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The energy landscape is changing, and renewable sources of energy are gaining in importance. As part of this, geothermal energy has the ability to be a key contributor as it can supply a constant dependable baseload for a wide range of uses, ranging from low temperature heating through mid temperature industrial uses, to high temperatures for power generation.It has additional benefits, that unlike other renewable sources such as wind and solar, it is has little or no reliance on varying prevailing conditions.
However geothermal is a relatively young industry, and many stakeholders are unaware of the importance of detailed knowledge of the subsurface in the success of safely and economically realising a project. As a result many projects dissapoint in their returns. The subsurface knowledge required is very similar to that needed for successful hydrocarbon exploration, therefore the expertise in gained in the oil and gas industry over many years can be applied to geothermal projects to help increase their likelihood of success. However because of the nature of the two industries, there is often a barrier that needs to be broken down before this knowledge can be shared.
In this presentation, I discuss how the subsurface information needed for success in the two industries is very similar, show the value of data, how well established oil and gas methodologies can be applied to help in the success of geothermal projects, and how the oil and gas industries can contribute to the success of geothermal energy.
Tom Bradley is a Senior Technical Advisor for Formation Evaluation and Energy Transition with Baker Hughes. After graduating from The Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London with a degree in Geology with Engineering Geology in 1996, he started his career in 1997 with Western Atlas International and since then has worked in a variety of technical and supervisory roles in a variety of countries. He is currently based in the Netherlands, and as part of his current role he is involved with the development of geothermal energy in the Netherlands and Europe.