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ResourceQ4 2013


 Volume 5, Number 18


Everyone at RPSEA wishes you and yours the best for the Holiday Season.







By now, all of us are very familiar with the positive impact unconventional shale resource development is having on domestic energy production, economic development and energy security in the United States. We are also aware that the realization of its full potential will require new technology to ensure those resources are developed safely and responsibly. RPSEA is proud of its role in that technology development along with the efforts of its members and research contractors.

As with advances in unconventional resources production, the continuing industry investment in the development of new resources in the Gulf depends on the availability of the technology necessary to operate safely at water depths of thousands of feet and in very challenging downhole environments. Through the RPSEA research program, companies large and small, universities and other research organizations are engaged in the development of the needed technologies. The continuing participation and support of RPSEA’s members is critical to the success of these research efforts.

As many of you know, the current program authorized under Section 999 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and managed by RPSEA will sunset in September 2014, less than one year from now. Unless the program is reauthorized by Congress, no additional projects will be funded after September 30, 2014 and no funds will be available for modifications to existing projects. However, there is support both within Congress and within the DOE for the public/private partnership concept that this program embodies. Supporters of the concept are encouraged by the success of the RPSEA program, and are working on developing a program that would enable the type of public/private partnership embodied in the RPSEA program to continue past the September 2014 sunset date. It is difficult to assess the likelihood of success for those efforts, or the specific nature of any new program, but it is likely that any future program will expand the scope of the current program and include research on energy sources beyond oil and gas. 

As we communicate with supporters regarding the options for a reauthorized program, it will be critical to have the ongoing support of the RPSEA member base that has been so crucial to the success of the program up to this point. We look forward to working with you to ensure that the important research conducted through the program continues for years into the future.  


Best Regards,


Bob Siegfried

RPSEA President 


We are thrilled to announce the successful launch of the new website.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the project and helped us reach this goal. Enjoy the new and let us know your thoughts. Below is a screen shot of what the new website looks like.



Welcome RPSEA New Members 

RPSEA is proud of its membership base. We now have over 180 members. To learn more on our new members, click on their logos below for more information.


 Fugro.jpg Fugro GEOS
RPSEA welcomes these organizations and is proud to be affiliated with each one.

Please join us in welcoming them.

Become a RPSEA member and reap member only benefits.


The RPSEA Board of Directors elected Dr. Daniel H. Lopez, President of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, as the Board of Directors Chair effective July 1, 2013. Dr. Lopez succeeds John P. Warren, Jr., Legal Area Manager at Petrobras America, Inc., who completed a two year term. The organizational bylaws stipulate that the chair position alternate between industry and academia every two years.


Dr. Daniel H. Lopez

On the newly elected chair, RPSEA President Dr. Robert W. Siegfried II commented “Dr. Lopez served as chairman during the time that RPSEA was building the capability to compete for the management of the R&D program funded by Section 999 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. As such, he was instrumental in forging the unique public/private partnership that has been the cornerstone of RPSEA’s success. We are very fortunate to have Dan’s leadership again as we position ourselves for the future, including the possible reauthorization of the Section 999 program. We also wish to express our gratitude to our outgoing Chair, John Warren of Petrobras. RPSEA has benefitted greatly from John’s wise counsel and leadership over the last two years, and we look forward to working with him in the future as a board member.”

“The development of the domestic energy resources of the United States has the potential to usher in an era of economic prosperity and energy security,” Lopez said. “The technology developed through the RPSEA R&D program will ensure that these resources are developed safely and responsibly, and will enable the United States to lead the rest of the world toward a positive energy future.”

Please join RPSEA in extending our appreciation to outgoing Board Chair John Warren for his contributions the past two years and congratulating Dr. Daniel Lopez on the position!


Small Producer 

Quarterly Report

The Small Producer Program sponsored the Onshore Production Conferences featuring projects that should be of interest to the independent producing community. Below are the date and locations of the past events. Click on them to see the agenda of each event.

June 27, 2013  Wichita, KS

September 25, 2013  Houston, TX

October 17, 2013  Long Beach, CA

Subcontractor Projects Highlights:

Game Changing Technology of Polymeric Surfactants for Tertiary Oil Recovery in the Illinois Basin –RPSEA 10123-03 

The objective of this project is to further develop polymeric surfactant (PS) technology as an alternative chemical EOR approach. This breakthrough technology that uses a single component instead of multiple components as in traditional Surfactant Polymer (S+P) flooding has the potential of saving millions of dollars for mature field tertiary oil recovery operations. The typical oilfield reservoir conditions from the Illinois Basin will be used to test and evaluate the developing PS-EOR potential for this important mature oil field region.

Key parameters necessary for evaluation of suitability of each created material for EOR will be measured in the laboratory. Parameters to be measured include solution viscosity, interfacial tension (IFT), phase behavior with brine and crude oil, chemical retention, and oil displacement ability from cores. Then generic reservoir simulations will be run using conditions representative of local small oil producer situations to predict the results of the field performance of the best FPS products. These simulations will use the laboratory measurements and the field conditions as input. Finally, a sensitivity analysis will be made aimed at the application of PS-EOR in a typical Illinois Basin Field, based on the reservoir performance estimates under different operating scenarios and costs/prices.

The tasks to be performed are:

  • Screening for Proper Functionalized Polymeric-Surfactants.
  • Laboratory Measurements to Characterize FPS Performance.
  • Technical Design for Typical Illinois Basin EOR Target Reservoirs.

    • Identify field samples and injection waters.
    • Testing the interfacial tension (IFT) of our FPS samples.
    • Rheology testing for both commercial and synthesized polymeric surfactant.
    • Thermal stability testing for both commercial and synthesized polymeric surfactant.
    • Core flood testing and oil recovery experiments.

  • Economic Analysis of PS-EOR for the Illinois Basin

Overall Competition


The project Principal Investigator is Yongchun Tang of Power Environmental Energy Research Institute, Email:  The Co-PI is Gary Watts of American Energy Reserves, LLC

Defined Effort to provide Basin-Scale Produced Water Management Tools and Options – GIS Based Models and Statistical Analysis of Shale Gas/Tight Sand Reservoirs and Their Produced Water Streams, Uinta Basin, Utah –RPSEA 11123-08

The production and disposal of water from shale/tight-sand gas development and production affects the economics of gas resource development and has recently become a topic of much recent public debate because produced water is the largest-volume waste stream associated with unconventional gas development and production. Managing produced water can be a significant cost fraction of the value of the gas extracted, so there is an economic incentive to minimize this waste stream, and/or generate revenue from treating and reusing produced water in hydrocarbon production or other applications. Several potential uses for this produced water exist, particularly in arid regions of the West, including water flooding for secondary recovery, drilling mud formulation, hydraulic fracturing fluid for well completion, and future use in oil shale production or other industrial water use. In addition, produced water from petroleum production has potential for geothermal energy production.

Balancing the water-use needs and produced-water disposal requirements associated with shale/tight-sand gas development creates significant material handling challenges to both industry and regulators. Deciding how to manage large volumes of produced water, whether for disposal, reuse, or energy production presents a number of major decision options. These challenges include the understanding the variable chemistry of the produced water; understanding the variable quality needs of the potential reuses; managing transport from widely distributed sources to use or disposal facilities; optimizing treatment facility sitting to minimize transport distances and account for the varying volume and quality of water produced over time; and identification of available disposal options for unusable produced water. These challenges are complicated by an operating environment where many individual producers of varying sizes exist within a field or basin, each with varying water needs and production; and a production timescale of decades for a basin as wells play out and new ones are completed.

This project has five objectives: (1) create basin-wide, digital produced water management tools that integrate produced water character, water disposal/reuse, water transport, and groundwater sensitivity factors in the Uinta Basin (UB); (2) investigate the option of beneficial use of produced water treatment for geothermal heat recovery or power generation in the UB; (3) promote maximized produced water reuse which will minimize use of freshwater in unconventional gas development and production; (4) compile UB produced water management practices and recommend best practices; and (5) seek to increase protection of critical UB alluvial aquifers.

The project comprises three major technical phases: 1) compilation of existing and new geospatial geologic, geochemical, and geohydrologic data; 2) geospatial and statistical analysis of the produced water from unconventional reservoirs to develop predictive models, a model of alluvial groundwater sensitivity/vulnerability, and an evaluation of the potential for geothermal power generation from hot produced water streams, and; 3) synthesis of the findings from the basin-wide evaluation of the vertical and geospatial variability of various produced water streams and formulation of management recommendations to minimize or reduce the impacts of handling and disposing of produced water associated with unconventional gas development in the UB.

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) will be the prime contractor for the project, but will collaborate extensively with sister regulatory agencies within the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR; Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining (DOGM), Division of Water Rights, Division of Water Resources), and other agencies such as the Utah Division of Environmental Quality, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as tribal authorities in the Uinta Basin. Participating industry partners are Anadarko Petroleum, El Paso E&P, EOG Resources, QEP Resources, and XTO Energy, and others are anticipated to come from the same industry operators that have cooperated with the UGS on other studies in the UB. The agencies and companies will help the UGS identify current water management practices, the volume, quality, and disposition of produced water streams, and a range of best practices for water management in the Uinta Basin. Once completed, the results of this project could be applied immediately by all UB producers and regulators.





Quarterly Report

Well, here we are, already at the end of the third quarter of the year. Hard to believe …This quarter has absolutely flown. Several ultra-deepwater projects have recently been completed, and their Final Technical Reports can be found on our website:

• 07121-2001: FINAL REPORT: Geophysical Modeling for Studying Acquisition and Processing Methods in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” led by SEAM
• 08121-2902-06: FINAL REPORT: Enumerating Bacteria in Deepwater Pipelines in Real-Time and at a Negligible Marginal Cost per Analysis: A Proof of Concept Study,” led by Livermore Instruments
• 09121-3300-02: FINAL REPORT: Displacement & Mixing in Subsea Jumpers Experimental Data and CFD Simulations,” led by The University of Tulsa
• 09121-3300-08: FINAL REPORT: Sensors and Processing for Pipe, Riser, Structure, and Equipment Inspection to Provide Detailed Measurements, Corrosion Detection, Leak Detection, and/or Detection of Heat Plumes from Degraded Pipeline Insulation,” led by Teledyne Blueview
• 09121-3300-10: Technical Progress Report – Phase 2: Development of Carbon Nanotube Composite Cables for Ultra Deepwater Oil and Gas Fields,” led by Los Alamos National Laboratory
• 09121-3500-10: FINAL REPORT: Gyroscope Guidance Sensor for Ultra-Deepwater Applications,” lead by Laserlith Corp.

Publications since the last newsletter include the following: 

• Embry, C., M. Hardy, B. Nickerson, N. Manning, D. Goodyear, D.A. Richardson, and J. M. Pappas, "Laser Imaging Offers New Subsea Solutions", The American Oil & Gas Reporter, April 2013, 82-7
• Pappas, James M., “Hydrate Characterization and Dissociation Strategies Related to Flow Phenomena in Jumpers,” World Oil, Apr. 2013, 97-100
• Pappas, J. M., :Subsea Measurement and Leak Detection, Including Heat Plumes,” OTC Hart’s Daily, 6 May, 2013
• Fehler Michael, "Phase I—RPSEA Update: Elastic Simulations Issued by SEAM Phase II," The Leading Edge, June 2013
• Vidic-Perunovic, Jelena, "Basis of Design for Hulls, Moorings and Risers: Low Cost Flexible Production System for Remote Ultra-Deepwater GOM Field Development, 10121-4404-03," [RPSEA] 23 Apr., 2013
• Vidic-Perunovic, Jelena, "Topsides Equipment Required for Offshore Storage Facility: Low Cost Flexible Production System for Remote Ultra-Deepwater GOM Field Development, 10121-4404-03," [RPSEA] 23 Apr., 2013
• Ayers, Ray R., “Technical Status Assessment Report: Effects of Fiber Rope – Seabed Contact on Subsequent Rope, Detailed Test Plan, RPSEA, Subcontract No.: 10121-4406-01,” [RPSEA], 6 Mar., 2013
• Ayers, Ray R., “Effects of Fiber Rope – Seabed Contact on Subsequent Rope, Detailed Test Plan, SES Document No. 1751572 RRA, RPSEA, Subcontract No.: 10121-4406-01,” [RPSEA], 25 Jun., 2013
• Vipulanandan, C., and R. Krishnamoorti, “Smart Cementing Materials and Drilling Muds for Real Time Monitoring of Deepwater Wellbore Enhancement, Progress Report – PHASE 1 (Task 5), Project No. 10121-4501-01, [RPSEA], Jun. 2013
• Yemington, Charles R., and Keith K. Millheim, “Task 6 Final Report - Well Identification and Operator Commitment: Coiled Tubing Drilling and Intervention System Using a Cost Effective Vessel, RPSEA Project No.: 10121-4505-01, [RPSEA], 9 Jul., 2013
• Yemington, Charles R., and Keith K. Millheim, “Task 8 Final Summary Report – Year One: Coiled Tubing Drilling and Intervention System Using a Cost Effective Vessel, RPSEA Project No.: 10121-4505-01, [RPSEA], 10 Jul., 2013
• Tilton, Brian, “Autonomous Underwater Inspection Using a 3D Laser Design Review Phase 2 Report,” [RPSEA], 5 Apr., 2013

The 2013 Offshore Technology Conference, with over 106,000 attendees, had its share of RPSEA UDW project papers and presentations. Click here to access them.


We expect to be quite busy over the next few months, working with our technical subject matter expert evaluators, our Technical Advisory Committees, and the UDW Program Advisory Committee to select the best and most promising projects and subcontractors and propose them to DOE for consideration.  The RPSEA UDW team will be active at several events in the coming months, including the Deepwater Operations Forum, the IADC Annual General Meeting, and the Clean Gulf Conference. We participate in events such as these in order to stay abreast of the latest technologies and needs in the offshore deepwater arena.

Be safe …

Till next time,

James Pappas, Vice President of Technical Program



Unconventional Resources 


Quarterly Report

Received 98 Unconventional Gas research proposals and categorized into nine topic areas or “buckets” as follows.

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of proposals per bucket.


Below is a short list of the program accomplishments:

  • Produced Water Management: EPA has utilized the RPSEA produced water program for understanding produced water issues. The Marcellus flowback study, working with the USEPA, PA EPA and others, concluded (after analyzing for more than 250 contaminants) that flow back water is similar to produced water; water that has been managed by industry for years.  The perception that these waters are a “witch’s brew of toxins” was mitigated. A produced water technology management center including a portfolio of water treatment technologies is being utilized worldwide. (R1, R2)

  • Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) and HF Concerns:  RPSEA’s research portfolio is advancing the science of HF in horizontal wellbores. Protocols leading to significant improvements in fracturing effectiveness are being utilized in all major shale plays; reducing the number of treatments, saving resources and increasing resource recovery.  RPSEA has informed EPA regarding hydraulic fracturing safety including leading and facilitating the EPA workshop on HF water requirements. RPSEA participated on SEAB; providing technology program input and resulting in a SEAB recommendation for RPSEA support. (R3, R4)

  • The U.S. Unconventional Gas & Oil Resource Base:  For energy independence, U.S. gas production must approach 35 tcf/year - (25 from low k resources).  RPSEA research is discovering new resources; a requirement if this is to be realized. In the Black Warrior basin alone, 100 tcf of technically recoverable resource (previously undiscovered) has been documented; providing for the next generation of gas production. (R5)

  • Environmental Impact: The RPSEA environmental research portfolio is mitigating shale development impact on our air, land and water resources.  Technology that processes produced water, removes chemicals and creates fresh water has been developed.  The water requirements of HF fracturing have been documented and cryogenic HF that does not use water is being developed. (R6, R7)

  • $Benefit to $Cost: According to a detailed benefit to cost impact assessment; the RPSEA program will provide $1.1 billion in additional royalty revenue to Federal coffers; at a cost of $150 million. (R8) 



R1 -

R2 -

R3 -

R4 -

R5 -

R6 -

R7 -

R8 - Benefits of the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Resources Research Program; September


OTC 2013 Winners from Booth Drawing 

Many people dropped their business cards in our booth drawing for fabulous prizes at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, TX. 

Thank you to everyone who visited with us and entered the drawing. We greatly appreciate your interest in our organization and engagement.

Below are the five lucky winners and their prizes. Congratulations!

Tim Dean, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
Starbuck's gift bag of coffee and accessories

Rudy Meneses, Surveying Equipment Specialist Inc.
$25.00 Rajun Cajun gift card

Chris Nguyen, SBM Offshore
$350 Floss Dental Teeth Whiting voucher

R.Darrell Orr, Schlumberger
15% off $200.00 order Duchess Sweet Delights Co. gift certificate

Troye Poche, FMC Technologies
$350 Floss Dental Teeth Whiting voucher

Linda Su
$10.00 off $100.00 order Duchess Sweet Delights Co. gift certificate

A special thank you to the local merchants who donated goods/services for our booth drawing.


UDW Technology Conference Drawing Winner 


RPSEA held another drawing, where attendees dropped their business cards in a bowl at the registration table the 2013 UDW Technology, two day Conference at Lone Star Corporate College in The Woodlands.

Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing.

The winner is Ed Tovar with InTechSys, LLC. He won dinner for two at Beck's Prime Restaurants.

A special thank you to Beck's Prime Restaurants for donating the gift certificate for our drawing.


RPSEA Partners with SPE Gulf Coast Section 

RPSEA is proud to announce its partnership with SPE-Gulf Coast Section (GCS). The organizations reached an agreement in July for reciprocal membership – to use RPSEA projects in GCS meetings and event presentations, and to use the GCS website and newsletter to advertise RPSEA events.

Along with promoting and supporting each other’s activities, GCS Tech Transfer Committee members assist in deliverable reviews and events as warranted. The partnership has made a positive influence for both parties. GCS signage and materials are available at our exhibit booths and/or meetings.

For more information on how your organization can partner with RPSEA please visit or contact Steve Beach at   



RPSEA to be Part of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute 

On Nov.7, 2013, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced the selection of the Texas A&M University Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center to manage the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI), a cooperative program promoting safety and environmental protection in offshore exploration, drilling and production. The following organizations will partner to develop the OESI program, under a five-year, $5 million funded agreement: Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Houston. The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) will provide contract related services to the partnership.

This program was created as a result of a key Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee recommendation. The committee was formed in 2011 by the Department of the Interior, in response to the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

The OESI will: provide technical assistance and recommendations to BSEE related to emerging technologies and best available and safest technologies (BAST); develop and maintain an equipment-failure monitoring system, and train federal employees in technology.


RPSEA Activities 

Since the last newsletter RPSEA has exhibited at the below shows.

Steve Beach and Kent Perry manage the RPSEA booth at SPE.
 Martha Pappas assists James with RPSEA give aways.
 Energy Day attendees scope out booths to visit.
 President of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), David Holt and Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker at Energy Day.
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