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

3.1.5. Subsequent Developments in DOE and Other Research Related to Eastern Gas Shales

The R&D efforts of DOE and GRI were well coordinated during the latter phases of the EGSP.

As EGSP funding declined during the late 1980s, GRI funding focused on gas shales increased. GRI followed a path that was very similar to DOE's, working with industry to drill and complete joint wells where detailed data-gathering and analysis could be used to demonstrate a scientific basis for alternative approaches to conventional drilling, formation evaluation and well stimulation/completion practices.

A series of five Comprehensive Study Wells in West Virginia and Kentucky helped to highlight the economic benefits of new technologies for locating, stimulating and producing gas wells in the Appalachian Basin. GRI also focused on ways that operators could improve well performance by focusing on quality control during data acquisition and completion operations, an emphasis that had been lacking in Devonian shale drilling operations prior to that point.

From 1992 through 1996, GRI R&D efforts focused increasingly on the active Antrim shale trend in the Northern portion of Lower Michigan. This fractured shale exhibited water-filled fractures that had to be de-watered before the gas would desorb, similar to coalbed methane wells.

At the same time, a portion of DOE's post-EGSP R&D efforts have remained focused on the development of technologies that could help shale gas producers. In particular, efforts to develop new geophysical technologies for locating natural fractures, new methods for characterizing and modeling fractured reservoirs, and new tools for lowering the cost of marginal gas well production in Appalachian Basin.

The Stripper Well Consortium, a DOE-industry collaborative effort that has invested $7.1 million to fund 62 projects since 2001, recently approved nine new R&D projects in April 2006. Three of these projects propose improvements to methods for the removal of liquids from marginal shale gas wells, a perennial problem for stripper well operators that receives little attention from the larger service companies.

- Please bookmark this page (add it to your favorites).

Copyright © 1995-2010 ITA all rights reserved.


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

    . . . Feedback