NGA Industry Critique of the Exploration Component

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The author critiques the Exploration component of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Program Review X. The comments focus principally on the hydrothermal portion of the DOE program, but he also makes some commentary on the Long Valley Exploratory Well and Geopressured-Geothermal components of the program, as well as some general comments. Before I do that, I would like to review the current state of geothermal exploration in the United States. According to Koenig (1989, 1990) who critiqued the DOE Geothermal Program in those years, geothermal exploration in the western U.S. has been conducted in virtually all of the ... continued below

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199-202

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Iovanetti, J.L. March 24, 1992.

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Description

The author critiques the Exploration component of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Program Review X. The comments focus principally on the hydrothermal portion of the DOE program, but he also makes some commentary on the Long Valley Exploratory Well and Geopressured-Geothermal components of the program, as well as some general comments. Before I do that, I would like to review the current state of geothermal exploration in the United States. According to Koenig (1989, 1990) who critiqued the DOE Geothermal Program in those years, geothermal exploration in the western U.S. has been conducted in virtually all of the apparent geothermal resource areas. Many of these areas which were under exploration in the 1960s and 1970s, and were explored in part under the U.S. DOE Industry Coupled Program have progressed to commercial status in the 80s. The DOE March (1992) Draft Multi-Year Program Plan for FY 1993-1997 states that 8 out of the 14 geothermal resource areas explored under this Industry Coupled Program in the late 1970s are currently under production. I do not think we will find anyone in this room, in the geothermal industry, or in the United States that will argue with the clear and outstanding success of that government program. When the prices of oil dropped in the 1980s, many geothermal operators left the industry, and with the dramatic decrease in activity, many of the service companies went by the wayside also. By and large, the domestic geothermal industry today is emaciated. As a result of the capital intensive nature of geothermal development, the historical long lead times to go from exploration to production, the highly entrepreneurial nature of the industry, and the lack of an economic market, virtually no new exploration has been conducted in the U.S. in about 10 years. The consequence of this lack of activity is an almost nonexistent geothermal reserve base, outside of known producing fields and their immediate surrounds. The U.S. DOE Deep Thermal Gradient Drilling Program in the Cascade Range is a notable exception to this stagnant condition. Like it's predecessor, the industry coupled program, the Thermal Gradient Drilling Program identified at least, one potentially viable geothermal resource: Newberry Volcano.

Physical Description

199-202

Source

  • Proceedings, Geothermal Energy and the Utility Market - The Opportunities and Challenges for Expanding Geothermal Energy in a Competitive Supply Market; San Francisco, CA, March 24-26, 1992, Geothermal Program Review X

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  • Report No.: CONF-920378--36
  • Grant Number: None
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 891972
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883524

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • March 24, 1992

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Nov. 30, 2016, 12:58 p.m.

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Iovanetti, J.L. NGA Industry Critique of the Exploration Component, article, March 24, 1992; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883524/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.