The Department of Energy (DOE) last week opened a new StrategicCenter for Natural Gas that will oversee a full range of theagency’s gas-related activities.

The center was created as part of a larger reoorganization ofDOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), which is thefederal government’s primary fossil fuel research facility locatedin Morgantown, WVA, and Pittsburgh, PA.

Specifically, the Strategic Center for Natural Gas will overseefederal research efforts in gas exploration, production andstorage, infrastructure reliability, and advanced gas-usetechnologies such as performance turbines, engines and fuel cells.It also will be in charge of natural gas-related analyses to helpset the direction for future federal gas initiatives.

Dr. Joseph Strakey, a 29-year veteran, has been named as thefirst director of the new gas center, which will have four productmanagers in charge of various areas of gas research. All told, thecenter will have access to approximately 50 staff members currentlyworking on gas projects in other sections of the NETL, in additionto 13 federal employees that will be directly assigned to thecenter. As part of its startup, the center has established a newweb site at

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