How we think about the future of the pipe industry must evolve. How must tubular design and manufacturing change as we transition to clean energy? Geothermal energy is an area that needs attention and, further, needs very specific attention on tubulars. Tubulars are an important component in the construction of geothermal wells, and we must align our requirements for geothermal energy.
Some of the main challenges encountered in geothermal wells are corrosion and scaling. Moreover, temperature becomes a major consideration for tubulars, even more so with the temperature excursion during geothermal production.
Perhaps the critical aspect in the design of the geothermal wells involves casing selection and design. Beyond manufacturing casing pipes to withstand these problems, considering the manufacturing of other components, such as connections, float collars, and float shoes, also is essential. Thermal expansion and thermal excursion of casings are well-integrity concerns; thus, casing design is important for long-term sustainability of geothermal wells.
Apart from thermal simulations, guidelines and software are needed to undergird the designs to withstand not only temperature excursions but also thermomechanical and thermochemical loadings. Engineered nonmetallic casings also provide an alternative solution because they provide the desired strength and corrosion resistance in addition to meeting the goals of sustainability. Undoubtedly, the future of the tubular industry is going to be revitalized. The question now is how we can retrofit existing abandoned wells for this purpose.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
SPE 199570 - Special Considerations for Well-Tubular Design at Elevated Temperatures by Gang Tao, C-FER Technologies, et al.