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NASA and Chevron Partner to Benefit the Energy Industry
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 26, 2011

Charles Elachi, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory director (on the right) and Paul Siegele, president of Chevron Energy Technology Co., met at JPL to kick off a partnership for Advanced Energy Technology Development. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Chevron Corporation in San Ramon, Calif., have announced a partnership to develop a range of advanced technologies that can be used in harsh environments, both on Earth and in space.

"We are proud that the same pool of talent that sends rovers to Mars, explores our universe and studies Earth's environment will help contribute advanced technology towards our energy future here on Earth," said JPL Director Charles Elachi.

Elachi and Paul Siegele, president of Chevron Energy Technology Company, met at JPL to kick off a partnership for Advanced Energy Technology Development. Under this partnership, JPL will assist in the demonstration, development and commercial deployment of a range of technologies that benefit from JPL's unique heritage in space exploration.

These technologies include:

+ valves to selectively control oil and gas flow from different geological formations in a well;

+ single-phase pumping motors for continuous operation at the bottom of deep wells;

+ sensors and electronics for downhole deployment;

+ and integrated management systems for monitoring temperature, pressure and flow rates in deep wells and assessing the health of drilling operations.

This new collaboration will benefit NASA by further advancing technologies that could one day be used for exploring other planets, and will also promote commercialization of technologies developed for space exploration. The partnership will help Chevron develop its energy resources to enable a better energy future for all of us.

"NASA and JPL are highly acclaimed national treasures, and Chevron is proud to collaborate with them to unlock new energy potential," said John McDonald, Chevron's corporate vice president and chief technology officer.

"This alliance is an opportunity to bridge public- and private-sector technology and research to discover oil and natural gas volumes that are found in deep remote reservoirs. In many ways, the research is akin to deep space exploration, making the missions of our two organizations highly complementary."

As NASA's lead center for robotic exploration of the solar system, JPL has a wide-ranging charter that also includes active programs in Earth science, astronomy and physics, and technology development.

The demands of space missions provide the impetus to JPL scientists and engineers to push the boundaries of design and technology to achieve smaller size, better performance, and less power consumption in a cost-constrained environment.

Many technologies developed at JPL, from hardware and software to materials, have direct applications right here on Earth.

The National Space Technology Applications Office (NSTA) has been established to develop a sustaining business base through expanded relations with non-NASA sponsors.

NSTA develops collaborations with elements of the four national space sectors: military, intelligence, civil and commercial. Each of these sectors is responsible for specific development of partnerships that expand and enhance the NASA/JPL-Caltech technology base. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Related Links
NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist
JPL's Technology Transfer office
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