Glass Fibre reinforced Epoxy Casing System for Geothermal Application

The fluid composition of geothermal projects contains multiple elements that accelerate corrosion and induce scaling. This significantly reduces the lifespan of traditionally used steel casing systems, which must guarantee the wellbore integrity. Consequently, workover procedures are forced earlier than expected and becoming a substantial financial burden. In contrast, Glass fibre casings (GRE) do provide a much-desired alternative as this material is corrosion-resistant. However, in comparison with steel, GRE pipes are up to now only available in relatively small inner diameters, with excessively large outer diameters. Thus, their handling and installation are limited by oil and gas standards that were originally developed for steel. The lack of a suitable alternative to steel jeopardizes the profitability of any geothermal projects, which are facing massive corrosion problems.

Therefore, the main objective of the project is to develop a cost-reducing glass-fibre-reinforced epoxy piping that is specially designed for geothermal well application (GRE-GEO) with a relatively large inside diameter and smaller outside diameter. This especially concerns the pipe coupling, which would allow an installation in new wells as well as utilization for workover of old wells. Furthermore, the project will include the much-needed guidelines and tools for the design, qualification and installation of the GRE piping system. This will considerably accelerate the integration of the product into the market. The improvement in the field of well completion technology and materials are a major advantage in comparison to steel-based systems. High corrosion resistance significantly prolongs the overall lifespan of the wellbore compared to conventional steel casing designs by the integration of a safety barrier, which can guarantee the integrity of the wellbore.

The GRE-GEO (glass fibre reinforced epoxy casing for geothermal application) project will develop a new well completion strategy that aims to establish a corrosion-resistant alternative to decrease the development and production costs of geothermal energy while avoiding extra investments. Lower costs also improve the competitiveness of the participating companies in Europe. Reduced costs, shorter maintenance time, and mitigation of risks connected to health, safety, and the environment will increase social acceptance

 Project leader: Markus Ruff- Global engineering and Consulting Company gec-co GmbH

Project website

Project partners

Partner name Country
Vulcan Energy, previously gec-co GmbH - Main Coordinator Germany
DrillTec GUT GmbH Germany
TU Clausthal (ITE) Germany
Future Pipe Industries (FPI) - National Leader The Netherlands
Dynaflow Research Group DRG The Netherlands
Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group NRG The Netherlands
Eatha AG Switzerland
Service Industriels de Geneve (Cooperation Partner) Switzerland

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