Researchers developing new methods and smart wellbore materials for geothermal drilling | 5/7/2019 | Staff
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A University of Oklahoma research team is developing smart lost circulation materials that use shape memory polymers activated by geothermal temperatures to prevent the loss of fluid in fractured rocks near the wellbore. These materials expand within the fractures to reduce non-drilling time and strengthen the wellbore in high-temperature drilling operations. The U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office funded the early-stage research with a $1.79 million grant. In addition, the project has more than $0.5 million cost share from various entities.

"The cost of drilling a geothermal well is prohibitive without new technologies to address the challenge of drilling the type of rock found in a geothermal well," said Saeed Salehi, project principle investigator and professor of petroleum and geological engineering, Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy,. "The shape polymers under development for this project are novel expandable and programmable polymers that activate when drilling a high-temperature geothermal drilling operations."

Salehi - Three-phase - Project - Ramadan - Ahmed

Salehi is working on the three-phase project with Ramadan Ahmed and Catalin Teodoriu, petroleum and geological...
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