Research & Technology | SOER
Row of green trees and bushes next to well site equipment

SOER Funds Its Mission

As part of SOER’s mission to establish new processes and technological advancements to sustain the oil and natural gas industry, the Research & Technology Subcommittee was formed to help carry out this mission. Over the past five years, the SOER Committee has awarded $920,000 to various institutions including the Oklahoma Geological Survey, The University of Oklahoma Irani Center for Energy Solutions, The University of Tulsa and Osperity. Another $345,000 was allocated to further education and to fund the production of resource materials.

In FY17, SOER awarded its first grant to the Oklahoma Geological Survey to collect, digitize and store valuable oil and gas data and provide public access to the state-owned information. The grant total was $275,000. Upon fulfillment, SOER awarded a second $100,000 grant allowing for completion of Phase I consisting of a build-out and introduction of the online beta version of the Well Viewer. The overwhelming success of the project led to the award of a third grant in FY20 for the development of Phase II that will offer tools needed by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission including functionality, datasets and system architecture. This grant total was $200,000. Although the project will require a third phase, the site is highly effective and used daily by the public and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission at no cost to them.

In FY18, SOER awarded a three-year $100,000 annual grant to the University of Oklahoma Irani Center for Energy Solutions to connect companies and student teams providing experiential learning opportunities for the students and offering an inside track to companies to observe, evaluate and even hire some of the best energy-savvy new graduates in the world. The unique program brings real-world, real-time projects from energy companies to the students, providing them with valuable hands-on experience while the partner companies benefit from young engineers to solve problems and increase efficiencies.

The University of Tulsa was awarded a $10,000 grant for an externship program to research power generation of small oilfields in FY20. Upon completion, the students presented the results of the externship to the SOER Committee and were awarded a second grant for $30,000 to continue the project through 2021, allowing for field tests, working with vendors, installing the model and writing an SPE paper for the 2021 Production Operations Conference. The student-led teams complete Capstone Projects that focus on the creation of a solar-powered system to run a marginal well in a solution gas drive reservoir.

The SOER Committee partnered with Osperity to introduce and make available to marginal well producers technology to which they may not otherwise have access. In FY20, a $5,000 grant was awarded for the deployment of five cameras utilizing AI technology to monitor well sites with visual monitoring created to cut costs and mitigate risks. Those sites that were monitored included rod pump, commercial disposal facility, multiwell, tank battery and injection/saltwater disposal. Some trial participants found the service to be beneficial and cost-effective to manage their remote assets safely and more efficiently and are continuing the service with Osperity.

As a part of SOER’s mission to provide valuable educational resources for oil and natural gas producers including royalty owners, PetroEd was established as an online learning database. The curriculum includes relevant topics ranging from general petroleum to product operations. SOER purchased 101 licenses for $37,875 ($375 each) and is charging a nominal fee of $30 per license to help ensure licenses that are reserved are used.

Funds from Research & Technology supported the creation of the SOERCONNECT app. Users benefit from access to free industry materials such as workbooks, webinar recordings and educational videos, use of the Lease Pumper’s Handbook, receipt of event notifications and the ability to submit a question to seek advice from other industry professionals.

The Oil & Gas 101 video was first produced and released in 2000. Twenty years later, SOER’s Research & Technology funded a remake that focused on updating content, scripting, creative, storyboard, graphics and talent at a total cost of $260,000. Two versions are available (one with music and one without) and can be found on the SOER YouTube Channel and on the SOERCONNECT app.

SOER’s Research & Technology has funded some updates to the Lease Pumper’s Handbook including up-to-date technology, procedures, graphs and photos congruent with today’s oilfield workers. The total contributed to this project is $43,600.