Commercial production of ethanol in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Final Report Page: 52 of 222
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3.1.5 Reservoir Confirmation Plan
The primary purpose of a reservoir confirmation plan is to establish the
suitability of the geothermal reservoir in question, here the San Luis Valley of Colo-
rado, in terms of minimum acceptable values for reservoir productivity and tempera-
ture. The most efficient and economical path toward this confirmation of reservoir
suitability will involve analyzing all presently available data, determining where the
major gaps are in the available data, and generating sufficient new data to bridge those
Only one deep well drilled within the San Luis Valley is considered to have
reliable temperature data, the Mapco-Amoco deep oil exploration well. This well is
represented to have a bottom hole temperature of 1280C (2620F) and a temperature
gradient of about 38.8CC/km (3.10F/100 feet). Even this data is somewhat suspect since
the well was not drilled as a geothermal exploration well so that the temperature
profile of the well was not a primary concern to the driller. Several other deep wells
and many shallow water wells exist in the valley with no associated good quantitative,
descriptive temperature data. Since temperature is one of the critical parameters that
will determine the success or failure of the geothermal project, it is recommended that
available thermal wells, especially the deep wells, be surveyed for temperature so that
a reliable temperature gradient map can be generated covering the area of interest.
This data can then be extrapolated so that the depth at which successful geothermal
temperatures will be encountered can be more accurately determined. This data in turn
will be used to design the casing weights, setting depths and the drilling program that
will be used in a deep exploratory well.
After the available thermal wells have been surveyed, consideration can be
given to drilling several slim, temperature gradient holes to depths of up to 900 meters
(3000 feet). Data from these thermal gradient holes will be used to fill gaps in the
thermal data for areas of interest so that the thermal regime of these areas can be
more accurately determined.
Surface gravity data has been generated in the San Luis Valley since the
early- to mid-1960s. This early gravity data has been incorporated on a regional map by
Behrendt and Bajwa in 1974. This data, along with data currently being generated in a
detailed gravity survey by the Colorado School of Mines for the San Luis Valley can be
used to describe and model the area subsurface geology. This will help identify sub-
surface faults and other structural features so that potentially successful drilling sites
can be targeted.
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Hewlett, E.M.; Erickson, M.V.; Ferguson, C.D.; Sherwood, P.B.; Boswell, B.S.; Walter, K.M. et al. Commercial production of ethanol in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Final Report, report, July 1, 1983; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874948/m1/52/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.