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Department of Energy Research to Focus on Environmental Protection and Advanced Technologies for Shale Gas Production

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released its 2013 annual report to Congress entitled, “2013 Annual Plan: Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program.”  This seventh  annual report issued pursuant to the 2005 Energy Policy Act lays out the DOE’s research focus and activities for the coming fiscal year.  Acknowledging the national strategic interest in domestic oil and gas production, DOE proposes to continue its research regarding the extraction of onshore shale gas and other petroleum products from deep-water production.  Regarding its research on unconventional shale gas resources, the focus will be on protecting groundwater and air quality, including water treatment technologies and water management.  Regarding offshore production, the focus will be on improving understanding of systems risk and reducing risk through real-time information and development of advanced technologies.  The research activities will be administered by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, which is a consortium comprising representatives from industry, academia, and research institutions.