Oil and Gas News Archive

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2017 Oil & Gas News Archive

NETL-Backed Field Testing Project Seeks to Improve Efficiency and Safety of Hydraulic Fracturing
December 18, 2017
With a long record of success advancing hydraulic fracturing innovations, NETL teamed with Gas Technology Institute (GTI) of Des Plaines, Ill., to develop and execute a hydraulic fracturing test site program to answer questions, advance the understanding of the hydraulic fracturing processes to attain greater efficiencies, and improve environmental impacts.

NETL-Supported Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory Improves Natural Gas Recovery Efficiency While Minimizing Environmental Implications
December 11, 2017
The 104,000-square mile Marcellus natural gas trend—the largest source of natural gas in the United States—was once considered to have inconsequential natural gas potential until new technologies helped industry access an estimated 141 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. Because more research is required to more completely realize the rich potential of Marcellus Shale natural gas, NETL is helping discover safe and effective natural gas recovery innovations with its work on the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (MSEEL).

Recovery of Pressurized Cores Key to Natural Gas Hydrate Research
December 4, 2017
An NETL-sponsored team led by the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) has recovered the first pressurized cores from a gas hydrate reservoir in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico—a key step in opening the door to a vast untouched natural gas resource.

Recovery of Pressurized Cores Key to Natural Gas Hydrate Research
August 23, 2017

Infographic: 5 Facts About the Impact of DOE Research and the Shale Revolution
July 27, 2017

DOE to Invest $20 Million in New Oil and Gas Research Projects
June 21, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and NETL today announced the availability of $20 million for cost-shared oil and gas research projects to increase recovery efficiency from unconventional oil and gas wells and to prevent offshore spills and leaks. This new funding opportunity seeks projects that will advance the Department’s objective to support a more environmentally responsible, secure, and resilient U.S. energy infrastructure, while enhancing economic competitiveness and national security.

Project Helps Provide More Precise Detection and Understanding of Seismic Activity in Oklahoma
June 6, 2017
The Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the University of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) have concluded a highly innovative and integrated study to determine what properties lead to induced seismicity.

Water-Management Tool May Help Turn Waste into a Resource
June 6, 2017
With project-management support from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the Colorado School of Mines and New Mexico State University have completed a project culminating in a new online water-management tool called the Decision Support Tool (DST), which can suggest treatment options for produced water and fracturing flowback—water that has been injected into shale formations as part of hydraulic fracturing operations that later emerges with minerals, organic matter, salts, and added chemicals. The tool will help minimize potential impacts of oil and natural gas production on natural water resources, public health, aquatic life, and the environment through informed decision-making.

NETL Scores “Innovative R&D” Prize at Shale Gas Innovation Contest
May 24, 2017
A technology developed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) providing a cost-effective early warning of oil or gas well destabilization that could result in blowout gusher has been recognized as an “Innovative R&D” winner at the Sixth Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest.

Frozen Heat: Exploring the Potential of Natural Gas Hydrates
May 12, 2017
Everyone hears about the vastness of our more traditional fossil fuel resources. But one potential source of fossil energy could exceed the energy content of all other known fossil fuels combined—and that’s natural gas hydrate.

2017 Gulf of Mexico Drilling and Coring Expedition
May 10, 2017
In partnership with NETL, the University of Texas at Austin is leading an effort to execute two drilling and coring expeditions to assess the nature and occurrence of gas hydrates in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The program is focused primarily on assessing the origin and evolution of geologic systems that generate and sustain high concentrations of gas hydrate within coarse-grained sediments. Follow the progress of the expedition!

Novel Oil-Spill Recovery Process Demonstrates Feasibility under Simulated Artic Conditions
April 24, 2017
NETL researchers have successfully demonstrated a new oil-spill recovery process under simulated Arctic conditions. The work, which is being conducted under a grant awarded to NETL by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement, is focused on verifying that this process can have real-world applications for oil recovery in a harsh Arctic environment.

NETL Examines Foamed Cement for Safer Recovery of Oil and Gas around the World
March 1, 2017
What does a CT scanner have to do with safer drilling operations? The answer may surprise you. Researchers at NETL are combining their unparalleled expertise with unexpected tools like CT scanners to investigate a material that prevents leaks and spills during oil and gas drilling operations—foamed cement.

The Spring, 2017 Issue of the Methane Hydrate Newsletter Fire in the Ice is Now Available
January 20, 2017

2016 Oil & Gas News Archive

NETL Awards Projects to DOE National Laboratories to Investigate Fundamental Shale Properties
December 5, 2016
NETL has awarded six research projects to U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories to advance fundamental shale research. The two-year projects will investigate the processes associated with hydrocarbon extraction from unconventional shale reservoirs and lead to a better understanding of factors affecting prudent resource development.

DOE Issues Request for Information for Oil and Gas Research & Development
November 17, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have issued a Request for Information (RFI) for input on critical gaps in oil and natural gas technology that must be addressed through scientific research.

Foamed Cement Helping to Ensure Safer Oil and Gas Operations
September 29, 2016
Foamed cement, which looks and feels like a gritty gray shaving cream, is used during oil and gas drilling operations to encase production tubes and prevent leaks and spills. The cured material creates a seal that protects underground sources of drinking water, but this is no ordinary cement.

DOE Announces $3.8 Million Investment in New Methane Gas Hydrate Research
September 15, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of six multi-year research projects to receive $3.8 million in funding that will enhance the understanding of methane hydrate system behaviors when subjected to natural, environmental, or induced production-related changes, helping to determine both the production viability of a vast source of natural gas and to assess the role of gas hydrate in the larger global climate cycle.

DOE Announces $13 Million to Quantify and Mitigate Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Infrastructure
September 08, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a total of $13 million to be awarded to twelve multi-year research projects intended to develop cost efficient and effective ways to mitigate methane emissions from natural gas pipeline and storage infrastructure. The research will also look to better quantify the sources, volumes and rates of methane emissions. This new initiative by the Office of Fossil Energy builds upon the President's Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.

NETL and the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America: Ten Years of Success
September 08, 2016
For ten years, NETL and the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America have been working in concert to ensure a clean, sustainable, and affordable energy future.

DOE Awards $10 Million to Small Businesses for Fossil Energy Research and Technology Transfer
June 23, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 10 research projects to empower small businesses to develop technologies that allow for the nation to more wisely and efficiently use our vast fossil energy resources and sustain economic growth.

New Airborne Technology Measures Ocean Surface Currents for Offshore Energy Production and Emergency Rescue Missions
April 11, 2016
In a breakthrough project sponsored by the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), private-sector partners Fugro and Areté Associates have developed, commercialized, and sold a system that can monitor offshore current conditions from the air, providing critical information in record time for oceanographic research and emergency situations, such as oil spills and search and rescue missions.

Project Captures First-Ever Comprehensive Hydraulic Fracturing Research Data from 1.5 Miles Underground
April 06, 2016
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), working with the Gas Technology Institute, Laredo Petroleum, and other industry partners, has collected what is possibly the world’s most comprehensive hydraulic-fracturing research dataset in unconventional shale.

The Spring, 2016 Issue of the Methane Hydrate Newsletter Fire in the Ice is Now Available

2015 Oil & Gas News Archive

The December, 2015 Issue of the Methane Hydrate Newsletter Fire in the Ice is Now Available

Stripper Well Consortium Looks Back on Fifteen Years of Innovative Technology and Partnership

Newly Released Study Highlights Significant Utica Shale Potential - A new study led by West Virginia University, partly funded by the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, indicates that Utica Shale could hold far more natural gas and oil than previously estimated. If the site's commercial potential could be realized, it would be the largest natural gas field in the United States.

The Fall, 2015 Issue of the E&P Focus Newsletter is Now Available - NETL has, and continues, to fund research to increase subsurface understanding, from fluid flow in permeable environments to fracture generation mechanics to chemical interactions in various formation types. A number of these research projects, undertaken in conjunction with academic institutions and national laboratories, are detailed in this issue of E&P Focus.

DOE-Sponsored Project to Study Shale Gas Production - The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and its partners, West Virginia University (WVU), Northeast Natural Energy (NNE), and The Ohio State University, are moving forward on a project to monitor the process and progress of unconventional gas production at a Marcellus Shale well near Morgantown, WV. Read more on this project.

Natural Gas & Oil Program Research Portfolio Reports - The report “Unconventional Oil & Gas Resources: Air, Wellbore Integrity, and Induced Seismic" is now available. 
The Office of Fossil Energy (FE)/National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is releasing a series of nine Research Portfolio Reports to provide a snapshot of results and accomplishments completed to-date for active and completed projects under three focus areas: Unconventional Oil & Gas Resources; Ultra-Deepwater; and Small Producers. The reports capture research conducted over the last ten years under FE’s Natural Gas and Oil Program. Each report discusses the research challenges, accomplishments, and lessons learned as well as providing a 1-2 page summary for each project with links to final reports for completed projects.

The April, 2015 Issue of the Methane Hydrate Newsletter Fire in the Ice is Now Available

NETL Collaborates with Partners to Produce Global Outlook on Natural Gas Hydrates 
Researchers at the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) were part of an international team, including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), that contributed to a newly released report explaining the prospect of gas hydrates as a potential worldwide energy source that can contribute in the transition to the low-carbon energy systems of the future.

NETL-Sponsored Study Confirms Vast Energy Resource in Residual Oil Zones
A geologic core extracted from a West Texas well and analyzed by researchers sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has confirmed that carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) can "push out" oil from largely untapped areas called residual oil zones (ROZs). This finding further demonstrates that these zones hold the potential to harvest billions of barrels of additional oil that could increase domestic supply, reduce imports, and increase U.S. energy security.

DOE-Sponsored Project Tests Novel Method to Increase Oil Recovery
Successful laboratory tests at the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have verified that the use of a brine-soluble ionic surfactant could improve the efficiency of carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR).

Oil Operators Gain Powerful, User-Friendly Enhanced Oil Recovery Planning Software
New software developed by NITEC LLC (Denver, Colo.) under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory enables quicker, more affordable technical studies of carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) for small- to mid-sized U.S. oilfield operators.

NETL’s BLOSOM Works to Predict and Prevent Underwater Oil Spills
A new modeling tool created by scientists at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is helping to prevent future hydrocarbon leaks and providing a greater understanding of how hydrocarbon leaks from all sources are transported throughout offshore systems.

New Field Laboratories and Related Research To Help Promote Environmentally Prudent Development of Unconventional Resources
The Department of Energy announced the selection of three multiyear, field laboratories and six other multiyear research projects for continued research to promote environmentally prudent development of unconventional oil and natural gas (UOG) resources. As part of a July, 2014 Executive Order and a multiagency effort involving the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Geological Survey, these selections will help provide timely science and technology that will minimize environmental impacts of UOG development while maximizing the economic and national security benefits.

The project selections are with universities and companies located in West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Montana, Texas, California, and Oklahoma and managed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), These research projects are designed to address critical gaps in knowledge of the characterization, basic subsurface science, and new completion/stimulation strategies for tight oil, tight gas, and shale gas resources, with the goal of enabling more efficient resource recovery from fewer and less environmentally impactful wells.

New Project To Improve Characterization of U.S. Gas Hydrate Resources
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of a multi-year, field-based research project designed to gain further insight into the nature, formation, occurrence and physical properties of methane hydrate‚Äźbearing sediments for the purpose of methane hydrate resource appraisal.

The objectives of the marine gas hydrate program are to:  (1) collect a full suite of in situ measurements and core samples to characterize the physical properties of marine methane hydrates; (2) assess their potential response to possible production activities; and (3) further delineate the occurrence and nature of gas hydrates in the U.S. outer continental shelf.  This new project, managed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, has been selected to achieve these objectives and is the next logical step in assessing marine hydrate sediments. 

NETL Releases Hydraulic Fracturing Study
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released a technical report on the results of a limited field study that monitored a hydraulic fracturing operation in Greene County, PA for upward fracture growth out of the target zone and upward gas and fluid migration. Results indicate that under the conditions of this study, for this specific location, fracture growth ceased more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers and there was no detectable upward migration of gas or fluids from the hydraulically-fractured Marcellus Shale.

2014 Oil & Gas News Archive

July 2014 Issue of Fire in the Ice Now Available
This issue includes three articles: two related to assessments of methane hydrate potential and one focused on hydrate prospecting methods.

2014 Volume 1 Issue of E&P Focus Now Available [PDF-3.29MB]
This issue deals with cementing and wellbore integrity R&D, both completed and underway, within NETL. The wellbore integrity program is a key component of NETL's commitment to provide the nation with safe and reliable oil and gas supplies. More than a decade of cementing R&D has gone into fulfilling that commitment.

Unconventional Oil and Gas Projects Help Reduce Environmental Impact of Development
Seven recently selected projects hold promise to improve extraction of unconventional resources while protecting the environment.

2013 Oil & Gas News Archive

EDX - Share and Share Alike
At NETL, sharing energy technical knowledge and expertise just got a whole lot easier. The Laboratory’s Research & Innovation Center has recently launched the Energy Data eXchange, or EDX, a knowledge-sharing network built to provide a single source for fossil energy-related datasets and the tools to use them. EDX is designed to make research and other data generated by NETL researchers, other EDX users, and outside agencies available almost instantly through a common portal that features key tools to support analysis and evaluation.

NETL has published an update to the popular "Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer" published in 2009. This update, entitled "Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: An Update", provides additional information on the current status of various shale plays that have undergone significant development over the past four years.