Utah FORGE starts production well drilling to further EGS testing
The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, has announced that the drilling of its second highly deviated deep well has commenced. This second well will serve as the production well of a two well doublet, and will mirror the existing injection well, which was drilled between October 2020 and February 2021. The new well will be located approximately 300 feet from the injection well.
Like the injection well, the upper part of the well will be drilled vertically through approximately 4,550 feet of sediments at which point it will penetrate into hard crystalline granite. At about 5,600 feet, the well will be gradually steered at a 5-degree angle for each 100 feet until it reaches an inclination of 65 degrees from its vertical point. The total length of the well will be approximately 10,700 feet with the “toe” – or the end of the well – reaching a vertical depth of 8,265 feet. The temperature at this depth will be 440 degrees F (226 degrees C).
“This is a crucial next step in the Utah FORGE project’s goal of de-risking the tools and technologies required for making Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies commercially viable” said Dr. Joseph Moore, and Principal Investigator of Utah FORGE. “This new well will serve as the production well.
In the future, water will be pumped into the injection well, travel through the reservoir of tiny fractures that have been previously opened, absorb the heat from the hard, hot crystalline granite, and then be pumped up through this new production well to the surface. This will help us capture the enormous energy potential beneath our feet and bring low cost, environmentally green, and renewable energy across the United States.”
Once the well is completed, a series of tests will be run to continue facilitating the development of the EGS reservoir and its long-term connectivity. Additional tests will also include determining the stress conditions through short-term injection experiments, during which microseismicity will be carefully monitored
Source: Email correspondence
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