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DOE to Support Research Associated with Water Issues for Shale Gas and Alaskan Oil and Natural Gas

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to select and award projects in FY09 that focus on (1) water resources and water management for shale gas development as well as the science to support regulatory streamlining and permitting associated with shale gas development and (2) technological solutions for Alaskan water management issues arising from development of local oil and natural gas resources for use by remote communities.

...availability of useable water supplies is becoming a more significant issue in communities across the country. Increasing population, heightened per capita water demands, regional droughts, and concerns over climate change have combined to make water issues even more pressing. As water supplies become scarcer, the protection of existing supplies becomes even more critical and water from oil and natural gas development is being viewed as a potential resource rather than a waste. As oil and natural gas development spreads to new areas of the country, water issues are also expanding to include not only the water associated with production operations, but the community water supply and infrastructure needed to support the influx of workers.

—DE-FOA-0000038

Projects submitted under this FOA are to focus on water resources and water management in domestic oil and natural gas production operations, with primary emphasis on constraints to development of domestic natural gas shale resources, and the water issues that impact access to Alaska’s oil and natural gas resources as well as their production.

Applications for responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas are sought to:

  • Develop and demonstrate long-term cost-effective on-site or central processing facility water treatment operational performance and cost data in emerging shale gas plays such as the Marcellus, Fayetteville, Haynesville, or Woodford. Demonstrations shall be conducted at a size that is easily scalable to field operations.

  • Develop watershed resource flow modeling to support water supply and disposal issues related to siting and permitting for shale gas development.

  • Develop cost-effective pretreatment methods to treat or remove constituents from produced water or hydraulic fracturing flowback water to improve downstream treatment and/or re-use options for shale gas development.

  • Develop and demonstrate cost effective produced water management methods that use a systems approach, consider lifecycle analysis, demonstrate extraction of high-value products from produced water and create value or additional benefits on the upstream and/or downstream side of the produced water treatment to improve overall economics.

Applications for Alaska’s energy resources are sought to:

  • Develop alternatives to ice roads and ice pads, especially for application in hilly or rolling terrain, or in areas where water resources are relatively scarce.

  • Develop cost-effective, environmentally responsible alternatives for supplying water for ice road/pad building. Such technologies should offer alternatives to the conventional practice of pumping unfrozen water from tundra lakes.

  • Design and develop a low-cost, low-maintenance system for handling and treating produced water arising from the potential development of oil and natural gas resources to provide energy to remote Arctic villages.

DOE expects about $3 million to be available for new awards under this announcement. DOE anticipates making approximately 5-8 awards, with awards in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 range for the total project period. This is total award size including both DOE share and Recipient cost share.

Comments

SJC

This could be a good use for public money. If you have to mine for fossil fuels, do it in a better way. If you do not want to and lobby against it, maybe we can show you a better way that you can all use.

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