Interruptible power purchased from electric utilities has been used by chemical and process industries for many years, but is not generally used in oil producing operations. Interruptible power represents an established option to reduce electric power costs, which are often the oil producer’s single largest operating expense. The recent use of interruptible power in Amoco Production Company’s West Texas waterflood operations has significantly reduced operating expenses.

Interruptible power rates are offered by many electric utility companies; however, the impact on producing operations is generally not known. This paper addresses the initial areas of concern and offers over two years of case history data showing how interruptible power affects operating costs, production equipment, producing rates and safety/environmental operations. The information presented will enable the producing operator to make an informed decision on the use of interruptible power. Although this paper deals with TU Electric Company’s interruptible power rate, the information presented will be applicable to interruptible rates offered by other utilities.

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