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Published on January 17, 2008

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DOE Geothermal Research:  DOE Geothermal Research Geoscience and Related Technology Exploration and Drilling Energy Systems Research & Testing Programmatic Objectives:  Programmatic Objectives Decrease the cost of power Increase geothermal use - electrical and direct use Increase states with electrical generation DOE Geoscience:  DOE Geoscience Research to reduce cost of electricity and expand geothermal use Improved exploration Better engineering Technology transfer/Industry collaboration DOE Geoscience:  DOE Geoscience Resource Enhancement Exploration Technology Development Geothermal Resource Exploration and Definition (GRED)   Resource Enhancement:  Resource Enhancement Develop an adequate understanding of geothermal systems in order to find (in conjunction with the Exploration program element), enhance, and engineer geothermal systems Provide updated estimates of the geothermal resources available for development in the United States in conjunction with USGS Resource Enhancement:  Resource Enhancement Improve the efficiency and sustainability of energy recovery from geothermal systems by engineering of natural and stimulated natural geothermal systems Carry out a cost-effective research and development program so that industry can make decisions about using EGS systems. Exploration :  Exploration   Develop and test innovative techniques for exploring for geothermal resources   Reduce the cost of drilling through improved well-siting by applying new exploration and characterization techniques Geothermal Resource Exploration and Definition (GRED) :  Geothermal Resource Exploration and Definition (GRED) Industry cost-shared exploration projects To find, evaluate, and define additional geothermal resources throughout the western United States Research Team:  Research Team National Laboratories - INEEL, LBNL, LLNL Universities Industry partners - EGS and GRED Research topics:  Research topics Geochemistry Geology Exploration Models Geophysical Tools for Resource Characterization, Exploration and Monitoring Resource Analysis Reservoir Engineering Reservoir Characterization & Management Production and Injection Strategies Rock Mechanics Thermoelastic Hydraulic Fracture Design Tracers INEEL Geoscience Activities:  INEEL Geoscience Activities J.L. Renner INEEL Geoscience:  INEEL Geoscience Research supporting resource enhancement and exploration Objectives: Develop reservoir engineering tools Hydrothermal systems Engineered systems (EGS) Investigate improved exploration methods EGS &Hydrothermal Characterization :  EGS &Hydrothermal Characterization Objective: Develop methods to identify permeability structure, anisotropy, and flow volume for engineered and fluid-starved systems. Approach: Extend Tracer Test Analysis to fractured media Develop tracer selection criteria. Existing Tracer Test Interpretation Problems (from Maxfield et al., 2003):  Existing Tracer Test Interpretation Problems (from Maxfield et al., 2003) Tracer is retarded (adsorbed) as moisture content of sandpack decreases. Cannot interpret tracer test results correctly if superheated conditions prevail. We need better tracer selection criteria. Injection into Fluid-Starved Environments:  Injection into Fluid-Starved Environments Objective: Determine optimal use of injectate by studying relative influence of: - Liquid saturation - NCG concentration - Power generation efficiency. Approach: Extend work of Truesdell and Shook (1997), Stark (2001) by numerically simulating injection into HTR vs. NVDR in NW Geysers. Example: Effect of Injection Location on NCG Production:  Example: Effect of Injection Location on NCG Production Injection just above the HTR results in complete boiling of injectate without high concentrations of NCG. Injection within the HTR doesn’t add to production rate, but does create a NCG bank. Higher NCG production reduces generation efficiency by 7%. Improved Numerical Tools:  Improved Numerical Tools Objective: Develop improved numerical tools. Approach: - New Wellbore flow correlation (SAIC) - Inverse Model for Tetrad – Tet-1 (INEEL) - Integrated Reservoir and Geophysics models – TetGeo (collaborative project, RFP outstanding) - TetGeo-1 in FY04. Multi-phase Flow Correlation:  Multi-phase Flow Correlation Developing new steam-water correlations for high, medium, and low enthalpy well data provided by Unocal, CalEnergy, SAIC. Available for ALL wellbore simulators in FY04. Automatic History Matching (Inverse Modeling) – Tet-1:  Automatic History Matching (Inverse Modeling) – Tet-1 Public Domain Inverse Model PEST Coupled to Tetrad Tet-1 executes multiple commands; easy to extend to (TETRAD + Geophysics) model Strong Industry Support (Caithness, CalEnergy, Unocal, SAIC, Stanford U, etc.) Available for beta-test April 2003. Coupled Reservoir Plus Geophysics TetGeo and TetGeo-1:  Coupled Reservoir Plus Geophysics TetGeo and TetGeo-1 Integrating models increases observations more data reduces uncertainty Field Management AND Exploration Tool Extend TetGeo to TetGeo-1 in FY04. New Exploration Strategies in the B&R:  New Exploration Strategies in the B&R Aeromag surveys as an exploration tool Demonstrated utility in locating faults at DV Inexpensive, rapid means of regional analysis Combined with heat flow, geologic mapping gives more precise description of resource. Dixie Valley Aeromag and Mapped Faults:  Dixie Valley Aeromag and Mapped Faults Faults inferred from Maximum Horizontal Gradient in gravity (shaded relief) correlate with mapped faults (yellow lines). From Smith, 2003. Slide24:  Soda Lake Occurs in Carson Sink where active resurfacing obscures surface evidence of faults Recent (~10ka) volcanism Potential dike and/or other basalt intrusion Relationship of geothermal system to faults and intrusions is not known High-resolution aeromag particularly useful because of active deposition and young volcanism. Applying ‘Lessons Learned’ from Dixie Valley – B&R data constructs:  Applying ‘Lessons Learned’ from Dixie Valley – B&R data constructs Evaluating the importance of the DV studies: Synthesis of available spatially referenced data for known B&R systems Development of overlays (thematic layers) of geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data Analysis to discover most important exploration criteria, most important surveys to perform Selection of additional areas for future exploration. Miscellaneous:  Miscellaneous Prepare synthesis of Dixie Valley research Assist USGS with exploration data collection High temperature probe Support geoscience program INEEL Accomplishments:  INEEL Accomplishments A suite of reservoir simulation methods To be used with existing simulators To better characterize geothermal fields Improved injection practices Cost effective exploration methods  

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