September 2007

Unlocking the power potential of wastewater

Many US oil and gas wells produce hot water as well as hydrocarbons. These wells-which, in general, produce fluids at temperatures below 220°F-have been estimated to be capable of generating as much as 5,000 MW of power. The Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC) recently partnered with Ormat Nevada Inc. to test the concept of using oilfield wastewater to power field production equipment. The test will be performed beginning early in 2008 at Teapot Dome Oilfield, also known as Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 (NPR-3), located about 35 mi north of Casper, Wyoming. NPR-3 is operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as both a producing oil field and a test site for new and developing oil and gas, and renewable, energy-related technologies. THE PROJECT In January 2007, Reno-based Ormat, which develops and operates geothermal power plants in three states and internationally, entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the DOE.

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