PRESS RELEASE: RPSEA Selects Projects to Award $16.5 Million for the Unconventional Resources and Small Producer Programs

SUGAR LAND, Texas – May 26, 2010 – The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) announces eleven proposals under the Unconventional Resources Program and six proposals under the Small Producer Program have been selected for negotiations leading to an award under its contract with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory and in support of the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program that was established by DOE pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  


Awards, open to any U.S.-based organization, are negotiated once project selections are made within each RPSEA program, Unconventional Resources, Small Producer and Ultra-Deepwater. These projects focus on improving safety, minimizing environmental impacts, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs of domestic hydrocarbon resources, maximizing their value. Collaboration of America’s leading universities, research institutions, independents, national laboratories, state associations, service and operating companies is encouraged to utilize each of their research and technology resources. Proposals must provide a minimum of 20% cost share with up to 50% for field demonstration projects. 

"The 2009 Unconventional Resources Program selections add to the current 28 program projects, enabling a more effective development of clean-burning North American natural gas to help meet our nation's energy needs for many decades to come," said RPSEA Vice President of Technical Programs James Pappas.  "It is becoming increasingly clear that domestic energy needs must be met by natural gas, and the challenge to efficiently extract this abundant resource lies within our grasp.  The goal is to unlock the potential for domestic hydrocarbon resources in gas shales, tight gas sands and coalbed methane reservoirs.” 

Pappas added, "Under the 2009 Small Producer Program, these selections allow small producing companies to maximize oil and gas extraction from their existing assets.  The six selections for 2009 will continue the work of the current 13 program projects in place. The domestic small producers comprise a large cross-section of the oil and gas industry and collectively account for a substantial portion of untapped reserves potential.  The goal is to unlock the potential for domestic hydrocarbon resources by enhancing production with existing surface footprints from mature fields, where up to two-thirds of original-oil-in-place is left behind.”  

Unconventional Resources Program Selected Projects

Gas Well Pressure Drop Prediction under Foam Flow Conditions
Project Leader: The University of Tulsa
Additional Project Participants: Marathon Oil Corporation; Chevron Corporation

Characterizing Stimulation Domains for Improved Well Completions in Gas Shales
Project Leader: HIGGS-PALMER Technologies, LLC
Additional Project Participants: Aetman Engineering; PCM Technical, Inc.; Southwestern Energy Company

Marcellus Gas Shale Project
Project Leader: Gas Technology Institute
Additional Project Participants: The Pennsylvania State University; West Virginia University; Bureau of Economic Geology/The University of Texas at Austin; Pinnacle Technologies, Inc.; ResTech, Inc.

Prediction of Fault Reactivation in Hydraulic Fracturing of Horizontal Wells in Shale Gas Reservoirs
Project Leader: West Virginia University
Additional Project Participants: Range Resources Corporation; Appalachian, LLC 

Cretaceous Mancos Shale Uinta Basin, Utah:  Resource Potential and Best Practices for an Emerging Shale Gas Play
Project Leader: Utah Geological Survey
Additional Project Participants: The University of Utah; Halliburton Energy Services 

Simulation of Shale Gas Reservoirs Incorporating Appropriate Pore Geometry and the Correct Physics of Capillarity and Fluid Transport
Project Leader: The University of Oklahoma
Additional Project Participants: BP America, Inc.; Chesapeake Energy Corporation, EXCO Resources, Inc., Newfield Exploration Co.; TOTAL Exploration Production USA; Computer Modelling Group, Ltd.

Integrated Experimental and Modeling Approaches to Studying the Fracture-Matrix Interaction in Gas Recovery from Barnett Shale
Project Leader: The University of Texas at Arlington
Additional Project Participants: Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc.

Using Single-Molecule Imaging System Combined with Nano-Fluidic Chips to Understand Fluid Flow in Tight and Shale Gas Formation
Project Leader: Missouri University of Science and Technology
Additional Project Participants: Colorado School of Mines; BJ Services Company; HESS Corporation

Improving Reservoir Contact for Increased Production and Recovery of Gas Shale Reservoirs (Achieving Management of Fracture Complexity)
Project Leader: TerraTek, A Schlumberger Company
Additional Project Participants: New Ventures; EnCana Oil & Gas USA, Inc.; Unconventional Gas Completion Research; Shell International Exploration & Production; William Duncan; Cimarex Energy Company; Devon Energy Corporation

A Geomechanical Model for Gas Shales Based on the Integration of Stress Measurements and Petrophysical Data from the Greater Marcellus Gas System
Project Leader: The Pennsylvania State University
Additional Project Participants: Chesapeake Energy Corporation; Schlumberger Limited; Range Resources Corporation 

Improved Drilling and Fracturing Fluids for Shale Gas Reservoirs
Project Leader: The University of Texas at Austin
Additional Project Participants: ConocoPhillips Company; Chevron Energy Technology Company; M-I SWACO

Small Producer Program Selected Projects

Field Testing and Diagnostics of Radial-Jet Well-Stimulation for Enhanced Oil Recovery from Marginal Reserves
Project Leader: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Additional Project Participants: Well Enhancement Service; Harvard Petroleum Company

Enhanced Oil Recovery from the Bakken Shale Using Surfactant Imbibition Coupled with Gravity Drainage
Project Leader: The University of North Dakota
Additional Project Participants: North Dakota Industrial Commission; TIORCO, LLC; Champion Technologies, Inc.; HESS Corporation

Treatment and Beneficial Reuse of Produced Waters Using a Novel Pervaporation-Based Irrigation Technology
Project Leader: University of Wyoming
Additional Project Participants: Imperial College London; WyoTex Ventures, LLC; Design Technology & Irrigation Ltd

Green Oil™ CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery for America’s Small Oil Producers
Project Leader: Pioneer Astronautics
Additional Project Participants: Pioneer Energy, Inc., J & L Allen, Inc.; Carnegie Mellon University; American Power Ventures

Characterization of Potential Sites for Near Miscible CO2 Applications to Improve Oil Recovery in Arbuckle Reservoirs
Project Leader: The University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
Additional Project Participants: Kansas Geological Survey; Carmen Schmitt Inc. 

Creating Fractures Past Damage More Effectively With Less Environmental Damage
Project Leader: DaniMer Scientific, LLC
Additional Project Participants: CSI Technologies Inc.; Texas A&M University; Ampak Oil Company; Burleson Cooke L.L.P.

Funding for the projects is provided through the Department of Energy’s “Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program” established pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  This program—funded from lease bonuses and royalties paid by industry to produce oil and gas on federal lands—is specifically designed to maximize the value of natural gas and other petroleum resources of the United States by increasing the supply of such resources, through reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of exploration for and production of such resources, while improving safety and minimizing environmental impacts. The Secretary of Energy has ultimate responsibility for and oversight of all aspects of this program.  RPSEA is under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory to administer three elements of the program.  RPSEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consortium with more than 160 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. Additional information can be found at

Danette Mozisek
Author: Danette Mozisek
Category: rpsea in the news