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Lunch'n Think Webinar: Geothermal Success

Does geothermal energy offer opportunities for geologists?
Jon Gluyas & Chris Sladen
» Founders
» Geothermal Energy Advancement Association
Andy Wood
» SubSurface Manager
» CeraPhi Energy Ltd
Rob Westaway
» Senior research fellow
» University of Glasgow
Peter Vivian Neal
» CEO & Founder
» Kalahari GeoEnergy

Full Agenda

Friday, May 28, 2021

Does geothermal energy offer opportunities for geologists?

Read our report from this event

You probably already know that geothermal energy is about using the energy in the earth's core. The heat comes from the slow decay of radioactive particles. The challenge has always been finding viable ways to extract heat from the ground over long periods of time, without continuously drilling more wells.

You may not know that there are projects underway to apply technologies developed for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing, to geothermal energy. We can inject water through one well, and it flows through a reservoir coming into contact with the hot rocks via multiple fractures, and 'produce' the water in another. This is known as "Enhanced Geothermal Systems" (EGS).

Our first speakers in this webinar are Jon Gluyas and Chris Sladen, founders of the newly formed Geothermal Energy Advancement Association, will explain what the Association, and geothermal energy, may be able to offer skilled energy geologists. Jon Gluyas is director of Durham Energy Institute at Durham University, formerly with Fairfield Energy, Acorn Oil and Gas, and BP. Chris Sladen spent 38 years in BP, including as country head Mexico, and is on the advisory board of CeraPhi Energy.

Andy Wood, subsurface manager of CeraPhi Energy, a geothermal specialist based in Great Yarmouth, will talk about engineering approaches to improve geothermal production, including with EGS, and also what is known as "Advanced Geothermal Systems," where water circulates continuously through long pipes in the subsurface.

Sean Watson, research associate with the School of Engineering in the University of Glasgow, will discuss the repurposing of hydrocarbon wells for geothermal use in the UK.

We will also hear from Peter Vivian Neal, CEO and founder of Kalahari GeoEnergy, based in Zambia, which drilled geothermal wells in late 2020 which proved suitable for geothermal energy.


13:00 David Bamford - Director
Finding Petroleum

Video of the geothermal webinar May 2021

Watch Video   

David Bamford is well known around the oil & gas industry both as an explorer and a geophysicist. He holds a Physics degree from the University of Bristol and a Ph.D in Geological Sciences from the University of Birmingham.

Since 2004, he has been a non-executive director at Tullow Oil plc, being recruited for this position especially for his exploration knowledge. He serves on the Nominations and Remuneration Committees, and was chairman of the latter, and Senior Independent Director, for 3 years prior to his retire from the board at the end of April 2014.

He was on the board of Premier Oil from May 2014 to May 2016.

He retired from BP plc in 2003, his last four positions being Chief Geophysicist (1990-1995), Business Unit Leader (General Manager) for first West Africa and then Norway (1995-1999), and finally Head of Exploration until 2003.

He has served on the boards of Paras Ltd, a small exploration and IS/IT consulting company in which he held 22% equity, until its sale to RPS Energy in 2008 and Welltec a/s, a Danish well engineering company, as the nominee of the private equity investor Riverside.

From 2012 to 201 he was on the board of ASX-quoted Australia Oriental Energy as a non-executive director.

He was a founder of Richmond Energy Partners, a small oil & gas research house, and several media companies that focus on the oil & gas sector, and has served as an advisor to Alliance Bernstein, Opus Executive, the Parkmead Group plc, and Kimmeridge Energy LLP. Since retiring from BP, he has undertaken asset and company valuation projects for investment banks, hedge funds and small oil companies.

Finding Petroleum
Finding Petroleum was established to help the oil and gas industry network, and stay up to date on t
13:00 Jon Gluyas & Chris Sladen - Founders
Geothermal Energy Advancement Association

Introducing the Geothermal Energy Advancement Association

Talk Description
The Geothermal Energy Advancement Association (GEAA) advocates increased investment in geothermal energy and increased awareness of this sustainable source for near zero-carbon power, heat, and hot water. The Association is a not-for-profit organisation offering leadership, dialogue, and information in the energy transition debate, supporting the role of geothermal in transitioning to a world that will use less petroleum specifically and fossil fuels in general.

GEAA officially took effect on April 14.

Jon Gluyas. Jon is Director of the Durham Energy Institute at Durham University in northeast England. He is also the University lead on UK Industrial Strategy and is Professor of Geo-energy, Carbon Capture & Storage. Most of Jon’s career spanning 40 years has been in developing expertise in geo-energy delivery, technology, and research. In geothermal energy this includes the drilling of deep research wells. Also, his expertise covers petroleum development and production, carbon capture and storage and leading a team which developed and successfully tested a model for helium exploration, delivering the first new helium province in decades. In the past, Jon has co-founded and raised capital for energy companies and technology-driven companies and his work is well-known for transcending the industry/academia boundaries. In geothermal research, Durham University has become a national leader. Jon’s contribution to science has been recognised through many awards, including the Geological Society of London, which awarded him the Aberconway Medal in 2000 for excellence in the application of geoscience to industry.

Chris Sladen. Chris is an advocate for better energy solutions than the ones we have used so far! Chris is well known for laying a framework for co-investment between public and private sector energy companies, whilst explaining the different elements of project, contract, and country risk. He has a track record of helping governments and regulators to optimise private and co-investment, guiding the next steps for energy ventures, energy transition and climate strategies. Chris has a unique global experience having worked in over 40 countries where he gained direct experience on hundreds of wells particularly in the petroleum sector where he worked for many years. Chris’ experience includes on the Boards of companies, subsidiaries, business chambers and organisations, both in executive and non-executive roles. He is a non-resident fellow at the Institute of Americas focusing on low carbon policies and energy technologies, particularly geothermal and hydrogen. He has published extensively over five decades on energy matters and trends, technology, climatic signals in the rock record and the transformation of minerals and fluids in the subsurface. Chris’s contributions to the energy and education sectors have been recognised by the UK Government with both an MBE and CBE.

Geothermal Energy Advancement Association
The Geothermal Energy Advancement Association (GEAA) advocates increased investment in geothermal en
13:15 Andy Wood - SubSurface Manager
CeraPhi Energy Ltd

Benefits of geothermal energy and the advantages of closed loop over the traditional dual well system

Talk Description
Andy Wood, Subsurface Manager of CeraPhi Energy, a geothermal company based in Great Yarmouth, will talk about the benefits of geothermal energy and the engineering advancements which reduce geothermal project risk. Andy will also touch on Oil & Gas well repurposing and dual production
Andy has a BSc (Hons) in Earth Science from Queen Mary College (University of London) and 30 years Upstream Oil & Gas experience, specifically in Subsurface, Drilling & Wells.

From a Mudlogging, Wellsite Geology & Operations Geology beginning Andy developed skills in operational optimisation and cost saving, before combining his passions for O&G and Environmentalism to transition to Geothermal Energy.

Andy is now Subsurface Manager at CeraPHi Energy Limited, the U.K. Geothermal Development Company and a founding member of the Geothermal Energy Advancement Association.

CeraPhi Energy Ltd

13:30 Rob Westaway - Senior research fellow
University of Glasgow

Repurposing Hydrocarbon wells for Geothermal Use in the UK

Talk Description
One potential opportunity for the decarbonisation of heat supply in the UK is the repurposing of onshore hydrocarbon wells for the production and/or storage of geothermal heat. This paper reports an investigation into the most favourable candidate sites for such repurposing, taking into consideration the available thermal energy outputs and technological options for heat use.

A GIS mapping model was generated, combining public domain data on onshore wells and production data from onshore fields, provided by the UK Oil and Gas Authority, with available subsurface temperature data. This model has thus integrated information on location, depth, operational status, and bottom-hole temperature for onshore hydrocarbon wells with production rates from onshore fields in the UK. Of the 2242 onshore hydrocarbon wells thus reported, 560 have the potential to be repurposed, 292 of which are currently operating. Using aggregated water production data for all operating wells in each field, the fields with the greatest potential for geothermal repurposing are ranked.

Two of these, the Wytch Farm and Wareham fields, are selected for more detailed analysis. Wytch Farm, the largest onshore oilfield in western Europe, produces water at ~65 °C that might yield a feasible thermal power output of ~90 MW. If an end use could be found where it might substitute for burning of natural gas, the value of this output would be ~£90,000 per day or ~£30 million per year. However, this field is located in a protected landscape where local development would be restricted by planning regulations. The Wareham field is not in a protected landscape, but the low temperature, ~44 °C, and low flow rate limit the scope of potential end uses.

Nonetheless, these and the other highly ranked fields have potential heat outputs that are significant compared with other geothermal heat projects, thus offering the possibility of making useful contributions to the decarbonisation of UK energy use.
Rob is a senior research fellow in the Systems, Power and Energy division of the School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow. He has wide-ranging multi-disciplinary research interests, including geothermics and rheological modelling of Earth deformation, having authored almost 200 publications. Rob has a PhD from Cambridge University and has worked at several British and overseas universities and run his own consultancy company before joining the University of Glasgow in 2012. His research interests in geothermics include the development of techniques to correct raw heat flow data for effects of palaeoclimate and topography and investigation of effects of erosion, sedimentation and magmatism on the thermal state of the Earth's crust. His work also includes the development of conceptual models to facilitate the understanding of high conductive heat flow or hot groundwater in hitherto poorly understood geothermal fields. He is currently involved in this aspect as regards the commercial development of a geothermal field in Slovakia, and has also recently acted as a consultant regarding the assessment of geothermal energy resources in Britain

University of Glasgow

13:45 Peter Vivian Neal - CEO & Founder
Kalahari GeoEnergy

Kalahari GeoEnergy drilled wells in late 2020 in Zambia which found high enough temperatures for geothermal (working title)

Talk Description
Deep sedimentary basins are currently being assessed globally with respect to their geothermal energy resources.

So far, the utilization of deep geothermal energy has not been addressed or included in any renewable energy scheme of South Africa. For example, the most recent Bid 7 call for renewable power was focused entirely on solar and onshore wind and was completely ‘silent’ on the question of geothermal energy.

However, the Main Karoo Basin, with an area of 700,000 km2 and a basin fill of more than 5000 m of siliciclastic rocks, is a promising target for future enhanced geothermal system (EGS) resource exploration, development and production.

In South Africa itself, there has been little testing although a well in the Eastern Cape Province did find temperatures of 80 °C at 2200 m depth indicate a moderately elevated geothermal gradient. Sandstones of the Ripon Formation occurring at >3000 m depths in the southern Eastern Cape region were reported as “promising EGS reservoirs with temperatures >100 °C suitable for electricity production in a binary geothermal power plant”.

Further north though in Zambia, also in Karoo rocks, Kalahari GeoEnergy drilled wells in late 2020 that found significantly higher temperatures thereby offering better potential, and they will present their results today.

In the ‘Noughties’ Peter Vivian-Neal was co-founder and CEO of Kiwara plc, the London AIM listed exploration company which found one of Zambia’s bigger copper deposits. Following the acquisition of Kiwara by First Quantum Minerals in 2010, Peter switched his focus to geothermal energy for both the generation of electricity and the direct uses of thermal energy for agri-industry processes. He is founder and CEO of Kalahari GeoEnergy Ltd whose objective is to be an independent sustainable power producer in power stricken Southern Africa. The Company holds exploration rights in Southern Zambia. After extensive research and exploration including drilling of over 6,000m of geothermal slim wells, the Company is currently (Q1-Q3 2021) running a feasibility study on a relatively shallow resource at Bweengwa River.
The experience gained in the geology and exploration challenges of the Karoo (Permian) basin that hosts this target has triggered optimism that other similar geothermal systems in Southern Africa can be developed for commercially viable, sustainable, power production.
Peter currently lives in Zambia.

Kalahari GeoEnergy

14:00 Q&A
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