Release Date: September 8, 2003
|New 'Smart Drilling' Projects Promise Lower Cost,
More Reliable Gas Drilling
Focus is on Harder-to-Reach, Deeper Gas Supplies
MORGANTOWN, WV - Drilling for natural gas is not as simple as digging a hole. It is a complex process that involves cutting rock, transporting cuttings to the surface, controlling the flow of gases and fluids into the wellbore, and preserving the producing potential of the target formation - all while minimizing environmental damage. What's more, shallow and conventional gas resources in the United States are being depleted, so that drillers must do all of this miles below the earth's surface, at very high temperatures, and at pressures hundreds of times greater than atmospheric pressure.
To meet the increasing challenges of drilling for natural gas, the Department of Energy (DOE) has selected two new projects to advance drilling performance.
In two-year, cost-shared projects, MASI LLC and Terralog Technologies will investigate "smart drilling" options to increase productivity, improve drilling safety, and reduce costs. Managed by DOE's Strategic Center for Natural Gas, the projects support the President's National Energy Policy, which calls for boosting domestic production of natural gas to ensure an adequate future supply at reasonable prices.
Estimates indicate that U.S. natural gas consumption will increase by more than 50 percent by 2025. DOE's Office of Fossil Energy works to maintain secure, reliable, and affordable supplies of natural gas to meet this increasing demand. The Strategic Center for Natural Gas implements all elements of DOE's natural gas research, "from borehole to burner tip," and oversees a comprehensive research and technology development program. Projects to enhance natural gas exploration and production in the near-, mid-, and long-term are a key component of the research program.
Descriptions of the two new projects follow:
|Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646|