very interesting article on the prospects for geothermal energy in this weeks Politico Magazine.  Large and independent O&G companies, including CHK, getting involved.  R&D ongoing to see how abandoned O&G wells can be used for geothermal.

One irony jumped out at me in the article.  Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, discussed geothermal at a meeting that included O&G bigwigs, and made note of the fact that "fracking' greatly enhances the performance of geothermal.  Let's see how the rabid "no-fricking-fracking" crowd deals with that.

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When I read articles like this, I think of two things.  Bottom hole temperatures and the well design required to create a closed loop to reuse the water.  Steve, I don't see how fracking enters into the equation as a significant requirement.  I looked for the Jennifer Granholm's quote you mentioned but did not find it.

cut and paste from middle of the article

"That’s kind of irresistible when you consider the skills set and the know-how that this industry already has in extracting energy from the subsurface,” Granholm told the gathering of oil companies executives, which included Exxon CEO and Chair Darren Woods. “I know you manage [carbon] molecules, but you can manage a lot of things. Think: You drill holes, too. You go beneath the surface, you know where things are. And fracking really opens up a huge opportunity for enhanced geothermal.”

Thanks, sorry I missed it.  I've read a few articles on the potential of geothermal but none ever mentioned fracking.  It's unclear how that would be an important element of a geothermal well complex.  If I run across any mention in future articles, I'll post it.

This is an excerpt.  When the HA play reached south Angelina, I believe that Bottom Hole Temps were approaching or exceeding 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Some of our industry members at the time questioned whether that was the point that downhole tools began to fail.

Microwave Drilling Sounds Like Science Fiction but So Does Drilling Down to the Hottest Rock

One of the problems with geothermal is that the rock that is hot enough to create the steam needed to run a power plant is also capable of destroying drilling hardware.


  By Stephen Rassenfoss  January 1, 2023

When asked to describe Quaise Energy, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Bonebrake said, “At its simplest, we will manufacture steam.”

Their goal is to produce steam that is hot enough to power an electric generator built to run on fossil fuel. They plan to do that by injecting water down 10–20 km to where the rock temperature is 400 to 500°C.

The motivation for drilling wells into extremely hard basement rock is to make geothermal electric power affordable by producing steam that could be used to repower older plants connected to power grids serving major markets.

In the past, geothermal power has been little used because there are few places in the world with the right combination of the hot rock, water, and permeability required to deliver high‑quality steam.

Hot, dry rock is commonly available, but producing the supercritical steam needed requires drilling to depths of 10 to 20 km, depending on the temperature gradient in that part of the US. At that depth, the driller will be faced with rocks such as granite and basalt. The rock is capable of both producing superheated steam and destroying the microchips and seals required for directional drilling.

Quaise plans to drill ultradeep holes by generating high-powered microwaves at the drilling site. The microwaves will be transmitted downhole to make hole by melting and vaporizing the basement rock.


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