Co-produced fluid test facility in development in Wyoming

RMOTC, test site, Casper/ Wyoming, U.S. (source: RMOTC)
Alexander Richter 23 May 2011

A second test plant utilizing co-produced fluids from oil wells with a temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit, or 90 centigrades, is in development at the RMOTC in Wyoming, U.S.

News from Wyoming, report that “A new geothermal plant is in the works for the U.S. Department of Energy testing facility 35 miles north of Casper, based on a recent report.

The 280-kilowatt facility is under development at the department’s Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center, or RMOTC, in the Teapot Dome oil field near Midwest, according to an April report from the Geothermal Energy Association.

“RMOTC is developing another site for the installation,” stated the annually released report, which describes geothermal energy projects in the United States.

The plant is powered by 195-degree Fahrenheit (ca 90 centigrades) water produced from oil drilling. The relatively low-temperature water project holds promise for water produced in oil production at well sites across the U.S. That water, not before considered a source of energy, could be harnessed to provide electricity.

The plant under development is possibly similar to a 250-kilowatt plant already installed in the Teapot Dome field. The plant was installed by Ormat Technologies of Reno, Nev., in 2008 to test the feasibility of using the hot water to make electricity.

The Energy Department acquired that plant from the company in 2009. In a geothermal energy fact sheet on RMOTC’s website, the center called for a second plant of similar size for side-by-side comparison testing over a two-to-three-year period.

The water extracted from the Teapot Dome field is consistently just less than 200 degrees, and the Ormat facility was designed to work with water with a temperature as low as 170 degrees.

The new geothermal energy project is the only one of its kind in Wyoming, according to the Geothermal Energy Association’s report.