Q. What does RPSEA stand for?

A. RPSEA is the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, a nonprofit corporation established in the State of Texas. RPSEA has met the requirements for a 501(c)(3) corporation and holds a tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. RPSEA currently consists of consortium members representing virtually all sectors of the natural gas and oil supply technology value chain.

Q. Why was RPSEA formed?

A. There is a critical need for the United States to develop a next generation of technology that will make it possible to tap Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Onshore Hydrocarbon Resources in the United States that are inaccessible or uneconomic to develop using current technology. Key drivers leading to the formation of this research consortium include the following: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts a 20% increase in U.S. domestic natural gas consumption by 2025 along with a 58% increase in natural gas net imports over the same time period.

Q. What is the objective of RPSEA?

A. The objective of RPSEA is to leverage research dollars along with the technical expertise and experience of RPSEA Members to conduct industry led research and development work to help commercialize domestic Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Onshore Hydrocarbon Resources. RPSEA will focus on innovative technologies to reduce the costs of production, expand and extend the nation's hydrocarbon resource base, and maintain the highest level of safety while mitigating the environmental impacts of energy production in these regions. RPSEA is also committed to reducing the burden of high energy costs on the nation’s consumers, increasing federal royalty revenue by increasing production from federal lands that are currently available to be developed, enhancing the nation’s knowledge base, increasing industrial competitiveness by lowering energy costs and promoting opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses.

Q. What work has already been undertaken by RPSEA?

A. RPSEA has operated as a robust research management consortium for over fourteen years. Over this period RPSEA has funded projects which have focused on imaging below complex geology, prediction of rock & fluid properties, produced water, specific regional studies and project management. RPSEA has also been looking to the industry's future and has implemented and funded a fellowship program whereby graduate students have been awarded fellowships following a competitive evaluation of applicants from some of the nation's leading universities whose graduates enter the oil and gas industry.

Q. How is RPSEA corporation governed?

A. RPSEA has a Board of Directors comprised of individuals from all sectors of the oil and gas resources industry. Board Members are nominated and approved by the Board and serve for a two-year term.

The Executive Committee’s role is to serve as an advisory committee to the Board. It reports directly to the Board and has the authority to nominate and recommend Board members, appoint committees, approve the hiring of RPSEA employees, endorse the annual budget and approve financial reporting.


Q. How is the technical work required to meet RPSEA’s objectives accomplished?

A. All research and development work under the RPSEA program is accomplished through competitively selected awards based on proposals submitted in response to open solicitations. Through these awards, RPSEA succeeds in identifying, funding and facilitating the development of the most appropriate and necessary research to maximize the value of our nation’s domestic resources. This is through increasing supply, reducing cost, increasing efficiency of production and exploration, improving safety and minimizing environmental impacts.corporate offices of RPSEA are located in Sugar Land, Texas.

Q. Who is eligible to become a member of RPSEA?

A. Participation in RPSEA is open to all organizations resident or incorporated within the United States, Mexico and Canada and that are actively engaged in the energy industry or energy related research. Eligible entities include:

  • Commercial energy companies, engaged in the business of energy exploration, production, field operations and/or transportation, and/or in the business of energy technology research, development, deployment or commercialization;
  • National laboratories/Federally Funded Research Development Centers;
  • Academic and other research institutions involved in natural gas and other energy research and development;
  • Non-government organizations and industry trade associations with an interest in energy and/or environment science, technology or policy; and
    Federal or state governmental agencies.

Q. What are the costs associated with membership?

A. Dues are paid annually at the beginning of RPSEA’s fiscal year, October 1.


  • Commercial Company with Annual Revenue > $100M - $10,000
  • Commercial Company with Annual Revenue < $100M >$30M - $5,000
  • Commercial Company with Annual Revenue < $30M -$1,000
  • Academic Institution - $2,500
  • State/Federal Government Entity - $2,500
  • Non-Profit Organization/Trade Association - $1,000

Q. What opportunities are available for members to participate in RPSEA leadership roles?

A. Active participation in RPSEA by its membership is encouraged. As noted above, RPSEA is governed by a Board of Directors that oversees all aspects of the corporation. Within the Board of Directors, committees have been established to address specific aspects of this governance and are available to those Members interested in serving on them.

In addition to the Board of Directors, RPSEA has a number of active advisory committees. These committees provide strategic direction to RPSEA, as well as actively participate in the selection and management of research projects.

Program Advisory (PAC) and Technical Advisory (TAC) Committees - Generally, the PACs provide recommendations on elements of the proposed draft Annual Plan, but primarily reviews proposals and makes project selection recommendations from the pool of reviewed proposals into an integrated R&D portfolio, as well as follows each selected project’s progress, plans, results, and especially, technology transfer. The TACs provide subject specific technical advice on the development of the proposed plan and conduct the quantitative proposal reviews at the direction of the PACs. All projects are reviewed by the PACs and TACs annually. Each program is directed by a PAC, and the Ultra-Deepwater and the Unconventional Resources Programs utilize a TAC(s).

Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) - Environmental stewardship is at the core of all RPSEA activities. The EAG is designed to provide input to the program regarding environmental issues. It organizes and brings together key experts and policy leaders from academia, regulatory entities, nongovernmental organizations and industry for road mapping exercises to identify key regulatory barriers/issues. As requested, the EAG reviews programs, projects and plans to ensure that environmental issues are appropriately addressed. The EAG also serves in a liaison capacity with various environmental programs and organizations across the United States.

Members that are interested in additional engagement through these committees should contact Kent Perry, Vice President Onshore Programs.

Q. What opportunities for R&D project funding will be available through RPSEA?

A. As the program administrator for the $50 million per year Department of Energy research program under Section 999 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, RPSEA distributed 50 Request for Proposals and received over 700 proposals for funding consideration.  With the sunset date of the 10-year Program approaching, additional Request for Proposals are not anticipated at this time.

Q. What is RPSEA’s fellowship program?

A. RPSEA has established a fellowship program with institutions of higher education. Fellowships totaling $555,000 have been awarded to qualified candidates. Proposals from candidates were evaluated on a competitive basis and fellowships were given to the most promising students with studies relevant to the oil and gas industry.