Successful 3-stage hydraulic stimulation of injection well 16A(78)-32

The Utah FORGE research team has achieved yet another major milestone in advancing enhanced geothermal system technologies with the successful completion of the first large scale 10-day stimulation trial (April 14-24, 2022) in the deep deviated well 16A(78)-32. Three intervals were tested in sequence at greater than 10,000 ft depth, including the open hole at the toe of the well (Stage I), followed by two shallower 20 ft intervals that were lined with solid casing (Stages 2 and 3). In each stage, between 3000 and 4000 barrels of water were injected under pressure, causing pre-existing fractures in the reservoir to dilate and transfer heat to the injected cold water. After a 4-hour shut in, the hot injected water was produced back to the surface under controlled flow conditions. The stimulation trial ran according to schedule and plan, including the seamless deployment and retrieval of the bridge plugs at high pressures and temperature.

The ability to initiate, propagate and ideally control hydraulic fracture growth is essential for realistically evaluating the potential for commercial EGS applications. Success here is important for promoting technical and hybrid EGS methods that use hydraulic injection to provide a heat exchange network or to achieve more effective connections with potentially productive natural fractures.

In late 2022 or early 2023, a second deep deviated well, the production well, will be drilled to intersect the hydraulic fractures. The connectivity of the fractures between the two wells will be established or improved, and short-term circulation testing will begin to assess the thermal viability geothermal reservoir.

Utah FORGE wraps up a 3-stage hydraulic stimulation of well 16A(78)-32

Utah FORGE is excited to announce the successful completion of the three-stage hydraulic stimulation of its first highly deviated injection well, 16A(78)-32.

Well 16A(78)-32 drilling was completed in January 2021. This is an inclined well (65°to the vertical) that will be the injection arm of the doublet that forms the heart of the Utah FORGE experimental configuration.

Subsequently, two additional monitoring wells – vertical – were drilled so that they, along with existing well 58-32, could serve as monitoring wells for future work at the FORGE site. In particular, wells 58-32, 78B-32 and 56-32 had been instrumented with fiber optics and geophones to triangulate on microseismic events during the recent fracturing in Well 16A(78)-32. These microseismic clouds define the morphology of three hydraulic fractures created at the toe (extremity) of Well 16A(78)-32.

A chronology of the events for the recent three-stage hydraulic fracturing is as follows:

  • Fourteen frac tanks were sited on the location and filled with Milford City culinary water. Each tank holds 500 bbl (21,000 gallons per tank) of water.
  • Frontier Drilling Rig 28 was trucked to the location, assembled, and brought into service.
  • A preliminary run of drill pipe was made into the hole. This drill string had a bit with a casing scraper and a drift sub. The bit was run to near the end of the open-hole section of the wellbore while the casing scraper was positioned to stay within the cased-hole and ensured the absence of debris. The drift sub was run one joint above the casing scraper and guaranteed that there was adequate clearance to run additional tools (in particular, bridge plugs).
  • Extreme Wireline next ran a perforating gun on the end of drill pipe into the openhole section (below 10,787 ft MD). In addition to the perforating gun, a mechanical casing collar locator was run and confirmed the casing tally so that the depth of the gun was more accurately known. This 3-1/8” diameter gun was 2 ft long with 6 shots per foot at 60° phasing. MTS Solutions pumped down the drill pipe to seat a dropped ball and fire the guns. The successful firing served as a check shot for orienting geophones in the three offset wells.
  • MTS Solutions next pumped a Shear Stimulation Test for one hour at an average rate of 0.36 bpm followed by shutdown and monitoring the pressure decline for an hour. A total of 52 bbl of water was pumped for this test.

STAGE 1

  • Liberty Oilfield Services next pumped down the casing and followed the prescribed fracturing plan for stimulation Stage 1, reaching an injection rate of 50 bpm with slickwater (refer to Figure 1). 4,261 bbl were pumped. The well was shut in for four hours and flowed back.
  • After 16 hours of flowback, Interwell US ran a bridge plug to a depth of 10,670 ft MD (middle of the sealing element). MTS Solutions pumped to set the bridge plug. The bridge plug was tested to 5,000 psi using MTS Solutions’ pumping equipment through the drill pipe and later to over 7,000 psi using Liberty Oilfield Services’ pumping equipment, down the casing.
  • After tripping the bridge plug setting tool out of the hole, an Extreme Wireline perforating gun was run into the hole on the end of drill pipe. This was a 20-ft long perforating gun (6 shots per ft, 60° phasing, 21-gram Hero charges). It was run to cover a depth of 10,560 to 10,580 ft MD. MTS Solutions pumped a dropped ball to a seat to fire the guns. The guns were retrieved. All 120 shots had fired, providing an entry from the wellbore to the formation.

STAGE 2

  • Liberty Oilfield Services next pumped 2,777 bbl of slickwater down the casing and followed the prescribed fracturing plan, reaching an injection rate of 35 bpm. This was Stage 2. There was an intentional hard shutdown in the initial 5 bpm stage and also part way through the 35-bpm stage. The well was shut in and pressure decline was monitored for 4 hours. The well was then opened up and flowed back for 12 hours. The treatment data are shown in Figure 2.
  • After flowback, Interwell US ran a second bridge plug to a depth of 10,466 ft MD (center of the sealing element). MTS Solutions pumped to set the bridge plug. The bridge plug was pressure tested to 4,960 psi by MTS Solutions through the drill pipe and later to 6,800 psi using Liberty Oilfield Services pumping equipment, down the casing.
  • An Extreme Wireline perforating gun was next run on the end of drill pipe to cover a depth of 10,120 to 10,140 ft MD. This was a 20-ft long perforating gun (6 shots per ft, 60° phasing, 21-gram Hero charges). MTS Solutions pumped to seat a ball and fire the guns. The guns were retrieved. All 120 shots had fired, providing an entry from the wellbore to the formation.

STAGE 3

  • Liberty Oilfield Services next pumped down the casing for Stage 3 and followed the prescribed fracturing plan, reaching an injection rate of 35 bpm. A slickwater pad was pumped followed by a crosslinked CMHPG fluid with DEEPROP™ microproppant at planned concentrations of 0.5 to 0.75 ppa. The total pumped fluid volume was 3,016 bbl. The well was shut in and flowed back (for more than 15 hr). Refer to Figure 3.
  • During the shut-in time, the Liberty frac crew began to rig-down their equipment and demobilize.
  • The well was re-entered with drill pipe and an Interwell US retrieving tool to release and recover the second bridge plug that was set. The bridge plug was successfully released and recovered to the surface. After disconnecting and laying down the bridge plug the retrieving tool was run back into the well to recover the first bridge plug that was set. This plug was also successfully retrieved and laid down.
Figure 1. This is the treatment record for Stage 1. The green trace indicates, the pumping rate, reaching 50 bpm. The red trace is the surface treating pressure, exceeding 6,000 psi. This stage was pumped into the 200 ft long open hole section of the well.
Figure 2. This is the treatment record for Stage 2. The green trace indicates, the pumping rate, reaching 35 bpm. The red trace is the surface treating pressure, exceeding 7,000 psi. This stage was pumped into a cased and perforated zone (10,560 – 10,580 ft MD) section of the well. Note the hard shutdown (rate intentionally rapidly brought to zero) part way through the treatment.
Figure 3. This is the treatment record for Stage 3. The green trace indicates, the pumping rate, reaching 35 bpm. The red trace is the surface treating pressure, exceeding 7,000 psi. The other traces show microproppant concentration at the surface and at the perforations. This stage was pumped into a cased and perforated zone (10,120 – 10,140 ft MD) section of the well.

Following the recovery of the bridge plugs from the well, on April 23, 2022 the rig started rig-down operations and laying down drill pipe.

Modeling and Simulation Forum #14 Recording

Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #14


"2021 Utah FORGE modeling summary and 2022 look ahead"

Presented by: Rob Podgorney (Idaho National Laboratory)

January 19 2021 at 11 am MST

Look back at the modeling and simulation efforts completed in 2021.

Looking ahead into 2022.

This is the 14th 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 available for viewing.

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

For previous forums and for the upcoming schedule check out the Modeling and Simulation FORUM page

SSA 2022 Annual Meeting

This following SSA session will be in person in Bellevue, Washington on 19-23 April 2022:

De-risking Deep Geothermal Projects: Geophysical Monitoring and Forecast Modeling Advances
Co-conveners: Federica Lanza, Kristine Pankow, Alexandros Savvaidis, Stefan Wiemer, Antonio Pio Rinaldi, Nori Nakata

We seek contributions from EGS projects and field test sites that focus on geophysical technologies applied to geothermal energy, such as real-time monitoring and characterization of induced seismicity, distributed acoustic sensing, large-N array, active surface seismic, vertical seismic profiling, seismic imaging of faults and fracture zones, laboratory experiments and novel instrumentation. We also welcome submission of abstracts on modeling studies at all scales, seismicity forecasting models, hazard and risk analysis studies as well as presentations dealing with good-practice guidelines and risk assessment procedures that would help in reducing commercial costs and enhancing the safety of future geothermal projects.

Please consider submitting your abstract to our session before the deadline on 12 January 2022, at 5 p.m Pacific. 

Detailed information on how to submit an abstract can be found at: https://www.seismosoc.org/meetings/submission-system/

Modeling and Simulation Forum #7 Recording

Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #7


"An Overview of Modeling and Simulation related to Utah FORGE Research Awards"

Presented by: Robert Podgorney (INL)

May 19 , 2021

This presentation discussed planned modeling activities from the teams recently announced as selected for award negotiations from the Utah FORGE Solicitation 2020-1.

This is the 7th 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 available for viewing.

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

Drilling of Well 56-32

Seismic Monitoring Well 56-32

This well is the fourth and deepest of a cluster of vertical seismic monitoring wells that are located near the toe of 16A(78)-32. The well was drilled vertically to a total depth of approximately 9,000 feet about 1300 feet north of 58-32.

Well 56-32 will be fully cased (5 ½ inch) and used for deployment of seismic sensors during stimulation experiments. A Silixa DAS fiber optic cable 7500 feet long will be cemented along the outside the casing. During the drilling of 56-32, MSE (Mechanical Specific Energy) calculations and PDC bits will be used to optimize penetration rates as was successfully utilized in the drilling of 16A(78)-32. Below 7500 feet depth, mud hammer bits will be trialed and evaluated for drilling performance.

Update February 8:

Well spudded at 4am.

Update February 9:

Drilled to 380 ft depth.

Update February 10:

Drilled to 3,300 ft depth. The basement contact was crossed at 3,100 ft.

Update February 17:

Drilled to 5,840 ft depth.

Update February 21:

Well reached TD of 9,145 ft depth.

Worth noting: 

This well, as well as the deep, highly deviated 16A(78)-32, was drilled with specially modified polycrystalline diamond composite or PDC bits. These bits proved superior to the tricone bits used in drilling the previous wells.

According to Reed Hycalog, the bit manufacturer, drilling well 56-32 set a record for a bit run of 1208 ft in 53 hours, drilling on average 25 ft/hr in hot, crystalline granite.

Utah FORGE announces 17 project selectees for negotiations for solicitation 2020-1

Utah FORGE Chooses 17 Selectees to Begin Negotiations:

  • University of Utah to award $46 M for research in Enhanced Geothermal System development
  • 17 selectees chosen to enter negotiations in 5 topic areas

SALT LAKE CITY, UT., Feb. 24, 2021 – The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) at the University of Utah is pleased to announce it has chosen 17 project selectee applications for negotiations for the FORGE Solicitation 2020-1. The selectees could receive a combined total of up to $46 M over the next 3 years.

The topic areas and the selectees include:

Topic # and TitleFunding LevelAwardsAwardee
Topic 1: Devices suitable for sectional (zonal) isolation along both cased and open-hole wellbores under geothermal conditions$12 Million1 to 3Welltec; PetroQuip Energy Services; Colorado School of Mines
Topic 2: Estimation of stress parameters$3 Million1 to 3Battelle Memorial Institute
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
University of Oklahoma
Topic 3: Field-scale characterization of reservoir stimulation and evolution over time, including thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) effects$8 Million1 to 4Clemson University
Stanford University
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Rice University
Topic 4: Stimulation and configuration of the well(s) at Utah FORGE$12 Million1 to 3Fervo Energy Company
University of Texas at Austin
Topic 5: Integrated Laboratory and Modeling studies of the interactions among THMC processes$11 Million1 to 6Pennsylvania State University
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
US Geological Survey
University of Oklahoma
Purdue University

“There is enormous untapped potential for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to provide clean and reliable electricity generation throughout the United States,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Science. “These investments in EGS research support President Biden’s mission to take on the climate crisis by pushing the frontiers of science and engineering and creating jobs in cutting-edge clean energy fields.”

Utah FORGE is a dedicated underground field laboratory sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office. It is working on developing, testing, and accelerating breakthroughs in EGS. Solicitation 2020-1 was the first formal call for research proposals on EGS technologies from the Utah FORGE Program. More information about Solicitation 2020-1 is available HERE.

“Utah FORGE looks forward to collaborating closely with the scientists and engineers of the project teams on technologies that will promote commercialization of this inexhaustible and non-polluting energy source,” said Joseph Moore, Ph.D. and Principal Investigator of the Project. “We were impressed with the caliber of all of the applicants who submitted proposals and anticipate additional solicitations in the future.”

To download the official press release follow this LINK

 

Utah FORGE Successfully Completes Drilling of First Deviated Deep Well

Drilling Completed!!!

Utah FORGE team has successfully completed drilling of its first highly deviated deep well. Drilling was completed 60 days ahead of schedule.

The upper part of the well was drilled vertically through approximately 4,700 feet of sediments before penetrating into high strength, crystalline granite. The well was deviated at a 65° angle from vertical after reaching a depth of 6000 ft. This angle was maintained for the remainder of the well’s trajectory. The well ultimately reached a true vertical depth of 8,559 feet, and a total measured depth of 10,987 feet. Preliminary measurements indicate temperatures at the “toe” of the well will exceed 442°F (228°C). Approximately 74 ft of core of the granitic and metamorphic rocks that will form the FORGE reservoir was also recovered.

“We are incredibly pleased with the success of the well” said Joseph Moore, Ph.D. and Principal Investigator of Utah FORGE. “It was drilled under complicated conditions and will serve as a prototype for similar wells around the world.”

With this well successfully completed, a series of tests can 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. In the future, a sister well will be drilled to form the basis of an EGS.

About Utah FORGE: The Utah FORGE project is managed by the Energy & Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah. Funding for the project is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. The FORGE site is located near the town of Milford in Beaver County, Utah, on the western flank of the Mineral Mountains. Near term goals are aimed at perfecting drilling, stimulation, injection-production, and subsurface imaging technologies required to establish and sustain continuous fluid flow and energy transfer from an EGS reservoir.

Open Press Release HERE

Partner Spotlight – Itasca

Itasca Consulting Group Inc. is a global, employee-owned, engineering consulting and software firm, focusing on geomechanical and hydrogeological projects.

3DEC model of a geothermal site showing shear displacements along existing fractures and synthetic (predicted) microseismicity.

 

Led by Principal Engineer Dr. Branko Damjanac, the team brings deep experience in solving complex problems in mining, civil, energy, and materials engineering and is excited to be collaborating with Utah FORGE.

Itasca's consultants solve complex problems in mining, civil, energy, and materials engineering. The company combines practical engineering and field experience with expert knowledge of advanced numerical simulation and analysis. Itasca’s software (3DEC, FLAC, FLAC3D, Griddle, MINEDW, PFC, UDEC, and XSite) are highly respected and widely used. For geothermal engineering, Itasca provides analysis using advanced numerical modeling tools for predicting the evolution of fractures, thermal and stress changes, and induced microseismicity.

Itasca combines practical engineering and field experience with expert knowledge of advanced numerical simulation and analysis.

  • Full-physics stimulation sensitivity numerical 2d and 3D modeling
  • Stimulation scenario development and evaluation
  • Stimulation plan preparation
  • Discrete stimulation numerical modeling
  • Production coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical numerical modeling
  • Experiment evaluation and verification

XSite model of fracture growth from five perforation clusters sequentially stimulated, showing stress interference between the fractures. The plot shows fracture apertures. The insert shows the histories of injection pressures during the simulation.

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.

UPDATE November 25

Well 16A(32)-78 is currently partway through the build, at a measured depth of about 6300 ft.  We successfully ran a temperature survey, an image log (UBI) and collected approximately 56 ft of core. The static temperature recorded at a depth of 5,501 ft depth is close to 300°F. Drilling the first part of the curve proceeded at about 30 ft/hr.

UPDATE December 1

Reached 7, 320 ft MD and now drilling into the tangent section of the well. TVD at 7, 031 ft.

Drilling completed - READ MORE

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