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GRC expressing support for companies hit by the oil & gas downturn triggered by covid-19

Drilling rig at Neal Hot Springs, Oregon (source: US Geothermal)
Alexander Richter 30 Apr 2020

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) and its Policy Committee are seeking feedback on economic and job creation impact on activities that are seen as way to possibly kick off drilling activities for geothermal that could get oil & gas sector companies back to work.

The U.S. based Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has shared a special message to service and consulting companies hit by the oil & gas downturn triggered by covid-19. This special message is shared as it becomes clearer that the oil & gas downturn triggered by COVID-19 has knock-on effects to the geothermal industry.

The geothermal, oil and gas industries have been linked together from the onset of geothermal exploration in the United States. Throughout the years, service companies and consultants have continued to support the geothermal industry in resource characterization, well drilling and maintenance activities. Additionally, the geothermal industry has been the beneficiary of technology advancements that have also been supported by the oil and gas industry.

In the past, we have seen the cyclical effect the price of oil can have on service companies and consultants that also support the geothermal industry. The current crisis that is being faced by these companies could potentially impact the availability of services long into the future.

At this time of crisis, we encourage our geothermal industry to do what we can to keep cash flowing to these companies. Whether it be new drilling, well work-overs, chemical stimulations, surveys, or the like, any re-scheduling of work plans for the year can ultimately help us all as their long-term survival is critical to the success of the industry.

As part of this the GRC is seeking feedback and has had specific requests from Congressional Offices in the U.S. to quantify the economic and job creation impact of the following activities:

  • Restoration of the ITC/PTC to 2017 levels with an extension long enough (5+ years) to provide investment certainty for geothermal development timelines;
  • Restoration of the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program;
  • Direction to the DOE to simplify and accelerate the Loan Program Office; and,
  • Deploy under-utilized staff knowledgeable in subsurface project review, such as BLM permit managers with oil and gas experience, to fast track and streamline geothermal permitting and approvals.

With these activities, how many drilling rigs could be deployed before the end of the year?

Email opinions to be emailed to:

Tim Latimer, GRC Policy Committee’s Research Chair – tim@fervoenergy.com 

Source: GRC release (pdf)