Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Reducing Impacts of New PIT Rules on Small Producers
Petroleum Recovery Research Center of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801
Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87113
New Mexico Oil Conservation Division, Santa Fe, NM 87505
The objective of this project is to minimize the impact of new “pit rules” on New Mexico’s small producers. The added cost of compliance and increased difficulty of permitting could price these producers, who as a whole produce the majority of New Mexico’s marginal and mature fields, out of future drilling and production—thus reducing future reserves. New compliance will be required for a number of surface and subsurface features such as depth to groundwater, distance to surface water and variety cultural and environmental features. Compliance will require expensive site surveys and significant permitting delays and costs will be acquired by small producers, ill equipped to deal with these expenses.
In partnership with industry and the regulatory agency, this project proposes to make available a wide selection of data needed for compliance, in acceptable automated formats, that will allow faster applications without the necessity of expensive surveys in most areas. In addition, maps of leaching potential and site risk will be generated to allow a quick review of compliance issues and potential remediation expenses for all potential drill sites in New Mexico’s producing regions.
Eight major tasks are to be performed in order to accomplish the project goals: Data Assessment will occur during the first 6 months of the project and will categorize and locate all necessary data and determine acquisition issues such as digitization that may need to be addressed. Data Acquisition will be completed by the end of the first project year and be deemed successful when all data required for the project has been collected and organized. Data Cleaning will be ongoing from the middle of the first year to the end of the second year overlapping with data being cleaned as it is acquired. Database Construction will also begin in the middle of the first year. Database construction is an iterative process and development will proceed through a series of temporary databases as data is acquired and then cleaned. Data Presentation and Feedback represents a key milestone in the project. Toward the end of the first project year a preliminary database and list of acquirable data will be presented to industry and government for review and feedback and immediate use in reducing compliance costs. The Build Data Access task will involve generation of web pages, GIS layers, downloadable data tables, and maintainable (upgradeable) database software to allow fast and simple use of project results. Software to generate and fill required application forms will also be created during this task. The Industry/OCD Feedback task will involve a final review and active testing of the results by industry and government partners. Based on this feedback, Final Delivery will make final adjustments and then public posting of data, software, and risk analyses online, in a maintainable online format.
Principal Investigators: Dr. Robert Balch