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Glass Fiber 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 fiber 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 is 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-fiber reinforced epoxy piping that is especially designed for geothermal well application (GRE-GEO) with 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 an 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 the steel-based systems. High corrosion resistance significantly prolongs the overall lifespan of the wellbore compared to conventional steel casing designs by integration of a safe barrier, which can guarantee the integrity of the wellbore.

The GRE-GEO (glass fiber 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.

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