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Begun with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2005 and then receiving funding under the RPSEA Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Program in 2009, funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2010, additional RPSEA funding in 2012, and funding from the US Department of Interior in 2011, along with funding from various stakeholders, the EFD program provides unbiased science and develops solutions to address environmental and societal issues associated with oil and gas development.

Featuring an international research team, the program has had many accomplishments, bringing together government agencies and regulators, industry, academia, environmental organizations, a variety of associations and the public.

As RigZone reported,

"No other organization in the oil and gas area has ever been able to successfully link this broad spectrum of stakeholders, providing opportunities for communication between groups that normally do not communicate very well."

A testament to the program’s success is the number of speaking invitations and the large number of publications in a broad variety of media. Engaging sponsors and all stakeholders, the EFD team has accomplished it all by being objective and using sound science in supporting practical practices to reach our goals.

Another significant recognition of the success of the EFD program is how the program was featured in the Hart Energy Hydraulic Fracturing Techbook issued in August 2012. An entire chapter, ‘Environmentally Friendly’ No Longer an Oxymoron to Oil and Gas, was dedicated to the EFD program.

The EFD Team believes that a dialog with the public is crucial. Every August since 2001, the Gallup Organization has polled Americans on their views of more than 20 business and industry sectors in the country. The oil and gas industry has been perceived as one of the least respected businesses, despite providing both affordable energy and jobs for millions of citizens.

In order to improve our research and technology transfer efforts, a team, led by Dr. Gene Theodori of Sam Houston State University, has studied stakeholders’ perceptions in the Uintah, the Barnett and the Marcellus and found in all cases that the greater the dialog between the community and the O&G industry, the better the relations have been between the two. Where industry has taken the lead in steps to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, the better it is perceived to be a good neighbor.

The EFD team has had several successes throughout the year. Notably, in 2012 the EFD team has:

None of the above could have been accomplished without the financial and technical support of our sponsors. Funding from the industry has enabled the EFD team to meet cost share requirements associated with U.S. Federal funding. A sponsor's $100,000 investment leverages over $12,000,000 of research.

The EFD program strives to ensure that the technologies included in the program are eventually used in the field. There are two different types of projects carried out in the EFD program: core projects and supplemental projects. All EFD sponsors have full access to the results from the core projects. Supplemental projects are funded by sponsors on a project-to-project basis with the results shared with those that fund the effort. The management of the EFD program encourages sponsors who wish to commercialize promising technologies or processes identified or initiated by this program.

The Core and Supplemental Projects are as follows:

Core

Supplemental

  1. Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems – Base Project (Completed in 2012)
  2. Field Pilot Testing: Re-Use of Frac Flowback and Produced Brine for Gas Shale Resource Development (Completed in 2012)
  3. EFD Scorecard Development
  4. Ukraine Shale Gas Environmental & Regulatory Assessment (Completed in 2012)
  5. The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems – Technology Integration Program
  6. Advanced Analytical Methods for Air and Stray Gas Emissions and Produced Brine Characterization
  7. The Coastal Impacts Technology Program
  8. Environmental 24/7 – Establishing a Culture of Environmental Awareness
  9. Understanding and Improving Public’s Perception Of Oil and Gas Activities
  1. Study to Identify and Measure the Environmental Impact of Onshore Drilling
     
  2. LNG Fueled Operations
     
  3. Dopefree Pipe
     
  4. FracFocus Webinar Training
     
  5. Environmental Issues in Osage County
     
  6. Study to Identify Environmental Impact of Onshore Activities