The geothermal energy is present beneath our feet deep inside the ground. It is a renewable resource and also free of emissions. The geothermal energy resources present under the subsurface are surrounded by rocks and high temperatures, which renders its removal difficult. The engineers working towards its removal often have to face the extreme high temperature changes, crystalline rocks and frequently extreme pressure changes also. Such difficulties are pushing the industries towards developing advanced drilling techniques or technologies.
A global oilfield services company, Baker Hughes Inc., thus developed an advanced drilling system designed to overcome such challenges using the investments provided by the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO). The drilling system can work even in the extreme temperature conditions, that is, about 300 Degree Celsius. The system drills directionally. This system comprises a drilling fluid, which is a high-temperature lubricant, a full metal drilling motor known as the metal-to-metal motor and a full metal drill that can break certain hard rock formations. The new drilling system worked for about 270 Hours in a deep geothermal well last month thus proving its capability. The geothermal drilling system can thus be a reliable source in case of extreme temperatures, pressures or rock formation conditions. This new technology can not only be used for geothermal resources but also for nuclear and fossil resources.
The potential economic impact and the energy resource the developers will gain will be immense and difficult to calculate. In the US, the Enhanced Geothermal Systems could generate about 100 GW of economically viable electricity, which can power about 100 homes. Thus, the geothermal resources such as oil and gas as well as nuclear industries use this advanced drilling technology, which can help increase and improve the US economy.