Heavy-Oil Technology May Be a Perfect Fit for Geothermal Power

Topics: Geothermal
Geothermal plants like this one in Iceland may benifit from the technologies designed to produce heavy oil with hot steam. Source: Getty

While the economic future of greenfield heavy-oil projects is in serious doubt these days, one prominent applied research group in Canada said that some of the technologies involved with heavy oil have the potential to be used around the world.

The catch is that the technologies—specifically those involved in steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)—would be primarily used not to produce oil, but geothermal power.

“We believe that Alberta has been doing geothermal backwards for 30 years,” said Brian Wagg, director of business development at Edmonton-based C-FER Technologies, who explained how SAGD centers on pushing large volumes of steam into the ground via injection well where it heats viscous oil to a point at which it flows freely into a producing well.

The concept that C-FER is promoting is termed an enhanced geothermal system and involves sending cool water down an injector well to become heated by moving through a nonhydrocarbon-bearing rock formation.

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Heavy-Oil Technology May Be a Perfect Fit for Geothermal Power

Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor

01 August 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 8