Office of Fossil Energy

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Funding to Develop Technologies that Advance Understanding of Subsurface State of Stress

March 7, 2018

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced up to $10.4 million, subject to availability of appropriations, in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects. DOE seeks projects under funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001826, Developing Technologies to Advance the Understanding of State of Stress and Geomechanical Impacts within the Subsurface.

Selected projects will support the FE’s Carbon Storage Program by developing technologies that will provide a better understanding of the subsurface, enabling improved measurement and prediction of geomechanical impacts. This will help to ensure safe and permanent geologic storage of carbon dioxide, reduce risks, and inform policy associated with carbon storage operations. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, which focus on two areas of interest (AOI):

Tools and Methods for Determining Maximum Principal Stress in the Deep Subsurface

FE seeks projects under this AOI to develop tools and methods for determining in-situ stress state in the deep subsurface. This includes the maximum principal stress, as well as the spatial variation, both laterally and vertically, of the magnitude and orientation of in-situ stress. Tools and methods will undergo laboratory-equivalent testing and initial validation at a relevant field site, and they must demonstrate reduced uncertainty of proposed methodologies for measuring in-situ stress compared to current state-of-the-art methods.

Methods for Understanding Impact of Vertical Pressure Migration Due to Injection on the State of Subsurface Stress

FE seeks projects under this AOI that will predict and compare with field observations the temporal and spatial stress and pressure changes in the underburden (particularly in the basement), which often result from injection. The projects will also assess the impacts related to these changes, including activation of difficult-to-resolve faults and the occurrence of seismic or aseismic slip. Projects must use tools and methods including, but not limited to, advanced geomechanical modeling at high-resolution, case history data and geomechanical/geophysical data.

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.