About the Project

This website, last updated on May 11, 2015, was created as part of a Policy Research Project completed by 16 Master’s degree candidates from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Led by Dr. Eugene Gholz, Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, students undertook a year-long graduate course assessing the implications of emerging oil and natural gas production technologies for U.S. national security. Students conducted extensive research, both on campus and abroad, to determine the impact that these new technologies have on the United States’s diplomatic, economic, and military relationships with international partners.

The Policy Research Project enables students to perform interdisciplinary research on a real-world problem. Team members traveled to Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean to conduct interviews with diplomats and subject matter experts regarding the project.

A set of Powerpoint slides describing the results of the project analysis can be found pdfhere.

A streaming video of one of Dr. Gholz' presentations about the project, along with a short podcast about its results, can be found here.


The Policy Research Project relied heavily on support from external sponsors to fund students' fieldwork and interviews that form a key component of the final research product. We would like to thank the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the Clements Center for History, Strategy and Statecraft for their key financial contributions.

The project also could not have been completed without the hard work and dedication of its Director, Dr. Eugene Gholz, and the 16 Master's degree candidates that made up the research team: Hannah Alberts, Olivier Beaufils, Jason Bilodeau, Ryan Caldwell, Douglas Cantrell, Matthew Deal, Nikolai Druzhinin, Sarah Kaiser-Cross, Peter Marton, Mohammad Masood, Daniel Massey, Megan Mullins, Phillip Orchard, Sophia Steiner, Hillary Tanoff, and Katherine Wilshusen.