General Lab Information

Project Objectives

The Challenges

Geothermal wells are a critical component in geothermal solutions to harness the energy from the earth’s sub-surface, but exposure to various elements threatens the integrity and durability of the cement used in these wells, which are exposed to:

  • Thermo-mechanical stresses
  • Corrosive environments
  • Fragile formations causing lost circulation problems
  • Casing and well support under shock conditions
  • Need for efficient heat recovery and conservation
  • Long service life

Our Approach

By joining forces, the consortium will be able to evaluate and mature the available cement formulations and design advanced materials to comply with the specific conditions of geothermal operations and to reduce the risks of wells failures. Key project targets are:

  • Creating durable materials to improve well-completion technology for better well life cycles
  • Design of new cementitious materials applicable to super-critical conditions of very high-temperature geothermal wells
  • “Improve zonal-isolation techniques” by designing and testing commercially competitive shock-resistant materials in collaboration with the oil and gas industrial partners
  • Pairing geothermal energy with other energy sources, e.g., solar where very HT-resistant materials will be the key contributors

Specifically, each member of the TEST-CEM team will collaborate to provide sustainable solution for a wide temperature range geothermal wells:

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory (United States) will lead the effort and focus on cements for super-critical conditions, with well-temperatures reaching 500oC.
  • TNO (The Netherlands) will work on cementitious materials that can withstand large thermo-mechanical stresses under moderate temperature environments (up to ~150oC), perform large-scale tests on optimized cement formulations
  • CURISTEC (France) in collaboration with TNO will model the envelope of materials properties necessary to provide durable geothermal wells with input from the Dutch well operator EBN and Norwegian well operator Equinor.
  • Imerys (France) will advise on and provide new raw materials for designing innovative cement formulations. Imerys experts will also participate in materials testing.
  • SINTEF (Norway) will test the critical aspect of cement integrity - bond between cement and metal casing under repeated thermo-mechanical stress conditions using their state-of-art testing set up.
  • Equinor (Norway) will advise on requirements for well-construction cement for super-critical conditions.