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Image courtesy of SDSMT/Flickr.

The holidays came early for the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology when services giant Schlumberger donated over $172 million worth of software on Thursday to strengthen the school’s Energy Resources Initiative.

The donation includes three-year leases of Petrel* E&P software platform and other software platforms that can be used to interpret seismic data, correlate well logs and build reservoir models and maps, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology said.

Students will also use the software to learn how to conduct forecast modeling, simulate oil and gas production flows and analyse wells for surveillance.

The software, worth about $172 million, will be used in courses that count towards the school’s new petroleum systems minor as well as gradate certificate programs and other petroleum related curricula.

Students will use the donated software in several courses including the Petroleum Field Camp, Petroleum Production and Drilling Engineering and Petroleum Geology.

“Close partnerships with industry are a very important part of Mines’ success. We very much appreciate this software gift from Schlumberger and we look forward to using it to the fullest,” president of SD Mines Heather Wilson said.

Schlumberger currently employs over 30 Mines & Technology graduates, including four who have been hired in the past five years, SD Mines added.

Houston-based Schlumberger said Thursday that the Schlumberger Holding Corporation issued five tranches of senior notes to help fund general corporate purposes, including a portion Schlumberger’s pending acquisition of Cameron International Corporation.

The company issued notes that mature in 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2025.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice granted unconditional approval to the proposed $14.8 billion merger between Schlumberger and Cameron International.

Schlumberger and Cameron expect the deal to close sometime in the first quarter of 2016.