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Title: Advanced Horizontal Well Recirculation Systems for Geothermal Energy Recovery in Sedimentary Formations

Abstract

There is increased recognition that geothermal energy resources are more widespread than previously thought, with potential for providing a significant amount of sustainable clean energy worldwide. Recent advances in drilling, completion, and production technology from the oil and gas industry can now be applied to unlock vast new geothermal resources, with some estimates for potential electricity generation from geothermal energy now on the order of 2 million megawatts. Terralog USA, in collaboration with the University of California, Irvine (UCI), are currently investigating advanced design concepts for paired horizontal well recirculation systems, optimally configured for geothermal energy recovery in permeable sedimentary and crystalline formations of varying structure and material properties. This two-year research project, funded by the US Department of Energy, includes combined efforts for: 1) Resource characterization; 2) Small and large scale laboratory investigations; 3) Numerical simulation at both the laboratory and field scale; and 4) Engineering feasibility studies and economic evaluations. The research project is currently in its early stages. This paper summarizes our technical approach and preliminary findings related to potential resources, small-scale laboratory simulation, and supporting numerical simulation efforts.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Terralog Technologies USA, Inc.
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE EE Office of Geothermal Technologies (EE-2C)
OSTI Identifier:
1057782
Report Number(s):
DOE-EE0005126-GRC2012
DOE Contract Number:
EE0005126
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: GRC Annual Meeting Reno, Nevada, USA September 30 - October 3, 2012
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; Horizontal wells, Sedimentary formations, Geothermal energy, Recirculation systems

Citation Formats

Bruno, Mike, Detwiler, Russell L, Lao, Kang, Serajian, Vahid, Elkhoury, Jean, Diessl, Julia, and White, Nicky. Advanced Horizontal Well Recirculation Systems for Geothermal Energy Recovery in Sedimentary Formations. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Bruno, Mike, Detwiler, Russell L, Lao, Kang, Serajian, Vahid, Elkhoury, Jean, Diessl, Julia, & White, Nicky. Advanced Horizontal Well Recirculation Systems for Geothermal Energy Recovery in Sedimentary Formations. United States.
Bruno, Mike, Detwiler, Russell L, Lao, Kang, Serajian, Vahid, Elkhoury, Jean, Diessl, Julia, and White, Nicky. Sun . "Advanced Horizontal Well Recirculation Systems for Geothermal Energy Recovery in Sedimentary Formations". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1057782.
@article{osti_1057782,
title = {Advanced Horizontal Well Recirculation Systems for Geothermal Energy Recovery in Sedimentary Formations},
author = {Bruno, Mike and Detwiler, Russell L and Lao, Kang and Serajian, Vahid and Elkhoury, Jean and Diessl, Julia and White, Nicky},
abstractNote = {There is increased recognition that geothermal energy resources are more widespread than previously thought, with potential for providing a significant amount of sustainable clean energy worldwide. Recent advances in drilling, completion, and production technology from the oil and gas industry can now be applied to unlock vast new geothermal resources, with some estimates for potential electricity generation from geothermal energy now on the order of 2 million megawatts. Terralog USA, in collaboration with the University of California, Irvine (UCI), are currently investigating advanced design concepts for paired horizontal well recirculation systems, optimally configured for geothermal energy recovery in permeable sedimentary and crystalline formations of varying structure and material properties. This two-year research project, funded by the US Department of Energy, includes combined efforts for: 1) Resource characterization; 2) Small and large scale laboratory investigations; 3) Numerical simulation at both the laboratory and field scale; and 4) Engineering feasibility studies and economic evaluations. The research project is currently in its early stages. This paper summarizes our technical approach and preliminary findings related to potential resources, small-scale laboratory simulation, and supporting numerical simulation efforts.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Sep 30 00:00:00 EDT 2012},
month = {Sun Sep 30 00:00:00 EDT 2012}
}

Conference:
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  • There is increased recognition that geothermal energy resources are more widespread than previously thought, with potential for providing a significant amount of sustainable clean energy worldwide. Recent advances in drilling, completion, and production technology from the oil and gas industry can now be applied to unlock vast new geothermal resources, with some estimates for potential electricity generation from geothermal energy now on the order of 2 million megawatts. The primary objectives of this DOE research effort are to develop and document optimum design configurations and operating practices to produce geothermal power from hot permeable sedimentary and crystalline formations using advancedmore » horizontal well recirculation systems. During Phase I of this research project Terralog Technologies USA and The University of California, Irvine (UCI), have completed preliminary investigations and documentation of advanced design concepts for paired horizontal well recirculation systems, optimally configured for geothermal energy recovery in permeable sedimentary and crystalline formations of varying structure and material properties. We have also identified significant geologic resources appropriate for application of such technology. The main challenge for such recirculation systems is to optimize both the design configuration and the operating practices for cost-effective geothermal energy recovery. These will be strongly influenced by sedimentary formation properties, including thickness and dip, temperature, thermal conductivity, heat capacity, permeability, and porosity; and by working fluid properties.« less
  • Bottom-hole temperature data have been used to investigate the relationship between topographic relief and the sub-surface temperature regime in the Alberta part of the western Canadian sedimentary basin. Five sections through the basin have been considered, and temperature gradients from both above and below the Paleozoic erosional surface have been correlated with surface topography. The results indicate that for regions of higher surface elevation the temperature gradients above the Paleozoic surface are less than those in regions of low elevation. Below the Paleozoic surface, the relationship between temperature gradient and surface topography is much less certain, but it appears thatmore » ther is a general increase of gradient associated with high relief. These results are consistent with those expected to be associated with gravity imposed water motion related to recharge and discharge areas. Cross-sections showing temperature as a function of depth and distance indicate that the effect of regional changes in surface topography is felt to great depth, and perturbations to the thermal regime are caused by both local and regional water flow patterns. As a consequence, the influence of topography on the hydrodynamics and the temperature regime greatly affects the geothermal energy potential of the area.« less
  • The determination of low enthalpy geothermal potential in sedimentary formations and its exploitation require the solution of two different problems, depending on whether the formations under consideration are calcareous or detrital.
  • The Gas Research Institute (GRI) has initiated a project to determine the reservoir characteristics and appropriate horizontal well designs in various gas-productive formations. The goal of the project is to evaluate horizontal completions as a means of reducing unit production costs in comparison to vertical well-completion methods. Three gas-productive formations were evaluated in the initial phase of the project: the Mancos B on the Douglas Creek arch in northwestern Colorado; the Davis Sand in the Fort Worth basin; and the Barnett Shale, also in the Fort Worth basin. Geologic and engineering data from vertical wells were collected for each formationmore » and used to strategically plan offset horizontal wells. Specifically, information was gathered to characterize the natural and induced fractures, model the reservoirs, and establish a production baseline for each reservoir. The next phase involved GRI participation in the drilling of the three offset horizontal wells with three independent producers. A 1500-ft horizontal section was air drilled across the Mancos B; a 2000-ft horizontal well was air drilled in the Davis sandstone; and a 2000-ft horizontal section was fluid drilled across the 300-ft-thick Barnett Shale. Each of the horizontal wells exhibit varying reservoir characteristics and associated gas production.« less
  • The present study involves locating a potential horizontal well test by evaluating the low permeability reservoirs of the Greater Green River Basin. A study of all formations to a depth of 12,000 feet is in progress to determine the feasibility of air drilling a horizontal well to improve production in the water sensitive low permeability gas sand formations. This is an expanded effort form an earlier study in the eastern part of the basin. The results of the earlier study are used as examples of the methodology applied to evaluate these resources and to establish areas amenable to air horizontalmore » drilling technology. The areal distribution of the work now in progress is included to show the extent of the potential reservoir. Formations of interest in the Mesaverde Group include: Lewis Shale, Almond, Ericson, Blair, and Frontier. The main product of this effort will be a rationale to select horizontal well sites in the Greater Green River Basin, and may have potential use in other low permeability sand reservoirs.« less