Modeling and Simulation Forum #4 RECORDING

Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #4

"Coupled Simulations of Well and Reservoir Thermal Hydraulics"

Presented by: Robert Podgorney  and David Andrs (INL), Aleta Finnila (Golder),

Pranay Asai (University of Utah)


August 19 at 11 am MDT

The forum features a discussion of the development of coupled well hydraulics and reservoir hydraulics simulations. These simulations are being prepared in preparation for conducting long-term operational simulations of the FORGE reservoir, where multistage stimulation and limited entry are anticipated in the injection well. The presentation will provide a summary of the well flow simulator, numerical coupling between the well and the reservoir, and provide a few preliminary examples.

This is the fourth forum of the series and is intended to have an open format to present modeling and simulation, both completed and planned, as well as activities being conducted by the Utah FORGE Team. This webinar has been recorded and is now available for viewing.

To follow along with the slides, the pdf of the presentation is available for download HERE

Geothermal Resources Lecture #1

Conventional vs Unconventional …

Dr. Stuart Simmons introduces us to renewable energy in the 21st century – this month learn about conventional geothermal resources and the basic concepts of heat transfer, enthalpy and power as well as where and how geothermal energy is utilized.


This is the first lecture of the geoscientific series of lectures.The lectures will reside on our

Geothermal Resources Lecture Series page


Did you know…that some species incubate their eggs using geothermal heat?

Did you know that some species incubate their eggs using geothermal heat?

Megapodes represent a family of birds that are also known as incubator birds. They are found across Australasia, and they are known for their unique strategies to keep their eggs warm and safe. Depending on the local environment, incubating strategies range from building a massive nest with stacks of decaying vegetation to laying eggs in warm ground heated by the sun. Certain species of megapode occurring on volcanic islands in the Bismarck archipelago, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Micronesia bury and incubate their eggs in geothermally heated ground. Megapodes originated in Australia, and as they evolved, they spread northward and eastward to tropical islands of the southwest Pacific. The use of thermal ground by just a few species of Megapode to incubate eggs appears to be simply a matter of opportunity.

The incubation of eggs in thermal ground, however, is not just for the birds. Their ancient ancestors, dinosaurs, may have been similarly opportunistic. The recently discovered Sangasta nesting site in northwest Argentina provides definitive evidence that neosaupods used geothermally heated ground to incubate their eggs. Much like humans, some animals have used geothermal heat when and where it is easily available.



Grellet-Tinner, G. and Fiorelli, L.E., 2010, A new Argentinian nesting site showing neosauropod dinosaur reproduction in a Cretaceous hydrothermal environment: Nature Communications, 1:32, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1031

Harris, R.B., Birks, S.M. and Leaché, A.D., 2014, Incubator birds: biogeographical origins and evolution of underground nesting megapodes (Galliformes: Megapodiidae): Journal of Biogeography, v. 41, p. 2045-2056.

Did you know… that there are animals that use natural thermal heat in the form of hot springs and warm ground?

Geothermal energy has great benefits for people, but did you know that there are animals that use natural thermal heat in the form of hot springs and warm ground?

Macaques, better known as snow monkeys, are found throughout the main Japanese Island of Honshu, and they are famous for soaking in local volcanic hot springs. Their bathing habit is a recent phenomenon that was first observed at Korakukan Onsen, a local guest house, in 1962. Snow monkeys seem to have adapted this habit from observing humans in the hot springs. Since then, this behavior has been passed onto rest of their troops, and it has now become a part of their daily routine. Snow monkeys bathe in hot springs to preserve body heat to survive the cold and rigid winters, but recent studies have proven they also do this as a form of stress relief.



Matsuzawa, T., 2918, Hot-spring bathing wild monkeys in Shiga-Heights: origin and propagation of a cultural behavior: Primates, v. 59, p. 209-213.

Takeshita, R.S.C., Bercovitch, F.B., Kinoshita, K. and Huffman, M.A., 2018, Beneficial effect of hot spring bathing on stress levels in Japanese macaques: Primates, v. 59, p. 215-225.

Partner Spotlight – GRG

Geothermal Resource Group (GRG) is a geothermal resource and engineering consulting company that has provided consulting engineering and on-site management services in over 16 countries and at over 95 geothermal development projects worldwide. They have been a partner in the FORGE Utah project since the beginning, providing technical and design advice, and planning and supervision in the drilling of all deep wells, including 58-32, 68-32 and 78-32. They are currently working on the design of the first deep deviated well which will commence later this year.

GRG plays a critical role in the management, organization and running of a range of pre- and post-drilling and stimulation activities to ensure that project managers, contractors, and researchers are well informed of scheduling and onsite activities. A key goal is to ensure that everyone involved is fully briefed on the operations so that all tasks are executed to the highest professional and technical standard an in a timely manner that keep the project on schedule and within budget.

In Phase 3, GRG is working within the drilling team to specify the materials needed for the planned deep, highly deviated, injection well that represents one of the pillars of the Utah FORGE research facility. This involves many considerations that are not typical to conventional geothermal wells. In addition, specifications are being prepared for the drilling of additional seismic monitoring holes, as are plans for supervision of field activities later this year.

GRG’s involvement with Utah FORGE is led by Principal Drilling Engineer Bill Rickard, Senior Engineer Ernesto Rivas, and Geologist Mary Mann. GRG brings with them many decades of cutting edge expertise hard granite drilling technology, and they were instrumental in the drilling and completion of deep wells at Newberry and Raft River. GRG is excited to be a part of the Utah FORGE project and looks forward to ensuring continued drilling successes.

ARMA June 2020 ROBE Talk


Pengju Xing (EGI) gave a talk 'Using Flowback and Temperature for Closure Stress Diagnosis' for the American Rock Mechanics Association's (ARMA)  800-member Hydraulic Fracturing Technical community on June 10, 2020. This was part of the ROBE talk series.

Watch it HERE

Modeling and Simulation Forum #3

Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #3

"Injection Testing and Stress Measurements" presented by Pengju Xing and John McLennan (University of Utah)

June 17 at 11 am MDT

"The forum will address injection-based stress assessments were carried out in the openhole toe and in a cased/perforated section in a pilot vertical well in 2017 and in 2019. The basic measurement program is described, and the familiar complexities of interpretation discussed. Additional discussion will briefly describe flowback and temperature as diagnostics for in situ stresses.

Future modeling activities will include history matching legacy injection data using Schlumberger’s Kinetix and Itasca’s XSite. With calibration from this history match, predictive simulations will be carried out to help to comprehend fracture morphology during future injections at the toe of the first FORGE extended reach well.

This is the third forum of the series and is intended to have an open format to present modeling and simulation, both completed and planned, as well as activities being conducted by the Utah FORGE Team. This webinar will be recorded and will be available for viewing later.

Please note registration is required for the forum and seating is limited.

Did you know… that the direct use of geothermal energy can be used to raise alligators? 

Did you know that the direct use of geothermal energy can be used to raise alligators?

The direct use of geothermal energy can apply to almost any activity that requires heating (and cooling) for industrial, residential and agricultural purposes. The heat is transferred by hot ground water in the temperature range of 20-120°C (70-250°F) which is produced from shallow wells and then distributed through surface pipework. One very popular direct use application of geothermal energy is for bathing in natural hot springs. Spas all over the world use naturally produced hot water for recreational and therapeutic purposes. In Utah, the Crystal Hot Springs offers warm and mineral-rich baths which attracts numerous visitors throughout the year.

Another direct use application is space heating that may serve a single, stand-alone structure, or more commonly multiple buildings, which are linked by a pipeline that supplies hot water. For regions that are subject to cold winters, this is a cost effective means of heating without contributing to atmospheric pollution. District heating has been in use since the late 1890s when the city of Boise, Idaho started using geothermal energy to heat buildings. District heating is also popular in China, Iceland, France, Germany, Hungary and New Zealand. In the state of Utah, the prison at the Point of the Mountain uses district heating for 330,000 sq. ft. of prison space, saving thousands of dollars over conventional heating systems.

This type of geothermal energy is even used to heat greenhouses to grow plants. The Milgro complex in Newcastle, Utah is one of the largest producers of poinsettias and chrysanthemums in the USA; it uses geothermally heated greenhouses to grow its flowers. This type of energy is also used to heat ponds for aquaculture and fish farming. The warm springs near Grantsville, Utah are filled with warm, mineral-rich water that supports a variety of fish and are also an attraction for scuba-diving activities. Fish breeders in Idaho farm a range of species, including ones requiring geothermally heated ponds, which famously once included alligators!

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