Thursday, May 12, 2016

USA, North Dakota: Co-Production of Geothermal Energy from Oil & Gas Well

EERE Success Story—DOE-Funded Project is First Permanent Facility to Co-produce Electricity from Geothermal Resources at an Oil and Gas Well (EERE/GTO)

Source: Kirby Baier of Continental Resources
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to announce the launch of the nation’s first commercial enterprise to co-produce electricity from geothermal resources at an oil and gas well. With support from DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), researchers at the University of North Dakota (UND) successfully generated geothermal power from hot water that flows naturally from petroleum wells in the Williston Sedimentary Basin in western North Dakota. This technology offsets the need for costly transmission construction and reduces energy costs at remote oil fields. The facility started generating electricity for the first time in late April.

UND’s process to co-produce electricity involves the use of hot fluid—a by-product of oil, gas, and other material harvesting processes. While the quality of the resource depends on water volume and temperature, the technology has the potential to extend the economic life of oil and gas fields. UND’s technology features a special engine that can make steam from warm water pumped out of the ground with oil. The heat in the water flashes into steam and drives a turbine to create electricity.

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