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Subsurface technology important for achieving a just transition

Seequent CEO Graham Grant

Seequent CEO Graham Grant

16th October 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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The energy transition is fundamentally an underground transition, says geoscience software company Seequent CEO Graham Grant, because 80% of the energy consumed globally currently comes from or is comprised of metals and minerals from the underground.

Additionally, as the clean energy transition unfolds, production of these technologies to generate power is increasingly demanding the use of critical metals. For example, an offshore wind array consumes ten times the amount of critical metals than a traditional gas-fired power station.

An electric vehicle (EV) consumes six times the critical minerals of traditional cars. “The world is, therefore, fundamentally shifting the demand side, but what is happening on the supply side?” Grant asks.

He notes that an EV plant can be built in less than a year; however, mine development for the supply of critical metals to feed the plant takes about 15 years.

Hence Seequent’s approach is to help mining companies find and make available the rare critical metals needed for the energy transition, as fast as possible.

Bentley Systems’ Seequent business helps companies analyse and understand the underground, including in mining, energy and civil engineering. Grant says subsurface and ground surface conditions impact any type of infrastructure project in the world.

Over and above geoscience for structural integrity and the cost-effectiveness of infrastructure projects, it is also needed to discover new resources, particularly as global demand for critical metals increases.

GEOTHERMAL FOCUS

To augment its offering to clients, Seequent has acquired a geothermal simulation software company called Flow State Solutions, which positions Seequent as among the most comprehensive subsurface software providers for the geothermal industry.

Flow State Solutions’ geothermal reservoir, wellbore and surface network simulation software helps project developers and operators better understand geothermal resources for asset development and optimisation and improved well performance.

Combining Flow State Solutions’ Volsung portfolio with Seequent’s capabilities creates a robust end-to-end solution for reservoir analysis.

Detailed models of the subsurface built in Bentley Systems’ Leapfrog Energy can be used in Flow State Solutions’ simulation environment to build a full picture of a geothermal asset.

Geothermal industry leaders are already using both solutions to better understand their resources.

Grant says geothermal has the potential to help solve the world’s biggest energy challenges. With this acquisition, Seequent’s best-in-class subsurface analysis software enables a full understanding of geothermal asset performance.

Flow State Solutions co-founder Jonathon Clearwater, who joins Seequent as technical domain expert for reservoir engineering, says that, by combining Seequent’s expertise and Flow State Solutions’ technical capability in geothermal modelling, the companies will make a significant contribution to the renewable energy transition through improved management of natural resources.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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