This paper was prepared for the Second Midwest Oil and Gas Industry Symposium of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Indianapolis, Ind., March 28–29, 1974. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made.
Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.
On December 1st of last year, Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, submitted to the President her recommendations for a five-year, $10 billion energy research and development program. I was closely involved in the preparation of that report. If nothing else, I learned a few things, and I hope to share some of my new understandings with you. Because the time is limited and this symposium is concerned with oil and gas, I shall try to restrict my specific remarks to those energy sources.
Many have remarked that the Chairman's report to the President was timely since it almost coincided with the Arab oil embargo. In point of fact, it was late - years late - because by its very nature research and development deals in products of the future. However, it is correct to observe that if such a task is not undertaken now, our plight can only worsen in the future.
I should like to begin by discussing briefly those of the Chairman's recommendations that pertain to research and development in the area of oil and gas production; what we think the recommended federal R and D expenditures will accomplish—and what they will not. I shall then give you my thoughts on what industry must do if we are to achieve and maintain a self-sufficiency in energy that will permit us to meet our social goals.
While confining my discussion to the Chairman's recommendations on oil and gas development, I shall further narrow my scope by discussing only those R and D recommendations that would increase production of oil or gas. of course a strong effort must also be made to conserve these commodities wherever possible. Many other recommendations directly address that purpose: Reduced consumption through improved practices and designs; reduced consumption through greater efficiencies of conversion; and reduced consumption through inter-modal shifts.
The attached table has been extracted from the Chairman's report. It outlines the budget line-items that pertain to R and D efforts to create new or larger oil and gas supplies. While Task 3 is considered a "coal" program, funding in this area is intended to advance the technology for converting coal to synthetic petroleum products. The total five-year funding level for the programs shown is less than seventeen percent of the $10 billion, but it can be considered magnanimous by those who have contended that all we had to do was "let the price rise and industry will do it all."
A significant entry is the Synthetic Fuels Industry Pioneering Program.