The Department of Energy's (DOE) Natural Gas Resource and Extraction Program consists of industry/government co-sponsored research, development, and demonstration (RDfiD) projects, which focus on gas recovery from both conventional and nonconventional resources. The Drilling, Completion, and Stimulation (DCS) Project focuses on advanced, non-damaging technology systems and equipment for improving gas recovery from conventional and nonconventional reservoirs. As operators move from development of current day economically attractive gas-field development to the lower permeability geologic regions of domestic onshore plays, increasing the emphasis on minimum formation damage DCS will permit economic development of gas reserves. The objective of the Project is to develop and demonstrate cost-effective, advanced technology to accelerate widespread use and acceptance of minimum formation damage DCS systems. The goal of this product development effort is to reduce costs and improve the overall efficiency of vertical, directional, and horizontally drilled wells in gas formations throughout the U.S.
The current focus of the Project is on the development of underbalanced drilling technology and minimum formation damage stimulation technology concurrently with the appropriate completion hardware to improve the economics of domestic natural gas field development. Ongoing drilling technology projects to be discussed include development of an electromagnetic measurement while drilling system for directional and horizontal drilling in underbalanced drilling applications and . the development of a steerable air percussion drilling system for hard formation drilling and improved penetration rates. Ongoing stimulation technology projects to be discussed include introduction of carbon dioxide/sand fracturing technology for minimal formation damage.