As the symposium’s echoes still resonate, we sit down with Kevin J. Mallin to unravel the key takeaways, groundbreaking discussions, and the promising developments that unfolded during this gathering of minds at the symposium. This blog gives a glimpse of Kevin’s presentation and his takeaway from the event.
OptiDrill DC&E: Give us a brief idea about your presentation on “OptiDrill- Back to the Future”.
Kevin J Mallin: My presentation, initially, laid out in non-scientific terms the need for a solution that OptiDrill will bring to the drilling industry, regardless of depth or resource. I then included the core work being undertaken by the British Geological Survey (BGS), Fraunhofer and Geolorn in collecting, collating, evaluating and quantifying data sets acquired from partners and National Data Repositories. I explained the work undertaken around the Daily Drilling Reports and how this was subsequently used for the ‘Drilling Anomalies Detection’ and the ‘Lithology Detection/ROP prediction’ ML/AI developments. I also covered some of the difficulties in obtaining quality data.
OptiDrill DC&E: Tell us about your contribution and experience at the 10th UK Geothermal Symposium.
Kevin J Mallin: As a part of the geothermal community in the UK and beyond, I contributed greatly to the whole symposium, through continuous interaction with the audience and speakers/presenters. I had several requests for a copy of the PowerPoint at the end of my session.
OptiDrill DC&E: How do symposiums and/or conferences like these have a positive impact on the geothermal industry and professionals?
Kevin J Mallin: The wide range of topics and presenters impacted greatly and there was a real buzz of optimism, which is often lacking at such events. The inclusion of the CEO of the IGA and a major political figure speaks volumes for the outreach of the symposium. Lastly, but very importantly, I was overwhelmed by the number of younger people who are now engaged with the geothermal sector, their outstanding levels of knowledge and their sheer enthusiasm was astounding; this was even more marked when standing in the library of the Geological Survey, surrounded by the past, being dragged into the future by the next generation.
OptiDrill DC&E: What are the next planned activities for the OptiDrill project in terms of Machine Learning and AI?
Kevin J Mallin: The continuing development of the algorithms required to develop the AI for OptiDrill continues unabated. Some further bench and field testing of the sensor string and its ability to capture and process new data is also continuing. The aim of developing a drill advisory system, underpinned by rate of penetration (ROP) and Lithological predictions, is becoming more and more a reality. Preparing the whole system to withstand the rigorous downhole conditions is an additional challenge, we are confident of addressing.
OptiDrill DC&E: How, according to you, do the OptiDrill concept and the project help towards a sustainable and environment-friendly world for thefuture?
Kevin J Mallin: Our world needs to move away from its reliance on fossil fuels to produce usable energy. This will rely heavily on our ability to carefully explore and extract resources in a long-term sustainable fashion. All renewable and low-carbon energy systems require input from the sub-surface, in some form, be it heat, lithium, copper, critical raw materials, and so on, the earth’s crust must be utilised in a zero-harm manner. The OptiDrill system will help this transition become achievable and reduce the environmental impact associated with such activities. The advanced sensor system that has been developed will help to speed up drilling and exponentially reduce the impact both below and on the surface. It will also cut down on the number of holes deemed unsuccessful.
Kevin J Mallin’s bio:
Kevin J Mallin, Managing Director at GeoLorn Ltd. and Technical Manager at OptiDrill project. He has over 40 years drilling experience, across a broad spectrum of industries, from oil and gas, through to deep geothermal. Geolorn have managed a number of deep drilling projects including the Science Central Geothermal well in Newcastle, UK which was drilled to a depth of 1,800m; Instinct Energy Pty wells in Namibia, ST-1 Geothermal Wells, Finland.