The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) is seeking requests for proposals (RFP) for its Small Producer Program and its Unconventional Resources Program.

Sugar Land, TX-based RPSEA said Thursday it expects to award about $10 million in five to 12 awards in the Small Producer Program and about $35 million in eight to 15 awards for oil and natural gas research and development projects in its Unconventional Resources Program.

“The projects to be selected under the 2011 Small Producer Program will focus on unlocking the potential for domestic hydrocarbon resources by enhancing production within existing surface footprints from mature fields, where up to two-thirds of original oil in place is left behind,” RPSEA said. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. CST Feb. 27.

“The projects to be selected under the 2011 Unconventional Resources Program will focus on the challenge to safely and responsibly extract the abundant resource of domestic natural gas that lies within our grasp, primarily in gas shales and also tight sands,” RPSEA said. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. CST March 6, 2012.

This is RPSEA’s fifth year to release RFPs under the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Energy under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Organizations, which must have a U.S.-based business, are encouraged to submit proposals before the due date to allow for electronic receipt processing. Information is available at the RPSEA website.

RPSEA is a nonprofit consortium with more than 175 members, including 22 of the nation’s research universities, six national laboratories, other major research institutions, large and small energy producers and energy consumers. Its mission is to provide a stewardship role in ensuring focused research, development and deployment of safe and environmentally responsible technology that can deliver hydrocarbons from domestic resources.