The Biden administration’s infrastructure plan to set aside $16 billion to plug some old oil wells and clean up some mines is welcome in principle and generates job opportunities. However, it misses the chance to repurpose some of these wells to generate clean and sustainable geothermal energy. The big question is which wells should be plugged and which ones have potential to be converted to geothermal electricity or heat? What is needed here is a reliable screening process to make that determination. This is a multifaceted process that should include technical, environmental, financial, infrastructure and other components to ensure no opportunity is missed. Petrolern LLC solves this problem with its leading-edge ConvertDeckTM, a screening expert system that can evaluate large volumes of wells efficiently and in a timely manner, using hundreds of years of cumulative lower-temperature geothermal expertise.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has spoken recently about “the heat beneath our feet” and her regret that “we don’t do much geothermal in the United States.” Petrolern’s approach addresses that gap by increasing low-temperature electricity or heat generation from previously drilled oil and gas wells in readily accessible sedimentary reservoirs and delivers energy at profitable rates. The approach provides an easy path for the oil industry, and our nation, to transition to clean energy, with savings from deferred well-abandonment costs and with virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions (it is proven that the plugged and abandoned oil wells can still emit a significant amount of methane to the atmosphere). It also helps the geothermal community to remove the cost of drilling new wells, which is a significant cost component of field development, and make geothermal energy profitable.
Petrolern’s Director of Technology Partnerships Dr. Alan J. Cohen remarks, “Sample conversion project proposals for clients in North America, Europe, and Asia have indicative costs of electricity at under 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, and less if well-abandonment costs are deducted. Projects can have internal rates of return of greater than 10 percent, representing a significant savings in electricity costs to the clients, relative to what the utility charges, and an opportunity to sell the excess electricity to others. A preliminary estimate on screening, well work overs, and power systems design, fabrication and installation activities suggests that over 200,000 additional people could be employed in the USA alone to work on lower-temperature geothermal projects.”
Petrolern LLC is a leading-edge service and technology provider of advanced subsurface engineering technologies and downhole tools for oil and gas, carbon storage and geothermal energy. It enables safer operations and more cost-effective decision making for drilling, completions, stimulation, production, and storage, and promotes the development of greener energy solutions. For more information on our technology and partnership opportunities, contact Dr. Alan Cohen at [email protected].
ATLANTA, April 8, 2021 (Newswire.com)