For nearly 80 years, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) has championed the preservation of this country’s low-volume, marginal wells and documented their production. The IOGCC recognizes that it goes to the heart of conservation values to do all that is possible to productively recover the scarce oil and natural gas resources marginal wells produce.
The IOGCC defines a marginal well as a well that produces 10 barrels of oil or 60 Mcf of natural gas per day or less. Generally, these wells started their productive life producing much greater volumes using natural pressure. Over time, the pressure decreases and production drops. That is not to say that the reservoirs which feed the wells are necessarily depleted. It has been estimated that in many cases marginal wells may be accessing a reservoir that stills holds two-thirds of its potential value.
However, because these resources are not always easily or economically accessible, many of the marginal wells in the United States are at risk of being prematurely abandoned, leaving large quantities of oil or gas behind.
In addition to supplying much-needed energy, marginal wells are important to communities across the country, providing jobs and driving economic activity. Today, as the nation ponders the solution to its energy challenges, the commission continues to tell the story of how tiny producing wells can collectively contribute to a sound energy and economic future.
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