While advances in technology associated with hydraulic fracture operations have helped to dramatically increase development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) resources over the last decade, and while UOG is expected to continue to play a vital role in U.S. energy security and independence through 2050, much has yet to be learned about the basic physical structure and behavior of UOG resources. To support cost-effective production of unconventional reservoirs, further technology development is needed to optimize a variety of exploration and production operations in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) play an important role in developing these technologies.
DOE and NETL support these efforts through research and development (R&D) projects, in partnership with academia, industry, technology developers, and other national laboratories. These projects aim to develop safe, reliable, cost-effective solutions for characterizing the subsurface, monitoring well integrity, treating produced water, improving economic viability of hydrocarbon resources, and increasing the recovery efficiency of conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas production.
Specific project goals include: