Academia - Explore the win-win partnership that exists between academia and independents.

Independents play an important role in the oil and gas industry. They specialize in unconventional field development and are largely credited with the shale gas boom that has occurred in the US. Despite this success, they differ from the large, integrated majors in that they usually have limited or no research and development (R&D) capability. In order to remain competitive, independents commonly rely on academia to meet this need.

This article presents three important R&D realms that demonstrate good collaborative efforts between independents and academic research institutions.

Pilot EOR Operations

One key area for independents in North America is mature field development whose aim is to extract the proven residual oil trapped in these reservoirs. Independents acquire mature assets primarily from major exploration and production (E&P) companies once the majors start viewing them as marginal or economically unattractive. Independents tend to view mature fields as attractive because, as smaller companies, they typically have more efficient operating structures with lower overhead, and are more willing to deploy advanced and emerging technologies. Several mature onshore fields, such as Yates in Texas and Salem in Illinois, are good examples of these acquisitions.

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