Oil and Natural Gas Programs - Deep Trek
In a recent National Petroleum Council gas study, one of the leading frontiers for gas resource development is in deep formations. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates, 7% of U.S. gas production in 1999 came from deep formations; this is expected to increase to 14% by 2010. Without additional improvements in drilling technology, this deep gas resource will be developed primarily as a result of increased gas prices. The situation is aggravated by the high and escalating costs associated with deep drilling. Because lower gas prices will be essential for economic growth, the investment in deep drilling technology now is expected to have an order of magnitude payoff in future economic benefit. Pressure for this benefit is seen with the increasing demand for gas while supply costs are also escalating. Future gas demand increases are also expected because it is the "fuel of choice" for environmental impact mitigation associated with electric power generation. Current gas demand estimates could prove conservative should additional environmental legislation be enacted based on international agreements such as those currently being considered.
The Deep Trek initiative is designed to develop technologies that make it economically feasible to produce deep oil and gas resources. Deep Trek focuses on increasing the overall effective rate of penetration (ROP) for deep drilling. This work includes high performance "smart" systems and materials for deep, harsh environments, such as advanced sensors capable of high temperature, high pressure operation to enable logging while drilling and measurement while drilling systems to operate.
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Page Last Modified: August 7, 2008