Geothermal Drilling and Completions: Petroleum Practices Technology Transfer

Neil Snyder, Alfred Eustes III, Charles Visser, Walt Baker, Jordan Tucker, Ralph Quick, Taylor Nagle, Jason Bell, Sean Bell, Daniel Bolton, Uneshddarann Nagandran

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In the summer of 2013, members of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Colorado School of Mines (CSM) identified an opportunity to improve geothermal drilling operations by transferring practices from the petroleum drilling field. The NREL/CSM group noted that significant changes in drilling efficiencies in petroleum operations have been made during the last decade. For example, five years ago, 14,000-foot wells in Wyoming took 60 days to drill. However, in September of 2015, these same wells were drilled in 7 days. This significant decrease in required drilling days resulted from analysis, goal setting, and management and technology improvements. The geothermal drilling industry can import these methods and technologies, where appropriate, with the possibility of similar improvements in drilling operations.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages72
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-72277


  • drilling
  • geothermal


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