Geothermal Drilling Drilling and Completions

Julmar Shaun S. Toralde and Steve Nas


This course provides an overview of geothermal energy, particularly focusing on the concepts, equipment, materials, technologies, techniques and practices involved in drilling geothermal wells and how these differ from those used for drilling oil and gas wells. It is meant to provide insights into factors to consider in designing and engineering a geothermal well in relation to the type of geothermal system being developed. Geothermal well planning, with focus on rig selection, consumable materials and the tools/equipment that will be involved in the geosthermal well construction process will also be discussed.

A comprehensive discussion on geothermal drilling practices will also be provided covering the following: drilling fluids, drill string / BHA / bits, well control, tubular running, cementing, directional drilling, fishing, well completion, data acquisition, record keeping, equipment maintenance and personnel training and safety. Potential problems that can be encountered in geothermal drilling and how they are typically addressed will also be covered. Advanced and emerging technologies that are being developed for deployment or have recently been deployed in geothermal drilling operations will also be included. More importantly, the course will entail a visit to a geothermal field that is currently being developed so that the participant can observe the output of the geothermal drilling process.

View Course Agenda

Learning Level


Course Length

2 Days

Why You Should Attend

  • To get an overview of geothermal drilling and what makes it different from drilling operations for oil and gas wells.
  • To acquire insights into factors to consider in planning, engineering and designing a geothermal well
  • To know the materials, equipment, technologies and methodologies required to be able to drill and construct geothermal wells.
  • To gain familiarity with geothermal drilling practices as it pertains to the different phases of the drilling operation.
  • To identify potential problems that can be encountered in geothermal drilling and how they are typically addressed.
  • To learn about advanced and emerging technologies that are in the process of being deployed in drilling geothermal wells.
  • To visit a geothermal field under development and observe the output of the geothermal drilling process.

Half-day site visit to Makiling-Banahaw Geothermal Power Plant for an opportunity to see the geothermal process in real-life where the topics below will be discussed:

  • The conversion of steam to power (energy development)
  • View the main output of geother mal development process
  • The environmental (HSE) effects of geothermal power development

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in learning about geothermal energy development and geothermal drilling methodologies and techniques in particular will benefit from this course. It is focused on oil and gas professionals who seek to expand their knowledge into geothermal energy and geothermal drilling processes.

Special Requirements

Participants must however bring extra outdoor clothes during the field trip in the event that it rains during the conduct of the tour.


Engineers are responsible for enhancing their professional competence throughout their careers. Licensed, chartered, and/or certified engineers are sometimes required by government entities to provide proof of continued professional development and training. Training credits are defined as Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDH).

Attendees of SPE training courses earn 0.8 CEUs for each day of training. We provide each attendee a certificate upon completion of the training course.


Steve NasSteve Nas has more than 30 years of oilfield experience, including 27 years as a drilling engineer. Nas is currently the engineering manager for Weatherford’s Controlled Pressure Drilling Services in Asia Pacific in Singapore. In 2001 Nas was head of the BP Colombia Underbalanced Drilling operations on behalf of Weatherford. Since then he has been involved in numerous feasibility studies and international underbalanced operations, both offshore and onshore, and with jointed pipe as well as with coiled tubing. Nas was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on underbalanced drilling technology from 1999 to 2000, and lectured on advanced drilling technology at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. He has authored sever al papers on underbalanced drilling and coiled tubing drilling technology. Nas holds a BS in electronics from the MTS in Nijmegen, Holland, and an MS in drilling engineering from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Julmar Shaun S ToraldeJulmar Shaun S. Toralde graduated Magna Cum Laude from the pioneering Bachelor of Science in Geothermal Engineering program of Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) in the Philippines in 1999. He spent six years with NORSU as an Instructor and as Department Chairperson of the Geothermal Engineering Program, as well as serving as Research Coordinator of the College of Engineering and Architecture (focusing on renewable energy research and development) and Research Journal Editor of the university. He also served for a year as Lead Copyeditor and Quality Control Specialist for leading global research journals with SPI Technologies.

Shaun joined Weatherford in 2005 as Controlled Pressure Drilling (CPD) Engineer for a geothermal aerated fluids drilling campaign in Leyte, Philippines and subsequently served as CPD&T Engineering Coordinator – Indonesia from 2008 - 2011, where he led engineers in supporting a total of ~40 Weatherford projects and ~100 wells (including geothermal operations) in the country. He spearheaded the successful delivery of the globally pioneering deepwater managed pressure drilling (MPD) / pressurized mud cap drilling (PMCD) / riser gas risk mitigation (RGRM) project on a dynamically positioned drillship using a submerged rotating control device and is actively involved in other pioneering deepwater MPD/PMCD/RGRM projects globally. He served previously as Engineering Manager - Asia Pacific, Well Construction Services, and is currently Sales Manager, Secure Drilling Services – Asia Pacific, as well as Engineering Lead, Well Engineering and Project Management - Asia Pacific, with Weatherford, where he is managing more than 50 engineers in developing novel solutions for critical environments [deepwater, high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT), narrow mud weight window (NMWW), severe losses, geothermal] using advanced well construction technologies.

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