RPSEA Plan Seeks to Address Oil, Gas Technical Challenges

Seeking to address the major technical challenges facing the oil and gas industry today, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) on Monday unveiled its Strategic Plan for 2016 and beyond to manage and grow the group’s effort to facilitate oil and gas technology research and development (R&D).

RPSEA, a consortium that fosters R&D among research universities, oil and gas companies, and national labs, will tackle major challenges such as well control for offshore exploration and production (E&P), methane emissions for onshore E&P, and the need for increased efficiency, a challenge across the board for the oil and gas industry. Other issues that RPSEA will address in its plan include water usage and treatment, induced seismicity, carbon capture and sequestration, and transportation and pipeline infrastructure.

The oil and gas industry is facing these challenges as it grapples with smaller R&D budgets and fewer workers to address this area. At the same time, industry also is facing a presidential administration seeking to pass as much regulation as possible, including new oil well control rules, Jack Belcher, executive vice president of HBW Resources, told Rigzone in an interview. More than 50 percent of the technical challenges facing oil and gas companies are impacted by some type of regulatory challenge, he said.

Earlier this year, HBW Resources and RPSEA launched a technology research partnership to advance innovation in oil and gas technology. HBW also worked with RPSEA to develop the strategic plan, he said.

Belcher said RPSEA sees an opportunity for the organization to help manage what technology is viable in the short-term, mid-term and long-term outlooks, and ensure oil and gas companies can meet regulatory goals. The group also can play a major role in facilitating research in areas where more R&D is needed. Belcher said RPSEA is trying to establish a regulatory committee to handle this role.

Through the Strategic Plan, RPSEA also seeks to:

  • pursue broader funding sources for projects beyond the National Energy Technology Laboratory;
  • seek government funding from federal and state agencies; and
  • acquire new project opportunities with individual energy companies, joint industry projects, foundations, and not-for-profits.


Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com


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