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U.S. Department of Energy Awards MPGE Professors for Geothermal Initiative Projects With Potential to Power Millions of U.S. Homes

Dr. Ghassemi and Dr. Teodoriu, professors in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at University of Oklahoma, recieve funding for research projects by the United States Department of Energy.

DOE announced its Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) Initiative at the University of Utah selected 17 projects to receive up to $46 million in funding for cutting-edge, domestic, and carbon-free geothermal projects with potential to supply power to homes in the United States.

Dr. Ghassemi and Dr. Teodoriu were given five million in March 2021. The funding finances the work and equipment needed to explore their research topics. Out of the 17 projects, two are led by OU and are collaboratoring on two other projects. 

Topic 2: Estimation of stress parameters

  • Battelle Memorial Institute / Columbus, OH
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / Livermore, CA
  • The University of Oklahoma / Norman, OK

Topic 5: Integrated laboratory and modeling studies of the interactions among THMC processes

  • Pennsylvania State University / State College, PA
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / Livermore, CA
  • U.S. Geological Survey / Denver, CO
  • The University of Oklahoma / Norman, OK
  • Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN


MPGE Selected as SINTEFF Norway SWIPA Project Collaborators

The Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma selected as one of the SINTEFF Norway SWIPA project collaborators. The Board of the Research Council of Norway decided to grant SFI Swipa (Subsurface Well Integrity, Plugging and Abandonment) status as Center for Research-Driven Innovation for the next eight years. MPGE team will collaborate with SINTEFF, University of Stavanger, NORCE, IFE and NTNU on testing and verification of barrier materials. Several major oil and gas companies as wells universities globally will collaborate in this large scale project. 

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MPGE Researcher Receives Part of $28 Million Grant to Increase Geothermal Energy Production in the United States

Ahmad Ghassemi, the McCasland Chair and professor of petroleum engineering at the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma, received $2.5 million of a $28 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy with an additional $700,000 in matching funds from Coso Operating Company for a study that aims to develop technologies to increase power production from geothermal wells while decreasing production costs.

“I am very proud to hear that the Department of Energy is equipping and empowering the University of Oklahoma to pursue a groundbreaking project to unleash safe and sustainable energy,” said Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04). “Widely recognized as a center for scientific excellence and innovation, OU’s contributions will indeed be critical in honing production and refining the use of geothermal energy.”

Thanks to this support from the DOE and Coso Operating Co., Ghassemi and his collaborators will first do extensive modeling around the geothermal wells that will be used in the research. In continuous operation since 1987, these wells sit on the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which is in the heart of the Coso Volcanic Field in eastern California.
Among the members of the team are graduate students from the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.

“Involvement of postdoctoral and graduate students from OU give the project a nice educational aspect as well,” said Ghassemi. “Not only will it contribute to their education, but it can potentially expand the geothermal workforce that is needed as the technology expands in the country.”

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Research Awards

  • Dr. Teodoriu research award, Testing of Cement Bonding Properties, funding agency Tenaris, for efforts Sept. 2019 thru June 2020.
  • Dr. Teodoriu research award, Testing of Centralizer According to API, funding agency FORUM Energy Technologies, for efforts Aug. 2019 thru Sept. 2019.
  • Dr. Nygaard research award, Advanced cement characterization and modeling to evaluate novel additives to improve wellbore integrity, funding agency Oklahoma State University, for efforts Aug. 2019 thru Nov. 2020.
  • Dr. Ghassemi receives part of $28 million grant to increase geothermal energy production in the United States.