PRESS RELEASE: RPSEA Announces 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--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) announced today that eight proposals have been selected for negotiations leading to an award under the Ultra-Deepwater (UDW) Program. 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 Americas 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 nations 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 6 to 9 years and individual well costs can exceed 100 million dollars.

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:

Deep Sea Hybrid Power Systems

Project Leader: Houston Advanced Research Center
Additional Project Participants: DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, Yardney Lithion, Shell, Chevron, General Electric

Flow Phenomena in Jumpers - Relation to Hydrate Plugging Risk Graduate Student Design Project

Project Leader: The University of Tulsa
Additional Project Participants: Chevron

Hydrate Characterization & Dissociation Strategies Graduate Student Design Project

Project Leader: The University of Tulsa
Additional Project Participants: BP America

Design Investigation of Extreme High Pressure, High Temperature, (XHPHT), Subsurface Safety Valves (SSSV) Graduate Student Design Project

Project Leader: William Marsh Rice University

Robotic Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) Sensor for Monitoring and Inspection of Deepwater Risers Graduate Student Design Project

Project Leader: William Marsh Rice University
Additional Project Participants: itRobotics

Improvements to Deepwater Subsea Measurements

Project Leader: Letton-Hall Group, LLP
Additional Project Participants: Oceaneering International, Inc., Multiphase Systems Integration, Welker Engineering, Lake Charles Instruments, axept, Southwest Research Institute, Intertek, Chevron, Shell, Total, ConocoPhillips, BHP, StatoilHydro, Petrobras, BP, ENI, Anadarko, Devon, Schlumberger, Weatherford

Fatigue Performance of High Strength Riser Materials Subjected to Sour Environments

Project Leader: Southwest Research Institute

Grand Challenge - Extreme Reach Development

Project Leader: Tejas Research & Engineering
Additional Project Participants: Smart Drilling and Completion, Inc., Total E&P, Chevron

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 Energys National Energy Technology Laboratory to administer the program. RPSEA is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit consortium with over 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.

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