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NETL Highlights Its Research at Premier Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Event in Texas

NETL oil and gas research successes and expertise are on display today and tomorrow at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Liquids-Rich Basins Conference-North America in Midland, Texas.

The event highlights advancements in technology, operations and best practices with a focus on innovative techniques and tactics that drive the production of energy from liquids-rich formations. The conference will also focus on emerging opportunities that will drive sustainability of North American plays.

NETL has long been involved with technology innovations that led to the current level of oil and gas production activity in the U.S. such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

According to NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., NETL’s oil and gas research programs improve the production, processing, transportation and storage of oil and natural gas. Its research portfolio is advancing technologies to improve hydrocarbon recovery efficiency, reduce the operational risks of production, improve the performance of pipeline infrastructure and characterize resources in emerging basins and plays. He added that the prudent development of liquid resources is essential to ensuring continued energy resilience, economic strength and security.

NETL’s current portfolio of oil production research includes:

  • Advancing fracture diagnostic technologies to more accurately characterize the dimensions of hydraulic fractures.
  • Improving well design to more effectively produce hydrocarbons from the reservoir and recover more natural gas or oil from each fractured interval.
  • Investigating ways to reduce the volumes for fresh water required for hydraulic fracturing.
  • Supporting modeling studies to improve industry’s basic understanding of fluid-water-rock behavior in tight rocks.

An NETL research team was recently granted a patent for an invention for rapid kick detection, which results in safer drilling operations and significant cost savings for both consumers and operators by providing real-time updates of downhole conditions to aid in maintaining control of an oil or gas well.

In addition, a team led by NETL and Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and consisting of experts from national laboratories, academia and private industry, released a report indicating that technological advances such as machine learning, data analytics and data management have expanded to provide resources that can be leveraged for subsurface applications.  The report concluded that technologies under development may revolutionize how the subsurface is imaged with sensors.

The Texas conference is sharing information about optimizing hydraulic fracturing, improving well forecasting, advancing enhanced oil recovery in unconventional reservoirs, using integrated modeling and improving water management.

The mission of SPE is to collect, disseminate and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources for the public benefit and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.

NETL develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America's energy challenges. NETL’s work supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s mission to advance the national, economic and energy security of the nation.