Jan 26, 2008


Energy companies pour millions into nanotechnology for oil and gas recovery

Could nanotechnology help squeeze more oil and gas out of the ground? That's the hope of a consortium of energy companies that is putting millions of dollars into the development of new micro- and nanosensor technologies.

The seven companies that make up the Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC), which includes Halliburton Energy Services, BP America, and ConocoPhilips, will put up $21 million in total to fund the research. The aim is to develop subsurface sensors that can be used to improve both the discovery and the recovery of hydrocarbons.

"It's been a long time coming," says Wade Adams, director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University, in Houston, a technical partner to the consortium. "It's the first time the energy companies have got together to fund this kind of research, so it really is a big deal," he says.

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