News & Insights

Meet Martin Rylance, Discipline Lead and Distinguished Advisor, Reservoir and Well Enhancement – part two

THREE60 Energy Group | November 1st, 2021

Last month, we caught up with Martin Rylance, who recently joined us at THREE60 Energy as the Discipline Lead and Distinguished Advisor in Reservoir and Well Enhancement (fracturing and stimulation).

In his new role, Martin will help drive growth and lead the delivery of world-leading services and insights for clients in his specialism, as well as the importance of fracturing and stimulation techniques in enhanced geothermal systems as the industry strives for net zero.

Here, Martin shares more on where he sees the future of stimulation and fracturing and the vital role THREE60 Energy is playing to support the energy transition.

Q: You’ve worked all over the world – where stands out to you as your favourite location?

A: I’ve been fortunate to have worked all over the world – from Russia to Colombia – and I’ve relished the opportunity to work within different energy hubs and experienced living in more than 12 different countries and cultures.

I am sure my wife, who is Colombian, would expect me to say Colombia is my favourite place – and it’s true that the country is very dear to me. However, my working heart is in Russia. I’ve lived in Russia three times during my career in the energy sector, and I have worked there from time to time across many years. The Russian market is vast, with many hundreds of thousands of wells and many hundreds of drilling rigs – it’s an incredible experience and I hope that there may be other opportunities to work on exciting projects there again.

Q: How do you see stimulation and fracturing contributing to the energy transition?

A: There are two areas where fracturing and stimulation are likely to play a major role in delivering a greener future.

First of all, there are opportunities to apply these enhancement techniques to geothermal energy, or Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). The global geothermal energy market is growing with estimates of its total value coming in at more than $50 billion before the end of the decade.

Geothermal energy is key for the energy transition. Typically, geothermal energy has been developed with either simple single wells or deviated (injector-prpoducer) well pairs. The EGS concept is taking this to the next level by extracting heat through the creation a subsurface fracture system, to which water can be added through horizontal injection wells and recovered through horizontal producers. This will require extensive fracturing and stimulation to facilitate a two (or three) horizontal well system. There are many strategies involving fracturing and stimulation being developed to support this energy transition.

Secondly, and perhaps less intensive, Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) is another area in which stimulation and fracturing may apply. THREE60 Energy is already investigating this, and we will certainly be exploring the opportunities and requirements further to identify the roles fracturing can play in delivering new greener energy solutions.

CCUS requires that CO2 be injected into existing depleted reservoirs. Sustained injectivity may be problematic, as I suspect that the majority of the targeted wells are not going to have the necessary quality of rock required for continuous CO2 injection. Well fracturing or stimulation will potentially play a role in providing that sustained injectivity. It’s an avenue that is just beginning to be explored.

There are also many developments in technologies related to plugs, coiled tubing, wireline, cementing, fluids, diverting agents and drilling that have been driven by the unconventional fracturing revolution – and these will provide new and more effective ways to allow development through abandonment to take place safely and in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Q: What are the priorities and growth opportunities for THREE60 Energy going forward?

A: THREE60 Energy is a flexible, customer focused company – always working towards the best solution for the client. The company understands how important the relationship-building aspect is for developing collaborative solutions in the energy industry. THREE60 Energy is skillful at adapting and being flexible to meet challenges in different ways.

With this being said, we are a trusted partner in problem solving, performing studies and creating successful and sustainable suites of workflows for our customers. We will continue to seek out those areas that we believe we can build upon and provide a superior service, as we progress on our journey to net zero.

Our recently launched sustainability advisory service is part of this journey. We advise our customers on how to achieve a better and more sustainable future, with the service spanning full exploration and production lifecycle support, investment advice and due diligence, strategy and corporate governance and ESG performance monitoring and reporting. This service provides a comprehensive suite of considerations to ensure sustainability is at the forefront of business development.

There is also a huge upskilling opportunity for the company too. As the more experienced workforce move on, it is extremely important that we do not lose the lessons learned, and so it’s imperative that the knowledge is captured and passed to the next generation.

You can learn more about THREE60 Energy’s service lines here.

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