US contracting major Baker Hughes has signed a provisional deal with Irish player CausewayGT - a company with a strong upstream pedigree - to collaborate on geothermal projects and technology development in the UK and Ireland.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed by the pair, they aim to deliver low carbon heating and cooling for commercial and industrial facilities and processes.

Baker Hughes said it will explore the use of its wells services and products, project management, sub-surface assessment, digital technology services and other technologies to support CausewayGT’s geothermal projects.

The companies also plan to deploy Baker Hughes’ technology on a CausewayGT demonstration project in the UK that hopes to supply clean heat to the West Firsby oilfield, operated by Europa Oil & Gas.

If successful, this project will prove the operational ability to extract and use geothermal heat throughout Europe, said the US contractor.

CausewayGT will act as coordinator of geothermal energy development opportunities and will market integrated solutions with Baker Hughes technologies toward relevant customers, providing systems design and project management.

The Irish player - based in Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland - will also lead technology development projects and associated academic and industry opportunities to jointly promote geothermal growth for both companies.

CausewayGT chief executive Niall McCormack described the move as “a powerful partnership... as we aim to deliver sustainable geothermal heat for commercial and industrial purposes and develop technologies to expand the application of geothermal in industrial heat processes".

“Baker Hughes has been a leader in geothermal for many decades and the opportunity to work with such an accomplished organisation in the development and deployment of closed loop geothermal systems for our customers is a hugely exciting step.”

Ajit Menon, vice president for geothermal at Baker Hughes, said: “We know that success in geothermal development requires collaboration, and no one organisation can do it all on its own.

“Baker Hughes has had positive past experiences with CausewayGT, giving our teams the ability to align quickly," he said, adding that the company also "boasts an impressive vision" to expand the utilisation of geothermal energy for heating commercial buildings and industrial processes while mitigating carbon emissions.

"We support that vision, and our ability to expand the geothermal economy through these agreements and using the best technologies is a crucial step in Baker Hughes’ work to accelerate the energy transition.”

The key executives and board members of CausewayGT - which was established in June this year - come from an upstream background and were well-known movers and shakers in parts of that industry.

Of the three company founders, McCormack worked for BP, BHP, Hess and Afren, while non-executive chair Brian O'Cathain was former chief executive of Afren and Petroceltic, and managing director Simon Todd also worked for BP.

Chief sub-surface engineer is Alison Isherwood who had stints at Shell, Hess and Ophir Energy.

Chief geologist is Helen Doran - well-known in geological circles - who previously worked for BP and Ophir, while John O’Neill is chief of wells and projects with a career encompassing spells at Schlumberger, Shell, BP and Maersk.

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