Oil and gas companies have geothermal on the radar and they are ushering in a new phase of growth. As energy companies transition to a low-carbon future, geothermal energy offers renewable power generation that aligns with their operational expertise and skilled labor force. We are seeing the increase in new geothermal projects like never before.
Our View of the Industry
In the U.S., clean energy advocates that have driven the rise of wind and solar are hoping to do the same with geothermal. Geothermal energy was included in Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure package last fall that devoted $84 million for demonstration projects Read The Renewable Energy Source.
Oil and gas companies are “waking up” to the potential of geothermal. As companies face well abandonment costs there is the opportunity to recomplete oil and gas wells to produce geothermal energy. State energy requirements are adding to the growth. For example, the California Public Utilities Commission has mandated that utilities provide clean baseload power to supplement solar and set aside 1 GW for geothermal. Read The Phone is Ringing Off the Hook.
And speaking of oil and gas, the Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance (TxGEA) has launched operations to advance geothermal energy in Texas. TxGEA is represented by the oilfield service sector, oil and gas operators, utilities, start-up technology companies, scientists and engineers, and universities. GreenFire Energy supports TxGEA.
It’s not all smooth sailing as geothermal must show its environmental benefit. A judge has halted construction on the Dixie Meadows geothermal project in Nevada. A lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe says that the project will damage the ecological value, spiritual significance, and the natural hot springs. Read Construction Halted on Geothermal Power Plant.
Around the globe, there is tremendous growth of geothermal in Kenya, but it did not happen overnight. Read the 10 year history of Icelandic GEG’s partnership with KenGen to develop 15 plants at the Olkaria geothermal field in Kenya. Read 10 Years in Kenya.
In Indonesia, the geological agency of Indonesia is recommending 3 new geothermal working areas and 8 prospecting surveys for geothermal.
In Costa Rica, ecological connectivity of forest species and ecosystems around the Borinquen geothermal project has improved. Read about the efforts to actively create conditions that preserve and increase ecological connectivity in Wildlife Benefits.
Geothermal Canada is providing a comprehensive course on geothermal development: Geothermal Essentials – Moving Geothermal Forward in Canada. Covering basic technical concepts to commercial and financial considerations the course of 16 one-hour lectures is hosted by Dr. Catherine Hickson, PhD, a 40-year veteran of the geothermal industry. The January 26 lecture is “Synergies with Existing Oil and Gas Infrastructure.” All lectures are available with a $40 membership in Geothermal Canada or non-members can view each lecture for $10 Canadian.
GreenFire Energy Updates
GreenFire Energy’s GreenLoop for Steam and Two-Phase Well configuration is highlighted in a new article in GeoDrilling International. The key advantage of this patented configuration is that it brings heat to the surface while preserving pressure and water mass. This results in long term conservation of the geothermal field. Read Inside GreenFire’s GreenLoop (subscription required). Earlier, GreenFire’s steam-dominated GreenLoop application was described in an October 2021 conference paper, “Closed-Loop Geothermal in Steam and 2-Phase Dominated Reservoirs, NGAP Conference 2021,” available at https://www.greenfireenergy.com/research/ .
Watch the presentation on GreenFire Energy’s closed-loop technologies from the Society of Petroleum Engineers conference.
GreenFire Energy and Closed-Loop Geothermal
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Geothermal Workshop, December 2021