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Small Producer Achievements

RPSEA’s awards encompass the most critical operational areas for ultra-deepwater, unconventional resources and small producer needs.

Small Producing companies in the United States contribute a significant percentage of the oil and gas that is used by our nation’s economy.

RPSEA has invested nearly $19 million in research designed to benefit the Small Producers of the United States . The goal of this program is to carry out research, development, and demonstration efforts that will assist small producers in reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of exploration and production while operating safely and in a manner which does not harm the environment.

Project Achievements are highlighted below.

Reducing Impacts of New PIT Rules on Small Producers - In 2008, the state of New Mexico revised its rules covering oil and gas waste pits. The revised “Pit Rules” have impacted New Mexico’s producers through increased time for permitting and expenses for drilling. The New Mexico Pit Rule Mapping Portal, http://ford.nmt.edu/react/pitrules_index.html, was designed to help oil and gas operators comply with the New Mexico Pit Rule. When last measured, the portal was experiencing 40-50 users a day, with ~40% of the users being regulatory agencies.
Preformed Particle Gels (PPG) For Mitigating Water Production And Extending The Life Of Mature Oil Wells and Further Improve Particle Gel Technology - Field applications of PPG conformance control treatments in various reservoir conditions were summarized. Guidelines for PPG treatment design were provided. The results will aid in the field design of PPG treatments for a large range of well conditions, allowing for improved recovery from existing water flood operations.
Near Miscible CO2 Application to Improve Oil Recovery for Small Producers - This study investigated the feasibility of near miscible CO2 flooding for improved oil recovery in an Arbuckle reservoir in Kansas. Arbuckle reservoirs are a significant resource in Kansas for improved oil recovery. These reservoirs have produced an estimated 2.2 billion barrels of oil representing 35% of the 6.1 billion barrels of oil of total Kansas oil production. The study found that injection of CO2 at field operating pressures, below the MMP can improve recovery of oil and leave residual CO2 behind in the reservoir after depletion.
Mini-Waterflood: A New Cost Effective Approach to Extend the Economic Life of Small, Mature Oil Reservoirs - Project to improve oil recovery in marginal oil plays that have been ignored for secondary and/or tertiary recovery by major producers. Typically these types of reservoirs are limited in extent, poorly characterized, at low pressure and temperature and frequently are shallow discoveries after deeper targets proved non-productive. Pitfalls to avoid and evaluation methods to use were identified to help producers design mini-waterfloods.
Field Site Testing of Low Impact Oil Field Access Roads: Reducing the Footprint in Desert Ecosystems - The overall objective was to test environmentally friendly components of drilling and production in a desert-like ecosystem that can be used cost effectively to maintain mature field operations. Several innovative, minimal impact lease road designs were tested for longevity and effectiveness in reducing the environmental footprint of field development in sensitive desert ecosystems.
Cost Effective Treatment of Produced Water Using Co-Produced Energy Sources for Small Producers - Project focused on the development and demonstration of a low-temperature distillation unit using co-produced energy sources for produced water purification at wellhead. The prototype design capacity was 20 bbl/day. Total dissolved solids (TDS) and total organic carbon (TOC) were reduced more than 90%. The purified produced water is suitable for alternative uses, such agriculture, irrigation and industrial processing. Field testing and design improvements are currently ongoing.
Electrical Power Generation from Produced Water: Field Demonstration of Ways to Reduce Operating Costs of Small Producers - Developed technology that reduces the field operating cost of electricity and minimizes the environmental impact by creating green electricity using produced water and no additional fossil fuel.
Development Strategies for Maximizing East Texas Oil Field Production - The East Texas Oil Field is one of the largest fields ever discovered. This study was devoted to finding ways to increase recovery. Due to its very large size, a 1% increase in overall recovery could mean an additional 50 million barrels.