Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Science & Technology: Interview on First-Ever Commercial Oilfield Geothermal Facility

EnergyCast, Episode 37, Hydrocarbon Heat, University of North Dakota

UND Professor Will Gosnold and his team developed the first-ever commercial oilfield geothermal facility in North Dakota. They used a binary cycle system, and were lucky because the naturally occurring water in these oilfield formations was relatively fresh.

The project is often mischaracterized as being "co-production," meaning hydrocarbons were produced at the same time geothermal energy was being produced. That was not true in this case but Dr. Gosnold says it is possible.

I have long said that oilfield operators could do more to maximize efficiency. Rather than haul generators carrying Saudi-pumped oil to produce domestic oil, they could be generating power locally.

Dr. Gosnold and I also spoke about the need to marry upstream oilfield operations with electric utilities to make these projects happen. Hopefully now that this technology is proven, we will see more of these partnerships.