ANNOUNCING SOLICITATION 2022-2

Funding Opportunity

The University of Utah, in support of the Department of Energy’s (DOE), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) is seeking applications under this solicitation for advancing Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies. This solicitation covers testing and evaluation of new and innovative EGS tools, techniques, and supporting science in the following EGS lifecycle categories:

  • Reservoir characterization (coupled imaging, drilling for interrogation and monitoring, high-temperature tools and sensors)
  • Reservoir creation (formation access, fracture characterization, zonal isolation, stimulation technologies)
  • Reservoir sustainability (long-term testing, monitoring, and operational feedback)

All eligible entities (including industry, universities, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, non-profit organizations, government agencies, etc.) can submit proposals as individual entities or teams.

University of Utah anticipates making up to 17 awards under Solicitation 2022-2 covering a range of activities. The solicitation process will be competitive. University of Utah reserves the right to fund, in whole or in part, any, all, or none of Solicitation 2022-2 applications. Multi-year awards will be phased and include go/no go decision points on an annual basis.

The desired outcomes of the Utah FORGE initiative are to:

  • Gain fundamental understanding of key mechanisms controlling fracture generation, fluid flow, heat transfer, and sustainability of EGS reservoirs
  • Allow the research community to develop, test, and improve EGS technologies
  • Enable rapid dissemination of technical data to the research community, developers, and other stakeholders to enable further, independent research
  • Enable a pathway towards a rigorous and reproducible EGS development approach
  • Reduce uncertainty and risk for commercial development

Fundamental gains in understanding the key mechanisms controlling the development of EGS reservoirs and resources are expected, in particular how to initiate and sustain fracture networks in crystalline basement rock using different stimulation technologies and techniques. Essential to this process is a comprehensive instrumentation and data collection program that will capture a high-fidelity picture of EGS creation and processes controlling the evolution of the system. Utah FORGE will facilitate comparison of technologies and tools in a controlled and well-characterized environment and enable the rapid dissemination of technical data to the research community, developers, and other interested parties.

The topic areas, their maximum potential funding level, and potential number of awards are summarized below. All awards will have a maximum period of performance of 3 years.


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In order to apply or to download the full solicitation, potential applicants must register and create an account on the University of Utah Competition Space (InfoReady Exchange). This account will then allow the user to register for any solicitations that are currently in InfoReady Exchange. Each organization or business unit, whether acting as a team or a single entity, should only use one account as the point of contact for each application submission.

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A recorded informational webinar to further outline the scope of the Solicitation 2022-2 is now available.

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Topic Areas for Technology Testing and Evaluation

Topic # and TitlePotential FundingPotential Number of Awards
Topic 6: Adaptive Induced Seismicity Monitoring Protocols$2,000,0002 to 3
Topic 7: Alternative Stimulation Schemes$8,000,0002 to 3
Topic 8: Field Scale Experiments to Measure Heat-Sweep Efficiency$8,000,0002 to 4
Topic 9: High Temperature Proppants$6,000,0002 to 4
Topic 10: Multiset Straddle Packers for Open Hole Operations$20,000,0002 to 3

 

Download the Utah FORGE Disclosure Statement and Confidentiality Agreement

Geoscientific overview of the Utah FORGE site - VIEW HERE

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Solicitation Issue DateAugust 15, 2022
Informational Pre-Recorded Webinar AvailableAugust 23, 20222:00 PM mountain time
Submission Deadline for Concept PapersOctober 10, 20222:00 PM mountain time
Encourage/Discourage Decision NotificationNovember 10, 2022
Deadline for Solicitation QuestionsJanuary 3, 20232:00 PM mountain time
Submission Deadline for Full ApplicationsJanuary 10, 20232:00 PM mountain time
Expected Date for Selection NotificationsJune, 2023


List of Topics and Descriptions

Topic 6: Adaptive Induced Seismicity Monitoring Protocols

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Use and integration of existing data sources (for example, DAS, surface and well deployed geophones, injection parameters) to develop hindcast and forecast models for application at Utah FORGE and other locations.
  • Applications of machine-learning for operational forecasting.
  • Development of improved physics-based protocols for timely operational measures.
  • Ability to link injection activity to seismic monitoring results in real-time and propose immediate modifications to the stimulation program.

Targets: Projects proposed under this Topic Area should consider the following and address how the proposed work can meet this target:

  • Development of practical real-time adaptive seismicity monitoring protocols that can be tested and validated with existing field test data acquired at Utah FORGE and expanded to other locations.

Field Constraints:

  • Methods and technologies that are feasible to implement and compatible with Utah FORGE in-situ monitoring will be considered. Only data that are already available or currently planned for future collection by Utah FORGE should be considered. The deployment of new instrumentation to support this effort is not intended and will not be considered as part of this Topic.

 

Topic 7: Alternative Stimulation Schemes

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Stimulation methods including, but not limited to, thermal stressing, chemo-mechanical weakening, energetics (propellants and HE), cycling rates, and chemical stimulation.
  • Novel drilling techniques such as wishbone completions and slimhole branches that facilitate increased reservoir access.

Targets: Projects proposed under this Topic Area should consider the following and address how the proposed work can meet this target:

  • Stimulation methods that establish multiple fluid flow paths that permeate the reservoir volume between the injection and the production wells and that avoid short-circuiting of flow via a limited number of these paths.

Field Constraints:

  • Methods and technologies that are feasible to implement, compatible with Utah FORGE in-situ conditions, and deemed safe for deployment in the Utah FORGE wells will be considered; however, technologies may be deployed in wells other than the Utah FORGE wells at the discretion of DOE and Utah FORGE or as proposed by the applicant.
  • Methods must be contained within a defined section of the wellbore and pass through or be implemented in a 7-inch diameter casing.
  • Methods must consider the placement of the treatments and its impact on the completion hardware and address operational or engineering issues associated with the stimulation scheme.

 

Topic 8: Field-scale Experiments to Measure Heat-sweep Efficiency

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel tracer and geochemical studies directed at understanding fluid/fracture contact area over time.
  • Geochemical analysis.
  • Pressure transient analysis and interference testing.
  • Production and/or temperature logging (in support of methods that do not rely on thermal breakthrough for prediction).
  • Remote imaging techniques.
  • Specially designed injection/production sequences, such as circulation at different rates/pressures or huff/puff.

Targets: Projects proposed under this Topic Area should consider the following and address how the proposed work can meet one or more of these targets: 

  • Collection, interpretation, and analysis of data that supports the prediction of reservoir thermal performance without solely relying on the long-term production temperature data.

Field Constraints:

  • Methods and technologies that are feasible to implement; compatible with Utah FORGE in-situ conditions, infrastructure, schedule, and operational envelope; and deemed safe for deployment in the Utah FORGE wells will be considered.

 

Topic 9: Stimulation and Configuration of the Well(s) at Utah FORGE High Temperature Proppants

Areas of interest:

  • The development and demonstration of proppants for improved fracture conductivity support capable of reliable long-term performance in hot aqueous environments with extended thermal/cycles, and field testing at the Utah FORGE site or other location (pending approval of Utah FORGE).
  • The development of tagged proppants that can be used to support remote mapping, emplacement efficiency of treatments, locations of created fractures and/or the flow of fluids through the EGS reservoir.
  • Development of taggant materials that can be applied to proppants intended for long-term reliability.

Targets: Projects proposed under this Topic Area should consider the following and address how the proposed work can meet one or more of these targets:

  • Proppants intended for long-term conductivity support (minimum of 5-year design life) and thermal/pressurization cycles (150 to 250°C and 35 to 70 MPa respectively) in hot aqueous brines (250°C and 10,000 TDS) to demonstrate acceptable long-term fracture conductivity at the flow conditions experienced at the Utah FORGE site.
  • Proppants tagged with a material that can support reservoir characterization following emplacement with operational use for extended periods (minimum of 1-year design life) and thermal/pressurization cycles (150 to 250°C and 35 to 70 MPa respectively) in hot aqueous brines (250°C and 10,000 TDS).
  • Laboratory testing following ISO Standard 19B (API RP 19D) across temperatures and pressures noted above using plates made of Sierra White or Westerly granite. Minimum of 50-hour testing.
  • Capability for manufacturing sufficient quantities of proppant for field trial at the Utah FORGE or other site at the discretion of Utah FORGE.

 

Topic 10: Multiset Straddle Packers for Open Hole Operations

Areas of interest include:

  • The development and demonstration of field-tested reliability at the Utah FORGE site of multiset straddle packers suitable for operational use at temperatures at or greater than 225°C for extended periods and thermal/pressurization cycles in hot aqueous fluids typical of geothermal fluids (typically < 10,000 TDS).

Targets: Projects proposed under this Topic Area should consider the following and address how the proposed work can meet these targets: 

  • Capable of operation without being damaged at operational temperatures in the presence of aqueous brines (10,000 TDS) at or greater than 225°C for two weeks, after cycling for 8 times under 5000 psi differential pressures.
  • Development of a deployment ready multiset straddle packer assembly capable of at least 6 sets in a borehole diameter of 9-1/2 inches and representative derivative designs for operations at diameters of 5-1/2 inches to 12-1/4 inches.
  • Upper packer of the straddle system should be capable of operating as a single, stand-alone packer.
  • Variable straddle length up to 100 feet.
  • The differential between the packer pressure and test interval pressure should be controllable by the operator.
  • Mitigations to address potential issues of tubing loading on packer assembly during deployment.
  • Field demonstration of the packer system at conditions representative of the targets above.
  • Packer system must seal in oval hole with the short dimension equal to bit gage diameter, and the long dimension 1/2" greater than bit diameter.
  • Packer system must pass through irregular borehole features created by the drilling steering system that are 3/8" under gage to the bit diameter, without damage.
  • Packer system must pass through a radius of curvature in the build section of a directional well of 6 degrees per hundred feet, without damage from slide-loading forces or contact.

Field Constraints:

Methods and technologies that are feasible to implement and deemed safe for fielding at Utah FORGE or other locations. Location to be determined in consultation with Utah FORGE.

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Resources

Key datasets and interpretations covering geoscientific characterization, well logs, reservoir stimulations, detection of microseismicity, and numerical simulations are found in the following documents and websites:

Search for other available data in the Geothermal Data Repository

Apply here at InfoReady

 

For questions contact utahforgesolicitations@utah.edu

For information on Solicitation 2020-1 CLICK HERE