Last year the Department of Energy (DOE) presented a description of the expansion of its research portfolio from one focused on research primarily for onshore applications to one that includes projects specifically for offshore application. That paper (OTC - 30469-MS) also included key research results for the portfolio beginning with projects initiated in 2007. This paper follows on that theme and presents an overview of the Department's current research portfolio focusing on recent-past learnings, current learnings, and research gaps identified from the projects in the current research portfolio 2017-2023.
Discussion includes projects that are sponsored by the Department as part of its public-private partnerships with principal investigators from industry and academia, and those projects sponsored by the Department at its National Laboratories. The discussion also includes an overview of activities and projects jointly pursued by DOE and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) pursuant to the July 2020 Memorandum of Collaboration signed by both agencies.
Major insights presented in this paper focus on innovative mid-Technology Readiness Level (mid-TRL) technologies that will enable cost-effective enhanced oil recovery in deepwater and ultra-deepwater including insights for cement and wellbore integrity, flow assurance, life extension of offshore platforms and risers, sensors and telecommunications, early kick detection, chemical delivery, data analytics involving big data sets and modeling, and advanced sensors for EOR operations.
Many of the projects reviewed in this paper are part of the portfolio of projects that are sponsored by the Department at the National Laboratories while at the same time includes projects that are cost-shared with private sector and research partners in academia. The breadth of the portfolio illustrates the overall approach of the offshore research portfolio especially for enhanced oil recovery.
Recently the National Petroleum Council completed a study for the Secretary of Energy titled Meeting the Dual Challenge: A roadmap to at-scale deployment of carbon capture, use, and storage in which the potential for the use and potential long-term storage of CO2 used in enhanced oil recovery is considered for both onshore and offshore settings (NPC 2019).