This paper discusses a recently implemented electrical Load shedding program at the Salt Creek Field Unit (SCFU) in Kent County, Texas. The project involves the interruption of SCFU electrical load during the wholesale utility's monthly peak load. By interrupting SCFU load during the utility's monthly peak, the SCFU electrical demand charge is reduced by $7.16 or $6.03 per interrupted kilowatt, depending on the time of year.

A dual demand electrical rate schedule makes the load shedding concept possible. With this rate schedule, the demand charge is divided into two components. One demand charge is based on the highest SCFU electrical load during the billing period while the other is based on the SCFU load during the wholesale utility's monthly peak. The goal of the load shedding program is to interrupt SCFU electrical load at the time of the utility's peak load thereby reducing one component of the demand charge.

A critical element to the load shedding program is the ability to predict when the wholesale utility's monthly peak load will occur. The utility's system load is highly dependent on the temperature in the utitity's main toad center which is located in and around Stephenville, Texas. By closely monitoring the utility's load and temperature/weather data in Stephenville, the time of the utility's peak load can be forecasted. Historical load and temperature/ weather information are also utilized in peak load forecasting.

Another key element is the selection of SCFU electrical load to be interrupted during the utility's monthly peak. Currently, high pressure injection pumps and artificial lift installations are interrupted for load shedding purposes. Since the interruption of artificial lift installations results in deferred production, wells must be carefully prioritized for interruption so that lost revenue is minimized. Also, limiting total interruption time and frequency during each billing period is very important in minimizing lost revenue and cycling of lift equipment. Net profit of load shedding each artificial lift installation is determined by subtracting potential lost revenue from potential electrical savings.

This paper addresses the electrical rate schedule design, wholesale utility load forecasting, load shedding methodology, and results of the program to date.


Since the mid-1980s, there has been increasing concern about the high electrical costs associated with oil and gas production. Mobile Exploration and Producing U.S. Inc. is currently using a dual demand electrical rate in combination with a load shedding program to lower electrical expenses at the Salt Creek Field Unit in Kent County, Texas. The load shedding program has been in operation since October, 1991 and has saved over $42,000 per month in electrical expenses in the first year.

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