As the United States moves to become less energy dependent on foreign sources, the importance of production from domestic stripper oil and gas wells will be much greater than it is today. Currently, stripper oil wells account for 15 percent of total domestic oil production and stripper gas wells account for 8 percent of total dry gas production. The importance of stripper wells is also reflected in that they represent 77 percent and 63 percent of the country's total oil and gas well populations respectively. Therefore, developing inexpensive technologies will be key in keeping these wells productive and helping the nation meet its energy demand.
In an effort to help maintain the production from stripper wells, the Department of Energy provides funding to the Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) to develop and demonstrate technologies that will improve the production performance of stripper wells. The SWC was established in 2000 and has cofunded over 60 projects since its inception. The SWC is an industry-driven organization and all projects are selected by a seven-member Executive Council elected for member organizations. Several projects have been completed and are now being offered commercially. This paper will focus on the operation of and the opportunities offered by the SWC, as well as highlighting a few of the successful projects such as the Gas Operated Automatic Lift (GOAL) PetroPump, the Vortex flow tools, the hydraulic diaphragm electrical submersible pump, and the new novel Weatherbee pump/compressor.