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Five projects intended to promote fossil fuel development and production in Utah have received funding from the Utah Energy Conservation and Development Council.

The council, an advisory board for the Utah Division of Energy, approved four loans and one grant. Final funding amounts are still being negotiated. The projects - which range from improving exploratory oil drilling techniques to producing specialty products from synthetic crude oil - were selected from 37 proposals submitted to the division.Loan awards include:

- University of Utah Research Institute to develop advanced imaging technology to better identify oil and gas recovery potential in deltaic reservoirs. These reservoirs are common in Utah but unexplorable using current technology.

- Resource Enterprises Inc. to develop horizontal drilling and fracturing techniques in coal mine walls. The process is intended to enhance methane gas production, reduce costs for ventilation and improve mine safety.

- University of Utah fuels engineering department to develop a bench-scale catalytic combuster to convert low-concentration methane from mine vent air into heat to generate electricity.

- James Bunger and Associates to extract valuable chemicals from synthetic or paraffinic crudes using a low temperature processing technology.

The grant awards will go to the Utah Geological Survey to review scientific information from oil and gas wells in the Duchesne field. A case study of the field will be used to evaluate the potential effectiveness of using improved horizontal drilling technology.