The Department of Energy (DOE) is providing up to $39 million for research and development projects aimed at improving oil and natural gas technologies, including those for offshore wells, methane mitigation and transmission.
The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects eligible for funding opportunities.
DOE said it would provide up to $24 million for the development of tools, methods or technologies designed to “cost-effectively” enhance both the safety and efficiency of natural gas production, gathering, transmission and storage infrastructure. The funding opportunity is focused on three areas of interest, including technologies to mitigate methane emissions; transportable flare gas; and advanced methane detection and measurement technology validation.
DOE would also provide up to $15 million for projects that improve enhanced oil recovery in offshore wells targeting conventional resources. Those projects would likely be executed in two phases.
The first phase would involve “proof-of-concept” validation of tools, technologies and processes in laboratory or field settings. The second phase would then include a full-scale prototype demonstration to help with commercialization.
The DOE anticipates selecting multiple projects for the funding opportunities. More information is available on its website.
The funds are being made available at a time when U.S. oil and natural gas production is soaring. Year/year crude volumes increased 17% in 2018 to 10.9 million b/d, surpassing a record previously set in 1970. Natural gas production has also set records over the last two years, jumping 11% in 2018 to 101.3 Bcf/d.
“The United States is projected to become a net energy exporter by 2022, and by improving technologies that enhance the efficiency of producing and recovering oil and natural gas, we can be sure to achieve that title,” said DOE Secretary Rick Perry.