The DOE, via a Shale Gas Advisory Subcommittee, issued a 41 page report on August 11, 2011. Among the various important findings, we noted near the end the R&D finding at pages 30-33. The Report noted, for example:
- an additional area of focus should be "development of "green" drilling and fracturing fluids."
- multiple-well pad drilling is one significant advance.
- areas where government can and should contribute such as environmental and safety studies and longer term R&D (e.g., research on methane hydrates).
Monitoring patent literature will be an important effort to monitor shale gas innovation. Also on August 11, the US PTO published a dozen hydraulic fracturing patent applications. This included a series of five Haliburton Energy Services, Inc. patent publications relating to use of small tech MEMS sensors. Our growing data base of shale gas U.S. patents for 2011 alone now numbers 131 through August 2, 2011.