Geothermal energy projects an alternative to oil for drilling rigs

Alexander Richter 30 Jun 2009

As working rig counts, in the oil industry, have fallen dramatically since this time last year, geothermal energy could be an alternative, raised by this interesting article of MetalMiner.

Found this a couple days ago, and thought this worthwhile to post.

“A little covered but growing alternative power source attracting large sums of both private and federal funding is geothermal energy. As working rig counts have fallen dramatically since this time last year (Baker Hughes reports only 899 rigs working this week, down over a thousand from a year ago) geothermal exploration may provide a still small but growing alternative market. We are not talking about shallow hole 200-500’ heat exchanger projects for residential and small commercial buildings, these funds are flowing into deep well steam generation projects usually intended for electricity generation.

Drilling technology is well up to the task, oil companies are capable of drilling up to 5 miles down on the continental US and most of these reserves are available at half those depths. The challenge is more in controlling the fracturing of the hot rocks and maintaining steam temperatures over the life of the project. With oil extraction costs and challenges rising it is a surprise the oil companies are not more active in a field where their hard earned skills in deep drilling should give them a clear advantage.”

Source: Metalminer