Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
NETL Complementary R&D
Title IX, Subtitle J of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 assigns the NETL the task of carrying out a complementary in-house R&D program. The organizationís Office of Research and Development (ORD) will implement this portion of the overall oil and gas R&D program. Research the ORD conducts will be guided by the results of road mapping exercises and ongoing discussions with industry and university research partners. The complementary program as developed by NETL is undertaking research in four principal areas:
- Drilling Under Extreme Conditions
- Environmental Impacts of Oil and Natural Gas Development
- Enhanced and Unconventional Oil Recovery
- Resource Assessment
The Drilling Under Extreme Conditions Project Area focuses on activities related to the Ultra-deep Single Cutter Drilling Simulator (UDS) with the goal of improving the economic viability of drilling for and producing from domestic deep (greater than 15,000 ft true vertical depth - TVD) and ultra-deep (greater than 25,000 ft TVD) oil and natural gas resources.
The Environmental Impacts Project Area develops low-cost technologies to lessen the impact of oil and gas exploration and production activities on the environment. These activities center on the development of new, low-cost strategies for managing produced water and better ways to quantify the impact of air emissions from oil and gas activities on high quality airsheds. Further, the Environmental Impacts Project Area conducts science-based studies to determine the need for new regulations or the appropriateness of existing regulations that protect endangered species or unique habitat. The Environmental Impacts Project Area investigates emerging technologies for the development of unconventional oil and gas resources to ensure that environmental impacts are minimized.
Activities in the Enhanced and Unconventional Oil Recovery Project Area focus on the development of new technologies that improve upon current oil extraction processes, while the Resource Assessment area will include activities to perform a detailed assessment of the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin utilizing high resolution analytical reservoir characterization techniques. The results will be used to help determine the mechanisms of gas storage and movement, which will lead to more accurate reservoir modeling for the shale.