Skip to content

Media Mentions: KTVZ News Channel 21

March 26, 2015

Local news station KTVZ News Chanel 21 visited the Newberry EGS Demonstration site and aired a story about the project on March 24. The story was prompted by new rules being implemented by the federal government for regulation of hydraulic fracturing processes used for oil and natural gas production. The Newberry EGS Demonstration already falls under stricter regulations than those being imposed on the oil and gas industries.

Come see us March 2!

February 17, 2015

AltaRock Energy staff will be giving an update on the Newberry EGS Demonstration project Monday, March 2 at 6 p.m. in the Brooks Room at the Downtown Bend Public Library. Come by to see a presentation and learn where this fascinating green energy project is headed. This is a free, all-ages event. We’d love to see you there!

Media Mentions: Newberry EGS featured in Huffington Post Tech

February 2, 2015

Lava Amps: Tapping into Volcano Power is an article featuring the Newberry EGS Demonstration and recently written by Huffington Post Tech journalist, Don Willmott. Enjoy!

power plant schematic

Stimulation Data Analysis is Underway

January 8, 2015

Another busy field season at Newberry wrapped up at the end of November. The pumps, piping and other equipment has been put in storage and the well is shut in for the winter. Over the next few months we’ll be analyzing the data collected during stimulation and working with the Department of Energy to move forward with the project. The next stage in the Newberry EGS Demonstration project includes planning, permitting and drilling a production well.

The stimulation injected almost four million gallons of water over 32 days of pressurized pumping. During this time 397 microseismic events were detected by the seismometer array, indicating the depth and volume of the EGS reservoir produced. Biodegradable diverters were injected on two separate occasions during stimulation and resulted in the creation of multiple zones of increased permeability within the reservoir. More information about the diverters, to TIZMs, can be found in our previous blog post (link). Preliminary results from the stimulation were presented at the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting in December, and the poster summary from the meeting can be found here:  AGU Newberry 2014 Poster. The analysis of the pressure, flow, seismicity and water data will continue over the next few months. The reports generated from the dataset will inform planning, permitting and execution of the next stage of work at Newberry. While data analysis is ongoing, scientific papers are currently being prepared for publication and will be presented at scientific meetings in the near future.

We’re quite happy with the stimulation results and look forward to future work at the Newberry EGS Demonstration site. The blog will be relatively quiet over the winter months, but you can expect more frequent updates in the spring as we gear up for more work at Newberry. In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the field season.

The drill rig up and running on the injection well pad at the Newberry EGS Demonstration.

The drill rig up and running on the injection well pad at the Newberry EGS Demonstration.

Slotted casing piled on site before it was installed in the bottom of the injection well at the Newberry EGS Demonstration project.

Slotted casing piled on site before it was installed in the bottom of the injection well at the Newberry EGS Demonstration project. Slotted casing allows water to move in and out of the well and keeps the rock walls from collapsing inward.

Setting up for the flow test on a drizzly day in late November, 2014.

Setting up for the flow test on a drizzly day in late November, 2014.

Opening the wellhead master valve at the start of the November, 2014 flow test.

Opening the wellhead master valve at the start of the November, 2014 flow test.

 

 

Preliminary Stimulation Results

November 12, 2014

Stimulation and Microseismicity

Stimulation at the Newberry EGS injection well began on September 23, and continued for just over three weeks, wrapping up on October 15. We began stimulation with a step-rate injectivity test, reaching pressures as high as 2,800 psi at the wellhead. We continued to run the pumps at high pressures over most of the stimulation period, reducing the pressure when needed to replace leaky gaskets and valves and inject diverter.

The first microseismic events from stimulation were recorded on September 24 and continued throughout stimulation, totaling over 250 events recorded to date. Microseismic event data is currently being reviewed by seismologists and while we expect some location adjustments, the initial data indicates a robust reservoir was successfully created. Microseismic data is available for your viewing pleasure at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory website and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

LBNL brings the Newberry EGS Demonstration site to life with an interactive map of microseismic data collected at the Newberry project site.

LBNL brings the Newberry EGS Demonstration site to life with an interactive map of microseismic data.

A 3-D data plot showing the EGS reservoir.

A 3-D data plot showing the EGS reservoir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As microseismic events rolled in and pumps continued to run, we prepped for injection of diverter materials (TZIMs). In the past we’ve relied on contractors to provide diverter injection equipment, but this year the engineers at AltaRock got together and designed what we’re affectionately calling the DIVA- a diverter injection vessel assembly. And we’re happy to report that it worked great! See our previous post for a photo of TZIM swirling in the inlet of the DIVA system.

Flow Test and Sample Collection

A flow test was carried out after stimulation, and water samples were collected for geochemical, isotope, rare earth element and tracer analyses by various research groups involved with the Newberry project. Results from these tests will help us better understand reservoir characteristics in greater detail. Over the day and a half long flow test, over 30 samples were collected for various analyses.

Hot water and steam from the reservoir are piped into the separator cylinder and through the weir box during the flow test.

Hot water and steam from the reservoir are piped into the separator cylinder and through the weir box during the flow test.

Next Steps

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) cable and pressure temperature spinner (PTS) survey data indicate six major connection points between the reservoir and the well bore. Over the past three weeks, we analyzed data and developed a plan to further improve reservoir connectivity to the wellbore. The second stage of stimulation for 2014 will run from November 11-21.  We will report on those results in the next post.

Recent Publicity

The Bureau of Land Management has produced and released a new video about the Newberry EGS Demonstration project. The video was shot in early summer, 2014, just before field activities began at the site.

In addition, the Bend Bulletin did a story on the project during the stimulation and shot a video. Enjoy!

Update from the Field: Stimulation Underway

October 14, 2014

Stimulation of the Newberry EGS Demonstration injection well, NWG 55-29, began on September 23. Since then, we’ve successfully injected approximately 3,000,000 gallons of water into the expanding EGS reservoir. The first microseismic events associated with stimulation were recorded on September 28, and to date over 200 events have been located by the microseismic array (MSA). These events continue to be reviewed by seismologists as data streams in from the field. Data from a number of the MSA stations is available for viewing on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network  and the Lawrence-Berkeley Nation Laboratory website.

The 15 station microseismic array (MSA) collects real-time microseismic data during stimulation. The data is used to map reservoir growth during stimulation. As a result of the Newberry EGS Demonstration, Newberry Volcano has been the most seismically-monitored volcano in the Cascades Range since 2012, when the MSA was installed.

The 15 station microseismic array (MSA) collects real-time microseismic data during stimulation. The data is used to map reservoir growth during stimulation. As a result of the Newberry EGS Demonstration, Newberry Volcano has been the most seismically-monitored volcano in the Cascades Range since 2012, when the MSA was installed.

Over the next week, we’ll inject TZIM into the well, diverting water flow away from the current zone and forcing it out into other areas to further improve the reservoir. After stimulation is complete, TZIM will biodegrade leaving behind an interconnected, multi-zone EGS reservoir. Once the TZIM has biodegraded, the well will be flow tested; steam and water production and temperature will be recorded and used to analyze results of this year’s field work.

TZIM, or thermally-degradable zonal isolation material (say that five times fast!), swirls into AltaRock’s injection hopper, or DIVA (diverter injection valve assembly). Biodegradable plastic TZIMs block open fractures in the EGS reservoir, forcing water out into new zones during stimulation.

TZIM, or thermally-degradable zonal isolation material (say that five times fast!), swirls into AltaRock’s injection hopper, or DIVA (diverter injection valve assembly). Biodegradable plastic TZIMs block open fractures in the EGS reservoir, forcing water out into new zones during stimulation.

We’d like to extend a thank you to all those who participated in the Geothermal Resource Council’s Newberry EGS Demonstration site tour in late September.  We had a great day in the field showing you the project site, and look forward to seeing you again soon! We also had a great weekend talking to visitors who stopped by our booth at the Bend Fall Festival last weekend.

As part of the Geothermal Resource Council’s Newberry fieldtrip, 24 visiting scientists, government officials, journalists, professors and others interested in geothermal research visited the Newberry EGS Demonstration site in late September while stimulation was underway.

As part of the Geothermal Resource Council’s Newberry field trip, 24 visiting scientists, government officials, journalists, professors and others interested in geothermal research visited the Newberry EGS Demonstration site in late September just after stimulation began.

 

AltaRock’s Dr. Trenton Cladouhos shows site visitors real-time data as it streams to the field office during stimulation at the Newberry EGS Demonstration site.

AltaRock’s Dr. Trenton Cladouhos shows site visitors real-time data as it streams to the field office during stimulation at the Newberry EGS Demonstration site.

Update from the Field: Pumps in Place, Piping Assembled

September 24, 2014

The Newberry site has been busy with AltaRock staff and contractors assembling stimulation infrastructure over the last few weeks. We’re happy to report that the pumps are in place, generators have been wired in and piping has been welded up. All the equipment has been pressure tested and is up and running as planned.

Assembling the piping and valves for stimulation is no small task. The heavy-duty piping delivers high-pressure water to the wellbore during stimulation.

Assembling the piping and valves for stimulation is no small task. The heavy-duty piping delivers high-pressure water to the wellbore during stimulation.

DTS cable spoolLast night, we started to cool the with low-flow cold water injection. After the wellbore is sufficiently cooled, we’ll install a distributed temperature sensing (DTS) fiber optic cable in the well. The cable provides real-time temperature data along the wellbore and is used in stimulation zone analysis.

Once the DTS cable is installed, a step-rate injectivity test will be performed. The step-rate test will establish a baseline permeability, to compare to the permeability enhancement due to multi-zone stimulation. After the baseline permeability is determined,  stimulation will begin.

Other ongoing site activities over the last few weeks have included groundwater monitoring, and geophysical survey projects overseen by Oregon State University.

Panoramic view of East Lake from the boat launch area. We’ll continue to collect water samples at the East Lake hot springs and other sites over the coming months.

Panoramic view of East Lake from the boat launch area. We’ll continue to collect water samples at the East Lake hot springs and other sites over the coming months.

Visiting scientist Ma Feng collects water quality data at East Lake hot springs.

Visiting scientist Ma Feng collects water quality data at East Lake hot springs.

Our ongoing groundwater sampling program continues to add to and improve the scientific data available for the area. As part of the sampling program, groundwater was recently collected from seven sites at and around the Newberry EGS Demonstration injection well. Fore more information about the groundwater monitoring program at the Newberry EGS Demonstration, see our previous post on the topic- Groundwater Monitoring and Water Sampling Update.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.