WorldWide Drilling Resource

39 JUNE 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® U.S. Invests in Technology to Harvest Geothermal Energy from Old Gas and Oil Wells Adapted from Information by the U.S. Department of Energy The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected four new projects to receive up to $8.4 million to establish new geothermal energy and heat production from abandoned gas and oil wells. With this funding, the DOE is partnering with existing well owners and operators to use their idle or unproductive wells to access the untapped geothermal potential. Transforming old oil wells into geothermal wells could expand U.S. geothermal energy capabilities. This work also supports the creation of new clean energy jobs, helping transition some of the workforce from the gas and oil industry to the renewable energy field. “With this initiative approach, we can transform existing fossil fuel wells into productive sources of sustainable, clean geothermal energy,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “These efforts will demonstrate how to leverage our existing oil and gas workforce and infrastructure, bringing more geothermal energy online and transitioning our energy workforce into the growing clean energy economy.” The selected projects include: Geothermix, LLC in Austin, TX - This project will harvest waste heat from existing gas and oil wells in Texas to generate commercial quantities of geothermal electricity. ICE Thermal Harvesting in Houston, TX - The company plans to produce electricity from 11 existing gas and oil wells in California’s San Joaquin Valley using an innovative power generation technology. Transitional Energy in Aurora, CO - The company will install state-of-the-art, American-made geothermal heat engines at Blackburn Oilfield in Nevada for electrical power production. As a result of the project, Transitional Energy will generate geothermal energy at the site and construct new rural electric vehicle charging infrastructure. University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK - The university will produce heat from an Oklahoma oilfield for use in Tuttle Elementary and Middle Schools in Tuttle, Oklahoma. With access to four hydrocarbon wells within a mile, the schools will benefit from recycling the gas and oil infrastructure at considerable savings for the schools. As part of the Wells of Opportunity initiative, this project is funded by the Geothermal Technologies Office and focuses on bringing geothermal online using existing infrastructure to lower costs and reduce development timelines. Last year, three projects were funded to help support research and development and reduce the costs and risks associated with geothermal development. GEO