In with the old to improve the new: why geothermal needs oil and gas

Bloomberg Opinion columnist David Fickling wrote a detailed treatise on the state of technology transfer in the energy industry, and how renewables – particularly next-generation geothermal – could benefit from existing expertise.

Fickling has covered all things energy and commodities for Bloomberg Opinion since 2015. His column focuses on short, albeit informative articles explaining the nuances of the energy transition for both the educated and the uninitiated.

To start, Fickling points out historical cases of unintentional tech hits (and misses) that revolutionized our world – epipens and microwaves are merely two examples of repurposed military technology.

The energy industry is not immune to the tech and knowledge spillover concept. Offshore wind capture, for example, had the advantage of learning from offshore drilling’s failures and successes.

In Fickling’s opinion, the geothermal industry stands to benefit enormously from assimilating drilling techniques and technology established and enhanced in the oil and gas sector. He argues transitioning tech could be a factor in levelling the cost/development curve of geothermal, a barrier to scalability felt by all emerging technologies, but proving strikingly stubborn for earth-based energy.

And the Bloomberg columnist isn’t wrong. Advanced geothermal systems trailblazer Eavor was founded in Alberta, the epicentre of Canada’s oil and gas industry. From the directors and advisory board to the boots-on-the-ground engineers and geologists, Eavor’s team has embodied the concept of tech and knowledge spillover since its inception in 2017.

Fickling compares the evolution of the geothermal industry to a puzzle, and oil and gas’s expertise as a crucial piece in its completion. Eavor’s innovative success in geothermal methodology and rewriting the rules of the industry hinges on the expansive index of information gleaned from combined oil and gas experience.

Click here to read the full opinion piece on geothermal and explore more articles written by Fickling.

The Eavor-Loop™, Eavor’s proprietary extraction technology is a culmination of decades of sedimentary drilling expertise, innovative solutions to the industry’s established limitations, and a desire to achieve a clean, green future for all, powered by the earth. In short, Eavor has established itself as the embodiment of industry tech transfer.

And the energy industry is noticing. CEO John Redfern recently appeared as a panellist at the international CERAWeek conference in Houston, Texas, where he spoke on the importance of adopting and transferring existing technologies in order to achieve true global scalability for geothermal. Redfern appeared alongside Quaise’s CEO and founder Carlos Araque, S&P Global’s Andrei Utkin, and other experts in the geothermal industry.

Get In The Loop