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Directory:Geothermal Oil Wells

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Geothermal power in hot water coming up from abandoned oil wells using "hot dry rock" heat mining via artificial geo-thermal reservoirs.[1]
Geothermal power in hot water coming up from abandoned oil wells using "hot dry rock" heat mining via artificial geo-thermal reservoirs.[1]

High costs associated with drilling have made many geothermal projects uneconomical. However, much of that work may already be done. There are over one million abandoned oil and gas wells around the world. Many contain hot water that can be used to generate electricity or hydraulic power.

Contents

Companies

  • Deluge, Inc. - The Natural Energy Engine™ is a revolutionary new engine powered solely by hot water, well below the boiling point. It has been validated at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Rocky Mountain Oil Testing Center (RMOTC) where it pumped oil using only geothermal water as its fuel source. Marginal Stripper wells can once again operate profitably by greatly reducing the need for electricity and eliminating gasoline or diesel fuel. Deluge, Inc. and RMOTC won the 2005 Outstanding Technology Development Award from the Federal Laboratories Consortium (FLC).
  • Encore Clean Energy - The HeatSeeker can convert even lower temperature heat resources into electricity. In oil and gas systems, the decline of reservoir pressure and the increase in the volume of water production becomes greater and greater as the field matures. Usually, when a well produces much more water than oil, they shut it down because the cost of collecting and disposing of the water is greater than the value of the oil. But the HeatSeeker changes the economics of this decision to shut down a declining well by monetizing value of the water to produce usable electricity.
  • Geothermal Energy Improves U.S. Oil Recovery - Ormat Technologies announced the successful co-production of geothermal power at a producing oil well. This project marks the first of its kind, by providing onsite fuel free power that will increase the productivity and possibly extend the longevity of existing U.S. oil fields. (Tambang; Oct. 20, 2008)
  • UTC Power - The PureCycle® geothermal system can operate on a wide range of resource temperatures starting as low as 165°F (74°C). This enables geothermal wells deemed unproductive because they are below 300°F (149°C) to become viable energy sources once again.

In the News

  • Geothermal Power in Alaska - United Technologies received a DOE grant to install a low-temperature water geothermal demonstration plant at an oil or gas well in the United States. The nation’s wells produce at least 40 billion barrels of wastewater per year, much of it low to moderate temperature. That’s another 6,000 to 11,000 megawatts of potential electricity. (Popular Mechanics; Feb. 2008)
  • Electricity Generation from Oilfield Heat - Ormat Technologies and the US DOE will try to validate using geothermal technology to produce electricity from hot water in oilfield production. Presently there are two large unutilized sources of hot water at the RMOTC Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3, and 8,000 similar wells were identified in Texas. (Green Car Congress; January 25, 2007)
  • Geothermal > MIT Releases Major Report on Geothermal Energy (Sat., Jan. 27, 6:00 - 6:55 pm Eastern, live) - A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact.  (PESN; Jan. 22, 2007)
  • Alberta Gets Into Hot Water - Viewed by many as a liability, the warm water that’s co-produced with oil and gas may be transformed into an asset, extending the commercial lives of stripper wells. Geothermal waters found in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin represent a new form of abundant and cheap energy sequestered in underground aquifers. Preliminary estimates suggest that — given current technologies — the potential energy locked in Alberta’s geothermal waters is two to five trillion barrels of oil equivalent. (The PEGG; May 2006)
  • Abandoned Wells an Untapped Energy Source - New Zealand could potentially harness up to 160 megawatts of electricity by tapping in to the geothermal properties of abandoned oil and gas wells, a scientist says. Temperatures at the bottom of about half of New Zealand's 360 abandoned on-shore oil and gas wells are hot enough to produce geothermal power. (Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences; April 12, 2006)
  • Dig Deeper - We can now mine hotspots in more places - There are 5,000 megawatts of geothermal power in hot water coming up from abandoned oil wells in West Texas. All that energy is just being wasted. A new class of power plants will be capable of producing electricity from geothermal reservoirs with temperatures as low as 160°F. (Popular Science; July 2006)
  • Texas Workshop Opens Discussion of Major New Area for Geothermal Energy Production – Oil and Gas Fields - In the 1970’s and 1980’s Oil and Gas companies diversified into geothermal exploration because of the similarities in the industries. Most of these companies left geothermal when the price of oil dropped in the late 1980’s or because of failed exploration projects. Today, the Oil and Gas Industry can use a known producing field and not have high exploration costs to expand their portfolio into geothermal. (SMU Geothermal Lab)
  • Geothermal In West Texas - While Texas does not have active volcanoes or geysers, the state does have a very large number of oil and gas wells (~600,000) that were drilled, some of which have gone sufficiently deep to encounter high temperatures for the use in a binary-cycle or hybrid-cycle power plant system. There is potential for West Texas to develop geothermal power plants from these deep wells. (The University of Texas of the Permian Basin)

Other Coverage

  • Geothermal Energy Electrical Power Generation - Recycling spent oil and gas wells: The extraction system utilises geothermal heat transferred from a hydrothermal reservoir into a combined Ultra-Large-Scale Heat Pipe/High Speed Organic Rankine Cycle Turbine. The system, which is called GEESOR (Geothermal Energy Extraction System Organic Rankine), overcomes the problems of reinjection, two-phase fluid movement and environmental pollution by using a clean working fluid in a closed cycle. The creation of a reservoir, fracturing and primary fluid movement will also be covered. The system described in this paper is an economical alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power as the main source of electrical power generation for the next millennium.

Comments

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See also

GEOTHERMAL

TYPES OF GEOTHERMAL

GEOTHERMAL-RELATED

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