Publications & Media

Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD)


Clean Energy

Client / Funder
  • Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
  • Groundwater Protection Council
  • Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Texas General Land Office (GLO)
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

A Sustainable Approach to
Oil and Gas Development

HARC’s Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) program was a comprehensive research and demonstration program conducted from 2008 until 2018 to provide unbiased science to address environmental and social aspects associated with oil and gas development.

Funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), EFD’s research focused on water (protection, sourcing, treatment technologies, and disposal) air/emissions, flaring mitigation, stakeholder engagement and much more. Individual projects were also completed as requested by multiple operator and service provider companies across the U.S. and Canada.

An additional component addressed various issues in Europe as well.

This program assembled an unprecedented, broad-based team from industry (i.e. operators, service providers and regulators), universities, national laboratories, and environmental organizations, all committed to working together in order to meet the program’s objectives including:

  • Establishing a network of regional centers that tested and integrated developing technologies into systems that lower cost and improve performance of unconventional shale development,
  • Conducting field testing of new technologies,
  • Researching and vetting technologies designed to reduce the environmental footprint of O&G operations, and
  • Disseminating the information to all stakeholders.

EFD Coastal Impact Technology Program (CITP)

Within the EFD Program, HARC also completed a multi-year effort funded through the Texas General Land Office (GLO) by offshore oil and gas revenue sharing called the EFD Coastal Impact Technology Program (CITP). This effort sponsored 17 research and demonstration projects with Texas universities and private and non-profit entities. This work addressed the critical areas of air emissions, water resources, site restoration, and workforce development in the Texas Coastal Region.

Various interactive informational and/or educational tools were developed within the CITP such as the EFD Virtual Site. This interactive website/portal was created as part of workforce development in order to foster environmental awareness and stewardship in the mindset of current and future generations.

CITP funded the creation of an active drilling rig and then the site was expanded with additional funding from the Groundwater Protection Council, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences. The funders added a hydraulic fracturing spread, production pad site, and an offshore platform, respectively.


HARC’s Energy focus team members can provide research and assistance for companies and organizations striving to enhance their sustainability initiatives. We are uniquely qualified to conduct objective guidance on technologies, practices and processes intended to mitigate impacts. We can assist with corporate social responsibility goals and facilitate open, progress-oriented dialogue among all stakeholders.

For more information, please contact Dr. Gavin Dillingham.