Researcher Announcement

HARC’s Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program wins 2016 Eagle Ford Excellence Impact Award

Posting Date: 
Monday, December 5, 2016

SAN ANTONIO (November 30, 2016)The South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER), honored HARC’s Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program with the 2016 Eagle Ford Excellence Impact Award. The award honors a non-profit organization working with the oil and gas industry for efforts in protecting the environment, making safety a top priority and giving back to the communities where they live and work in South Texas.

“Although it has been a tough year in the oil and gas industry, it’s encouraging to see that companies have remained focused on safety, environmental protection and community involvement,” said Omar Garcia, President and CEO of STEER. “It’s important … to persevere and stay true to your core principles. STEER is proud to honor those companies who share our value and vision.”

Winners of the Eagle Ford Excellence Awards demonstrate innovation, prioritize safety, and benefit the greater South Texas region through workforce development and education. Awards acknowledge Environmental Stewardship, Safety Performance, and Community and Social Investment.

The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems – Technology Integration Program (EFD-TIP) 2012-2016
This program, managed by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), provides unbiased science to address environmental and societal aspects in oil and gas activities. An unprecedented collaborative team from industry, universities, national laboratories, regulatory authorities, and environmental organizations worked together to identify and develop programs and technologies to cost-effectively improve environmental performance in unconventional natural gas development.

Field trials in the Eagle Ford region led to advancements in understanding environmental and societal aspects of oil and gas operations. The EFD Virtual Site used for workforce development, outreach, and education, is being expanded to include a production pad site, modeled on well pad sites located in DeWitt and Karnes Counties.

Some accomplishments of EFD-TIP focusing on within the South Texas/Eagle Ford Shale region include:

  • Water Management – Developed map of non-potable water sources and identified promising technologies treating flow-back and produced water.
  • Air Emissions – Demonstrated better ways to estimate emissions from actual field data.
  • Drilling/Production Operations – Assessed efficiency and environmental performance of various processes
  • Community Issues/Public Perception – Developed measures to assure inclusion of community input.
  • EFD Virtual Site – Added the Production Pad Site with collaboration of Eagle Ford operators, state regulators, and environmental groups.
  • EFD Industry, University, and National Lab Collaboration – Established regional expertise to address regional issues.

The EFD Virtual Site and the EFD-TIP field trial reports, summaries, and informative videos are readily available to all at