Dr. Daniel H. Lopez and Acting Under Secretary Garman

by George Zamora

Left: Dr. Daniel H. López and Acting Under Secretary David Garman

ALBUQUERQUE, October 6, 2004 – Acting Under Secretary of Energy David Garman formally announced the start of six major research projects in New Mexico at a press conference today. The projects are all being funded by more than $5 million in research grants provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Four of the new research projects, which are designed to develop the nation’s oil and gas resources and protect water resources, will be conducted at the Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC) in Socorro, a research division of New Mexico Tech. Federal funding totaling nearly $4,750,000 for the PRRC projects was garnered through the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Two of the PRRC research projects have a scheduled start date of October 1, 2004. Another begins on January 1, 2005, while the other starts on April 1, 2005.

The projects, which are all funded for a three-year period, are listed along with their principal investigators as follows:

  • “Aperture-Tolerant, Chemical-Based Methods to Reduce Channeling,” funded for $1,199,903, principal investigator Randall S. Seright, PRRC senior engineer and section head (October 1, 2004 start date);
  • “Treating Coal-Bed Methane Produced Water for Beneficial Use by MFI Zeolite Membranes,” funded for $1,140,273, principal investigator Junhang Dong, PRRC researcher and assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at New Mexico Tech (October 1, 2004 start date);
  • “A Customizable Fuzzy Expert System for Regional and Local Play Analysis,” funded for $1,199,998, principal investigator Robert S. Balch, PRRC scientist and section head (January 1, 2005 start date); and
  • “Improved Gas Flooding Efficiency,” funded for $1,199,965, principal investigator Reid B. Grigg, PRRC senior scientist and section head (April 1, 2005 start date).

Acting Under Secretary Garman also announced that recent DOE grants have been made to New Mexico researchers affiliated with Correlations Company and Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute.

Garman, who will also be available to field questions at the announcement ceremony/press conference, also currently serves as Assistant Energy Secretary under the Bush administration.