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HARC, University of Leoben to promote low-impact drilling

Posted on 08 February 2010

EFDThe Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and Austria’s University of Leoben are forming a research collaboration to promote advanced technology for low-impact oil and gas drilling.

The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems – European (EFD-EU) Chapter, established as part of the Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) Program, will identify, fund and transfer cost-effective technologies and best practices to accelerate the development of reserves in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

According to Rich Haut, manager of the EFD program and senior research scientist at HARC, the collaboration seeks to develop and share the latest research findings and technologies with leaders in energy, academia, environmental protection and government on both sides of the Atlantic. The program enables industry and environmental organizations to leverage research budgets.

“We believe the opportunities for innovation here at home and abroad will broaden as operators and regulators learn about each others’ programs and technologies,” Dr Haut said. “Working with European countries that have strict regulatory standards similar to our own can help us all leverage our resources to improve environmental performance.”

Gerhard Thonhauser, EFD-EU chapter manager and chair of drilling and completion engineering at the University of Leoben, said he looks forward to a powerful collaborative effort.

“This collaboration is a great example of how global, open innovation practices can make important contributions to both energy security and environmental preservation,” Dr Thonhauser said. “European operations, for example, can learn about technologies already being applied in environmentally sensitive areas within the United States, such as new hydraulic fracturing technologies to produce oil, gas or water without harming the environment.”

Initiated in 2005, the EFD program is supported by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), a university and national laboratory alliance led by Texas A&M University and industry. The growing EFD partnership consists of universities, national laboratories, energy producers and service companies, environmental organizations, and government agencies. To learn more, visit http://www.efdsystems.org.

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