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Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Technology Designed to Get Oil Out of Old Wells Without Big Expense

From Houston Public Media:
“One billion dollars a month is being spent drilling wells out here,” said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, in an interview just three years ago in Midland. 
Since then, the number of drilling rigs working in West Texas have sunk from 400 rigs back then to about 200 now. And it’s the same all over the state’s vast oil and gas fields. That’s meant tightening up budgets and looking for lower cost ways to drill says Jim McGowin, a petroleum engineer and veteran of the drilling industry. 
“Well it’s difficult. Everybody’s doing their end of year budgets. And of course the outlook is not very good for 2016, “ says McGowin. 
McGowin works out of an old warehouse converted to offices on the edge of downtown Houston. He’s with a new company, Novas Energy, that’s marketing what it says could be a big help to drillers trying to get oil out of the ground without spending a fortune. 
McGowin says the new technique isn’t fracking. 
“No, that’s one of the main beauties of plasma pulse technology,” says McGowin. “We’ve had very good success with it. “ 
Novas Energy says plasma pulse technology is a way to use big surges of electricity to create shock waves deep underground around a well bore. The shock waves — hundreds of them — are supposed to loosen up the rock formations holding the oil, allowing it to flow up the well bore. McGowin says the waves go only feet from the well bore and do not increase the risk of earthquakes which have become a concern in drilling operations.
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