For immediate release: March 14, 2003
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989
to Cut Electric Use
in California's Oil Fields Underway
Sacramento - The Energy Commission has signed
a contract with the Petroleum Technology Transfer
Council (PTTC) to find ways of cutting electric power
consumption while oil is extracted from California's
PTTC is a not-for-profit organization that assists
independent oil producers make timely and informed
technological decisions. PTTC West Coast director
Dr. Iraj Ershaghi will direct the demonstration project.
He heads the Petroleum Engineering Program of the
University of Southern California.
The project will analyze the geology of California's
oil fields and demonstrate suitable technical solutions
to reduce the water to oil ratio by one half during
the extraction process.
In California's oil fields, eight barrels of
water have to be pumped from the ground to get a barrel
When implemented in 2100 targeted wells whose geology
allows cost-effective water shut off technologies,
the project could result in yearly savings of 148
gigawatt hours of electricity. Estimated dollar equivalent:
Contract funds of $300,000 from the Energy Commission's
Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program will
enable the PTTC to examine about 1,000 oil wells throughout
California. It will then identify 100 wells with excessive
water production. The goal is to mark the oil fields
and apply work necessary to diminish water production
during oil drilling.
"The resulting reduction of demand for electric
power will benefit California's oil producers-
majority of which are small businesses lacking resources
of time and money, " said Energy Commissioner
Arthur Rosenfeld. "The project will help them
develop methods to control water production from oil
The project will provide a roadmap for small oil producers
to implement cost- effective water control technologies.
The findings of the project will be passed through
small producers through regional workshops.
California ranks as the third largest producer of
oil and gas in the United States, behind Texas and
Alaska. Its 46,000 wells yield about 271 million barrels
of oil and 2.1 billion barrels of associated water
The most critical issue for the project is to determine
the source of the water and the production mechanism.
Numerous technologies are available for water shut-off.
These range from simple mechanical means such as bridge
plugs and casing patches, to more elaborate schemes.
# # #
The PTTC is based in Houston. West Coast Director
Dr. Iraj Ershaghi can be reached at: 213-740-0321 or
e-mail at: email@example.com.