WASHINGTON, DC - With President Bush's National Energy
Policy citing the potential of new technologies to boost America's oil
and gas production while protecting the environment, Secretary of Energy
Spencer Abraham today commissioned a review of ongoing federal oil and
gas research programs.
The review will include three public hearings - in Denver (Aug. 8), Pittsburgh
(Aug. 13), and Houston (Aug. 14) ? at which invited panels of industry
experts, elected officials, and others will present their views on future
directions for government oil and gas research and development.
"The President's energy policy makes it clear that new technology
will be key to finding and producing more oil and gas both in the United
States and globally," Secretary Abraham said. "The review I
am directing will help us define the technology investments the U.S. Government
should be making with industry to keep oil and gas flowing from America's
wells, improve prospects for U.S. technology abroad, and safeguard our
Abraham said that results from the review, to be completed in September,
will help shape the Administration's fiscal 2003 budget due to be submitted
to Congress early next year. The review will help the department in its
efforts identify new sources of energy production, aggressive conservation
measures, and new technologies that will enable America's producers to
find and extract more oil and gas without endangering the environment.
Such advancements will be necessary to support the President's balanced
The current review will also build on the findings of the department's
report, Environmental Benefits of Advanced Oil and Gas Exploration
and Production Technology, which profiles modern-day improvements
that have dramatically reduced the "footprint" of drilling operations,
minimized waste produced in oil and gas operations, and protected resident
and migratory wildlife. The report was produced in October 1999 by the
Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration.
The review will cover the complete spectrum of the Energy Department's
current oil and gas technology programs, from innovations in exploration
and production to advanced technologies for pipelines. It will also deal
with how best to implement two recommendations from the President's National
Energy Policy that deal specifically with new oil and gas technologies:
...that the President direct the Secretaries
of Energy and the Interior to promote enhanced oil and gas recovery
from existing wells through new technologies; and
...that the President direct the Secretary
of Energy to improve oil and gas exploration technology through continued
partnership with public and private entities.
In carrying out the review, the Energy Department will also compile data
gathered in several recent analyses of federal oil and gas technology
activities, including information prepared for an ongoing review by the
National Academy of Sciences.
The public hearings will be held on:
August 8: Denver, Colorado - Doubletree
Hotel, 3203 Quebec Street, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm;
August 13: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Hyatt Regency (at the Pittsburgh International Airport) from 1:00
pm to 5:00 pm
August 14 Houston, Texas - Sheraton
North Houston Hotel (near Intercontinental Airport), 15700 John F.
Kennedy Blvd, from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Those not on the formal panels can submit written statements of up to
four single-spaced pages through August 30. Statements can be sent by
e-mail to OilGasReview@hq.doe.gov
or by mail to the Office of Natural Gas and Petroleum Technology, FE-30,
U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, Attn: Strategic Review.
The statements should address the following questions:
What should the Federal Government's objectives
be in promoting advanced oil and natural gas technologies?
Have government/industry technology partnerships
proven valuable in the past and how can they be improved in the future?
Is Federal financial support needed in all
sectors of the oil and gas industry - exploration, production, distribution,
processing, regulatory compliance, etc.? Are there sectors or technologies
in which Federal support is especially important?
Given that small independent businesses
account for 50 and 65 percent, respectively, of oil and gas production
in the lower 48 states, is the current federal program properly focused
on this sector's critical technology needs? If not, what should be
Are there research areas not being properly
addressed in the current program? If so, what changes should be made?
What actions should the U.S. Government
undertake to promote the global competitiveness of U.S.-developed,
advanced oil and gas technologies?