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Gas R&D Funding Takes Cut in DOE Budget

February 8, 1999
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Gas R&D Funding Takes Cut in DOE Budget

The Department of Energy (DOE) proposed a $10 million cut in funding for natural gas research and development (R&ampD) as part of a $17.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2000 that it forwarded to Congress last week.

The department seeks $105 million for gas-related R&ampD, which is about 9% less than the $115 million that was appropriated by Congress for fiscal 1999. Funding for gas lagged behind coal R&ampD ($122.4 million) in Fossil Energy R&ampD's overall budget request of $375 million for the next fiscal year.

But all was not bad news for gas. Recognizing that oil and gas producers alike face "pressing problems," DOE combined R&ampD activities (and funding) of petroleum and gas so that producers could take "maximum advantage" of new technologies. DOE estimated about $26 million of gas's R&ampD funding and most of petroleum's $50 million R&ampD budget for FY 2000 would be spent to develop advanced technologies to locate and produce reserves that otherwise would be bypassed or unmarketable. In addition, it is developing an R&ampD program aimed at converting large potential gas hydrate resources (estimated at up to 200,000 Tcf) into gas reserves.

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