Back to Top
Skip to main content


STRIPPER WELL TECHNOLOGIES The word “stripper” is used to describe wells that produce gas or oil at very low rates (less than 60 thousand cubic feet (mcf) of gas per day). Through normal reservoir depletion over time, all producing gas wells will eventually become stripper wells. Operating and maintenance cost coupled with low producing rates often persuade operators to plug and abandon the wells prematurely. Once this is done, those resources are typically lost forever. These resources as very important to the energy security of the U.S., as production from stripper wells represents 10% of the natural gas produced onshore in the lower 48 states. They are even more critical in meeting nearterm increases in gas demand as the increased production from stripper gas wells accounted for 43% of the overall rise in domestic production between 2001 and 2002. In 2003, the number of stripper gas wells grew for the eighth consecutive year to over 260,000. The majority of these wells are owned and operated by small independent companies, who operate on very small marginal budgets. To aid these operators in the development of low cost technologies to keep the stripper wells producing, DOE funds the Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) in an agreement with The Pennsylvania State University. The SWC is a national, industry-driven consortium focused on developing low cost technologies for both natural gas and oil stripper wells. The SWC has funded 49 projects since 2001, with resulting products now being offered commercially. The research funded focuses on three areas: reservoir remediation, wellbore clean-up, and surface system optimization. For more information on the SWC and the technologies being developed, visit the SWC website at

prog025--1-.pdf (497.42 KB)