DOE's Unconventional Gas Research Programs 1976-1995
SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region

4. Appendix A: Details of Major 1970-1980 Unconventional Gas Resource Assessments

Federal Power Commission (FPC) 1973 – “Natural Gas Survey – Supply Report” Volume 2 of this 5-volume report is a 662-page volume that presents the work of the Technical Advisory Task Force on Gas Supply, so that the analytical data and findings could be made available to the public. Accomplishments of the task forces on natural gas supply, natural gas technology, regulation and legislation are presented.
This document is available from the Government Printing Office for a nominal fee.

Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) (National Academy of Sciences) 1976 – “Natural Gas from Unconventional Geologic Sources”
This 255-page report focuses on the four major types of methane occurrences that had not been exploited to any significant degree: (1) the geopressurized zone of the Gulf Coast; (2) brown shales of the Appalachian and other Eastern U.S. basins of Devonian- Mississippian age; (3) tight sands of the Uinta, Piceance, and other western basins; and (4) coal seams. In a series of thirteen written papers presented in a forum sponsored by the Board on Mineral Resources and in discussions following the presentation of the papers, evaluations were made of the nature and physical dimensions of these reservoirs, the extent of the resource, recovery problems, economic and institutional problems, and the potential of the resource both in the short-term and the long-term. The papers and discussions are compiled, together with a summary of the findings and conclusions. This document is available from the NTIS for a nominal fee.

DOE (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) June 1978 – “National Gas Survey: Non-Conventional Natural Gas Resources”
In this 116-page report, an analysis is presented of the future energy situation in the U.S. with emphasis on the natural gas industry. The analysis results are presented in chapters on historical research efforts, industry criteria for commercialization of coal bed gas, technology for recovering methane from coal beds, identification of problems, legal concerns, and environmental considerations.

DOE (Lewin & Associates) 1978 – “Enhanced Recovery of Unconventional Gas”
This report consists of three volumes:

Volume I -- Executive Summary (60 pages, 14 figures) This volume is comprised of three parts discussing the public policy issues, proposed research strategy in enhanced gas recovery, and methodology.

Volume II -- Proposed Research Program (578 pages).

Volume III -- Methodology (407 pages) This volume is comprised of chapters on the analytic approach, estimated natural gas production, recovery from tight gas sands, recovery from Devonian shales, recovery from coal seams, and recovery from geopressured aquifers.

This study was conducted to assist public decision-makers in selecting among many choices to obtain new gas supplies by addressing two questions: 1) how severe is the need for additional future supplies of natural gas, and 2) what is the economic potential of providing part of future supply through enhanced recovery from unconventional natural gas resources? The study also served to assist the DOE in designing a cost-effective R&D program to stimulate industry to recover this unconventional gas and to produce it sooner. The DOE contract number was EF-77-C-01-2705. An electronic copy is included on the CD accompanying this document.

National Petroleum Council 1980 – “Unconventional Gas Sources”
The report consists of five volumes: Volume I - Executive Summary (56 pages); Volume II - Coal Seams (128 pages); Volume III - Devonian Shale (252 pages); Volume IV - Geopressured Brines (212 pages); Volume V - Tight Gas Reservoirs (Part I - Resource Assessment is 492 pages, and Part II - Basin Analyses is 800 pages).

For each gas source, reserve additions and producing rates are calculated at five gas prices, three rates of return, and at least two levels of technology. The volumes also include an overview of the resource, an analysis of the technological state of the art, an examination of constraints or uncertainties that may impede development or production, and a comparison of the NPC findings with those of other studies on the resource.

The documents are available from www.npc.org for prices ranging from $2.50 to 440, depending on volume.

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Cover Page

Executive Summary

1. Background

2. GRI Research into Unconventional Gas Resources

3. Structure of the Enhanced Gas Recovery Program (EGR)

  • 3.1. Eastern Gas Shales Program (1976-1992)

  • 3.1.1. Key Questions and Related R&D Goals
  • 3.1.2. Program Design and Overview of Major Projects
  • 3.1.3. Key Eastern Gas Shales Projects
  • 3.1.4. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.1.5. Subsequent Developments in DOE and Other Research Related to Eastern Gas Shales

  • 3.2. Western Gas Sands Program (1978-1992)

  • 3.2.1. Key Questions and Related R&D Goals
  • 3.2.2. Program Design and Overview of Major Projects
  • 3.2.3. Key Western Gas Sands Projects
  • 3.2.4. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.2.5. Subsequent Developments in DOE Research Related to Tight Gas Sands

  • 3.3. Methane Recovery from Coalbeds Program (1978-1982)

  • 3.3.1. Key Questions Related to Coal Seam Methane
  • 3.3.2. MRCP Program Design and Overview
  • 3.3.3. Key Methane Recovery from Coalbeds Projects
  • 3.3.4. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.3.5. Subsequent Research Related to Methane Recovery from Coalbeds

  • 3.4. Deep Source Gas Project (1982-1992)

  • 3.4.1. Key Deep Source Gas Projects
  • 3.4.2. Highlights of Important Results

  • 3.5. Methane Hydrates Program (1982-1992)

  • 3.5.1. Methane Hydrates Workshop (March 1982)
  • 3.5.2. Key Questions and Related R&D Goals
  • 3.5.3. Program Design
  • 3.5.4. Major Contracted Gas Hydrates Projects
  • 3.5.5. Methane Hydrate Research Efforts of METC's In-House Organization
  • 3.5.6. Highlights of Important Results
  • 3.5.7. Subsequent Developments in Methane Hydrate Research

  • 3.6. Secondary Gas Recovery (1987-1995)

  • 3.6.1. Key Objectives and Program Design
  • 3.6.2. Major Projects
  • 3.6.3. Major Results

    4. Elements of Spreadsheet Bibliographies (by Program)

    Appendix A: Details of Major 1970-1980 Unconventional Gas Resource Assessments

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