A conversation with our geothermal experts
Geothermal energy is one of the most reliable, sustainable and affordable sources of renewable energy. For many years Tenaris has developed solutions that address the specific needs of geothermal applications. Paolo Novelli, Tenaris Technical Sales Senior Manager, and Raffaello Zambetti, Tenaris Well Design Solutions Manager, share how Tenaris is serving this growing market.
What are the most typical challenges that need to be addressed in geothermal wells?
Raffaello Zambetti: Geothermal energy is based on extracting energy from deep inside the earth, producing fluids with temperatures of up to 300°C. This temperature translates into demanding compression and collapse loads for a casing column. Furthermore, geothermal brine is often corrosive, leading to the need of a proper material selection, which we can supply and provide guidance to our customers.
How do collapse loads affect geothermal wells?
Raffaello Zambetti: Collapse is often the cause of internal diameter restrictions in geothermal wells restricting well accessibility and potentially leading to well loss. We can provide high collapse proprietary steel grades for geothermal wells where high external pressures are expected and where collapse performance above API is required.
What role do coatings play in geothermal wells?
Paolo Novelli: Our TenCoat™ internal coatings and Glass Reinforced Epoxy liners (GRE) provide a cost-effective solution for geothermal wells that need to tackle corrosion caused by aggressive agents such as CO2, H2S, O2 or soda washing. Largely tested for wear resistance in oil and gas applications, Tenaris also offers internal plastic coatings for wells with temperatures of up to 200°C.
Which Tenaris premium connection is the most frequently used in geothermal projects?
Paolo Novelli: We offer multiple premium connections designed especially for geothermal applications. One of the most frequently used is the TenarisHydril ER™ connection, a high performance coupled connection. It has been used for over 20 years in geothermal projects with zero failures reported in more than 500 wells, providing both easy stabbing and fast make-up, while maintaining 100% compression and tension efficiency. Thanks to its low Threads Per Inch (TPI) design and increased taper, our TenarisHydril ER™ connection improves running times and operational efficiency for large diameters typically used in geothermal applications.
TenarisHydril Blue® connections and TenarisHydril Wedge connections are best-in-class solutions for geothermal applications that require superior performance.
How can Dopeless® technology contribute to the geothermal segment?
Paolo Novelli: The Dopeless® environmental value proposition is very much in line with the sensibilities towards the environment of geothermal energy players.
Through a dry, multifunctional coating applied in an industrially controlled environment, Dopeless® technology eliminates both the need to deal with dope at the well site and the release of additives inside the well, minimizing the environmental footprint of geothermal drilling activities.
Why did Tenaris start developing technologies for geothermal?
Paolo Novelli: Actually, geothermal is not a new segment for Tenaris. We have supplied more than six million meters of pipes for geothermal projects since 2016 and throughout the last years, we have been increasing our focus on geothermal applications. The energy transition provides a good opportunity to advance and expand our portfolio of solutions that contribute to the evolving energy industry.