skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Exploration Drilling and Technology Demonstration At Fort Bliss

The Tularosa-Hueco basin in south-central New Mexico has long been known as an extensional area of high heat flow. Much of the basin is within the Fort Bliss military reservation, which is an exceptionally high value customer for power independent of the regional electric grid and for direct use energy in building climate control. A series of slim holes drilled in the 1990s established the existence of a thermal anomaly but not its practical value. This study began in 2009 with a demonstration of new exploration drilling technology. The subsequent phases reported here delivered a useful well, comparative exploration data sets and encouragement for further development. A production-size well, RMI56-5, was sited after extensive study of archival and newly collected data in 2010-2011. Most of 2012 was taken up with getting state and Federal authorities to agree on a lead agency for permitting purposes, getting a drilling permit and redesigning the drilling program to suit available equipment. In 2013 we drilled, logged and tested a 924 m well on the McGregor Range at Fort Bliss using a reverse circulation rig. Rig tests demonstrated commercial permeability and the well has a 7-inch slotted liner for use either in production or injection.more » An August 2013 survey of the completed well showed a temperature of 90 C with no reversal, the highest such temperature in the vicinity. The well’s proximity to demand suggests a potentially valuable resource for direct use heat and emergency power generation. The drilling produced cuttings of excellent size and quality. These were subjected to traditional analyses (thin sections, XRD) and to the QEMScan™ for comparison. QEMScan™ technology includes algorithms for determining such properties of rocks as density, mineralogy, heavy/light atoms, and porosity to be compared with direct measurements of the cuttings. In addition to a complete cuttings set, conventional and resistivity image logs were obtained in the open hole before the well was cased.« less
;  [1] ; ; ; ; ; ;
  1. EGI
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Thirty-Ninth Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering Stanford University, Stanford, California
Research Org:
El Paso County / Ruby Mountain Inc.
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Contributing Orgs:
Ruby Mountain Inc., The Energy & Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah, Evergreen Clean Energy Management
Country of Publication:
United States
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY Low Enthalpy, Technology Demonstration, Fort Bliss - McGregor Range, Tularosa-Hueco Basin