April News Update

Nesjavellir geothermal power plant, Iceland

“However high we climb in the pursuit of knowledge we shall still see heights above us, and the more we extend our view, the more conscious we shall be of the immensity which lies beyond”

William Armstrong (1810-1900), engineer, industrialist, inventor, owner of Cragside, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity in 1878.

A century and a half after Armstrong’s pioneering experiments and innovation in hydraulics and electricity, renewable energy was once again in international focus in NE England this week with the AAPG Geothermal Cross-Over Technologies Workshop in Durham. The aim of the workshop was well defined, and admirably achieved: to share experience and expertise between the geothermal and hydrocarbon sectors of the energy industry.

Whether the energy-bearing fluid is oil, gas, or water, improved understanding of fluid flow in the reservoir is often critical for optimal production, not least when the reservoir is fractured and the fracture network plays a major role in performance. And since the energy density of water is so much lower than for hydrocarbons, effective geothermal prospects will need either high geothermal gradients or high fluid throughput (or both). Hence fractured reservoirs are important – and the hydrocarbon industry has well over 100 years of experience to draw upon that could help the rapidly developing geothermal sector to prosper.

Photo Credit: Gretar Ívarsson.