Skip to main content

Index Geophysics

Review of failure modes in supercritical geothermal drilling projects


Title (Dublin Core)

Review of failure modes in supercritical geothermal drilling projects

Description (Dublin Core)

Abstract Supercritical geothermal resources located close to the transition between the brittle–ductile zone have been proven to exist at drillable depths. This was demonstrated by several deep geothermal drilling campaigns throughout the years, starting in the late 1970s. The interest in exploring supercritical resources is particularly strong, as it was revealed that one such well might significantly increase the production output and simultaneously decrease the need for drilling operations within a particular geothermal field. Deep drilling projects exploring supercritical resources such as these carried out in Iceland, Italy or Japan, where temperatures went significantly above the critical point and hostile geothermal fluids were produced, faced a variety of challenges during drilling operations and fluid production. The most critical of these exerted major thermally driven loads upon the cemented casing strings, leading to serious damages and eventually to well abandonment. This research presents an extensive literature search on failure modes of 20 wells from different high-enthalpy geothermal fields around the world, experiencing temperatures greater than the critical point of pure water and gives an overview of areas of improvements and potential solutions in regards to the drilling and well completion technology.

Creator (Dublin Core)

Michal Kruszewski
Volker Wittig

Subject (Dublin Core)

Unconventional geothermal resources
Supercritical geothermal resources
Drilling technology
Geothermal well completion
Failure modes
Renewable energy sources

Publisher (Dublin Core)


Date (Dublin Core)


Type (Dublin Core)


Identifier (Dublin Core)


Source (Dublin Core)

Geothermal Energy, Vol 6, Iss 1, Pp 1-29 (2018)

Language (Dublin Core)


Relation (Dublin Core)

Provenance (Dublin Core)

Journal Licence: CC BY