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.

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 – 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.

Modeling and Simulation Forum #1 RECORDING

The inaugural Modeling and Simulation Forum was held on April 15, 2020 and if you weren't able to participate you can check out the video recording of the webinar below.

Topics that were covered included an overview of the Utah FORGE project, a description of the numerical methods and codes that have used, a summary of modelling results dealing with discrete fracture network, the distribution of stress, and the planning of well trajectories.

Download the PDF of the slides:

20200415_MSForum-post

This will be a recurring event to keep the EGS community updated on our activities and, most importantly, to gain the community's feedback.

For more information about upcoming webinars visit the Modeling and Simulation Forum page

For news, special announcement about the Utah FORGE project activities please SUBSCRIBE