provide projects and valuable experience to students.

Student teams will now spend the summer working on projects ranging from valuing portfolios of royalty interests to creating field development plans in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and several other basins across the United States.

“This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes,” said Ferris. “But despite challenges, we have seen time and again people finding opportunities to help one another. The projects provided for Irani Center for Energy Solutions externships are another example of our collective compassion for people, and in this case, our students. We are grateful to our project sponsors who provided students with hope and opportunity during a very difficult situation.”