Geothermal Drilling Rig Market – Global Industry Report, 2030

GRC Seeks Feedback from Geothermal Stakeholders to Generate Cash Flow amidst COVID-19

The U.S.-based Geothermal Resources Council (GRC)-an international non-profit association for geothermal energy is addressing the issues of job scarcity, owing to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Shutdown of oil & gas industries has compelled the GRC to issue a special message for service and equipment manufacturer companies in the geothermal drilling rig market. The GRC is encouraging service and consultant companies in the geothermal industry to keep the cash flowing by taking up new drilling projects. Rescheduling of work plans and well workovers have become constant amidst the COVID-19 era.

The GRC is increasing efforts to seek feedback from companies in the geothermal drilling rig market to quantify the economic and job creation impact. As such, the oil and gas downturn triggered by the COVID-19 impact is directly affecting revenue generation activities in the market landscape.

geothermal drilling rig market

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Fluid Hammer Drilling Technology Unlocks Potentials in Inaccessible Geothermal Energy Sources

Fluid hammer drilling technology is helping geothermal plant owners to reduce drilling costs. For instance, Strada Global— an innovative deep drilling company is increasing efforts to help plant owners reduce drilling costs with the help of its patented technology of Fluid Hammer Operating System (FHOS), which taps inaccessible geothermal energy sources. As such, the fluid hammer drilling technology is revolutionizing traditional drilling methods and is making large-scale geothermal applications profitable.

Manufacturers in the geothermal drilling rig market are increasing their efficacy in the testing of unique and patented deep drilling technologies such as the fluid hammer drilling technology. This technology is advantageous in critical infrastructure projects that require fast, safer, and affordable drilling. Geothermal energy stakeholders are increasing the applicability of the fluid hammer drilling technology in hard rock drilling, owing to its safety in downhole condition controllability.

Ruggedized Communication Technology Creates Business Expansion Opportunities in Aerospace

Optimization of geothermal drilling technologies is helping rig manufacturers to gain funding from government organizations. For instance, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a funding of US$ 22 Mn in grants for two companies under the energy efficiency and renewable energy innovation program. In this way, small-scale companies in the geothermal drilling rig market can demonstrate their technical feasibility in the field of energy efficiency through government funding.

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Companies in the geothermal drilling rig market are acquiring global recognition by adopting ruggedized communication technology. This technology helps to facilitate high temperature directional drilling and in increasing exploration depths. The ruggedized communication technology is creating revenue opportunities for companies in the market for geothermal drilling rigs, since the tech acts as a data backbone for subterranean drill-strings. As such, equipment manufacturers are exploring untapped opportunities in high temperature applications for aerospace and industrial controls with the help of the novel technology.

Machine Learning Optimizes Geothermal Drilling with Deployment of Telemetry

Companies in the geothermal drilling rig market are exploring the field of machine learning (ML), while making improvements in telemetry. Such new trends are boosting the growth for the geothermal drilling rig market, which is estimated to reach ~US$ 200 Mn by 2030. However, heavy upfront costs associated with both geothermal power plants and geothermal heating/cooling systems act as a restraint for the purchase rig equipment. Hence, companies in the geothermal drilling rig market are adopting telemetry to maximize penetration rates and minimize costs.

Telemetry helps reduce geothermal well costs and delivers downhole drilling data, which helps to optimize the drilling performance. ML algorithms are being used, along with telemetry short-hop downhole communications to maximize drill bit life. As such, roller-cutting bit dictates the highest revenue share among all drill bits in the market.

Co-developing Technologies Reduce Drilling Friction and Boosts Production Levels

Co-developing the existing drilling technology is a popular trend in the geothermal drilling rig market. For instance, yet2- a global open innovation consulting company, is encouraging partners to innovate in technologies that involve continuous drilling and casing technologies for oil and gas stakeholders. Even though the geothermal drilling rig market in the Asia Pacific region is predicted for aggressive growth, equipment manufacturers are tapping into incremental opportunities in the U.S., owing to the government’s keen interest in geothermal technology development.

Equipment manufacturers in the market for geothermal drilling rigs are bolstering their R&D muscle in innovative technologies that bag funding grants by the government in order to reduce non-drilling time. Various environmental concerns have catalyzed the demand for geothermal drilling rigs that result in smaller footprint as compared to conventional rigs. Low drilling friction and reduction in non-productive time is becoming important for stakeholders in the geothermal energy sector.

Portable and Compact Geothermal Drilling Rigs Help Lower Transportation Costs

Norwegian supplier of mobile drilling rigs, Qmatec Drilling AS, is gaining increased visibility in the Europe geothermal drilling rig market for its GeoTherm SWS rig that converts deep geothermal power to an affordable energy source for rural and remote areas. As such, Europe dominates the highest revenue among all regions in the global geothermal drilling rig market, where the market is anticipated to progress at a modest CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period.

Portable drilling rigs are being highly publicized for its cost optimization offerings. Since developing geothermal power plants is expensive, owing to the transportation of heavy drilling machinery, manufacturers are developing compact and mobile geothermal drilling rigs that are easy on transportation. Interchangeable drilling mechanism is being highly preferred by the owners of geothermal energy plants.

geothermal drilling rig market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Increased focus on new drilling projects and well workovers are creating job opportunities for individuals in the geothermal industry amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Small-scale companies in the U.S. are leveraging opportunities in technological innovations in geothermal energy efficiency with the help of government funding.

The machine learning algorithms and telemetry techniques such as downhole processing pattern recognition are helping in optimizing geothermal drilling. However, the issue of carbon emissions associated with the use of diesel generators in rural areas for carrying out drilling practices is hampering market growth. Hence, companies in the geothermal drilling rig market should innovate in compact and portable drilling rigs that help to drastically reduce carbon emissions.

Geothermal Drilling Rig Market: Overview

  • Geothermal drilling is a technique of drilling borehole in the Earth to extract the Earth’s heat. Geothermal is the natural heat of the Earth that is estimated to be 5,500 ⁰C at the Earth’s center. It is almost as hot as the surface of the sun. This heat is derived from the original formation of the planet and decay of the radioactive elements in the Earth’s crust.
  • Geothermal drilling consists of geology, fluid handling, drill pads, reservoir engineering, downhole pumps, and well design layout

Increase in Production of Geothermal Energy to Drive Geothermal Drilling Rig Market

  • Rise in awareness about benefits associated with renewable technologies and implementation of strict government norms on emission of carbon and greenhouse gases (GHGs) are compelling companies to introduce highly effective and pollution-free energy generation methods
  • Geothermal energy is a prominent alternative for the energy generated from fossil fuel. Geothermal electricity generation increased by approximately 5% in 2018, more than the average growth in the previous five years. Furthermore, the demand for geothermal drilling rig is directly linked to the demand for geothermal projects, as drill boreholes need to be drilled to extract the Earth’s heat.
  • Thus, increase in the production of geothermal energy across the globe is expected to drive the global geothermal drilling rig market during the forecast period

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Innovation and Technological Advancements in Geothermal Energy Industry to Boost Geothermal Drilling Rig Market

  • Rise in focus on the development of advanced and more environment-friendly technology in the geothermal energy industry is anticipated to propel the global geothermal drilling rig market. For instance, in November 2017, Baker Hughes Inc., a global oilfield services company, with investment from the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), designed and successfully demonstrated an advanced drilling system. The drilling system has the ability to drill at extremely high (i.e. up to 300 0C) temperatures and uses a metal-to-metal motor (metal drilling motor), high-temperature lubricant in the drilling fluid and a full metal drill bit to break the formation.
  • Enhanced geothermal system projects are another major innovation in the geothermal energy industry. This is expected to drive the global geothermal drilling rig market in the near future. Enhanced geothermal systems extract heat by creating a subsurface fracture system. Under the system, water is injected into the wells of the plant. This leads to the creation of enhanced geothermal system by fracturing of the rocks. Injected water gets heated when it comes in contact with rocks. This heated water returns to the surface through production wells. This process is similar to the natural geothermal system.
  • Technologies such as enhanced geothermal systems and advanced geothermal drilling rig can work in low to high temperature areas. This can lead to expansion of geothermal energy projects beyond the traditional energy production areas. Increase in the number of geothermal energy plants is estimated to boost the demand for geothermal drilling rigs in the near future.

Europe to Dominate Geothermal Drilling Rig Market

  • Europe dominated the global geothermal drilling rig market in 2019. Turkey constituted a leading share of the geothermal drilling rig market in the region in the year. Growth of the geothermal drilling rig market in Turkey can be primarily ascribed to the low cost associated with geothermal drilling activities compared to that in other countries such as Australia, Iceland, Kenya, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the U.S.
  • Asia Pacific is estimated to be a highly attractive region of the global geothermal drilling rig market during the forecast period. This trend is expected to continue in the global geothermal drilling rig market during the forecast period, due to increase in investments toward the development of geothermal energy projects. For instance, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Indonesia invested US$ 163 Mn in development of geothermal resources in the first quarter of 2020. This is anticipated to boost the geothermal drilling rig market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.
  • The geothermal drilling rig market in North America is anticipated to expand at a moderate pace during forecast period. The U.S. constituted leading share of the geothermal drilling rig market in North America in 2019. Growth of the geothermal drilling rig market in the U.S. can be primarily ascribed to the abundant availability of geothermal resources.
  • The geothermal drilling rig market in Middle East & Africa is likely to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period. Kenya held significant share of the geothermal drilling rig market in Middle East & Africa in 2019. Dominance of Kenya in the geothermal drilling rig market in Middle East & Africa can be ascribed to introduction of a target to develop 2,275 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 in the country.

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Highly Competitive Geothermal Drilling Rig Market

  • The global geothermal drilling rig market is highly competitive, with the presence of a large number of players operating at local and regional levels
  • Key players operating in the geothermal drilling rig market include
    • SIMCO Drilling Equipment, Inc.
    • Gill Rock Drill Co., Inc.
    • Drillmec
    • Herrenknecht AG
    • Gill Rock Drill Co., Inc.
    • Geomachine Oy
    • Bentec GmbH Drilling & Oilfield Systems
    • Versa-Drill
    • Mannvit
    • H. Anger’s Söhne
    • Soilmec Ltd
    • STREICHER Drilling Technology GmbH
    • Huisman Equipment B.V.