The History of Geothermal and O&G Working Together

There is a quite the story being written today about the ways geothermal energy can help transition an existing oil and gas field into an electricity-generating system. SMU has been leading the research, development and promotion of such a concept for over two decades.

The following is a summarized timeline, featuring historical developments that have helped advance geothermal proof of concepts within O&G fields throughout the US.

1975: Texas Geothermal Resources Act written

1989: First Geopressure power plant in the US, Brazoria County, TX

1992: SMU completes first Geothermal Map of North America

Early collection of temperature-depth data by the SMU Geothermal Lab
Early collection of temperature-depth data by the SMU Geothermal Laboratory
Collection of temperature-depth data by the SMU Geothermal Lab
Collection of temperature-depth data by the SMU Geothermal Laboratory

2004: SMU publishes first full-coverage Geothermal Map of North America

2004 SMU Geothermal Map of North America
2004 SMU Geothermal Map of North America

2005: UTC builds prototype of PureCycle® (now under PWPS)

2005: Steve Bergman with SMU “discover” RMOTC’s high fluid flow

2006: Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska develops geothermal power (500 kw)

2006: 1st SMU Geothermal Conference on Utilizing Oil & Gas Fields

2008: ORMAT Technologies, Inc. installs binary unit at Rocky Mtn Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC), WY

2008: ElectraTherm, Inc. demonstrates Green Machine on SMU Campus

Demonstration of the Green Machine at SMU
Demonstration of the Green Machine at SMU

2009: Texas H.B. 4433 Hydrocarbon Tax Exemption from Severance Oil/Gas Tax for Geothermal Wells

2009: RPSEA.org awards project to Gulf Coast Green Energy and Denbury Resources Inc. in central MS

Green Machine at the Denbury Project in Mississippi
Green Machine at the Denbury Project in Mississippi

2009: DOE Geothermal Technologies Program funds projects in ND, TX, LA

2010: Oregon Institute of Technology powers-up with PWPS PureCycle®

2010: DOE Geothermal Low-Temperature “Road Mapping” plan established

2011: North Dakota research compares the current binary technologies for oil field settings and presents at SMU Geothermal Conference

2012: China producing 400 kW electricity from Huabei Oilfield

2013: National Geothermal Database System includes all of Texas RRC O/G data for geothermal projects

2016: Continental Resources, Inc. produce 250 kW of power from waterflood injection using Access Energy Thermapower ORC near Marmarth, ND.

Access Energy / University of North Dakota project with Continental Resources, Inc. in North Dakota
Access Energy / University of North Dakota project with Continental Resources, Inc. in North Dakota

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