Based on industry-defined priorities and recommendations, OIT awards costshared support to projects that will improve the industry’s energy efficiency and global competitiveness. All awards are made on a 50 percent cost-shared basis through a competitive solicitation process. Solicitations are open to collaborative teams with members from industry, academia, national laboratories, and other sectors that have a stake in the future of the petroleum industry. The petroleum industry has identified research priorities in the following areas:
Energy and process efficiency
New and improved approaches are important for extracting and processing crude oil into petroleum products. The roadmap includes advances in current methods, the minimization of process energy losses, and identification of completely new approaches to extracting and processing crude oil. In particular, high-priority research topics include fouling mitigation in heat exchangers, improved real-time process measurements, and improved fuel conversion efficiency.
The impact of petroleum operations and products on the environment is a major area of emphasis. Key research topics aimed at continuous improvement in environmental performance include a method for risk analysis/assessment and an improved system for leak detection and repair.
Materials and inspection technology
Effective materials are vital to the efficient operation of production and manufacturing operations. Inspection methods play a critical role in the performance of all phases of the petroleum industry. The highest-priority research need focusing on materials and inspection is the development of a global, online inspection technology.
Distribution system and retail delivery services
Production and use of transportation fuels have long been associated with concerns about emissions and energy conservation. A key industry priority is to use an integrated systems approach that combines consumer requirements for fuel efficiency and performance with a need to reduce vehicle emissions.