The Newberry EGS Demonstration site has been selected by the Department of Energy as a candidate site for the Frontier Observatory in Geothermal Energy. Here are a few links to articles about the announcement:
Bend Bulletin Newberry Volcano Candidate for Geothermal Laboratory
KTVZ Newberry Geothermal Research Lab Clears First Hurdle
Department of Energy About FORGE
The Portland Business Journal recently published an exciting article about the Newberry Volcano Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) project taking place at Newberry- An Active Oregon Volcano could house a new Renewable Energy Laboratory.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!