2
Review of Program Basis and Components

RESERVOIR CLASS AS BASIS FOR ORGANIZATION

Conceptual Basis

Organization of the Reservoir Class Program on the basis of reservoir class is based on observations that oil recovery responses of reservoirs are closely related to the geologic origins of the reservoir rocks. This is a concept widely recognized by industry, academia, and government scientists and engineers. 1 The geological origin of a reservoir controls or strongly influences its geometry, internal structure, and other physical and chemical characteristics, which in turn control oil production performance. The extrapolation of primary heterogeneities among a reservoir class is based on the results of numerous studies of modern and ancient environments that show the range of processes present within a particular reservoir class. These studies have shown that each reservoir class is characterized by a unique set of rock properties, which vary within definable limits. These

1  

Geoscience Institute for Oil and Gas Recovery Research, 1990, Reservoir Heterogeneity Classification System for Characterization and Analysis of Oil Resource Base in Known Reservoirs, prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Bartlesville Project Office. See also M.R. Ray, J.P. Brashear, and J. Biglarbigi, 1991. Classification system targets unrecovered U.S. oil reserves, Oil and Gas Journal, v. 89, no. 39, p. 89.



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2 Review of Program Basis and Components RESERVOIR CLASS AS BASIS FOR ORGANIZATION Conceptual Basis Organization of the Reservoir Class Program on the basis of reservoir class is based on observations that oil recovery responses of reservoirs are closely related to the geologic origins of the reservoir rocks. This is a concept widely recognized by industry, academia, and government scientists and engineers. 1 The geological origin of a reservoir controls or strongly influences its geometry, internal structure, and other physical and chemical characteristics, which in turn control oil production performance. The extrapolation of primary heterogeneities among a reservoir class is based on the results of numerous studies of modern and ancient environments that show the range of processes present within a particular reservoir class. These studies have shown that each reservoir class is characterized by a unique set of rock properties, which vary within definable limits. These 1   Geoscience Institute for Oil and Gas Recovery Research, 1990, Reservoir Heterogeneity Classification System for Characterization and Analysis of Oil Resource Base in Known Reservoirs, prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Bartlesville Project Office. See also M.R. Ray, J.P. Brashear, and J. Biglarbigi, 1991. Classification system targets unrecovered U.S. oil reserves, Oil and Gas Journal, v. 89, no. 39, p. 89.

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observations are the geologic foundation for the Reservoir Class Program. Because the physical properties of a reservoir are coupled to the nature and scale of heterogeneities affecting fluid flow, DOE believes that successful demonstrations of advanced or conventional technologies in a given reservoir in a class should be applicable to other reservoir systems in the same class. This is particularly important because of the small number of demonstration projects compared to the large number of fields. The broad acceptance of reservoir classes has allowed DOE to organize and access its Tertiary Oil Recovery Information System (TORIS) data base to support the Reservoir Class Program. The TORIS database recognizes that reservoirs range from simple to complex based on depositional processes. DOE has used the TORIS database to quantify remaining oil in place in different classes and has given priority in funding to classes with the greatest potential to improve oil recovery (Figure 2.1). While the DOE Reservoir Class Program has a clear mission to apply the results of a project to other reservoirs in the same class, the projects generally do not define how that will be accomplished. The project results will be made available to industry through the requirements of technology transfer, but other operators or consultants must determine if the results can be applied to other fields. Findings and Recommendations Finding The reservoir class concept provides an acceptable scientific basis for classifying reservoirs and organizing the Reservoir Class Program. The concept provides a useful framework for DOE to target specific classes that have the greatest potential for improved oil recovery. It also emphasizes the importance of reservoir genesis and characterization so that effective technologies may be transferred to other reservoirs in the same class. Despite its usefulness as an organizational tool, however, the reservoir class concept does not consider all reservoir properties that affect oil recovery. The importance of fractures, in particular, is not recognized in the reservoir class concept. Strict adherence to the reservoir class concept during project selection may also result in the exclusion of particularly meritorious projects because they do not belong to the class being solicited or they belong to a class that is not likely to be solicited in the future. Recommendations The DOE should continue using the reservoir class concept as a basis for organizing the Reservoir Class Program.

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The DOE should also consider the possible effects of other reservoir properties in improved oil recovery techniques. In particular, the DOE should consider adding a class of fractured reservoirs to future Reservoir Class Programs. Future proposal solicitations should be open to meritorious projects from previously funded reservoir classes as well as the targeted class. RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION Role and Importance High-quality reservoir characterization is vital to the efficient production of both mobile and immobile oil in most mature reservoirs in the United States. For example, reservoir characterization has significantly increased oil recovery in many mature fields by helping to locate infill wells. 2 High quality characterization is even more important for advanced recovery techniques because such techniques must contact the residual oil to be effective. The relative importance of reservoir characterization was recognized in a previous National Research Council report, which consistently gave reservoir characterization a high priority in funding even in a decreased budget scenario. 3 According to a recent report by the National Petroleum Council, 4 the highest priority need for the development area in the short term is in better reservoir characterization. The Reservoir Class Program has emphasized reservoir characterization from its inception. A major reason that reservoir classes 1-3 (Fluvial Dominated Deltas, Shallow Shelf Carbonates, Slope and Basin Clastics) contain large amounts of unrecovered oil is that they are geologically complex with relatively discontinuous or heterogeneous reservoir rocks. Fields with discontinuous reservoir intervals and/or heterogeneous permeability require sophisticated reservoir characterization to accurately locate, assess, and recover hydrocarbons (see Appendix C). Good reservoir characterization is needed in every project to (1) help understand why certain recovery tech- 2   N. Tyler and R.J. Finley, 1991, Architectural controls on the recovery of hydrocarbons from sandstone reservoirs, in A.D. Miall and N. Tyler, eds., The Three-Dimensional Facies Architecture of Terrigenous Clastic Sediments and its Implication for Hydrocarbon Discovery and Recovery, SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, Okla., Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology, vol. 3, pp. 1-5. 3   National Council, 1993, Advanced Exploratory Research Directions for Extracting and Processing of Oil and Gas, Committee on Applied Research Needs Related to Extraction and Processing of Oil and Gas, Table 4.1, p. 44. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 4   National Petroleum Council, 1995, Research, Development and Demonstration Needs of the Oil and Gas Industry, vol. 1, p. 29.

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FIGURE 2.1 Original Oil in Place (OOIP; lefthand figure), and Remaining Oil in Place (ROIP; righthand figure) in Classes 1-4, and other reservoir classes. Source: Unpublished data from DOE’s TORIS database. See also Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Bartlesville Project Office, 1993, A Review of Slope-Basin and Basin Clastic Reservoirs in the United States, p. I-6. nologies are successful in some fields but not in others, (2) determine which technologies are likely to be transferable within a class, and (3) determine which technologies are transferable across reservoir classes. The Reservoir Class Program has effectively emphasized reservoir characterization. The primary roles of reservoir characterization for most Class 1 and Class 2 projects are listed in Appendix C (Table C.1). Listed first are 12 projects in which reservoir characterization is intended to locate bypassed oil and hence identify locations for infill wells and/or recompletions

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in existing wells. Listed next are 11 projects which use reservoir characterization to better understand subsurface flow units and hence improve the efficiency of waterflooding and advanced flooding methods. The final three projects listed in Table C.1 emphasize recovery methods and do not include reservoir characterization as a significant component of the project. In addition, several projects were not listed because they were canceled or are otherwise anomalous. Quality of Reservoir Characterization Among the Class 1 and 2 projects examined through presentations by project staff members, the panel observed significant variations in quality

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and thoroughness of reservoir characterization, integration of various disciplines, and use of relevant information to design and implement conventional and advanced recovery techniques. Confirmation that there are substantial variations in the quality of reservoir characterization will not be possible until the projects are completed. The economic viability of most projects depends on the appropriate amount of reservoir characterization being performed. Data that will not significantly affect technical decisions will only add expense and hence will decrease the economic viability of a specific project. In the panel’s opinion, experimental techniques that might provide technically feasible and useful information and have the potential to be economic in the future should be encouraged. Economic considerations should include the DOE cost sharing. Findings and Recommendations Finding The DOE has correctly placed a substantial emphasis on reservoir characterization in the Reservoir Class Program. The quality of reservoir characterization in funded projects, however, has been difficult to evaluate, partly because of the lack of formal peer review of reservoir characterization throughout the project. In some cases, it appears to be good, and in others it may be weak. In most projects, reservoir characterization appears to be having a significant impact on recovery strategies. In two projects where reservoir characterization was not a priority—North Blowhorn Creek Field ( Appendix B , Project 7) and Port Neches Field ( Appendix B , Project 10)—flood performance was not as expected. Recommendation To ensure high-quality reservoir characterization and its utilization in all projects, we recommend that DOE initiate a system of periodic peer review by regional experts from outside the contracting companies, especially in the early stages of a project. The reviews should emphasize constructive suggestions that are possible to implement given the economic and technical constraints of the project. The objective of such interim peer reviews by local geological, geophysical, and engineering experts would be to improve the quality of reservoir characterization in most projects, and that will hopefully improve the chances for economic success. Internal company reviews should not be the sole basis for ensuring high-quality

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reservoir characterization. In addition, the quality and effectiveness of reservoir characterization and its impact on oil recovery should be thoroughly evaluated at the end of each project. DEMONSTRATING ADVANCED AND CONVENTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES A wide range of conventional and advanced technologies for reservoir characterization and oil recovery are being utilized in projects examined by the panel. Conventional techniques can recover mobile oil from untapped or uncontacted compartments in known fields. Immobile oil can be recovered using advanced techniques that alter the properties of the reservoir fluids or the interactions between these fluids and the host rock. Range of Technologies Reviewed Conventional Technologies Although many of the projects examined by the panel employed conventional technologies, these technologies were new to the geographic areas in which they were being applied. Conventional techniques for reservoir characterization include core and cuttings analysis, facies mapping, comparative outcrop studies, and conventional well-log analysis. Conventional techniques for recovery include infill drilling and waterflooding. Two projects that have entered production demonstrate the significant potential of the Reservoir Class Program to increase oil recovery in marginal fields: Uinta Basin, Utah (Appendix B, Project 8). Lomax Exploration Company has demonstrated that water injection can be used to increase production and prolong the life of marginal fields in the Uinta Basin. As of June 30, 1994, the project has produced 216,000 barrels of additional oil and 200 MMCF of natural gas. The Lomax program is projected to recover 20 percent of the original oil in place, versus about 4 percent for primary recovery without waterflooding. Before this project was initiated, most operators in the area did not believe that waterflooding would be economically successful. However, this project has served as a model for 11 other waterfloods in the area. Dundee Formation, Michigan (Appendix B, Project 19). The Michigan Technological University’s Dundee project has demonstrated the viability

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of horizontal wells in old, largely abandoned oil fields in the Dundee Formation. Crystal Field, discovered in the mid-1930s, had produced 8 million barrels of oil from 193 wells by 1940. In the late 1960s, Crystal Field had only seven active producers, the best of which produced five barrels of oil and 170 barrels of water per day. The DOE Dundee project drilled a horizontal well in Crystal Field in October, 1995, which encountered oil at original reservoir pressure. The well has produced oil with no water at the maximum rate surface facilities could handle (50-100 barrels per day) from November to the present (mid-February, 1996). This and additional horizontal wells in Crystal Field could increase ultimate oil recovery by over 2 million barrels. Horizontal-well technology promoted by this project may help rejuvenate many other old Dundee fields in Michigan. Although most projects have not been in place long enough to be expected to generate significant increases in production, the following studies illustrate the variety of conventional technologies that are being applied in the Reservoir Class Program: N.E. Savonburg Field, Kansas (Appendix B, Project 11). The University of Kansas and James Russell Petroleum Company introduced reservoir simulation technology and water treatment processes for waterflooding to improve production from a Pennsylvanian reservoir in eastern Kansas. The technology is expected to find application to other reservoirs in this region. Northern Robertson, Clearfork, Texas (Appendix B, Project 16). This Fina Oil and Chemical Company project involves selective infill drill Uinta Basin, Lomax Exploration Lomax Exploration has demonstrated the viability of waterflooding the Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin (Utah). Waterflooding was previously considered ineffective in this area. The Lomax project alone is expected to produce 2.4 million barrels of incremental oil, which would return $12.7 million to the public sector through additional taxes and royalties. The Lomax project is apparently serving as a model for 11 additional waterflood projects in the area. These waterflood projects are projected to produce a minimum of 31 million barrels of additional oil. (Source: Department of Energy, 1995, First Annual Progress Report, The Domestic Natural Gas and Oil Initiative)

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Dundee Formation, Michigan Technological University The Michigan Technological University’s project has rejuvenated interest in the Dundee Formation in the Michigan Basin. The Devonian Dundee Formation in Michigan has produced over 352 million barrels of oil, mainly between 1935 and 1945. Most Dundee wells were abandoned by 1945. Crystal Field had produced 8 million barrels of oil from 193 wells by 1940. By 1970, only seven producers were active, the best of which produced five barrels of oil and 170 barrels of water per day. The DOE Dundee project drilled a horizontal well in October, 1995, which has produced water-free oil at the maximum rate surface facilities could handle (50-100 barrels per day) from November to the present (mid-February, 1996). This and additional horizontal wells in Crystal Field could increase ultimate oil recovery by over 2 million barrels. Horizontal-well technology promoted by this project may help revive many other oil fields in Michigan. ing based on reservoir characterization. Additional production is expected from these infill wells, and that production should encourage more infill drilling in the Clear Fork Formation in the Permian Basin. Fluvial Dominated Deltas, Oklahoma (Appendix B, Project 12). This Oklahoma Geological Survey project involved a compilation of geological and engineering data on fluvial dominated deltas in Oklahoma. Most of these fields are operated by small companies, and this project provided information on the success and failure of waterflooding in these reservoir sands. The project is a good example of effective technology transfer, mainly through local workshops. Frio Formation, Texas (Appendix B, Project 4 ). The Texas Bureau of Economic Geology used core description, petrophysical analysis, and log correlations to map areas of potential well deepenings in a complex mixed fluvial-deltaic system. Even though no field demonstration is involved in this project, operators in the area are shooting 3D seismic surveys and planning well deepenings which should result in increased production. Advanced Technologies Examples of advanced technologies for reservoir characterization in-

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Williston Basin, Luff Exploration Luff Exploration’s multifaceted approach to exploration and production shows promise for recovering additional oil from Paleozoic carbonates in the Williston Basin (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana). Their 3D seismic program is designed to locate untapped structural and stratigraphic compartments of oil reservoirs. If successful, this seismic technique could serve as a model for many other independent producers and increase oil production in the Williston basin. Experimental but rapidly evolving hydraulic “lance” jet technology will be used by Luff to stimulate wells that currently have low oil production. Lance jets will hydraulically drill lateral holes extending 10 to 80 feet away from the original vertical well. If successful, this relatively low-cost technology could substantially increase production from many old wells. clude 3D and 4D 5 seismic analysis, tomography, advanced logging techniques (e.g., nuclear magnetic resonance logging and borehole imaging), sequence-stratigraphic modeling of flow units, and 3D geologic modeling. Examples of advanced technologies for recovery include the use of horizontal wells for injection and production, CO2 flooding, and combustion/gravity draining. The following projects illustrate the range of advanced technologies used in the Reservoir Class Program: West Hackberry Field, Louisiana (Appendix B, Project 2). Amoco is utilizing double displacement technology for tertiary production from the West Hackberry Field. This process starts with air injection near the top of a water-invaded oil column. The injected air causes combustion of a small amount of the oil in the reservoir, thereby producing flue gases and steam to mobilize the waterflood residual oil, which is recovered by gravity drainage. Eugene Island Block 330 Field, Gulf of Mexico (Appendix B, Project 5). This Columbia University project has developed an improved time-dependent seismic imaging methodology (4D seismic imaging; see footnote 5) that can be used to monitor changes to the reservoirs during production. North Blowhorn Creek Field, Black Warrior Basin, Alabama (Appendix B, Project 7). Hughes Eastern Corporation is pumping nutrients into the formation from injectors to promote bacterial plugging of high-perme- 5   Three spatial dimensions and the fourth dimension of time.

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West Hackberry Field, Amoco Production Amoco Production Company’s project in the West Hackberry Field (south Louisiana) is using air injection and subsurface combustion in an innovative double displacement process to recover oil remaining in this depleted reservoir. Oil should drain down under the force of gravity and, it is hoped, be recovered by downdip wells. This experimental technique may represent a new, low-cost, advanced method to recover additional oil from many steeply dipping oil reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent areas. Initial results appear promising as production from one well in the field has increased from 10 BOPD to 190 BOPD. ability conduits to allow better sweep efficiency in the waterflood. Although the results of the bacterial project are uncertain, more oil has been recovered in an infill well drilled as a part of this program, illustrating the serendipity that can be involved in oil and gas production. Welch Field, San Andres Formation, Texas (Appendix B, Project 20). OXY USA, Inc. is doing extensive reservoir characterization in preparation for a cyclic CO2 flood which may produce incremental oil in a relatively short time frame. If this project succeeds, it may enable many other local operators to recover oil economically from the San Andres Formation in the area. Williston Basin Carbonates, North Dakota and Montana (Appendix B, Project 18). Luff Exploration Company is using 3D seismic surveys to identify fracture trends in deep subsurface reservoirs. This project will employ jet lance perforations that extend more than 10 feet away from the borehole to increase productivity. The technology is being used because vertical wells are characterized by low oil production and horizontal wells are too expensive for most operators in this basin. Findings and Recommendations Findings The projects examined employ an appropriate range of both conventional and advanced technologies in the areas of reservoir characterization, drilling, well completion, and production. Ultimate economic success of many projects will depend on the sophisticated use and integration of tech-

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nologies. An important feature of the program is that these projects provide direct tests of the economic viability of applying technology in particular plays or basins. In the panel’s opinion, most technologies used in the Reservoir Class Program to increase recovery from oil reservoirs are crosscutting and can be applied to more than one reservoir class. A weakness of the existing program is that projects in classes already funded cannot be considered, thereby excluding some crosscutting technologies. Recommendations Projects involving advanced technologies need a thorough review of the technology by qualified experts to ensure that the technologies are utilized correctly. Although some of the funded projects (e.g., Oklahoma Geological Survey, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology) have no field demonstration component, these projects have provided important information to small operators in particular basins, and projects of this type should be included in future solicitations. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER Role and Importance The primary goal of technology transfer in the Reservoir Class Program is to encourage the widespread use of technologies and approaches that are demonstrated to be most cost-effective in (1) nearby fields within the same reservoir class type, (2) fields within the same reservoir class in other parts of the country, and (3) other fields in other classes where applicable. An effective technology transfer program is absolutely critical in assuring the broad application of the new and existing technologies demonstrated in this program. Both positive and negative results of sound scientific and operational merit discovered in the Reservoir Class Program must be efficiently and effectively communicated to producers in the marginal fields. If this part of the program fails, the DOE will be in a position of having partially funded oil companies to carry out applied research programs that did not benefit a large number of marginal domestic fields. Present Responsibilities DOE and Individual Projects Technology transfer is an explicit component of the DOE Reservoir

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Class Program and each project is required to have a technology transfer plan. Currently, DOE holds each project individually responsible for technology transfer during and at the end of the research period. To date, DOE staff have not assumed any overall technology transfer role that is an integral part of the Reservoir Class Program. Various methods of carrying out the technology transfer component are employed in the projects. Collectively, the funded projects are using primarily traditional procedures in transferring project information to the other potential users. These include the following: publications, including refereed papers, proceedings of professional meetings, trade journals, newsletters, and the popular press; databases (printed and electronic formats), technical progress reports, electronic bulletin boards, open-file reports, and videos; technical meeting presentations, including displays, oral presentations, and poster presentations; workshops, project site visits, short courses, and special topical meetings (e.g., geologic reservoir characterization, core workshops, reservoir engineering, seismic interpretation); and informal meetings by investigators with colleagues and other users that communicate results. Each of the projects reviewed by the panel contains a technology transfer plan, and the contractors appear to recognize the importance of the plan. There is considerable variation in the technology transfer methods being employed in the various projects and the degree to which technology transfer is occurring. To date, few innovative technology transfer strategies are being used by Reservoir Class Program. The chief motivations for technology transfer seem to be the requirement itself and the desire to publish. The most successful technology transfer programs occur where either (1) the participants previously carried out technology transfer as part of their normal responsibilities (e.g., state geological surveys) or (2) projects where a close relationship exists between the main contractor (e.g, Lomax) and other operators in a producing area. In these cases, technology transfer is occurring as a natural part of doing business, and end-users are being kept up to date on project developments through both formal and informal technology transfer activities. For the vast majority of contractors, however, emphasis on technology transfer is lacking and it is not an integrated part of the project. Although papers presented orally or published in technical journals accomplish some measure of technology transfer, these methods often do not reach smaller independent producers who constitute part of the intended audience. As a result, the expected effectiveness of the technology transfer program is limited, and only a major effort by DOE at the end of projects will ensure a

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significant transfer of technology. Currently, there is little evidence that this will occur without a major change in policy. Another criticism of the current efforts in technology transfer is that the quality of the technology being transferred from the Reservoir Class Program projects may not meet scientific standards. The panel questions the technical soundness of some of the technology and approaches being employed and, therefore, questions their value as a subject of technology transfer. Role of Other Organizations While technology transfer is presently the responsibility of the DOE and the individual contractors, other agencies and groups could play an important role in helping in this undertaking. Most notable of these is the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC), a new, industry-driven (but primarily DOE-funded in the early stages) national group formed to identify and transfer upstream technology. The PTTC was initiated by Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and is being jointly funded by DOE and industry over a five-year period. This group is well positioned to carry out technology transfer for the Reservoir Class Program over the next several years. The PTTC is organized into ten regions in the United States, each of which consists of a Producers Advisory Group (PAG) and a Regional Lead Office (RLO). The PAG is composed of oil and gas producers from the area and is charged with providing the direction for the regional activities, developing the budget, and coordinating industry cost sharing. The RLOs are responsible for managing the regional program; they are generally associated with a university or state geological survey, most of which have a history of contact with at least part of the industry in the region they represent. Such groups also, in most cases, have the technological background and resources to run a credible technology transfer program. The technological advisory group responsible for technological integrity within the PTTC structure at the regional level has not yet been formed. Although the PTTC is ideally suited to carry out technology transfer for the Reservoir Class Program, continued support for the PTTC is threatened by possible cuts in DOE funding and an apparent lack of financial commitment from industry. Funding proportions for the PTTC program are on a sliding scale with DOE providing the larger share of the funding early in the program and industry taking up the larger share later in the program, with a goal of 50:50 fund sharing at the end of five years. Unfortunately, industry is already asking state governments and universities for help with its share of the funding. To date, the states of Louisiana and New York have obtained state appropriations for participation, and several other states

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have pending legislation, but it is not clear whether support from all sectors for the PTTC program will continue through 2000. During the presentations, the panel learned that BDM-Oklahoma (an Oklahoma-based contractor) was granted $500,000 by DOE to help fill the gaps in the technology transfer efforts being made by the individual Reservoir Class Program contractors. Specifically, the BDM-Oklahoma project includes: Development of one-day workshops focusing on Class 1 results slated for FY96. Development of information services on the Internet for the DOE programs. Development of databases for the Class 1, 2, and 3 projects that are accessible over the Internet. During the course of this study, however, the entire DOE-BDM subcontract was canceled due to funding changes at DOE. After the conclusion of the BDM technology transfer project at or near the end of FY 1996, DOE staff anticipate that similar technology-transfer implementation programs will be performed by other groups. In addition, the management role of BDM as subcontractor to DOE for the PTTC program will terminate and DOE will reassume this responsibility. As a result of these changes it is critical that DOE pay particularly close attention to the reservoir class technology transfer program and assume ultimate responsibility for it. The role of state geological surveys and other similar state agencies in helping DOE with technology transfer could be considerable. Generally such agencies are mandated by state statute to collect and maintain oil and gas data and to engage in technology transfer activities that will develop the state’s resources. Because this is a part of the function of such agencies, they are often very familiar with the oil and gas producing community, the geology of the various plays, the engineering practices and the problems associated with the production in various reservoirs, and the exploration trends active in their respective states. DOE should consider setting up cooperative agreements with such state agencies for future technology transfer activities. Findings and Recommendations In evaluating the technology transfer program of the Reservoir Class Program, the panel makes the following findings and recommendations: Finding One of the major strengths of the program is the requirement for tech-

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nology transfer, which has already led to the dissemination of important recovery results that would generally not have been made public. A limitation of the current technology transfer plan, however, is that the primary means of transfer is the individual contractor rather than DOE itself. A more centralized technology transfer program would allow DOE to more effectively evaluate the results of all Reservoir Class Program projects and transfer those results throughout the oil industry. Recommendation The DOE should accept the primary responsibility for technology transfer in the Reservoir Class Program. As such, the DOE should develop an innovative and comprehensive technology transfer plan that should include the following elements: Ensure that no results are disseminated without proper peer review. Increase DOE-industry contacts to improve DOE’s credibility with independent producers. Design workshops by reservoir class for independent producers in various producing basins in order to encourage the application of technologies to similar fields within the basins and elsewhere. Apply electronic media technologies to disseminate information, including a newsletter and publication series. Improve exhibits and activities at national, regional, and local scientific and professional meetings to attract independent oil producers. Work with the PTTC and/or other contractors to disseminate project results within an overall plan. Consider the development of cooperative agreements with state geological surveys or similar organizations to assist with technology transfer activities. Consider funding post-mortem studies of all class projects with dissemination of results. Technology transfer program design should include input from professionals in the area of public relations and communications. Finding Implementation of the Class 1, 2, and 3 projects has occurred without an organized system of peer review to evaluate the results of individual projects.

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Recommendation The results of all projects should be subject to review by qualified experts before being transferred. The panel believes that peer review must take place before dissemination in order to prevent possible damage to the credibility of the Reservoir Class Program and DOE. The peer review process must be conducted in a timely manner because of the threat of premature abandonment and the rapid pace of technological change. DOE should evaluate various mechanisms for obtaining timely peer reviews from qualified experts from outside the federal government and the contracting companies; one possible mechanism would be to establish an external peer review and technology transfer review panel for each project.

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