The consortium, led by Baker Hughes, aims to develop dry or non-productive geothermal wells as well as non-productive oil or gas wells into geothermal wells for renewable energy production. In the short term, the company group is focusing on closed-loop geothermal technology.
An idea to improve well sustainability
First, the consortium aims to develop the technology, in particular by bringing it to the commercial stage. It aims to redevelop wells at the end of their life for geothermal production.
Maria Claudia Borras, executive vice president of Oilfield Services and Equipment at Baker Hughes said:
“This unique geothermal consortium supports Baker Hughes’ strategic commitment to positioning for new frontiers by innovating new opportunities for traditional oil and gas customers to generate low-carbon and geothermal solutions. In addition, it highlights our disciplined approach to long-term sustainable growth to bring renewable energy to the U.S. and beyond.”
Funded by its industrial partners, the consortium has also received support from technology providers, including Vallourec and GreenFire Energy. However, this support comes in the form of in-kind contributions of materials and labor for construction, testing and piloting.
A closed circuit geothermal test center
The first project is the Baker Hughes Energy Innovation Centre test well, located at the Hamm Institute for American Energy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It will create the first closed-circuit geothermal laboratory in the world.
This test well is intended to simulate underground environments in order to test the system in closed loop for many well configurations. But also to validate technical performance models and provide a scale for pilot efforts in the field.
Well2Watts has been joined by many energy companies such as Continental Resources and INPEX.
Bill Berry, CEO of Continental Resources said:
“This consortium goes hand in hand with Continental Resources’ longstanding commitment to producing the energy our world needs while being stewards of our natural resources. We look forward to working with these collaborating companies using our complementary skills and innovative technology to turn completed wells into geothermal wells. This is a great example of the industry coming together to explore new areas to provide the energy the world needs.”
In addition, the development of closed-loop geothermal energy represents a major step forward for the field. Recycling of unusable wells will greatly improve their sustainability. The Wells2Watts consortium allows a grouping of interests increasing the chances of the different projects to succeed.