skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Estimating Well Costs for Enhanced Geothermal System Applications

Abstract

The objective of the work reported was to investigate the costs of drilling and completing wells and to relate those costs to the economic viability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). This is part of a larger parametric study of major cost components in an EGS. The possibility of improving the economics of EGS can be determined by analyzing the major cost components of the system, which include well drilling and completion. Determining what costs in developing an EGS are most sensitive will determine the areas of research to reduce those costs. The results of the well cost analysis will help determine the cost of a well for EGS development.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - EM
OSTI Identifier:
911250
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-05-00660
TRN: US200724%%622
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 - GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; DRILLING; ECONOMICS; GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS; VIABILITY; WELL DRILLING; enhanced geothermal; well costs

Citation Formats

K. K. Bloomfield, and P. T. Laney. Estimating Well Costs for Enhanced Geothermal System Applications. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/911250.
K. K. Bloomfield, & P. T. Laney. Estimating Well Costs for Enhanced Geothermal System Applications. United States. doi:10.2172/911250.
K. K. Bloomfield, and P. T. Laney. Mon . "Estimating Well Costs for Enhanced Geothermal System Applications". United States. doi:10.2172/911250. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911250.
@article{osti_911250,
title = {Estimating Well Costs for Enhanced Geothermal System Applications},
author = {K. K. Bloomfield and P. T. Laney},
abstractNote = {The objective of the work reported was to investigate the costs of drilling and completing wells and to relate those costs to the economic viability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). This is part of a larger parametric study of major cost components in an EGS. The possibility of improving the economics of EGS can be determined by analyzing the major cost components of the system, which include well drilling and completion. Determining what costs in developing an EGS are most sensitive will determine the areas of research to reduce those costs. The results of the well cost analysis will help determine the cost of a well for EGS development.},
doi = {10.2172/911250},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2005},
month = {Mon Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2005}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Substantial unexploited opportunity exists for the US, and the world, in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). As a result of US DOE investment, new drilling technology, new power generation equipment and cycles enable meaningful power production, in a compact and modular fashion; at lower and lower top side EGS working fluid temperatures and in a broader range of geologies and geographies. This cost analysis effort supports the expansion of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), furthering DOE strategic themes of energy security and sub goal of energy diversity; reducing the Nation's dependence on foreign oil while improving the environment.
  • The feasibility of locating fracture zones and estimating their crack parameters was examined using an areal well shoot method centered on Utah State Geothermal Well 9-1, Beaver County, Utah. High-resolution travel time measurements were made between a borehole sensor and an array of shot stations distributed radially and azimuthally about the well. Directional velocity behavior in the vicinity of the well was investigated by comparing velocity logs derived from the travel time data. Three fracture zones were identified form the velocity data, corroborating fracture indicators seen in other geophysical logs conducted in Well 9-1. Crack densities and average crack aspectmore » ratios for these fracture zones were estimated using a self-consistent velocity theory (O'Connell and Budiansy 1974). Probable trends of these fracture zones were established from a combination of the data from the more distant shot stations and the results of a gravity survey. The results of this study indicate that the areal well shoot is a potentially powerful tool for the reconnaisance of fracture-controlled fluid and gas reservoirs. Improvements in methodology and hardware could transform it into an operationally viable survey method.« less
  • The Geothermal research Program of the US Department of Energy (DOE) has as one of its goals to reduce the cost of drilling geothermal wells by 25 percent. To attain this goal, DOE continuously evaluates new technologies to determine their potential in contributing to the Program. One such technology is artifical intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science that, in recent years, has begun to impact the marketplace in a number of fields. Expert systems techniques can (and in some cases, already have) been applied to develop computer-based ''advisors'' to assist drilling personnel in areas such as designing mud systems,more » casing plans, and cement programs, optimizing drill bit selection and bottom hole asssembly (BHA) design, and alleviating lost circulation, stuck pipe, fishing, and cement problems. Intelligent machines with sensor and/or robotic directly linked to AI systems, have potential applications in areas of bit control, rig hydraulics, pipe handling, and pipe inspection. Using a well costing spreadsheet, the potential savings that could be attributed to each of these systems was calculated for three base cases: a dry steam well at The Geysers, a medium-depth Imerial Valley well, and a deep Imperial Valley well. Based on the average potential savings to be realized, expert systems for handling lost circulations problems and for BHA design are the most likely to produce significant results. Automated bit control and rig hydraulics also exhibit high potential savings, but these savings are extremely sensitive to the assumptions of improved drilling efficiency and the cost of these sytems at the rig. 50 refs., 19 figs., 17 tabs.« less
  • According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), geothermal energy generation in the United States is projected to more than triple by 2040 (EIA 2013). This addition, which translates to more than 5 GW of generation capacity, is anticipated because of technological advances and an increase in available sources through the continued development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGSs) and low-temperature resources (EIA 2013). Studies have shown that air emissions, water consumption, and land use for geothermal electricity generation have less of an impact than traditional fossil fuel–based electricity generation; however, the long-term sustainability ofmore » geothermal power plants can be affected by insufficient replacement of aboveground or belowground operational fluid losses resulting from normal operations (Schroeder et al. 2014). Thus, access to water is therefore critical for increased deployment of EGS technologies and, therefore, growth of the geothermal sector. This paper examines water issues relating to EGS development from a variety of perspectives. It starts by exploring the relationship between EGS site geology, stimulation protocols, and below ground water loss, which is one of the largest drivers of water consumption for EGS projects. It then examines the relative costs of different potential traditional and alternative water sources for EGS. Finally it summarizes specific state policies relevant to the use of alternative water sources for EGS, and finally explores the relationship between EGS site geology, stimulation protocols, and below ground water loss, which is one of the largest drivers of water consumption for EGS projects.« less
  • Utah State Geothermal Well 9-1 in the Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA, Beaver County, Utah, has been donated by Phillips Petroleum Company for calibration and testing of well-logging equipment in the hot, corrosive, geothermal environment. It is the second Calibration/Test Well (C/T-2) in the Geothermal Log Interpretation Program. A study of cuttings and well logs from Well C/T-2 was completed. This synthesis and data presentation contains most of the subsurface geologic information needed to effect the total evaluation of geophysical logs acquired in this geothermal calibration/test well, C/T-2.