Today, the Department of Energy announced the selection of three multiyear, field laboratories and six other multiyear research projects for continued research to promote environmentally prudent development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources.
Natural gas provides numerous benefits to millions of Americans daily, whether it’s being used to heat or air condition homes and businesses, cook meals, or power vehicles. But most people who take advantage of this versatile and important energy resource probably don’t think about the intricate and vital system that exists to bring natural gas from where it is produced to the marketplace where it can be used.
More than 30 years ago, DOE looked into the future and saw the potentially large benefit of developing promising but difficult-to-extract unconventional natural gas resources, particularly those from shale formations. As a result, it began sponsoring research and development (R&D), partnering with industry and academia, and, among other things, invested about $137 million in the Eastern Gas Shale Program between 1978 and 1992.
President Obama’s “All-of-the-Above” energy strategy focuses on safely and efficiently developing America’s natural resources, and emphasizes that energy must be produced in a responsible and sustainable manner. Today, a study released by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory provides further clarity on responsible development that both furthers America’s energy security and environmental stewardship. It does not speak broadly to all cases of hydraulic fracturing, and is a limited study focused around specific wells in Pennsylvania.
As many people know, over the past decade the United States has experienced a shale gas revolution that has beneficially transformed its energy landscape. In witnessing this transformation, other nations with significant shale resources are understandably interested in pursuing the responsible development of their domestic reserves, and achieving for their people accompanying economic, energy security and environmental benefits.
Following the White House and the Department of Energy Capstone Methane Stakeholder Roundtable on July 29th, DOE announced a series of actions, partnerships, and stakeholder commitments to help modernize the nation’s natural gas transmission and distribution systems and reduce methane emissions. Through common-sense standards, smart investments, and innovative research, DOE seeks to advance the state of the art in natural gas system performance. DOE’s effort is part of the larger Administration’s Climate Action Plan Interagency Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.