Geothermal energy comes to life in dead Shell gas well

Geothermal energy comes to life in dead Shell gas well

April 26, 2024 0 By Bret Williams

Former employees of the company have found a new use for the spent fuel well

Geothermal energy has a great deal of potential as a form of renewable heat and power due to its dependability, among other reasons.

Former oil and gas industry employees are taking this new focus

In Texas, a number of new companies are using the expertise of former employees from the oil and gas industry to bring together clean heat and power technology, such as with geothermal energy plants. Their aim is to source this power in a whole new way.

By its very nature, it sources its power from underwater natural heat reservoirs.  Water is sent down to areas of natural heat, where it is warmed and sent back up to the surface to be used for the heat it provides or for the power it can be used to generate.  Cold water is then pumped back underground again to restart the process.

Geothermal energy is reliable in a way some renewable power isn’t

As clean and beneficial as solar and wind power are, they require the sun and wind to be able to generate electricity. A very cloudy day – or nighttime, for that matter – can get in the way of solar, while a day that isn’t windy will slow down or stop wind turbines.

Geothermal Energy - Wind Turbines

Geothermal energy, on the other hand, is simply always “on”. That said, it provides heat without producing greenhouse gas emissions as would be the case if fossil fuel like oil or coal were to be used.

The new startup in Texas is called Sage Geosystems and it has positioned itself over an empty well that was abandoned by Shell when that well no longer contained any oil. What the startup is focused on is the power still available in that well now that the oil is gone. The key is that the well was deep enough to reach hot underground stone layers.

Using a technique like fracking

hydrogen news ebookSage Geosystem plans to use a method somewhat like fracking to test whether water can be pumped down into the well to crack its way into the stone beneath. The cracks will then be able to contain the water so the hot stones can warm it up. From there, the heated water is pumped back to the surface where it will power a generator.

The company announced its first successful test of this nature last month, showing substantial promise for the future of the geothermal energy project.

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