State Lands Energy Resource Optimization Project - 1992 Annual Progress Report

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Project SLERO, for which The University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology is the lead contractor and coordinating institution, is a five-university consortium study of hydrocarbon resources on Texas State Lands. The five universities are The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and Lamar University, and the entire program is aided by the cooperation of the Texas General Land Office. This is a four-year project funded at the level of $16 million, $8 million of which was granted by the Office of the Governor of Texas and $8 million of which is matched by participating academic institutions.

Project personnel include geologists, petroleum engineers, geophysicists, and chemists. The interdisciplinary nature of this project is directed toward a more thorough understanding of the geologic controls on production and the development of appropriate recovery technologies to address the specific needs of State Lands reservoirs. Transfer of these technologies to industry, in particular to independent operators, is expected to result in increased efficiency of hydrocarbon recovery from State Lands and increased revenue to the Texas Public School Fund. The project is divided into three parts: (1) play analysis and resource assessment, (2) reservoir characterization, and (3) development of advanced extraction technology.

The play analysis and resource assessment part of this research program involves dividing the oil and gas fields on Texas State Lands into geologically based families, such that fields with similar depositional histories, trapping styles, production efficiencies, and extraction difficulties are grouped into "plays." Play analysis provides the framework for making a quantitative assessment of the remaining resources on State Lands. Importantly, even maturely developed oil reservoirs may still contain substantial volumes of both "mobile" oil (oil that is movable at reservoir conditions and that can be conventionally recovered) and "residual" oil (oil that requires expensive and technically complex reservoir stimulation). The relative amounts of these resource types vary among the geologically based plays. Quantifying the amounts of these two types of oil on State Lands, as well as quantifying the remaining natural gas resource, is critical both for designing field development programs and for optimizing the recovery economics of Texas hydrocarbon resources and is the focus of the resource assessment task.


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