Explosive Stimulation of Geothermal Wells

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The widespread, economic utilization of geothermal energy is at least partly dependent on efficient methods for stimulation of geothermal wells and formations. The principal problem is temperature, which imposes chemical, physical and mechanical limitations on equipment and stimulation fluids. The restrictions become particularly serious when formation temperatures exceed the 350º to 400ºF range which of course are the better geothermal zones. Ironically, one stimulation technique which has lost favor in oil and gas fields offers promise geothermally. Explosive fracturing, particularly bore shooting, can be used to fracture formations adjacent to the well bore. For true stimulation, only bore shooting offers ... continued below

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219-221

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Maes, M.E. December 1, 1976.

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The widespread, economic utilization of geothermal energy is at least partly dependent on efficient methods for stimulation of geothermal wells and formations. The principal problem is temperature, which imposes chemical, physical and mechanical limitations on equipment and stimulation fluids. The restrictions become particularly serious when formation temperatures exceed the 350º to 400ºF range which of course are the better geothermal zones. Ironically, one stimulation technique which has lost favor in oil and gas fields offers promise geothermally. Explosive fracturing, particularly bore shooting, can be used to fracture formations adjacent to the well bore. For true stimulation, only bore shooting offers economic viability today in high temperature wells. Nevertheless, it is a long step from economic and technical feasibility to commercial reality; a major element in that step is the development of safe hardware and field operational procedures. Therefore, certain conditions must be met in order to qualify an explosive stimulation system for routine commercial use. These conditions will insure that the explosive charges cannot cause massive damage or injury to personnel above ground in case of an accident, and also will minimize the potential for serious damage to a well in the event of a mishap. Fortunately, these conditions are within the present state of the art, and can be incorporated into the design of charges and supporting hardware today. Given the new developments in low cost geothermal explosives, it appears that geothermal stimulation, using bore hole shooting, can be a commercial reality in less than two years.

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219-221

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  • Proceedings Second Workshop Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., December 1-3, 1976

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  • Report No.: SGP-TR-20-31
  • Grant Number: E043-326-PA-50
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 887399
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886145

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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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  • December 1, 1976

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 2:35 p.m.

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Maes, M.E. Explosive Stimulation of Geothermal Wells, article, December 1, 1976; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886145/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.