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Drilling tech co. with Houston HQ to partner on European geothermal power plant

GA Drilling opened its Houston office in 2013 to tap into the region’s oil and gas industry. Photo via Getty Images

GA Drilling, a provider of geothermal drilling technology whose U.S. headquarters is in Houston, is teaming up with a European energy company to develop a geothermal power plant in Germany.

GA Drilling and ZeroGeo Energy, a Swiss company specializing in renewable energy, say the 12-megawatt Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Power Plant (Project THERMO) is the first of several geothermal power and geothermal energy storage projects they’re planning in Europe. GA Drilling will supply technology for Hot Dry Rock, and ZeroGEO will operate the plant.

“The need for clean baseload power is real, and geothermal has the highest potential to deliver that safely and securely. We’re excited to be collaborating with ZeroGeo to help address the power needs in Europe,” Dusan Kocis, co-founder and chief operating officer of Slovakia-based GA Drilling, says in a news release.

GA Drilling opened its Houston office in 2013 to tap into the region’s oil and gas industry.

Last year, GA Drilling conducted the first public demonstration of its latest deep drilling tool, ANCHORBIT. GA Drilling says it developed the tool to cut the cost of deep geothermal drilling by doubling drilling speeds and extending the life of drill bits.

GA Drilling performed the ANCHORBIT test at Nabors Industries’ technology center in Houston. Nabors, a drilling contractor based in Houston, is using GA Drilling’s technology in its drilling operations.

In 2022, Nabors invested $8 million in GA Drilling.

“Given the expected sharp growth in global energy consumption over the next decades, the world will require an even sharper growth in sustainable energy supply. I am convinced that geothermal energy will be a key contributor to the necessary increase in clean energy generation,” Anthony Petrello, chairman, president, and CEO of Nabors, said in an announcement about the GA Drilling investment.

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A View From HETI

Under this deal, the joint venture, RPC Power, will build power generation and storage assets for the sale of energy and related services to ERCOT. Photo via conduitpower.co

Houston-based Conduit Power is broadening the scope of its joint venture with Oklahoma City-based Riley Exploration Permian.

Under this deal, the joint venture, RPC Power, will build power generation and storage assets for the sale of energy and related services to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the power grid for the bulk of Texas.

RPC Power, established in March 2023, owns and operates power generation assets that use Riley Permian’s natural gas to power its oilfield operations in Yoakum County, located in West Texas.

The expanded relationship will enable RPC Power to sell power and related services to ERCOT, with plans for 100 megawatts of natural gas-fueled generation and battery energy storage systems across facilities in West Texas. The facilities are expected to start commercial operations in 2025.

In conjunction with the expanded scope, Riley Permian bumped up its stake in RPC Power from 35 percent to 50 percent. Furthermore, it plans to sell up to 10 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to RPC Power as feedstock supply for the new generation facilities.

"Our JV expansion at RPC Power represents a significant milestone for our company, and we are proud to build upon our successful partnership with Riley Permian,” Travis Windholz, managing director of Conduit, says in a news release.

Conduit, a portfolio company of private equity firm Grey Rock Investment Partners, designs, builds, and operates distributed power generation systems.

Riley Exploration Permian specializes in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas reserves, primarily within the Permian Basin.

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