A statement of strong support for the research funding in the U.S. Energy and Water Appropriations bill was made by AAPG President Patrick J.F. Gratton to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water Appropriations in late April.
Gratton's written statement, with editorial assistance from AAPG Editor Ernest Mancini, was submitted following an invitation from the Senate to the public on the 2006 fiscal year budget. In the statement, Gratton called for restoration of DOE Fossil Energy oil and gas technology programs to FY 2003 funding levels.
In noting the decline of both public and private funding of R&D, the statement noted that "federal funding of R&D increases the domestic oil and gas supply, and it is not a subsidy.
"Most programs jointly funded by DOE result in the transfer of technologies to a much wider range of problems and thus are more cost effective and useful for increasing the supply," the statement read.
Gratton cited the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council efforts, which estimated that "of 1,266 million barrels of oil equivalent reserves that were realized, 88 million barrels could clearly be attributed to technology transfer under the direction of DOE funded PTTC activity.
"DOE's past R&D programs have helped develop broad advances in many oilfield technologies, such as 3-D and 4-D multicomponent seismology," Gratton wrote. "New completion and production techniques provide the opportunity to enhance environmental compliance, thus minimizing industry impact to our environment.
"Many of these technologies were funded under DOE's Reservoir Class Program in the 1990s and are now significantly paying dividends," he continued. "DOE's oil and gas R&D programs have enabled producers to reduce costs, improve operating efficiency and enhance environmental compliance, while increasing ultimate recovery and adding new reserves."
Sen. Pete Dominici of New Mexico is the chairman of the subcommittee.
Gratton's complete statement