Chevron New Energies said June 21 its subsidiary in Japan and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Ltd. (MOECO) will work together to pilot test advanced closed loop geothermal technology (ACL).

The pilot testing by Chevron New Energies Japan and MOECO will be the first of Chevron New Energies International Pte Ltd. and MOECO’s joint collaboration agreement signed in September 2022.

Unlike conventional geothermal technology, in which hot water or steam is extracted from underground reservoirs, ACL utilizes a loop of underground wells for subsurface heat exchange through conduction. A working fluid from the surface is circulated through the wells to generate electricity.

“Chevron and MOECO believe that geothermal can be a significant enabler in Japan’s lower carbon and net zero journey,” Barbara Harrison said, vice president of offsets and emerging for Chevron New Energies. “Geothermal development needs to be carried out with the final customer in mind and with consideration of potential impacts to the environment and the local community.

Looking to de-risk, scale and commercialize the technology, the companies plan to carry out the pilot test in the Niseko region of Hokkaido, Japan. Commercial applications will be considered based on knowledge gained from the pilot and elsewhere.

“We expect to open up a new geothermal business by collaborating with Chevron New Energies, which has advanced technology and extensive experience to tackle this challenging project,” said MOECO CEO Hirotaka Hamamoto. “We, MOECO, a member of the Mitsui & Co.’s group company, aim to contribute to the stable supply of energy, achieving improved standards of living, and sustainable development of society through the promotion of renewable energy projects such as geothermal power generation.”