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Fishbones Technology for the geothermal market: an alternative approach for enhanced well performance.

11 October 2023

Commentary by Jos Okkerman, Business Development Manager

Since announcing our entry into the geothermal market last year, Fishbones has been committed to leveraging its position as stimulation experts to provide a unique approach to geothermal well enhancement.


Our aim is to empower operators with a solution that optimizes production profiles and reduces operating cost over the lifetime of a geothermal project while ensuring safety, environmental friendliness, and global market authorization.

Our fracking-free approach: Safe, environmentally friendly, and globally approved.

At Fishbones, we pride ourselves in offering a proven, one-of-a-kind approach to reservoir stimulation for oil and gas well enhancement. This alternative stimulation approach is centered on rapidly creating a very large number of short laterals out of a lower completion string (Fishbones completion) deployed in a well, to greatly improve connectivity to & through the target reservoir.  Our stimulation method can also be effectively applied in the geothermal market.


Unlike traditional fracking methods that pose potential risks of water table contamination, our Fishbones drilling stimulation technology employs only water or water-based fluids during the activity. This ensures a safer and more environmentally friendly process that meets authorization standards across worldwide.


Moreover, hydraulic fracking is prohibited or severely restricted in numerous EU countries. Therefore, the tailored and controlled stimulation approach offered by Fishbones could enable reservoir stimulation on projects that would otherwise face regulatory issues.


In line with the ongoing energy transition, Fishbones' technology has demonstrated its potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Compared to hydraulic fracking alternatives, our approach can achieve emission reductions of up to 95%. As we aim to promote sustainable practices in the geothermal sector, our technology aligns perfectly with the global push for cleaner energy solutions.


Fishbones Drilling & Jetting Technologies: The versatile foundation of our geothermal solutions

Our Fishbones’ drilling stimulation system is the most suitable technology applicable to a wide range of reservoir settings in deep geothermal projects. It enables drilling through any reservoir formation, including challenging basement rocks and conglomerates, effectively opening up exploration opportunities in complex geothermal fields. We also see a great benefit of Fishbones jetting technology in certain geothermal projects i.e., with focus on carbonate reservoirs. We have an impressive track record globally in increasing production rates from oil & gas carbonate reservoirs.


Our proven success in drilling and stimulation technologies has provided us with a strong basis for adapting our expertise to geothermal applications.


In fact, numerous technologies and skills from oil and gas drilling and stimulation are transferable to geothermal, as the processes for both vertical, deviated, and horizontal wells are similar. This adaptability makes it easier to explore and exploit sedimentary basins and reservoir sequences that are common in both oil and gas and geothermal fields.


Choosing Fishbones for geothermal well enhancement: The advantages

Our alternative approach to geothermal well enhancement can provide a multitude of advantages that operators can benefit from:

Versatility: With the ability to either jet or drill various reservoir formations, our technology is highly versatile and adaptable to different geological conditions. Moreover, we always tailor our technology to the needs of the customer. Prior to any application in the field, we conduct core tests at lab scale to define the ideal jetting or drilling parameters for each project. Thus, we safeguard the maximum efficiency and output from the deployment of Fishbones systems.


Transferable Expertise: Fishbones' expertise and proven track record of success in the oil and gas sector seamlessly translate into the geothermal industry. The skills and technologies used in both sectors facilitate smooth operations and facilitate knowledge exchange.

Increased Reservoir Connectivity: Fishbones technology value can be translated into

  • Increasing reservoir exposure

  • Connecting layered reservoirs and connecting to and through natural fractures

  • Accurately stimulating target zones and bypassing damaged zones

  • Reducing drawdown and improving production effectiveness

  • Improving injectivity and/or lowering of injection pressures

  • Reducing CO2 footprint and overall HSE exposure

Cost-Effectiveness: By optimizing wells and production profiles, our technology can help operators reduce overall costs throughout the lifetime of a geothermal project, offering an attractive economic proposition.


Target markets and future endeavours

Fishbones is actively exploring opportunities in the conventional hydrothermal markets, particularly in Europe, where geothermal energy plays an increasingly significant role in helping to decarbonize the heating sector. We are also exploring applications in enhanced geothermal systems, e.g. in the US, further demonstrating the adaptability of our technology.

Moreover, Fishbones might be able to create value in innovative clean technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage, the extraction of lithium from geothermal brines and the production of natural hydrogen from fractured basement rock. 

To gain credibility and trust within the geothermal industry, we are collaborating with third-party organizations and conducting thorough research. One example is a recently finalized study that has been carried out by Fenix Consulting in the Netherlands. A reservoir simulation model was set-up based on 3-year history matched production data from a real case hydrothermal doublet in the Netherlands. With the study we could show how Fishbones technology can help to optimize reservoir well performance and reduce costs over the lifetime of such projects i.e. in particular in wells that show post-drilling positive skin effects. By sharing real case studies and showcasing successful projects, we aim to demonstrate the value of our alternative approach and foster wider acceptance in the geothermal market.


Our broad approach extends beyond research and collaboration. Active participation in geothermal conferences and events is an essential aspect of our strategy to raise awareness about our technology and its benefits. We look forward to exhibiting at the Geothermal Rising Conference in Reno this October. We are planning to host company presentations at our booth during the days of the exhibition in order to attract more visitors and industry professionals.


Elsewhere, we recently submitted an abstract for presentation at an upcoming conference in Essen, Germany, showcasing our dedication to contributing to the growth and knowledge-sharing within the industry. We look forward to meeting more of those involved in the geothermal industry and outlining where we see our position.



At Fishbones, we are determined to make a difference in the geothermal market and enable operators to create additional value with our fracking-free and globally approved technology. We are committed to advancing the energy transition, reducing CO2 emissions, and empowering operators with a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative. As we continue our journey in the geothermal market, collaboration, innovation, and a focus on sustainability will remain at the core of our efforts.

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