High Temperature 300°C Directional Drilling System Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title High Temperature 300°C Directional Drilling System
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 Directional Drilling Systems
Project Description The development plan for the High Temperature 300°C Directional Drilling System contains four phases with a total of 26 tasks. The first phase of the project is a feasibility investigation of concepts for the three components of the system, and the integration of these concepts. It concludes with the first milestone – should the concepts look realistic and promising under operating conditions of 300°C, 10,000 meters and the hard rock environment, then the project will proceed to the next phase.

Phase two handles design of drill bits, design of the steerable downhole drive unit, design of the drilling fluid and waste management equipment to handle the drilling fluid, and design of the integrated system. The final deliverable will be a design ready for manufacturing. The next phase, phase three, covers manufacturing and assembly of components and modules for the prototype equipment including the drilling mud. The fourth and final phase involves testing of the system under conditions as close as possible to those anticipated in the field. Testing will consist of (a) comprehensive laboratory testing that Baker Hughes provides in its different product lines, (b) drilling testing at the company’s BETA test facility in Oklahoma, and (c) final concluding tests at customer locations in the field. This will conclude the project, and the conversion from prototype to pilot tools, as well as any commercialization of the drilling system, are outside the scope of this project.

State Texas
Objectives The High Temperature 300°C Directional Drilling System will operate in hard rock at depths as great as 10,000 meters and temperatures as high as 300°C. The directional drilling system includes three main components: a drill bit, a downhole motor with directional control capabilities, and a designed-for-purpose drilling fluid.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations Incorporated
Awardee Website http://www.bakerhughesdirect.com/cgi-bin/bhi/myHomePage/myHomePage.jsp
Partner 1 -

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $5,000,000.00
Awardee Cost Share $1,363,900.00
Total Project Cost $6,363,900.00

Principal Investigator(s) John MacPherson, Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations

Targets / Milestones In addition to this proposed development, Baker Hughes further plans – in a separate proposal – to develop a High-Temperature 300°C Measurement-While-Drilling System that will integrate seamlessly with this directional drilling system. The combination of the two systems will drill deep geothermal wells in an efficient and reliable manner.

Location of Project The Woodlands, TX
30.1581°, -95.4894°

Impacts If successful, the drilling system will allow the drilling of horizontal or nearly horizontal wells in high temperature environments.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs