Amid growing ESG and financial pressure on oil and gas operations nationwide, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) approved a grant on Feb. 4 to trial new green oilfield chemistries in wells across the state.
In a unanimous vote, funding was recommended for approval to Creedence Energy Services through the commission’s Oil and Gas Research Program (OGRP) for use of biosurfactant treatments developed by green tech startup, Locus Bio-Energy Solutions. Beginning in first-quarter, the trials will evaluate the treatments’ ability to sustainably increase oil mobility and production—providing operators with economically feasible means to do more with current assets to overcome depressed oil prices and reduced capital available for new well completions.
Locus BE’s biosurfactant technology has already been successfully used to replace and outperform synthetic chemicals, enhance oil recovery, extend well lifespans and minimize new drilling across top U.S. oil and gas producing basins, including the Permian, Appalachian and Eagle Ford. Based on proven results, a multitude of industry experts have confirmed the effectiveness of this renewable and sustainable technology. Through the OGRP grant, Creedence will trial the novel biosurfactants in both legacy conventional and Bakken/Three Forks nonconventional wells in North Dakota.
“Locus BE’s team of experts and the NDIC’s meaningful contribution are both paramount in our effort to advance the sustainability and financial security of North Dakota’s oil industry,” Kevin Black, president at Creedence Energy Services, said. “Our shared efforts in deploying this award-winning EOR technology will help create untold potential for not only oil producers, but also for the agriculture community by creating a bridge through value-added manufacturing of these nature-based products.”
Established in 2003, the OGRP encourages use of environmentally sound exploration and production methods and technologies. The program is funded from the state’s share of the oil and gas production tax and oil extraction tax, with up to $10 million dollars available each biennium. The NDIC has agreed to use a portion of the program’s funds to subsidize costs of the Locus BE/Creedence well stimulation trials, which will span over 18 months. The treatments are anticipated to successfully recover oil from current production assets left behind by previous technologies—enhancing oil production and subsequent tax revenues for North Dakota.
“Environmental regulations and drastically lowered budgets are driving a search for green chemistries that improve safety, performance and production, and North Dakota oil operators will soon have a solution to all three,” Jonathan Rogers, CEO of Locus BE, said. “The financial support of the NDIC’s grant allows us to accelerate the deployment of these ESG-friendly treatments across the state and prove out their success at a crucial time for the industry.”
This is the second governmental approval for Locus BE’s biosurfactants. Last year, the Texas Railroad Commission approved them as an EOR technology eligible for a 50% severance tax credit on all oil produced for 10 years. The solutions have also received global recognition for their unique properties allowing them to reach otherwise immobile oil and provide longer term benefits at significantly lower costs. S&P Global Platts deemed them an emerging technology of the year and last month World Finance picked them as a top upstream solution to drive economic growth.
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