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Baker Hughes, an energy technology company, is spearheading the geothermal energy consortium Wells2Watts, which aims to transform dry, non-productive geothermal wells and non-productive oil and gas wells into geothermal wells capable of generating renewable electrical power

 With its industry partners, the consortium looks to accelerate technology development and commercially scale geothermal as a baseload energy supply.

The consortium will focus on how technology can retrofit a well at the end of its productive life for geothermal energy and renewable electricity production. The near-term focus of the consortium includes opportunities using closed-loop geothermal technology.

“This unique geothermal consortium supports Baker Hughes’ strategic commitment to position for new frontiers by innovating new opportunities for traditional oil and gas customers to generate low carbon and geothermal solutions. Further, this highlights our disciplined approach to long-term, sustainable growth to bring renewable energy in the US and beyond,” said Maria Claudia Borras, executive vice-president of oilfield services and equipment at Baker Hughes.

Largely funded by its industry partners, the consortium also receives support from technology providers, including Vallourec and GreenFire Energy, through in-kind materials and labour contributions for construction, testing and piloting purposes. The first consortium project will centre around the test well at the Baker Hughes Energy Innovation Centre located at the Hamm Institute for American Energy in Oklahoma City, Okla, to create the first-of-its-kind closed loop geothermal laboratory in the world. The test well will simulate relevant subsurface environments to test the closed-loop system for many well configurations, validate engineering performance models, and offer scale for field pilot efforts.

“This consortium goes hand in glove with Continental Resources’ longstanding commitment to producing the energy our world needs while being stewards of our natural resources. We look forward to working with these collaborating companies using our complementary skills and innovative technology to transform completed wells into geothermal wells.

"This a great example of the industry coming together to pursue new areas to provide the energy the world needs,” said Bill Berry, CEO of Continental Resources.

“We have a shared ambition to solve environmental problems through new technologies and hope to pave the way for commercial utilisation of closed loop systems enabling us to supply energy with an affordable price,” said Yoshiro Ishii, senior vice president, renewable energy and new business of INPEX.