Drilling With Projectiles

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Rob Lister
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Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Rob Lister » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:43 pm

Drilling Geothermal Wells With Projectiles
The average depth of an oil well is only about a kilometer and a half, and drilling down to 5 km (especially through hard rock) using conventional technology isn’t trivial and definitely not worth the cost. A company called HyperSciences thinks it has a better way. It wants to harness geothermal energy with a new kind of drilling technology that does away with the “drill” bit completely, using projectiles fired into the ground instead.

It’s simple, really: Instead of slowly grinding away at rocks with drill bits that perpetually wear out, just shoot holes in the ground with bullets. According to HyperScience, you can bore a hole ten times faster than traditional drilling equipment this way.
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/en ... rojectiles

Image
HyperSciences has backing from Shell's GameChanger program to the tune of nearly US $1 million, and the company expects to raise a bit more cash. It plans to demonstrate the technology within the next six months.
Well, a million is chump change, but I like the idea.

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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by ed » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:37 pm

could they use a mass driver? Fling a unanium tipped whoosis down then draw it back and fling it again.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Rob Lister » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:04 pm

I think they use concrete which vaporizes on impact.

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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:50 pm

I wouldn't have thought it possible.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by sparks » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:49 am

"Let's do it cheaper and faster and take more risk with the local environment! Yea, sure. Why not? We don't have to fucking live there!"
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Rob Lister » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:44 am

sparks wrote:"Let's do it cheaper and faster and take more risk with the local environment! Yea, sure. Why not? We don't have to fucking live there!"
I fail to see the objection.

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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:24 pm

Not as bad as that 1950s proposal to build a canal across Nicaragua using nukes.

IIRC, that was part of "Operation Plowshare". Peaceful uses you know.

I'll try to pin this down tonight if no one beats me to it.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by gnome » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:15 pm

Rob Lister wrote:Drilling Geothermal Wells With Projectiles

It’s simple, really: Instead of slowly grinding away at rocks with drill bits that perpetually wear out, just shoot holes in the ground with bullets.
Florida Man approves.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by sparks » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:46 pm

Rob Lister wrote:
sparks wrote:"Let's do it cheaper and faster and take more risk with the local environment! Yea, sure. Why not? We don't have to fucking live there!"
I fail to see the objection.
Not surprised.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Rob Lister » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:07 pm

sparks wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
sparks wrote:"Let's do it cheaper and faster and take more risk with the local environment! Yea, sure. Why not? We don't have to fucking live there!"
I fail to see the objection.
Not surprised.
I'm guessing we should conserve geothermal heat.
:o

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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:17 pm

As promised

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_P ... #Proposals
Proposed uses for nuclear explosives under Project Plowshare included widening the Panama Canal, constructing a new sea-level waterway through Nicaragua nicknamed the Pan-Atomic Canal, cutting paths through mountainous areas for highways, and connecting inland river systems. Other proposals involved blasting underground caverns for water, natural gas, and petroleum storage. Serious consideration was also given to using these explosives for various mining operations. One proposal suggested using nuclear blasts to connect underground aquifers in Arizona. Another plan involved surface blasting on the western slope of California's Sacramento Valley for a water transport project.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by sparks » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Rob Lister wrote:
sparks wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
sparks wrote:"Let's do it cheaper and faster and take more risk with the local environment! Yea, sure. Why not? We don't have to fucking live there!"
I fail to see the objection.
Not surprised.
I'm guessing we should conserve geothermal heat.
:o
Conserve what ever you want: It won't make any difference.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:48 am

sparks wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
sparks wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
sparks wrote:"Let's do it cheaper and faster and take more risk with the local environment! Yea, sure. Why not? We don't have to fucking live there!"
I fail to see the objection.
Not surprised.
I'm guessing we should conserve geothermal heat.
:o
Conserve what ever you want: It won't make any difference.
I haven't studied the issue, but I don't know if it's any more harmful to the environment than drilling.
If indeed it is possible to harness geothermal heat by this process, then since geothermal is one of the most environment-friendly energy sources, it could well be a net benefit for the environment. Its only drawback is that in most parts of the world, there's none close enough to the surface to easily take advantage of. Which reminds me: Japan has lots of hot springs, so maybe geothermal could be a thing here. But apparently it only accounts for 0.1% of Japan's energy production and the total capacity for geothermal was actually less in 2015 than in 2007. Go figure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Witness » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:06 am


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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:24 am

Was there a big change in China since 2015 or is Wikipedia wrong? According to the Wikipedia article China had barely any geothermal at all in 2015 (less than El Salvador or Nicarauga or various other tiny third word countries).
Wikipedia does use different units though: MW. The "Mtoe" unit in the chart above appears to stand for "Million tonnes of oil equivalent".
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:31 am

Anaxagoras wrote:Was there a big change in China since 2015 or is Wikipedia wrong? According to the Wikipedia article China had barely any geothermal at all in 2015 (less than El Salvador or Nicarauga or various other tiny third word countries).
Wikipedia does use different units though: MW. The "Mtoe" unit in the chart above appears to stand for "Million tonnes of oil equivalent".
The wiki on geothermal is an indecipherable mess. As just one example, consider the table under Utility Grade Stations (which has nothing to do with utility grade stations, btw):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geotherma ... e_stations
The numbers don't make since. For example, click on the Share of National Generation (%) column and add up the percentages.
The linked wiki's on individual nations' geothermal are not much better.

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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:15 pm

Wikipedia can be kind of hit or miss like that. Really depends on the topic. If it's a topic where not a whole lot of people are interested enough or willing enough to put much effort into the page, it could be just a half-assed article with dubious facts.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:27 pm

Part of the answer seems to be that China uses most of its geothermal energy directly for heating, not to generate electricity. Thus the high figure in Mtoe units but low in MW.
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Re: Drilling With Projectiles

Post by sparks » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:03 pm

I wonder how they avoid the naughty corrosion that goes with geothermal.
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