Drilling Progress of Well 16A(78)-32

Current Ongoing Progress Updates:

The Utah FORGE team has started drilling its first highly deviated deep well. Highly deviated wells are frequently drilled for oil and gas production, but not by the geothermal industry. The Utah FORGE team will be one of the first to tackle this challenge while drilling in hot, hard crystalline granite.

Well 16A(78)-32 is the first deviated well to be drilled and it will take the next 4 months. The well spudded early morning on October 30th.

UPDATE November 9

Drilling has proceeded smoothly and advanced to almost 5,000' depth. The basement contact was crossed on Saturday, October 7 at about 4600' depth as anticipated.

UPDATE November 19

Drilling is proceeding on schedule, though at a slower rate, now that we are going through the hard basement granitic rock. Currently we have paused at 5,500' (half way to the 11,000 ft planned) to run an 18hr temperature survey.

Overview of the Utah FORGE site and the 16A(78)-32 drill pad.

Modeling and Simulation Forum #5 RECORDING

Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #5


"Back Analysis of Injection Tests in Zone 2 on Well 58-32"

Presented by: Branko Damjanac (Itasca), Pengju Xing (University of Utah), and John McLennan (University of Utah)

October 28 at 11 am MDT

During Cycles 4 in Zone 2 on Well 58-32 water was injected at 5 bpm for 5 minutes. After approximately 20 hours of shut-in, Cycle 5 injection test was conducted at the same perforation cluster, again at 5 bpm for 5 minutes. The pressure histories after breakout exhibit generally increasing trends during injection. Interestingly, the pressures during Cycle 5 are greater than during Cycle 4.  The entire test, including Cycles 4 and 5, was back-analyzed using a fully coupled hydro-mechanical model with explicit representations of DFN of different levels of detail. The objective of the back analysis was to calibrate the model with respect to unknown and uncertain parameters and match the pressure histories, and in particular the increasing trends and greater pressures during Cycle 5.

This is the fifth 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

 

Drilling first deep well announcement

Utah FORGE Drills First of Two Deep Wells

The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), is excited to announce that the drilling of its first highly deviated deep well has commenced. Highly deviated wells are frequently drilled for oil and gas production, but not by the geothermal industry. The Utah FORGE team will be the first to tackle this challenge while drilling in hot, hard crystalline granite.

The upper part of the well will be drilled vertically through approximately 4,700 feet of  sediments at which point it will penetrate into hard crystalline granite. At about 6,000 feet, the well will be gradually steered at a 5° angle for each 100 feet until it reaches an inclination of 65° from its vertical point. The total length of the well will be approximately 11,000 feet with the “toe” – or the end of the well – reaching a vertical depth of 8,500 feet. The temperature at this depth will be 440°F.

“This is an exciting phase in the Utah FORGE project and is key to proving Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies are commercially viable” said Joseph Moore, PhD, and Principal Investigator of Utah FORGE.

The goal of our research is to test tools and technologies for the creation of a geothermal resource where none exists naturally. Developing cost effective EGS technologies is an important step in capturing the enormous energy potential beneath our feet and bringing low cost, environmentally green, and renewable energy across the United States.

Once the well is completed, a series of tests will be run to facilitate the development of the EGS resource. Some of the tests will include determining the stress conditions through short-term injection experiments, during which microseismicity will be carefully monitored. Other tests will allow for the interpretation of the orientation and distribution of the existing and induced fractures in the granite, which will form the pathways for water to circulate and heat up in the newly created EGS reservoir.

The results of these tests and R&D activities will be used to plan the second deviated well. Drilling of the second well is tentatively scheduled for early 2022.

Open Press Release HERE

Partner Spotlight – Jim Rutledge

Jim Rutledge is part of the Utah FORGE seismic monitoring team lead by Dr. Kristine Pankow at the University of Utah. He brings to the Team an expertise in downhole seismic instrumentation and the monitoring of reservoir microseismicity induced during injection stimulations.

An Enhanced Geothermal reservoir is created and or enhanced through a series of high-pressure injections to fracture, stimulate and connect natural fractures in the host rock. Such a fracture system provides the permeability and surface area required to circulate fluids for mining the earth’s heat. Detecting and locating the resulting microseismicity is the chief diagnostic used to map and monitor the development of that fracture system. In addition to obtaining the basic geometry of the stimulated fracture volume and its temporal growth, geomechanical information can be gleaned from source mechanism results, describing the fracture orientation and sense of displacement that generated the seismic signal.

Jim was employed as an Industry Advisor with Schlumberger’s Microseismic Services for the last 8 years before recently partnering with the FORGE team. At Schlumberger he worked primarily on the interpretation of moment tensor inversion in understanding the basic relationship between fracture propagation and generation of the microseismic signal. He spent most of his career, from 1984 to 2012, as a staff seismologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. From 2004 to 2012 he also worked as a consultant for Schlumberger Cambridge Research. He received a BS in Geology from Pennsylvania State University and an MS in Geophysics from the University of Arizona. Starting in 1989, Jim has led and participated in several studies that demonstrated the uses of microseismic monitoring in oil, gas and geothermal fields for various applications including: hydraulic fracture monitoring, EOR monitoring, production-induced seismicity, subsidence and well-failure problems, gas storage, as well as subsurface CO2 sequestration. He is widely published on the topic of downhole seismic monitoring and interpretation.

An example of microseismic source locations from numerous injection stimulation stages in map view (left) and the population of source mechanisms for the stage 7 events (right). The lateral completion well is shown red.

Did you know… that Reykjavík is a city of geothermal energy?

Did you know… that Reykjavík is a city of geothermal energy?

Did you know that the city of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, is widely recognized for its geothermal energy? Many first think of the word ‘ice’ when hearing Iceland, but surprisingly Iceland is also known for its use of Earth’s heat. Due to its geological location directly on the mid-Atlantic ridge, it is constantly supplied by an enormous amount of underground magmatic and geothermal heat. The literal translation of Reykjavík is “steamy bay” that comes from the steam discharge associated with natural geothermal activity.

Aware of the underground heat available, Icelanders have learned to adapt to their environment. Since the arrival of the first Scandinavian settlers in the late 800s, Icelanders have utilized geothermal sources for bathing and cooking. One of their popular traditional foods, Hverabrauð, is a bread loaf cooked in the steam from a geyser for 24 hours. Up into the early part of the 20th century, coal was the main source of energy and air pollution was a serious problem. To address this, the first geothermal pipelines were installed in 1934, and since then Reykjavík has been continuously expanding geothermal utilization. Reykjavík now has the largest district heating system in the world (700 MWthermal), which is run by Orkuveita, and more than 60 million cubic meters of hot water flow through the distribution system. Hot water supply comes from low temperature geothermal areas around Reykjavik and from high temperature geothermal fields in the Hengill area to the east of the city. These hotter resources are mainly used to generate electricity, but a significant amount of heat also supplies the district heating scheme. The combination of geothermal fields and hydroelectric dams means that more than 99% of all the electricity used in Iceland comes from renewable sources.

 

References:

https://adventures.is/information/geothermal-energy-iceland/

https://icelandmag.is/article/nine-fascinating-facts-about-geothermal-energy-and-reykjavik

https://pangea.stanford.edu/ERE/pdf/IGAstandard/ISS/2004Poland/3_5_gunlaugsson.pdf

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.

 

References:

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.

https://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/news/incredible-%E2%80%9Cincubator-bird%E2%80%9D-be-saved-rat-removal-pacific-island

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662581/