Predicting, preparing for, and preventing costs, risks, inefficiencies, and safety concerns with offshore systems since 2005.
Legacy and emerging offshore domestic oil-and-gas activities are often associated with remote and challenging regions, such as deepwater and Arctic settings. Development in these areas poses unique technical and operational challenges as well as distinct environmental and societal concerns. Domestic resources of natural gas and oil are forecasted (EIA 2016) to continue to play a critical role in meeting U.S. energy needs, provided they can be produced with the confidence that environmental concerns—such as air, water, and species protection–are being addressed. The science base necessary to support stakeholder decisions, such as reducing offshore development and operational costs (financial, environmental, and human health), stems from the ability to improve predictions of the behavior of engineered natural systems.
NETL has extensive expertise characterizing engineered natural systems associated with oil and natural gas development. This expertise is being leveraged for offshore energy research through NETL’s in-house research program. NETL’s Advanced Offshore Research Portfolio aligns with key Federal-scale initiatives, including the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC), chartered in 2011 to advise the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on a variety of issues related to offshore energy safety. In particular, the findings and recommendations of OESC’s Spill Prevention Subcommittee, a multi-entity committee that seeks to address safety and potential impacts of deep offshore hydrocarbon development in the U.S. and adjoining regions, are addressed by aspects of the Complementary Program research. NETL’s Advanced Offshore Research Portfolio is also aligned with some of the goals of the White House’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region and National Ocean Implementation Plan.
Research through Phase 1 of NETL’s Advanced Offshore Research Portfolio was conducted from 2005 to 2014 and focused on developing a scientific base for reducing and quantifying potential risks associated with exploration and production in offshore environments. The research was performed as part of Section 999 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and, subsequently, from 2014 to 2016 as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy Unconventional Resources research. The outcomes of these projects provided better tools, data, models, and analyses for offshore stakeholders to better predict, prepare for, and prevent costs, risks, inefficiencies, and safety concerns with offshore systems.
Phase 2 of NETL’s Advanced Offshore Research Portfolio began in 2017 and, by targeting key knowledge gaps related to drilling in extreme offshore conditions, expands upon research previously conducted by NETL in Phase 1 of this program. Research is focused on improving the ability to predict geologic hazards by identifying subsurface issues early with greater accuracy and faster response time; preventing offshore incidents by managing and minimizing risks associated with drilling and production operations, aging infrastructure, and infrastructure reuse; minimizing drilling risks to prevent catastrophic offshore incidents and loss of life; and enabling offshore Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) advanced subsea systems technologies to improve efficiency and capabilities for EOR in offshore wells.
Ultimately, NETL Advanced Offshore Research Portfolio projects will develop technologies and information—to be released to the public—that can be used to assess and mitigate risks and costs associated with offshore oil spills prior to, and during, drilling and production operations. The technologies and advances made will prevent and reduce the impacts from deleterious events associated with offshore hydrocarbon drilling and production, while optimizing and improving the economic potential of domestic offshore hydrocarbon resources.
The 2017 America First Energy Plan supports taking advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves.
NETL’s Oil and Gas Division coordinates and implements hydrocarbon-related R&D in support of safe, reliable, and enduring access to domestic natural gas and oil.
The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America is a non-profit corporation established to help meet North America’s growing need for hydrocarbon resources produced from reservoirs in the United States and Canada.
Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee was chartered in 2011 to advise the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, on a variety of issues related to offshore energy safety.
Alaska Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting was established to coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies associated with onshore and offshore energy in Alaska.
A Memorandum of Collaboration exists between the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.
National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon report and findings
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was enacted to ensure jobs for the nation’s future with secure, affordable, and reliable energy.