NETL’s work to unite public research initiatives with private industry to proliferate sustainable energy technologies were front and center during the 2021 Oil and Natural Gas Technology Symposium: Focus on Sustainability.
Collaboratively developed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the symposium was a virtual event from April 6-7 that showcased the latest energy tech innovations to improve fuel efficiency and sustainability while reducing environmental impact and enhancing recovery efforts.
Event speakers — representing major oil and service companies such as Shell and Baker Hughes as well as government entities, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) — addressed the role of oil and natural gas in the country’s ongoing energy transition with the advent of technology advances and changes to operational practices in the industry. NETL Director Brian Anderson was among them and detailed public/private research collaboration and opportunities the Lab can offer.
“With major industry players in attendance, this was a splendid opportunity for NETL,” Anderson said. “At our Lab, collaboration is key to ensure the innovations developed here get to where they can do the most good, and that means teaming up with big names in industry and academia. We maintain nationally recognized technical competencies and collaborate with partners both nationally and internationally to nurture emerging technologies from concept to commercialization.”
With more than 1,300 employees across multiple campuses and offices, NETL’s research portfolio includes more than 1,000 research activities across all 50 states, with a total award value that exceeds $5 billion inclusive of private sector cost-sharing of $1.3 billion. Decarbonized chemical sector technologies is one of the Lab’s key initiatives as efforts to transition the U.S. to a net-zero carbon emissions economy proceed, an effort Anderson said will require the entire energy community working together in order to be successful.
“As we’ve seen over the years, the problems facing our country in terms of powering our modern, high-tech economy while being responsible stewards of our planet are too great for any one company or laboratory to tackle solo,” Anderson said. “The good news is, thanks to NETL along with its wide range of partners and shared capabilities, no one has to go it alone. When we synergize, there’s little that can’t be accomplished.”
Going forward, the organizers of the symposium plan to keep open communication and dissemination of knowledge between the industry and stakeholders and reconvene annually.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.