Archive of Texas PTTC Workshops

Distributed Energy Resources in the Oil Patch Workshop

May 15, 2000, Houston, Texas. Sponsored by the Central Gulf and the Texas Regions PTTC and the Independent Petroleum Association of America

Workshop Overview
This one day workshop explored a growing interest by producers and project developers to set power generation assets in the oil and gas production areas to help lower power costs, and to assist the nation's electrical system in meeting expensive peaking power demands.

In 1998 alone, almost 300 BcF of natural gas was flared or vented in the United States. Had a mechanism been in place to capture all of this uneconomical gas it would have been enough to baseload over 3,200 MW of power. This power could have gone a long way in satisfying capacity shortfalls in many of the same energy production areas. Of course, this gas is scattered throughout the production areas, but some pockets of gas exist in key areas to offset 10 or 20 MW at a time. By setting generation assets in these areas producers could reduce flaring or venting, reduce energy costs, and perhaps even establish a new revenue stream.

Electric grid pricing, regulations, and opportunities
Practical considerations for DER: combustion and gas composition
Onsite applications: reciprocating engines and microturbiner
DER beyond the lease: interconnection issues, turbines, and power marketing
Roundtable on regulations and politics of DER

The luncheon speaker was Texas Representative Tommy Merritt who presented "Texas Natural Gas, The Green Fuel for Generation: Implications for the Oil Patch." Rep. Merritt was instrumental in having natural gas declared a green fuel in the Texas electric deregulation bill.

For more information about this and other PTTC workshops, please contact Sigrid Clift at
512-471-0320 or e-mail