Sage Geosystems Secures Financing for Hybrid Geothermal Field Pilot

Journal of Petroleum Technology, 1-26-21, Judy Feder

Key takeaways:

  • A $3-million investment by a climate fund founded by TED curator Chris Anderson and an additional $2-million investment by a subsidiary of Helmerich & Payne will fund a hybrid CLG/EGS demonstration well in Texas. Drilling could begin this summer.
  • The project represents an unprecedented partnership between geothermal development, the oil and gas industry, and climate venture funding—with an indirect tie to tech and media.
  • A portion of the cash investment and a credit for drilling services come from international drilling contractor Helmerich & Payne.
  • The Sage team believes that globally scalable geothermal energy is the natural future of the oil and gas industry and intends to help pave the way for the industry to pivot into the space.
  • The company’s pilot project will involve retrofitting old, plugged and abandoned wells and combining open-to-reservoir enhanced geothermal system (EGS) and closed-loop geothermal (CLG) technologies.
  • The process begins with drilling a well to approximately 4 to 6 km total depth. It then uses HeatRoot technology to propagate fractures downward, reaching at least several hundred more feet in depth and with it, much higher temperatures than the bottomhole temperature of the original well.
  • The fractures are filled with a highly conductive slurry that is also convective. Then a pipe-in-pipe closed-loop heat exchange system with a supercritical circulation fluid is placed in contact with the HeatRoot network.
  • “Working in sedimentary rocks will help that. We are using old wells to calibrate our models and keep costs down in preparation for our first greenfield well, which will be a 10–100MW project, depending on our partner.”
  • Personal note- GreenChem Energy’s patented EStim reservoir construction process is believed to play in pivotal future role in the future of this work.