HOUSTON—Recovery rates of about 20% for shale gas and less than 10% for liquid-rich plays show there is still room for improvement for U.S. shale plays.

The U.S. Department of Energy, working with industry players and academia, is on a mission to change that as it works to better understand unconventional reservoirs and help bring new technology and improved techniques to fields.

Jared Ciferno, oil and gas technology manager for the energy department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), spoke about some of the research efforts underway at the recent Gastech Exhibition and Conference. NETL’s roughly $50 million a year unconventional resource development program aims to maximize recovery and lower operational impacts.

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