PRESS RELEASE: RPSEA Announces Additional Projects for the Ultra-Deepwater Program

New Department of Energy and Privately Funded Research Will Help Meet U.S. Energy Demand and Lower Costs for Consumers

SUGAR LAND, Texas (July 28, 2008) -The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) announced today that an additional nine proposals have been selected for negotiations leading to an award under the Ultra-Deepwater Program (UDW).  This program is focused on increasing the supply of natural gas and other petroleum resources in the U.S. in an environmentally responsible way.

“The 2007 Ultra-Deepwater Program is designed to bring the resources of America’s leading universities, research institutions and technology innovators to bear on reducing costs, increasing efficiency, improving safety, and minimizing environmental impacts of domestic production,” said RPSEA President C. Michael Ming.  “Accelerating the time to first production and building the intellectual capability in the research community for these strategically important resources is vital to meet the nation’s energy needs.”

The selected projects will address the specific technology and architecture needs required in water depths greater than 1,500 meters.  These substantial but challenging resources require a complex and integrated systems approach, where the time from first discovery to first production can range from six to nine years, and individual well costs can exceed $100 million.

While awards under the RPSEA Ultra-Deepwater Program are open to any U.S.-based organization, most projects involve a team consisting of researchers along with producers or service companies that are in a position to evaluate and apply new technology.  Each proposal must provide a minimum of 20% cost share, with up to 50% for field demonstration projects.  

The selected projects are listed below:

Wax Control
Project Leader: University of Utah
Additional Project Participants: SINTEF Petroleum Research; BP; StatoilHydro; University of Tulsa

Ultra-High Conductivity Umbilical’s
Project Leader: Technip USA
Additional Project Participants: Duco, Inc.; NanoRidge Materials, Inc.; Rice University

Composite Riser for Ultra-Deepwater High Pressure Wells
Project Leader: Lincoln Composites, Inc.
Additional Project Participant: Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

Improved Recovery: Phase I
Project Leader: Knowledge Reservoir, LLC
Additional Project Participants: Louisiana State University; Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; Schlumberger Limited; Core Laboratories; CMG

Geophysical Modeling for Studying Acquisition and Processing Methods in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico
Project Leader: SEAM Corporation, subsidiary of SEG
Additional Project Participants: 3DGeo Development, Inc.; Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; BHP Billiton; CGGV Veritas Services (USA); Chevron Corporation; ConocoPhillips Company; Devon Energy Corporation; EMGS ASA; Eni S.p.A; ExxonMobil Upstream Research; Geotrace Technologies; Hess Corporation; ION; Landmark Graphics Corporation; Maersk Oil America; Marathon Oil Corporation; Petrobras America, Inc.; PGS Americas; Repsol Services, Inc.; Rock Solid Images, Inc.; StatoilHydro; TOTAL Exploration Production USA; WesternGeco; Nexen Petroleum USA, Inc.

Effect of Global Warming in Hurricane Activity
Project Leader: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Additional Project Participant: Georgia Institute of Technology

Subsea Systems Engineering Integration
Project Leader: GE Global Research
Additional Project Participant: GE/VetcoGray

Ultra-Deepwater Dry Tree System for Drilling and Production in Gulf of Mexico
Project Leaders: Floa TEC, LLC
Additional Project Participants: Seadrill Americas, Inc.; GE/VetcoGray; 2H Offshore

Ultra-Deepwater Dry Tree System for Drilling and Production in Gulf of Mexico
Project Leaders: Houston Offshore Engineering, LLC
Additional Project Participants: Keppel Fels; Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd.

Funding for the projects is provided through the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with funding from lease bonus and royalties paid by industry to produce oil and gas on federal lands.  RPSEA is under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory to administer the program.  RPSEA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium with more than 130 members, including 25 of the nation's premier research universities, five national laboratories, other major research institutions, large and small energy producers and energy consumers.  The mission of RPSEA, headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, is to provide a stewardship role in ensuring the focused research, development and deployment of safe and environmentally responsible technology that can effectively deliver hydrocarbons from domestic resources to the citizens of the United States.

For more information on RPSEA and the UDW Program, visit

Mike Ming
(281) 313-9555
(281) 313-9560
Author: Mike Ming
Phone: (281) 313-9555
Fax: (281) 313-9560
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