DOE announces $88M for oil and gas recovery research

17 January 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy announced up to USD 88M in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects enhancing technologies for oil and natural gas recovery under two separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects selected under both FOAs.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, proved reserves of U.S. crude oil and natural gas reached record highs in 2017, topping previous records at 39.2 billion barrels. In addition, proved reserves of natural gas resources reached 464.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2017, beating the 2014 record of 388.8 Tcf. EIA also notes that shale gas made up 66% of total proved reserves of natural gas in 2017.

However, despite the large volumes of oil and gas currently being produced from U.S. conventional and unconventional resources, a majority of U.S. oil remains in the ground; in some cases approximately 90% of in situ oil is not recovered with current technologies.

The first funding opportunity is for USD 44M under DE-FOA-0001988, Advanced Technologies for Enhanced Oil Recovery. The projects selected under this FOA will focus on reducing technical risks associated with enhanced oil recovery and expanding the application of EOR methods onshore, both in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. The projects will also improve the understanding of unconventional reservoirs and improve recovery factors for these plays.

The second opportunity, also for USD 44M in funding under DE-FOA-0001990, Advanced Technologies for Recovery of Unconventional Oil & Gas Resources, will support projects to enhance the characterization of emerging unconventional plays and to improve the ultimate recovery of oil and gas resources from unconventional reservoirs.