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Environmentally Prudent Stewardship (EPS)

Advancing technologies that minimize the environmental impacts of domestic energy production.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that U.S. consumption and production of petroleum will grow gradually through 2050, with production slightly exceeding consumption. Production and consumption of natural gas are expected to grow as well, but with natural gas production growing approximately twice as fast as consumption. Tight oil plays will remain responsible for more than two-thirds of domestic oil production, while shale gas and associated natural gas from tight oil plays will remain the primary contributors to growth in U.S. natural gas production over the next few decades. Accordingly, as the United States works to transition to renewable energy and hydrogen, oil and natural gas will remain key portions of our energy diet and economically important elements of our exports. Ensuring that fossil energy production practices minimize environmental impacts must be a critical feature of our future energy sector.

The overarching objectives of NETL’s Environmentally Prudent Stewardship (EPS) research include:

  • Reducing the potential environmental impact of exploration and production operations by improving wellbore integrity; optimizing formation stimulation; utilizing advanced tools such as data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize well completion design; and developing improved tools for real-time monitoring of well performance. Optimizing well designs reduces the number of wells and the volume of water needed to produce a unit volume of hydrocarbon, reducing the potential for impacts.
  • Increasing the effectiveness of hydrocarbon recovery while enabling accelerated safe, long-term subsurface storage of carbon dioxide and temporary storage of hydrogen as key parts of the nation’s transition to cleaner energy sources.
  • Developing an improved understanding of risk management and geohazard assessment in environmentally sensitive offshore environments.
  • Enabling and accelerating development and process validation of environmentally prudent resource development technologies using field laboratories and test sites that represent an array of field conditions within both mature and emerging oil and natural gas basins.