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Geothermal Energy – Drilling and Petrophysical Challenges

9th September 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm CEST

The next meeting of the Dutch Petrophysical Society will be held online on Thursday 9th September.

The theme of the meeting is Geothermal Energy – Drilling and Petrophysical Challenges and features two presentations. Abstracts and presenter biographies are detailed below. The virtual doors open at 15:30 with the meeting commencing at 16:00.

Because of the continuing COVID situation in the Netherlands, the meeting will again be be conducted using GoToMeeting facilitated by the SPWLA. You can register at the following link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/116465086253088524

As always, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, attendance is free for members of the DPS.

Finally, for our next meeting in December, we’re hoping that the COVID situation continues to stabilise. and depending on the outcome of the government press conference on 20th September, we’re hopeful that we will be able to hold this in person, followed by our traditional Christmas social. For the meeting we’re planning something special – a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Petrophysics’. More details on this to follow at the September meeeting.

Of course, If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, please follow the link at the end of the message to remove yourself from the DPS mailing list.

Hope to see you at the meeting,

The Dutch Petrophysical Society Board

Talk 1 Upper Rotliegend Schlochteren Geothermal Exploitation.

Arjen Bok, MWD Coordinator at Inco Drilling.


Drilling, Well-Design and Engineering solutions such as BHA design are often the best solution to challenging formation properties. Slight changes to the designs can usually have big results in steerability and well-bore integrity, which in turn can result in faster drilling.

MWD Telemetry optimization is also performed to ensure that data transfer will result in smooth Real-Time formation evaluation logs for improved efficiency.

This presentation will cover challenges encountered and modifications made while drilling two on-shore Geothermal projects in the West Netherlands Basin and the Central Netherlands Basin. Key points will be, Well-Design and Engineering, formation behavior while drilling, lessons learned and the increase in performance after implementation.

Biographical Details of the Speaker

Arjen Bok joined Inco Drilling in September 2018 and has been MWD Coordinator since September 2019. He previously worked at Scientific Drilling and has over 10 years operational experience in the oil, gas and geothermal industries.

Talk 2 Making “Geothermal Anywhere” a Reality: Addressing Technology Gaps and Needs.

Eric van Oort, Professor of Petroleum Engineering and J.J. King Chair in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.


Geothermal drilling and well construction has traditionally been restricted to areas with very high geothermal gradients (in the range of 50-100 oC/km) as encountered in areas with active volcanism, along plate boundaries, etc. Wells have typically not exceeded 5 km TVD, and have been drilled with rather conventional drilling technologies.

Recently, however, the idea of “Geothermal Anywhere” has attracted a lot of attention. This idea, which can be pursued with both Engineered/Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) and Closed Loop Geothermal Systems (CLGS, also referred to as AGS), aims to drill functional geothermal wells anywhere on Earth, where geothermal gradients average ~30 oC/km. This will require drilling deeper, i.e. 7-10 km TVD, and getting more reservoir access and exposure by drilling high deviation tangents and horizontal lateral sections at depth in rocks with very high compressive strengths (e.g. basalt, gabbro and granite with 25,000 – 50,000 psi UCS). The significant associated challenge is then to drill cost-effectively in such a hard/abrasive rock environment at ultra/extreme HPHT conditions (temperatures in excess of 200 oC, possibly going up to – and beyond – the critical point of water).

This presentation will outline where we are today in terms of meeting this challenge, and how geothermal drilling can benefit from recent oil and gas drilling advances as well as some new insights. In addition, it will touch upon the remaining gaps and needs that will need to be addressed in the areas of directional drilling tools and dynamics, geomechanics and completions, fluids and cementing, MWD/LWD sensors and telemetry, casing and their connections, cost estimating, and capitalizing on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). It will be shown that an integrated technology development approach will be necessary to effectively address these areas and make “Geothermal Anywhere” a reality in future.

Biographical Details of the Speaker

Dr. Eric van Oort became Professor in Petroleum Engineering and J.J. King Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, after a 20-year industry career with Shell Oil Company. He holds a PhD degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Amsterdam. He has (co-)authored more than 200 technical papers, holds 15 patents, is a former SPE Distinguished Lecturer, a SPE Distinguished Member, and the 2017 winner of the prestigious international SPE Drilling Engineering Award. At UT Austin, he directs drilling-related R&D in two industry consortia (RAPID and CODA) with over 25 industry company sponsors, covering drilling automation & control, sensor design, big data analytics, complex well construction challenges, and well abandonment & decommissioning. Recently, he has become involved in deep closed-loop geothermal drilling through UT’s new GEO initiative, for which he is the technical lead. In addition, he is the co-founder of 3 start-up companies, including SPYDR Automation dedicated to drilling automation, and is the CEO of his own consulting company, EVO Energy Consulting.


9th September 2021
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm CEST


Online Meeting