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Energy - JANUARY 11, 2019

Department of Energy commits $88m for oil and natural gas recovery research

by Released

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy announced up to $88 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects enhancing technologies for oil and natural gas recovery under two separate funding opportunity announcements. The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects selected under both FOAs.

“Technology and innovation gave us the shale revolution that’s transformed the energy landscape here in America and around the world,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This research and development will allow us to continue building on those successes and expand the advancement of both our conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, proved reserves of U.S. crude oil and natural gas reached record highs in 2017, topping previous records at 39.2 billion barrels. In addition, proved reserves of natural gas resources reached 464.3 trillion cubic feet in 2017, beating the 2014 record of 388.8 trillion cubic feet. EIA also notes shale gas made up 66 percent of total proved reserves of natural gas in 2017. This success in proved reserves of both oil and gas are due in part to the Department of Energy’s historic research programs.

Despite the large volumes of oil and gas currently being produced from U.S. conventional and unconventional resources, however, a majority of U.S. oil remains in the ground; in some cases, approximately 90 percent of in situ oil is not recovered with current technologies.

The first funding opportunity is for $44 million under DE-FOA-0001988, Advanced Technologies for Enhanced Oil Recovery. The projects selected under this FOA will focus on reducing technical risks associated with enhanced oil recovery and expanding the application of enhanced oil recovery methods onshore, both in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. The projects also will improve the understanding of unconventional reservoirs and improve recovery factors for these plays. Concept papers must be submitted by Jan. 25, 2019. DOE anticipates selecting up to six projects for this FOA. Read more details here.

The second opportunity, also for $44 million in funding, under DE-FOA-0001990, Advanced Technologies for Recovery of Unconventional Oil & Gas Resources, will support projects to enhance the characterization of emerging unconventional plays and to improve the ultimate recovery of oil and gas resources from unconventional reservoirs, which are vital to increasing domestic energy production and achieving energy dominance. Full applications are due Feb. 25, 2019. Read more details here.

“We know we have massive unconventional oil and gas plays across the U.S., but there are still challenges when it comes to characterizing them and improving resource recovery efficiency,” said Steven Winberg, DOE assistant secretary for fossil energy. “This funding will support the enabling research and development that can lead to breakthroughs in those areas.”

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to further the responsible development of the United States’ fossil energy resources.

To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit their website here. More information about Department of Energy’s unconventional oil and gas research portfolio is available here.

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