The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has announced a funding of up to $88m for oil and natural gas recovery research and development.
The DOE funding will be allotted to cost-shared research and development projects with an aim of providing enhancing technologies for oil and gas recovery.
There will be two separate funding opportunities (FOAs) provided by the department. The first funding opportunity of $44m is for projects that develop advanced technologies for enhanced oil recovery.
The second funding opportunity of the same amount will be for projects that develop advanced technologies for recovery of unconventional oil and gas resources.
The projects selected under the two FOAs will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said: “Technology and innovation gave us the shale revolution that’s transformed the energy landscape here in America and around the world.
“This research and development will allow us to continue building on those successes and expand the advancement of both our conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources.”
According to DEO, in spite of the US producing large volumes of oil and gas from conventional and unconventional resources, a majority of oil is still left in the ground. The department revealed that in certain cases almost 90% of in situ oil is not recovered with existing technologies.
In the first funding opportunity, the eligible projects should focus on decreasing technical risks related to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and expanding the application of EOR methods onshore, in conventional and unconventional reservoirs, alike.
The projects should also be able to enhance the understanding of unconventional reservoirs and improve recovery factors for these plays. DOE expects to select a maximum of six projects for the first FOA.
In the second funding opportunity, the department will select projects that aim at improving the characterization of emerging unconventional plays and to boost the eventual recovery of oil and gas resources from unconventional reservoirs.
DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg said: “We know we have massive unconventional oil and gas plays across the U.S., but there are still challenges when it comes to characterizing them and improving resource recovery efficiency.
“This funding will support the enabling R&D that can lead to breakthroughs in those areas.”