(677a) New Technologies to Enhance the Production of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas

Authors: 
Ciferno, J., National Energy Technology Laboratory

Title:  New Technologies to
Enhance the Production of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas

Author:  Jared Ciferno (National Energy Technology Laboratory; jared.ciferno@netl.doe.gov)

Abstract

Despite the significant
growth in the production of Unconventional Oil and Gas (UOG) resources during
the shale revolution, very little is known in detail about recovery efficiency
in these hydraulically-fractured reservoirs. The limited information that is
available suggests that recovery factors (the ratio of produced resource to
total in-place resource) are typically quite low: approximately 20 percent in
gas-rich shale reservoirs and less than 10 percent in liquid-rich plays. By
increasing the recovery factors of hydrocarbons, the environmental impact of
these activities would also be reduced.

The Department
of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory is implementing an Advanced
Unconventional Oil & Gas Technology Program to address key research
challenges focused on increasing the recovery efficiency and reducing the
environmental impact of unconventional oil & gas production. The programmatic
research foci include: 1) implementing basin-specific field laboratories to
evaluate novel methodologies for improving reservoir characterization, well
completion, and enhancing hydrocarbon recovery; 2) developing technologies to
better the nano-scale structure of UOG reservoirs in
order to more effectively create and control stimulated rock volume; 3)
developing technologies and processes that are capable of reducing water demand
while improving recovery efficiency; and 4) accurately assessing the potential
nature, scale, and rate (intensity) of future development in various areas of
the country to guide assessment of region-specific and environmental
impacts. 

This discussion
will provide an overview of these research elements and expected outcomes.