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Oil and Natural Gas Research

O and G iconNETL’s Oil and Natural Gas Research Programs, comprised of a world-class team of high-performing leaders, scientists and engineers, house the necessary expertise to support R&D projects that further the DOE Office of Oil and Natural Gas goals to improve the characterization, production, transportation, and utilization of our Nation’s abundant oil and natural gas resources. Research being conducted by these programs focuses on supporting technology innovation and resource development in conjunction with the energy industry.

The objectives of the NETL’s Oil & Natural Gas Programs are to:

  • maximize resource recovery efficiency
  • reduce environmental impacts
  • lower exploration and production risks
  • improve natural gas transportation efficiency and resiliency
  • reduce resource production costs

These programs advance the objectives above by identifying key research questions that present a challenge to industry and supporting fundamental science concepts, identifying enabling technologies, and leveraging industry and academic partners to provide validation for concepts to address these challenges. Addressing these questions and advancing the development of these new tools, technologies, and concepts are the primary drivers of these Program research initiatives.

NETL’s research seeks to expand beyond the current state of scientific standards and industry best practices with focuses ranging from fundamental laboratory work through prototype development and field validation.

NETL partners with industry, academia, technology developers, government agencies, and other national laboratories to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of research projects throughout its portfolio. NETL also utilizes field laboratories as a mechanism to establish collaboration for validation of innovative technologies that will maximize the safe, efficient, and economic recovery of America’s abundant oil and gas resources. NETL works closely with key stakeholders to collect insight on issues where advances in technology may prove valuable, processes this information, and uses it to make informed research and development decisions and assist industry stakeholders in overcoming challenges related to each of our research programs, including:


Current Programs Include:

Upstream ImageUpstream Research

NETL’s Upstream Research Program is a balanced portfolio that focuses on fundamental science, enabling technologies, and field-based validation mechanisms to drive the development of technology solutions and new sources of data to industry, academia, and the general public.


EOR ImageEnhanced Oil Recovery

NETL is funding field-based research in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) to support the development and application of technologies for enhancing the recovery of petroleum from both conventional and unconventional reservoirs.


NGI ImageNatural Gas Infrastructure

NETL’s Natural Gas Infrastructure Program utilizes various laboratory and field-based research focused on emissions mitigation, emissions quantification, and natural gas conversion technologies.


Hydrates ImageMethane Hydrates

NETL’s Methane Hydrate R&D Program integrates field, laboratory, and modeling studies to confirm the nature and quantity of the resource and develop and test technologies for its safe production. The Program aims to advance the Nation toward utilization of the vast energy stored in methane hydrate reservoirs.


Offshore ImageOffshore Research

NETL’s Offshore Research Program balances internal research with external projects with focuses on innovative solutions to solve the challenges associated with geohazard prediction, subsurface uncertainty reduction, and oil and gas infrastructure integrity and optimization for new and existing infrastructure systems.


Explore the Site

NETL implements this effort as part of DOE’s Oil and Gas Program.
Technology area contact:

Jared Ciferno