Upstream recently published an article on the growing interest in potential geothermal investments by oil and gas companies in the US and globally. The President of GeothermEx, Ann Robertson-Tait, says geothermal is back on the radar of upstream players. She shares that since she started working at GeothermEx in 1985, she hasn’t seen as much interest in geothermal globally as she does now.
According to Upstream, Robertson-Tait says, “There’s a real push to bring the might of oil and gas — in terms of the scale of development, drilling, etc. (to the geothermal sector). They do want to come.” She says oil companies could re-complete wells as “a good geothermal producer,” instead of spending money to abandon wells. “There’s a huge backlog of abandonment costs being deferred in the oil and gas industry, onshore and offshore, and that has been a big topic of conversation.”
The article states that in the US, the geothermal sector is in a new phase of growth due to energy requirements. As a result, on the US West Coast, the California Public Utilities Commission has mandated that all utilities must provide additional clean baseload power.
The article suggests advocacy has been a key factor in driving the increased demand for geothermal power. Through the industry educating and lobbying federal and state authorities, there has been more conversation around the advantages of the technology. “Nobody knows about geothermal, but we’re really trying to fix that now by getting the word out. It’s up to us to go outside our circle,” says Robertson-Tait.