The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to announce the launch of the nation’s first commercial enterprise to co-produce electricity from geothermal resources at an oil and gas well. With support from DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), researchers at the University of North Dakota (UND) successfully generated geothermal power from hot water that flows naturally from petroleum wells in the Williston Sedimentary Basin in western North Dakota. This technology offsets the need for costly transmission construction and reduces energy costs at remote oil fields.
This SEP-funded project in Williston, North Dakota, places generators at oil production well sites to transform wellhead flare gas into high-quality, three-phase electricity,which is then sold to the local rural electric cooperatives. The modern, natural gas-fueled generators burn cleanly with “ultra-low” emissions ratings that exceed state and federal emissions standards.