TULSA, OK - An estimated 890 million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids and six trillion cubic feet of natural gas are thought to exist beneath Native American lands in the lower 48 States and Alaska.
Since 1999, the Department of Energy has sponsored a program to help Tribes develop and manage these resources in an environmentally sound manner. Now, following the 3rd and latest round of competition, four new projects have been added to the department's Native American Initiative.
The projects were judged the best of 14 proposals by the National Energy Technology Laboratory's petroleum office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each teams Native American tribes with oil producers and service companies to apply the latest technological innovations to increase recovery of oil from tribal lands. Negotiations are now underway to finalize terms of the projects.
The four new projects are:
- Advanced Resources International (ARI) will collaborate with the Three Affiliated Tribes (Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa), and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to develop an integrated, non-invasive procedure to assess oil exploration potential in the Williston Basin, on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota.
Previous studies indicate a high potential for undiscovered oil and gas resources on the Reservation. Of particular interest are the Madison carbonate and Bakken shale plays, which contain an estimated 320 million barrels of recoverable oil. Project partners will amass a comprehensive set of data using remote satellite imagery from NASA, existing seismic data, and digital well logs to identify specific areas for resource development, and identify drilling sites.
Funding: DOE - $297,584; ARI - $338,206; Total project cost: $635,790
Contact: Scott Reeves, Advanced Resources International, 9801 Westheimer Suite 805, Houston, TX 77042, telephone: (713) 780-0815 or email: email@example.com
- Golder Associates Inc. will team with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Red Willow Production Company, Legacy Energy Corp., Colorado School of Mines, Western Geco, Axis Geophysical, Eby Petrographic Services and Schlumberger Oilfield Services. They will conduct a detailed reservoir study using cutting edge three-dimensional, three-component (3D3C) seismic data to improve existing predictive models. Recent advances in seismic acquisition and processing offer new ways to "see" smaller features with more confidence and to characterize the internal structure of reservoirs. The 3D3C technology will be used to select optimum drilling paths in the numerous small carbonate mound reservoirs, thereby increasing production. The resulting information will be used in selecting enhanced recovery processes that maximize environmental stewardship and oil recovery in a cost effective manner.
This work will be performed on the Roadrunner/Towaoc Fields of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, located in the southwestern corner of Colorado. The successful completion of this project will not only benefit the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe through increased oil revenues, but will also enhance the technical capabilities of the Red Willow Production Company, a wholly owned Southern Ute Tribe entity. Domestic oil producers in the Paradox Basin would also be able to apply this technology to increase recovery from fields where hundreds of millions of barrel of oil remain.
Funding: Department of Energy -$736,700; Golder Associates Inc.- $205,700. Total Project cost: $942,400
Contact: Dr. Paul LaPointe, Golder Associates Inc., 18300 NE Union Hill Road, Redmond, WA 98052; telephone: (425) 883-0777; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grand Resources Inc. will evaluate horizontal waterflooding technology in the Bartlesville formation in the Woolaroc Field located in Osage County, Oklahoma. The Bartlesville sand is a shallow, naturally fractured reservoir with low permeability. Oilfileds in the Osage Nation are in a mature stage of depletion, yet millions of barrels of potentially recoverable oil exist. The project addresses the failure of vertical waterflooding in low permeability fractured reservoirs, and the potentially higher success rate for horizontal water injection at lower parting pressures. Grand Resources Incorporated will partner with the Osage Tribe, Dauben International Energy Consultants, and Dr. Leonid Germanovich.
Funding: Department of Energy - $399,640; Grand Resources - $477,753; Total project cost: $877,393
Contact: Scott Robinowitz, Grand Resources Inc., 2448 East 81st Street, Suite 4040, Tulsa, OK 74137, telephone: (918) 492-4366 Email: email@example.com
- Jicarilla Apache Nation will collaborate with Jicarilla Apache Energy Corporation and John D. Jones, Engineering Inc. to develop a feasibility study to design and construct an oil processing facility on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in southeastern New Mexico. Oil and gas production has been a significant source of revenue to the Nation since the first production in 1955. Development of oil and gas reserves has become a critical factor in the tribe's continued economic growth.
The Jicarilla Apache Reservation is geographically situated in the northeast quarter of the resource-rich San Juan Basin. The southern portion of the Reservation has been extensively developed and is considered a mature petroleum area. The relatively unexplored northern part of the Reservation lies on the same geologic and structural trend. Current developments and a new Minerals Development Agreement covering acreage in the northern portion of the Reservation mark the beginning of a new wave of more extensive reserve development. The planned oil processing facility will provide the necessary infrastructure for expanded development of petroleum reserves on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation.
Funding: Department of Energy - $343,160; Jicarilla Apache Nation - $85,790; Total project cost: $428,950
Contact: Jesse D. Evans, Jicarilla Apache Nation., P.O. Box 507, Dulce, New Mexico 87528, telephone: (505) 759-3224, email: firstname.lastname@example.org