Thursday, March 3, 2016

USA: President-Elect of GRC Maria Richards is Interviewed

Interview with Maria Richards at the Geothermal Lab at SMU in Texas (Think GeoEnergy)

Utilizing geothermal energy in oil & gas fields could expand the geothermal sector dramatically and is the key topic of the annual Power Plays conference organized by Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Texas, USA. Here we talk with Maria Richards on SMU, the conference and her view on geothermal energy in oil and gas fields.

The SMU Geothermal Lab Power Plays Conference and Workshop is now being held for the 8th time. What is the key driver for SMU to continue hosting it?

Over the years we have learned that people from many different sectors are needed to develop geothermal energy in oil and gas fields. Each time we host the conference we bring in new perspectives and provide a setting where experts from all the different sectors can meet, network, see project updates and discuss the issues involved in generating geothermal energy in oil and gas fields.

We also love the networking and research it brings to our Geothermal Lab faculty, staff, and students. It is especially important for us to give students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the geophysics – geology courses. I think it also shows all of us the importance of not giving up on an idea because it did not develop as expected. Each time we host the conference there is renewed enthusiasm and new ideas that propel all of us forward. If Mitchell Energy and Devon Energy had quit after a few years on developing directional drilling, we would be out of gas today and the shale plays would never have happened. While it is taking longer than expected to generate geothermal power from oil and gas fields, we are not behind the research curve if you look at the timeline for directional drilling.