Smaller rigs, lower cost, lower loads

Smaller rigs, lower cost, lower loads, new opportunities for the drilling industry, geothermal energy, ECI and composites: WEP, HWT and Acquit present at DAP symposium.

February 25th 2015, Delft, The Netherlands

On the 25th of February, the Delft Aardwarmte Project symposium took place. “Cogeneration, Feasibility of cogeneration of electricity and heat in areas with a low geothermal gradient.“ The symposium covered a large amount of the problems concerning geothermal energy in North-Western Europe.

Visit the website of the Delft Aardwarmte Project symposium >>

DAP (Delft Geothermal warmth Project) has a goal to drill and deploy a geothermal doublet on campus of the Delft University of technology. Goal is set at 2015. Besides supply of geothermal energy to Delft DAP offers research opportunities and serves as education purpose. Among founding fathers of DAP are WEP, Dick Swart and Acquit.

WEP, HWT and Acquit work step by step towards an integrated rig solution to drill wells safer and more efficiently at lower operational cost. Technical solutions are provided to reduce risk and regain control over the entire system. E.g. Smaller rigs, lower cost, lower loads, new opportunities for the drilling industry, geothermal energy, ECI, MPD and composites.

WEP, HWT (Huisman Well Technology) and Acquit were present and were pleased to present the following presentations at the symposium:

  • Drilling with small rigs to 3000m – By M. Middelburg
  • Innovative High Strength Composite Casings – By R. Selles
  • Besides, KCA Deutag presented e.g. the geothermal well de Lier LIR-GT-01 which was drilled together with WEP

It was a successful day and part of this success was caused by the enthusiasm of the audience.

Summary of Maarten and Rob’s presentations are below

Drilling with small rigs to 3000m – By M. Middelburg

The goal is drilling to a certain depth safely and as quick as possible. The final goal is an evolution in total to fewer equipment requirements while still being able to drill the same type of wells safely at a fraction of the cost.

Increase process efficiency, minimise equipment handling, reduce non-productive time (ECI, RSS, integrated and continuous Managed Pressure while Drilling)

Minimise rig size and rig components to reduce daily operating cost i.e rig day rates and spread cost (small footprint, composite casing reduces (hook)load requirements, reduced energy requirements, and pump capacity)

Minimise and eliminate rig components leading to the ultimate goal of rig-less drilling and drill wells from a regular autocrane (eliminate or minimise topdrive/rig pumps/BOP where possible, MPD to reduce operational cost, eliminate 3rd party services)


  • Evaluation, automation, and innovation
  • ECI: Enhanced Casing Installation
  • ECI/RSS: Enhanced Casing Installation (ECI) / Rotary Steerable System (RSS)
  • MPD management (Managed Pressure Drilling)
  • Simplify drilling process
  • Roadmap for Geothermal

Innovative High Strength Composite Casings – By R. Selles

High strength composite casing and its application will lead to lower cost, smaller rigs and enables opportunities for the drilling industry

Drilling to 3000m+ from a parking lot to significantly reduce the surface impact and capital expenditure of geothermal doublets

To enable geothermal system operators to reduce the total cost of drilling by 20%, with less operational cost than a traditional system

Suitable for larger markets besides geothermal (lightweight, eliminate corrosion problems; enable see-through-logging)


  • ECI installation
  • Composite technology
  • Rotary casting technology
  • The long road to success
  • World record with HSCC at 5000 meter vertical depth
  • In search of larger markets (lightweight, eliminate corrosion problems; enable see-through-logging
  • Extensive testing showed reliability and consistency & test results
  • Enhanced Composite Casing Installation
  • Geothermal doublet research program
  • Research subjects
  • Phasing to full roll out
  • Close to commercialisation

Other presentations held at DAP symposium

  • Aspects of geothermal exploration in the West Netherlands basin – By A. van de Weerd
  • District heating around Paris – The French risk mitigation system – By C. Boissavy
  • Hydraulic stimulation – By G. Nitters
  • Integration of binary power plants at geothermal low-temperature sites – By S. Frick
  • Successful drill in ‘de Lier’ and the future of geothermal energy – By J. Holwerda
  • The Rhine Valley -By T. Kölbel
  • Update of DAP – By B. Vos