Unit operation has lead to sound practices in the conservation of oil and gas for at least the past thirty years. The early endeavors of Earl Oliver, who served as Chairman of the Stabilization Committee of the Petroleum Division, A.I.M.M.E., Henry L. Doherty, former President of Cities Service Company and recipient of the Anthony F. Lucas Award, Joseph E. Pogue of Chase National Bank, General Ernest O. Thompson of the Texas Railroad Commission, Robert E. Hardwicke of Fort Worth, and many other far-sighted oil men, including commissioners, geologists, land-men, engineers, lawyers, and accountants, are legion. Numerous examples of cooperative unit agreements in Texas and elsewhere not only show increasing reliance on these activities, but the continued development of engineering ingenuity necessary to meet the demands of modern reservoir performance and conservation practices.

A report (39) by the Sub-Committee on Unitized Oilfield Conservation Projects of the Secondary Recovery and Pressure Maintenance Committee of the Inter state Oil Compact Commission shows that 779 projects are in operation in 16 oil and gas producing states. The total oil produced during 1958 was over 357 million barrels.

Emery (39) has re-stated the general opinion of petroleum engineers and the oil industry that the advantages of unit operation outweigh the disadvantages resulting from the loss of individual control of the properties. He discusses unitization of two types of, properties which involve engineering considerations. The first relates to unitization of producing properties and the second, less familiar to engineers, is the unitization of lands for the purpose of drilling exploratory wells. Unitization is usually the first step in the initiation of secondary recovery operations or improved production practice. For undeveloped properties, a first objective is the completion of the development program in an orderly manner. A second objective is to insure efficient primary and often secondary recovery.

Optimum-drilling and Optimum-building of pipelines, plants, storage and other related facilities are realistic objectives of unitized operations. The necessary and important reservoir energy is conserved. Unnecessary and excessive costs are minimized. Whereas property lines control drilling without unitization and the existing law of capture as applied results in early peak production and costly excess capacities in facilities, the alleviation of these disadvantages through unit operations is a common observation.

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