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DOE Continues its Commitment to Independent Oil Producers

Tulsa, OK - Independent producers drill 85% of the wells in the United States, producing over 40% of the nation's crude oil (60% in the lower 48 states). They produce 65% of the nation's natural gas and operate 77% of the wells drilled in the federal Gulf of Mexico waters in 2000.

DOE's commitment to protecting, maintaining and encouraging a steady supply of domestic oil is evident in their special focus and support to Independent producers. In the latest round of solicitations, six projects were selected from twelve submissions. These six independent oil producers will share a combined total of $433,300 from the Department's Technology Development with Independent's program.

The following six projects were selected due to their technical merit, and potential to be applied by many other oil producers.

  • Oil Well Remediation in Clay & Wayne Counties, Illinois - DAKFAM, Inc. (St. Charles, IL) - plans to demonstrate that oil can be recovered efficiently and economically from abandoned oil wells that should contain, but have not been drilled to the depth of naturally fractured lower Mississippian Salem limestone formation in Southeastern Illinois. They will deepen two idle wells through the Salem formation where recent finds indicate oil is available and plentiful. The well completion will incorporate the use gas gun technology to stimulate the limestone in the Salem formation.  DAKFAM will  enhance GasGun™ stimulation by acidizing the newly fractured network to dissolve limestone around the fractures.  Should this strategy prove effective, this process can be deployed in similar areas across the nation.
  • Oil Production Solutions - Driver Production (Okmulgee, OK) - will conduct a gas re-pressurization/well stimulation project on a six well, 80 acre portion of the Dutcher Sand of the East Edna Field, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma.  The objective is to produce additional oil by repressurizing the reservoir with excess natural gas that cannot be economically delivered to local gas gathering systems.
  • Improved Recovery by Relocating Steamflood Injectors - Macpherson Oil Co (Santa Monica, CA) - will use improved thermal and numerical simulation techniques to better position steam injectors and producers in an existing steam injection operation.   This study should extend the economic life of the field  by reducing costs and improving oil recovery.
  • Marginal Expense Oil Well Wireless Surveillance - Vaquero Energy Inc. (Edison, CA) - this work is a follow on effort by the operator to establish low cost producing well monitoring equipment.  It involves additional testing of pumping unit vibration/frequency monitoring devices, plus the investigation and testing of other low cost wireless devices which may be appropriate for stripper oil well production monitoring.   The effective monitoring of stripper and marginal well production is critical for many independent oil operators.  This proposal intends to find and test wireless surveillance equipment suitable and economical for use on these low volume producing wells.
  • Use of Bio-Stratigraphy to Reduce Risks, Increase Production & Reduce Environmental Concerns in Oil Well Drilling - Marks & Associate (Cypress, CA) - Geophysics and geochemistry have been used to a  great extent in recent years to pinpoint reservoirs. Stratigraphy, the study of the definition and description of natural divisions of rock, established the fundamentals for finding oil and gas around the world in highly disturbed geologic areas.  Biostratigraphy has not been pursued in recent years. However, the effective employment of this science in oil well drilling, particularly in these highly disturbed areas will lead to increased production, reduced risk and costs, and reduced environmental concerns.
  • CavaChem Remediation of Eight San Andres Wells - SED Energy Inc. - (Midland, TX) - will stimulate eight wells in the San Andres formation with an alkaline chemical in an effort to increase production.  A successful test of this chemical treatment and a demonstrated increase in the current 12 barrels of oil per day of production will defer the economic need to shut in several marginal wells producing in this formation. 

The Department's Fossil Energy Oil Technology Program provides matching grants of up to $75,000 to companies willing to apply innovative approaches that can lower operating costs and extend the life of marginally producing fields. The Department of Energy is encouraging other small companies to apply for future rounds of technical assistance grants.

Details of the Technology Development With Independents program are available at indep/.

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Last updated July 2002