by Susan Kraemer, Clean Technica
Every barrel of oil extracted in the US also produces ten barrels of hot fluids in addition to the oil. Why not use that potential energy in the waste heat?
Rather than discard that “geothermal” resource created by the process of oil extraction, the DOE is going to show the traditional energy industry how to tap into those waste fluids to power equipment at the site.
The renewable energy division (EERE) of Steven Chu’s energetic new Department of Energy is buying the waste heat geothermal unit from Ormat Technologies to do the demo. Ormat makes both geothermal and combined heat and power units.
The DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Program at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will collaborate with Office of Fossil Energy to make low temperature geothermal power from waste drilling fluids using a waste heat geothermal unit.
The electricity produced would be used to power field production equipment, which would offset purchased electricity. Because this would reduce the fossil energy needed to extract each barrel of oil, this would reduce the pollution costs the traditional oil industry would be liable for under new legislation pending.
If the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act passes, there will be an incentive to reduce carbon pollution.
They will use co-produced fluids from oilfield operations at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center. The testing center has a producing oilfield, and long-standing expertize with fossil energy, so it provides an opportunity for the Fossil Energy Dept at the DOE to make a contribution to emerging energy fields.
The system will turn an unavoidable byproduct into a new energy resource for the oil industry; one that is relatively “renewable.” It is not a natural source because it would stop once oil extraction stopped. It is created by the process of oil extraction itself. Yet it creates no new carbon emissions, so it effectively lowers the carbon cost of each barrel of extracted oil.
Now that we are down to literally scraping the bottom of the barrel, the CO2 emissions from squeezing oil out of rocks are almost twice as high as for even regular oil extraction. Waste heat reuse for electricity is one way to get CO2 emissions down in the traditional fossil energy industry.
The results of this carbon mitigation effort will be made available to any interested parties on the DOE website.
|News Media Contact(s):
|For Immediate Release
May 27, 2009
|President Obama Announces Over $467 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Geothermal and Solar Energy Projects|
|WASHINGTON – President Obama today announced over $467 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the United States. The funding announced today represents a substantial down payment that will help the solar and geothermal industries overcome technical barriers, demonstrate new technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come. Today’s announcement supports the Obama Administration’s strategy to increase American economic competiveness, while supporting jobs and moving toward a clean energy economy.“We have a choice. We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy,” said President Obama. “We can hand over the jobs of the future to our competitors, or we can confront what they have already recognized as the great opportunity of our time: the nation that leads the world in creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy. That’s the nation I want America to be.”
“We have an ambitious agenda to put millions of people to work by investing in clean energy technology like solar and geothermal energy,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. “These technologies represent two pieces of a broad energy portfolio that will help us aggressively fight climate change and renew our position as a global leader in clean energy jobs.”
The Recovery Act makes a $350 million new investment in this technology, dwarfing previous government commitments. Recovery Act funding will support projects in four crucial areas: geothermal demonstration projects; Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) research and development; innovative exploration techniques; and a National Geothermal Data System, Resource Assessment and Classification System.
Read information on these and other Funding Opportunitiesunder the Recovery Act.
|U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.|