FE's Office of Oil & Natural Gas supports research and policy options to ensure environmentally sustainable domestic and global supplies of oil and natural gas.
Hydraulic Fracturing & Shale Gas Research. Natural gas from shales has the potential to significantly increase America’s security of energy supply, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower prices for consumers. Although shale gas has been produced in the United State for many decades, it was not considered to be a significant resource until the last decade when new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology facilitated economic production. The Office of Fossil Energy is focusing on resolving issues surrounding safe and environmentally sustainable supply of natural gas.
Methane Hydrate R&D. The most plentiful supplies of natural gas throughout the world may be the methane molecules trapped in ice-like structures called hydrates. DOE's research is helping to unlock the mysteries of hydrates and develop future ways to tap their massive energy potential.
Offshore Drilling R&D. Given the growing importance of deepwater and ultra-deepwater production worldwide, it is imperative that U.S. producers and technology developers maintain a focus on technologies that can help to minimize environmental impacts as companies move into deeper and deeper water around the globe. FE's program, launched by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, is a public-private partnership designed to benefit American consumers by developing technologies to increase the nation's domestic oil and natural gas supplies and reduce America's dependence on foreign petroleum imports.
Enhanced Oil Recovery/CO2 Injection. As much as two thirds of the nation's known oil resource remains "stranded" and may not be recoverable without the development and use of advanced technologies. FE is investigating ways to enhance oil production using carbon dioxide (CO2), evaluating possible candidate locations for future CO2 injection enhanced oil recovery, and utilizing CO2 from industrial sources.
Natural Gas/LNG Regulatory Activities
Research. As the Nation's energy needs continue to expand and grow, access to the world's natural gas supplies will play a critical role in its future prosperity. DOE is working to ensure that LNG can be safely, securely, and reliably imported into the United States.
Natural Gas Regulation. FE's Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply regulates natural gas imports and exports under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act of 1938, maintains statistics on North American natural gas trade, and oversees FE's international programs pertaining to natural gas and petroleum.
FE's Oil & Natural Gas Office actively participates in several global partnerships and initiatives.