About the project, the technique, the two trials and the partners

The project

The objective of the DEPLOI the HEAT project is to demonstrate production enhancement with low cost side-track drilling when accessing geothermal heat in the subsurface.

More information about the project

The technique

Canopus Drilling Solutions will deliver the breakthrough directional steel shot drilling technology for this project.

More information about the technique

The two trials

The two field trials in the DEPLOI the HEAT project are to demonstrate the capability in two typical environments with increasing operational complexity.

More information about the two trials

The partners

Ten Partners are to execute the project 462 DEPLOI the HEAT.

Role of each partner and relevant expertise

The project

The project 462 DEPLOI the HEAT is the follow up of the Dutch DEPLOI project led by TNO. DEPLOI stood for DEmonstrate Production enhancement with LOw cost sIde-track drilling. The project concerned the prototype demonstration of the Directional Steel Shot Drilling Technology of Canopus Geothermal BV in the simulated down hole environment of the drill test facilities of the Rijswijk Centre for Sustainable Geo-energy of TNO.

The Directional Steel Shot Drilling technology is expected to be able to create multiple long drainage holes in any desired direction, thereby boosting the reservoir contact and the well productivity of open loop geothermal systems by a factor three. The enhanced reservoir contact also has the potential to mitigate the challenges of reservoir heterogeneity and safe-guard well productivity. As a result, this novel drilling technology enables cost-effective district heating projects producing geothermal energy from medium deep to deep reservoirs.

The technique

The Directional Steel Shot Drilling (DSSD) technology is unique because it

  • is based on fast directional drilling using steel shot jet erosion and does not need large mechanical drilling forces at the bit
  • has special bit designs producing smooth bore holes in any rock type at any depth
  • can drill long distances far exceeding 500 meter length
  • does not need large diameter drill collar sections that could wash-out the bore hole wall
  • can drill short high-angle turns into any direction
  • can drill many multilaterals entirely within a thin reservoir out of a top hole casing shoe set in the top of the reservoir
  • exploits a high level of down hole autonomous directional control
  • is very cost effective as the technology does not sacrifice rate of penetration for directional control, the repair and maintenance can be done on site, and the rate of penetration is exceeding conventional drill rates.

At the end of the DEPLOI the HEAT project, the technology is expected to be ready for the construction of commercial DSSD units and to have clarity on the economic impact of the deployment of the technology for various typical geothermal development opportunities.

The two field trials

The two field trials in the DEPLOI the HEAT project are to demonstrate the capability in two typical environments with increasing operational complexity

  1. The drilling of a multilateral construction in tight limestone at the VersuchsStollen Hagerbach in Switzerland at surface
  2. A deep geothermal district heating project in a typical Dutch hot water sandstone reservoir in Ede, The Netherlands.

Both trials are supported by thorough field equipment testing at the Rijswijk Center of Sustainable Geo-energy of TNO, drilling system modelling and real time monitoring by the center of excellence on well construction at the University of Calgary and the extensive operational expertise on directional drilling for Geothermal of Well Guidance.

The two trials are to pilot the commercial readiness of the novel Canopus drilling technology for geothermal development projects, as well as the heat production increase from the short radius, long horizontals that are unique for the drilling technology.

The partners

Ten Partners are to execute DEPLOI the HEAT. The capabilities that the partners bring are as follows:


  • Technical capability on Directional Steel Shot Drilling is to be provided by Canopus. This concerns the hardware functionality, operational requirements, and technology specific operational aspects. This also includes the interfacing with the drill rig.
  • Management of the drill rig contractors, including the pumps, drill unit, mud system, location, operational safety, process safety, waste handling et cetera, is with the site owners VersuchStollen Hagerbach, TNO and Tullip Energy.
  • Operational experience with the directional drilling and geo-steering will be critical for responding early and effectively to operational challenges. This capability is provided by Well Guidance.
  • As the technology may have specific operational responses to operational disturbances it is also important to model the well construction upfront and analyse and monitor in real time the trial activities. The University of Calgary will do the well construction modelling and real time monitoring.
  • The ultimate benefit of the multilaterals drilled by the directional steel shot drilling technology are the energy operators, Tullip Energy, SiG, SiL, and Grob Gemuese. They are to specify the commercial need and geothermal development opportunities for which the multilaterals are to have economic value.
  • ETH Zurich has the capability to process these specs in combination with the drilling capability of Canopus to evaluate the productivity and economic impact. ETH Zurich will also act as the coordinator for the local subsidy in Switzerland.