Cryptome DVDs are offered by Cryptome. Donate $25 for two DVDs of the Cryptome 12-years collection of 46,000 files from June 1996 to June 2008 (~6.7 GB). Click Paypal or mail check/MO made out to John Young, 251 West 89th Street, New York, NY 10024. The collection includes all files of,,, and, and 23,000 pages of counter-intelligence dossiers declassified by the US Army Information and Security Command, dating from 1945 to 1985.The DVDs will be sent anywhere worldwide without extra cost.

27 August 2008

[Federal Register: August 27, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 167)]
[Page 50603-50605]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other 
Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program 2008 Annual Plan

AGENCY: Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Notice of Report Availability.


SUMMARY: The Office of Fossil Energy announces the availability of the 
2008 Annual Plan for the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas 
and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program on the 
DOE Web site at or in print 
form (see ``CONTACT'' below). The 2008 Annual Plan is in compliance 
with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Subtitle J, Section 999B(e)(3) 
which requires the publication of this plan and all written comments in 
the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elena Melchert, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Oil and Natural Gas, Mail Stop FE-30, 1000 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585 or phone: 202-586-5600 
or e-mail to


Executive Summary [excerpted from the 2008 Annual Plan p.3 ]

    This document is the 2008 Annual Plan for the Ultra-Deepwater and 
Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and 
Development Program (Program), established pursuant to Subtitle J, 
Sections 999A through 999H, of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).
    The Department of Energy (DOE) contracted with a consortium 
(Consortium) to administer three program elements, as identified in 
EPAct, pursuant to an annual plan. The three program elements 
administered by the Consortium include: ultra-deepwater architecture 
and technology, unconventional natural gas and other petroleum 
resources exploration and production technology, and technology 
challenges of small producers.
    A fourth program element identified in EPAct for complementary 
research is

[[Page 50604]]

being performed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). 
NETL is also tasked with primary review and oversight of the 
    In 2006, NETL awarded a contract to the Research Partnership to 
Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) to function as the Consortium. NETL 
worked closely with RPSEA in the development of its first Draft Annual 
Plan (DAP), which framed the Consortium's goals for the first two years 
of the program. RPSEA gathered extensive input through industry 
workshops, road mapping sessions, and expert opinion to develop its 
first DAP, and identified priority areas for the investment of $32 
million per year on Consortium awarded research and development (R&D).
    Pursuant to Section 999B(e)(2)(A) of EPAct, the Consortium provided 
its recommendations for the 2008 Annual Plan in the form of a ``draft 
annual plan''. These recommendations were the basis for the Draft 2008 
Annual Plan which was presented to the Ultra-Deepwater Advisory 
Committee (UDAC) and the Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory 
Committee (URTAC) for review and comments. These comments were 
considered in the final development of the 2008 Annual Plan.
    In order to accommodate a Section 999B(e)(3) requirement to publish 
all written comments, the Advisory Committee reports are appended to 
the 2008 Annual Plan. No other written comments were received.
    The first solicitations under the Consortium Program were released 
in mid-October 2007, with proposals received in early December 2007 for 
a Small Producer Program and an Unconventional Natural Gas and Other 
Petroleum Resource Program. Additional solicitations were released in 
November 2007, December 2007, and February 2008.
    In the 2008 Annual Plan, the Ultra-Deepwater Program Element is 
divided into theme areas based on four generic field types that 
represent the most challenging field development scenarios facing 
deepwater operators. In 2008, the Consortium will solicit R&D projects 
that seek to develop technologies that will facilitate development of 
these field types. Additionally, there are eight crosscutting 
challenges that represent the areas where new technologies are needed 
to advance the pace of ultra-deepwater development for all fields. The 
Consortium will also solicit projects that seek to advance technologies 
in each of these areas as components of an integrated system. Seventeen 
projects were selected for award from thirteen UDW RFPs. The selected 
projects are listed in Table 2.5.
    The Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resource Program 
Element is divided into three theme areas that target gas shales, water 
management for both coalbed methane and gas shales, and tight sands. As 
in the 2007 Annual Plan, the 2008 Annual Plan focuses on unconventional 
natural gas rather than ``other petroleum resources'' (e.g. , shale 
oil, oil sands, deep gas). This focus on natural gas resources is 
consistent with a recommendation of the Unconventional Resources 
Technology Advisory Committee. Unconventional oil resources may become 
an additional focus of Consortium R&D in the future; however, they are 
currently being addressed within NETL's R&D portfolio. To date, 
nineteen projects have been selected for award under the Unconventional 
Resources Program. The selected projects are listed in Table 2.9.
    The Small Producers Program Element targets advancing technologies 
for mature fields, which primarily covers the technology challenges of 
managing water production, improving recovery, and reducing costs. 
Mature fields are the domain of small producers, and they face 
challenges in these three areas on a daily basis. To date, seven 
projects have been selected for award under the Small Producers 
Program. The selected projects mentioned above are listed in Table 
    For each of the program elements, a number of ``themes'' have been 
developed to help guide the Consortium through the solicitation 
process. These themes and the prioritization process are described in 
greater detail in Sections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 of the 2008 Annual Plan.
    The solicitation process that is being followed to generate the 
portfolio of R&D projects to address these themes is described in 
Section 2.4.
    Frequent communication between NETL and RPSEA ensures that research 
being conducted at the NETL remains complementary and supportive of the 
Consortium-administered program elements, and that duplication of 
effort is avoided. The technical committee established pursuant to 
EPAct 2005 Section 999H(d)(4) to further ensure that the R&D efforts 
remain complementary, conducted its first assessment on June 11, 2008 
and determined that the complementary R&D program being carried out by 
NETL was not duplicative of the consortium-based program and is in fact 
complementary in nature.
    The 2008 Annual Plan focuses primarily upon the release of 
solicitations and the establishment of R&D projects. The R&D projects 
selected to date are expected to be awarded beginning in May 2008, with 
all awards anticipated completed by September 2008. Technology transfer 
is also a key focus for 2008 as it is an important aspect of successful 
R&D and will be carried out in a manner such that R&D results are 
disseminated to the widest possible audience.
    Technology transfer for this program is a continually evolving 
function. Section 999C(d) of EPAct 2005 requires that 2.5% of the 
amount of each award is to be designated for technology transfer. The 
funds will target technology transfer at both the project and the 
program level. Expenditures of these funds will initially be proposed 
by the awardees.
    RPSEA and the awardees will then coordinate to develop an 
appropriate approach which fulfills both the project and program 
technology transfer requirements. In the broader context, NETL and 
RPSEA are continuing to coordinate in the development of a technology 
transfer plan that provides a systematic approach for development of an 
integrated technology transfer program with the understanding that this 
will be a continually evolving function.
    Section 999 H (a) of EPAct provides that the Ultra-Deepwater and 
Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund will be 
funded at $50-million-per-year, with funds generated from Federal lease 
royalties, rents, and bonuses paid by oil and gas companies. The 
Consortium receives 75 percent of those funds. After allocations for 
program management by NETL and R&D administration by RPSEA, the amounts 
to be invested in Consortium R&D total $32.06 million per year.
    Under the Stage/Gate approach, described below in Section 2.5, all 
projects will be fully funded to the completion of the appropriate 
decision point identified in each contract, which may include multiple 
stages. If a decision is made to move to the next stage or decision 
point or to gather additional data, additional funding will be provided 
from available funds.
    The NETL Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil is responsible 
for primary review and oversight of the Consortium. Complementary R&D 
is being carried out by NETL's Office of Research and Development. 
Planning and analysis related to the program, including benefits 
assessment and technology impacts analysis, is being carried out by

[[Page 50605]]

NETL's Office of Systems, Analysis, and Planning.
    Section 999F of EPAct contains a general sunset provision for 
Subtitle J of September 30, 2014.

    Dated: August 7, 2008.
Guido DeHoratiis,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Oil and Natural Gas, 
Office of Fossil Energy.
[FR Doc. E8-19846 Filed 8-26-08; 8:45 am]