Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Identification of Naval Technologies Transferable to the Offshore Energy Industry
The project was funded as a FY2003 non-competitive small purchase in response
to a request from DOE HQ to assist in Federal interagency cooperation in technology
transfer of U.S. Navy patents to the energy industry.
Identify for the petroleum industry applicable U.S. Navy technology that may
provide high-value, high-quality, and low-cost technologies that could improve
U.S. oil production offshore. Apply these existing Navy-developed technologies
to the needs of the petroleum industry
Houston Advanced Research Center
The Navy Catalog, NAVSEA-Carderock has patented over six hundred inventions
since 1980. This entire body of knowledge was organized into categories that
relate directly to the offshore industry's existing needs. The project developed
a catalog template and technology readiness index (TRL) of the Navy patents.
Seven major technologies were identified and the patents cataloged, all of which
have direct application to deep-water offshore exploration and production problems.
The Federal government and the U. S. Navy have spent millions of dollars and
decades perfecting equipment and technologies for use of naval ships and underwater
operations. Patents for a number of these technologies have been identified
as no longer restricted by national security issues. Turning these patents over
to the general public and specifically for use in ensuring production of adequate
energy resources could be of benefit to the public and the oil and gas industry.
The project demonstrated that the catalog can be used to effectively assist
offshore energy industry in identification and transfer of useful technologies.
The overall objective of the project was to establish a methodology that identifies
potential offshore energy industry applicable Navy technology. The secondary
objective was to identify examples of currently available Navy technologies
related to the offshore energy industry. Emphasis was given to technologies
that have value to the Gulf of Mexico offshore and supporting maritime operations.
Technologies identified should complement other technologies being developed
by DOE and could improve domestic oil and gas supply.
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) was asked to analyze and catalog
the patents based on the level of development and utility of each, and according
to risk categories high (1) to low (9) related to development level.
TRLs represent a checklist for monitoring the progress of a technology program
and the expected impact it may have on industry use. A system of nine levels
of preparedness for technologies to be transferred to industry has been established
ranging from concepts to proven operations equipment. This system has been used
to evaluate the patents and catalog them for further development and use.
- Basic Technology Research - basic principles observed and reported
- Research to prove feasibility:
- Concept or application formulated
- Analytical and experimental proof-of- concept
- Technology Development - bench configured system in laboratory environment
- Technology Demonstration:
- Component and/or bench configuration system validated
- System/subsystem model or prototype built
- System/subsystem development - system prototype demonstrated in an operational
- System test and operation - system prove through successful operations
The Blue Water Technology Program has been established by HARC to assist in
transfer of the technologies to the energy industry. The Advisory Board has
over twenty members from major and independent petroleum companies, service
companies, and universities on the Advisory Board. Key objectives are to expand
the catalog, and demonstrate its utility to the energy industry.
Major Technologies Cataloged
- Underwater acoustic data acquisition
- Attachment methodology for composite cylinder assembly
- Acoustic and vibration attenuation composite material
- Underwater Vehicle Guidance System and method
- Split Face Mechanical Seal System
- Neural Network system for estimating conditions on submerged surfaces of
- Fatigue testing apparatus
Current Status (December 2004)
The initial six-month project developed the NAVSEA-Carderock catalog and assigned
TRLs to each patent. The project has been granted additional money through Federal
appropriations to expand the catalog, and continue to transfer and demonstrate
the value of the projects/patents. Plans for 2005 include Technology Transfer
through workshops, tours and forums to showcase technologies available.
Shared Technology Transfer Program
- Nicholls State University
- Houston Advanced Research Center
- South Louisiana Economic Council's Advanced Technology Center
The final report for this project is available from DOE at 918-699-2000 or from
the Houston Advanced Research Center website at www.harc.edu.
Project Start: September 25, 2003
Project End: March 31, 2004
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $99,000
Performer Contribution: $0
Other Government Organizations Involved: U.S. Navy
NETL - Rhonda Jacobs (email@example.com or 918-699-2037)
HARC - Richard Hault (firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-363-7901)
Member companies of the Blue Water Technology Program.
Petroleum and natural gas reserves that lie in "ultra-deep" waters
of the Gulf of Mexico are the focus of the world's oil and gas exploration industry.
Yet, working in water depths exceeding 5,000 feet to find new reserves poses
immense engineering, environmental and economic challenges.
The U.S. Navy has spent decades developing technologies to facilitate operations
in harsh deep-ocean conditions. Physical conditions that the Navy encountered
for its submarine design, construction and operation are similar to the conditions
now being addressed by the offshore energy industry.