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DOE Looking for Innovative Unconventional Oil, Gas Well Solutions

Improving unconventional oil and natural gas well recoveries, as well as ways to prevent offshore spills and leaks, will be considered for grants under a $20 million fund launched by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Projects considered would advance “more environmentally responsible, secure and resilient” U.S. energy infrastructure, while enhancing economic competitiveness and national security.

“This oil and gas research funding opportunity underscores the department’s commitment to developing all of the nation’s energy resources,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Doug Hollett. “Increased efficiency and reliability of preventative and recovery measures promote our energy security, and contribute to making the United States energy dominant.”

Projects funded would support the Office of Fossil Energy’s efforts to ensure “environmentally sustainable domestic and global supplies of oil and natural gas.”

Research topics to be funded would fall under three areas, with two addressing unconventional oil and gas recovery and one on offshore leak prevention.

In the onshore, DOE plans to direct $15 million to technology validation using field laboratories and $3 million to advancing subsurface diagnostics.

“These two topic areas address critical gaps in the understanding of reservoir behavior and optimal completion, stimulation and recovery strategies for unconventional oil and gas,” DOE said. “The aim of these topic areas is to increase and enable more cost-efficient and environmentally sound recovery from shale gas, tight oil and tight gas reservoirs.

Another $2 million would fund offshore spill/leak prevention, specifically focused on “innovative solutions that predict geologic hazards, and prepare for and prevent offshore incidents through risk reduction and mitigation technologies.”

Applications are due by Aug. 15 for program DE-FOA-0001722, titled “Advanced Technology Solutions for Unconventional Oil & Gas Development.” 

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