The Petroleum Development Laboratory (PDL) was established in 1984 to conduct oil and gas research.
Alaska’s oil production currently accounts for about 15% of U.S. production.
In addition, potential exists for unconventional resources such as heavy oil, natural gas hydrates, and coal-seam methane.
Current study areas include coal seam methane, methane hydrates, enhanced viscous/heavy oil recovery, carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, arctic oil well and geothermal well cementing, gas-to-liquid transportation through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, and enhanced oil recovery through microbial and wettability alteration processes.
PDL works in partnership with the private sector, federal, state and local governments, and other non-government organizations to conduct research and extend technologies for assessing, characterizing, quantifying and developing Alaska’s oil and gas resources. One such partnership is with Kitami, Japan, to conduct joint research in the area of methane hydrates. Similar agreements are in progress with Russia and China. PDL attracts funding from sources such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and private oil companies.
PDL maintains specialized laboratories, including the Pressure-Volume-Temperature (PVT) Fluid Properties Lab, Petrophysics Lab, Miscible Displacement Lab, Gas Hydrate Lab, GC/MS Analytical Lab, Ceramic Membrane Testing Lab, and Reservoir Characterization and Modeling Lab.