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Subsurface reservoirs account for more than 80% of U.S. primary energy, and they offer vast potential for the storage of energy, CO2, and nuclear waste. Finding and effectively exploiting these resources while mitigating impacts of their use constitute major technical and socio-political challenges and opportunities. Next generation advances in subsurface technologies will enable increases in domestic natural gas supplies, as well as 100+ GWe of clean, renewable geothermal energy. To revolutionize utilization of the subsurface for energy production and storage, game-changing technologies are needed.

Information Request

This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to be part of an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders so that the activities and priorities advocated by the SubTER Tech Team incorporate the needs and current research challenges of the broader subsurface community.

This RFI seeks information from industry, academia, national laboratories, and other federal agency stakeholders on critical subsurface knowledge and/or technology gaps that, if filled, will enable significant improvements in our understanding of the character and behavior of the subsurface environment and improve our ability to predict and monitor these settings. The goal of the DOE SubTER Tech Team and any potential funding opportunities that are implemented as a result of this RFI is to enhance efficient and safe use of the subsurface for a growing range of uses, including energy production, CO2 storage, and waste-water disposal while promoting safe environmental management practices.

The DOE is seeking specific information in four technical areas that have been identified as priorities based on the DOE’s strategies and technology roadmaps as well as on results from an internal workshop held to gather input from the National Labs: (1) intelligent wellbores; (2) induced seismicity; (3) control of fractures and subsurface fluid flow; and (4) new subsurface signals.

Responses are due by May 23, 2014. To see the full Request for Information and register to submit feedback, click here.

Click here to learn more about the Geothermal Technologies project portfolio.