Pilot project in Nevada aims to convert oil wells into geothermal producers
Geothermal development company Transitional Energy announced that it was selected to receive a $2,500,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO). The award is to support the transition of hydrocarbon wells into geothermal wells, helping to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and a carbon-free grid by 2035, we reported on the four projects that received the grants. This project will install state-of-the-art, American-made geothermal heat engines at Blackburn Oilfield in Nevada for electrical power production.
The goal of the project is to generate up to 1 MW of renewable, baseload power from an operating oil field located in Nevada. The power will be used to replace diesel generation and grid power to operate the field and lower total greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, electric vehicle charging stations will be installed to help with filling the gaps in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach locations.
“We are excited to be working with Transitional Energy. They are a group of forward-thinking professionals who understand the need and efficiency of integrating geothermal with hydrocarbons.” said Michael O’Neal, President of Grant Canyon Oil & Gas. “We look forward to implementing this innovative technology to cut our electrical costs, increase the production and extend the life of our assets. Our EOR projects in Nevada move a significant amount of water, so we are delighted to be a part of enhancing the beneficial use of this water. We believe that this project with Transitional will possibly develop into several projects as we move forward and will mesh well with our ESG goals.”
The successful pilot of oilfield geothermal at Blackburn field will build a roadmap for co-production and oilfield transition to baseload, renewable power. Reuse of existing wells and infrastructure is a capital- efficient opportunity to use the heat beneath our feet for the common good. This is particularly advantageous for hitting federal, municipal, and utility-based renewable energy portfolio goals and providing local renewable power for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.
“With key partners Grant Canyon Oil & Gas, Electratherm, and the National Renewable Energy Lab, this project will be the a great demonstration of the thermal potential of oil and gas wells for power generation,” said Johanna Ostrum, Chief Operating Officer, Transitional Energy LLC.
GTO selected Transitional Energy as a part of its efforts to generate clean, renewable geothermal energy from existing idle or unproductive hydrocarbon wells. Through this work, Transitional Energy will help untap the potential of geothermal energy.
Reusing orphan and end-of-life wells for geothermal heat and power involves the same skill sets that current oil and gas professionals, whether in the office or in the field, and whether that’s in the subsurface or on surface in wellbores and facilities. The adaptation of wells to geothermal use can provide a just transition for a highly skilled workforce that would otherwise need to find more indirect applications for their skills—and keep that expertise local.
Transitional Energy is located in Denver, Colorado, majority women owned and Native lead. With deep expertise in subsurface engineering, facilities engineering, and geology, Transitional Energy is passionate about a clean energy future and utilizing existing wells and infrastructure to generate geothermal energy.
Source: Company release by email