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Geothermal Exploration and Assessment Technology Program (review), including a report of the Reservoir Engineering Technical Advisory Group

Description: The FY 1979 Program, recommended seismic surveys in conjunction with DOE/DGE's industry coupled program in the Northern Basin and Range Province, and the objectives of the Marina del Rey conference are presented. Final reports of six committees which met to define the state-of-the-art in geothermal exploration and to recommend exploration technology development are included. These committees are: structure, stratigraphy, and igneous processes; exploration architecture; electrical methods; seismic methods; thermal methods; water/rock interaction; and reservoir engineering. (MHR)
Date: December 1, 1979
Creator: Nielson, D.L. (ed.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radon emanometry as a geothermal exploration technique; theory and an example from Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA, Utah

Description: Four radon survey lines were established over the geothermal field of Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA. The radon flux was determined using the Westinghouse Alpha 2 system which measures the flux at each station over a period of 30 days using an alpha-sensitive dosimeter. The method was very successful in locating mapped fault systems that communicate with the structurally controlled geothermal reservoir. It is concluded that this method, coupled with a structural analysis, can be useful as a site-specific exploration tool, particularly in locating exploration holes in known geothermal areas.
Date: December 1, 1978
Creator: Nielson, D. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geology of the central Mineral Mountains, Beaver County, Utah

Description: The Mineral Mountains are located in Beaver and Millard Counties, southwestern Utah. The range is a horst located in the transition zone between the Basin and Range and Colorado Plateau geologic provinces. A multiple-phase Tertiary pluton forms most of the range, with Paleozoic rocks exposed on the north and south and Precambrian metamorphic rocks on the west in the Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA (Known Geothermal Resource Area). Precambrian banded gneiss and Cambrian carbonate rocks have been intruded by foliated granodioritic to monzonitic rocks of uncertain age. The Tertiary pluton consists of six major phases of quartz monzonitic to leucocratic granitic rocks, two diorite stocks, and several more mafic units that form dikes. During uplift of the mountain block, overlying rocks and the upper part of the pluton were partially removed by denudation faulting to the west. The interplay of these low-angle faults and younger northerly trending Basin and Range faults is responsible for the structural control of the Roosevelt Hot Springs geothermal system. The structural complexity of the Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA is unique within the range, although the same tectonic style continues throughout the range. During the Quaternary, rhyolite volcanism was active in the central part of the range and basaltic volcanism occurred in the northern portion of the map area. The heat source for the geothermal system is probably related to the Quaternary rhyolite volcanic activity.
Date: March 1, 1980
Creator: Sibbett, B.S. & Nielson, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Caldera processes and magma-hydrothermal systems continental scientific drilling program: thermal regimes, Valles caldera research, scientific and management plan

Description: Long-range core-drilling operations and initial scientific investigations are described for four sites in the Valles caldera, New Mexico. The plan concentrates on the period 1986 to 1993 and has six primary objectives: (1) study the origin, evolution, physical/chemical dynamics of the vapor-dominated portion of the Valles geothermal system; (2) investigate the characteristics of caldera fill and mechanisms of caldera collapse and resurgence; (3) determine the physical/chemical conditions in the heat transfer zone between crystallizing plutons and the hydrothermal system; (4) study the mechanism of ore deposition in the caldera environment; (5) develop and test high-temperature drilling techniques and logging tools; and (6) evaluate the geothermal resource within a large silicic caldera. Core holes VC-2a (500 m) and VC-2b (2000 m) are planned in the Sulphur Springs area; these core holes will probe the vapor-dominated zone, the underlying hot-water-dominated zone, the boiling interface and probable ore deposition between the two zones, and the deep structure and stratigraphy along the western part of the Valles caldera fracture zone and resurgent dome. Core hole VC-3 will involve reopening existing well Baca number12 and deepening it from 3.2 km (present total depth) to 5.5 km, this core hole will penetrate the deep-crystallized silicic pluton, investigate conductive heat transfer in that zone, and study the evolution of the central resurgent dome. Core hole VC-4 is designed to penetrate deep into the presumably thick caldera fill in eastern Valles caldera and examine the relationship between caldera formation, sedimentation, tectonics, and volcanism. Core hole VC-5 is to test structure, stratigraphy, and magmatic evolution of pre-Valles caldera rocks, their relations to Valles caldera, and the influences of regional structure on volcanism and caldera formation.
Date: May 1, 1986
Creator: Goff, F. & Nielson, D.L. (eds.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydrothermal brecciation in the Jemez Fault zone, Valles Caldera, New Mexico: Results from CSDP (Continental Scientific Drilling Program) corehole VC-1

Description: Paleozoic and Precambrian rocks intersected deep in Continental Scientific Drilling Program corehole VC-1, adjacent to the late Cenozoic Valles caldera complex, have been disrupted to form a spectacular breccia sequence. The breccias are of both tectonic and hydrothermal origin, and probably formed in the Jemez fault zone, a major regional structure with only normal displacement since mid-Miocene. Tectonic breccias are contorted, crushed, sheared, and granulated; slickensides are commmon. Hydrothermal breccias, by contrast, lack these frictional textures, but arej commonly characterized by fluidized matrix foliation and prominent clast rounding. Fluid inclusions in the hydrothermal breccias are dominantly two-phase, liquid-rich at room temperature, principally secondary, and form two distinctly different compositional groups. Older inclusions, unrelated to brecciation, are highly saline and homogenize to the liquid phase in the temperature range 189 to 246/sup 0/C. Younger inclusions, in part of interbreccia origin, are low-salinity and homogenize (also to liquid) in the range 230 to 283/sup 0/C. Vapor-rich inclusions locally trapped along with these dilute liquid-rich inclusions document periodic boiling. These fluid-inclusion data, together with alteration assemblages and textures as well as the local geologic history, have been combined to model hydrothermal brecciation at the VC-1 site.
Date: June 1, 1987
Creator: Hulen, J.B. & Nielson, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geologic Interpretation of the Geothermal Potential of the North Bonneville Area

Description: Possible geothermal development for the township of North Bonneville, Washington is being investigated because of the proximity of the town to hot springs in a geologic province of good geothermal potential. Surface expression of geothermal resources is provided by conduits through an impermeable reservoir cap and is therefore generally structurally controlled. Near North Bonneville the geologic formations that underlie potential drilling sites are the Eagle Creek formation and the Ohanpecosh Formation. The Lower Miocene Eagle Creek Formation is composed of poorly consolidated volcanic conglomerates, sandstones, tuffs, and includes a few minor interbedded lava flows. The Eocene-Oligiocene Ohanapecosh (Weigle) Formation in its nearest exposures to North Bonneville is composed of volcaniclastics and lava flows. The Ohanapecosh has been altered to zeolites and clays and is therefore well consolidated and impermeable. The lack of permeability provides the necessary reservoir cap for any geothermal system that may be present at depth. This formation, to the northeast, in the Wind River drainage is greater than 19,000 ft. thick. Circulation of geothermal heated water from this thick sequence of impermeable strata must be associated with penetrating fracture zones.
Date: February 15, 1980
Creator: Nielson, D. L. & Moran, M. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comprehensive study of LASL Well C/T-2 Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA, Utah, and applications to geothermal well logging

Description: Utah State Geothermal Well 9-1 in the Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA, Beaver County, Utah, has been donated by Phillips Petroleum Company for calibration and testing of well-logging equipment in the hot, corrosive, geothermal environment. It is the second Calibration/Test Well (C/T-2) in the Geothermal Log Interpretation Program. A study of cuttings and well logs from Well C/T-2 was completed. This synthesis and data presentation contains most of the subsurface geologic information needed to effect the total evaluation of geophysical logs acquired in this geothermal calibration/test well, C/T-2.
Date: February 1, 1981
Creator: Glenn, W.E.; Hulen, J.B. & Nielson, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strategy of exploration for high temperature hydrothermal systems in the basin and range province

Description: A fifteen phase strategy of exploration for high temperature convective hydrothermal resources in the basin and range province, recommended herein, features a balanced mix of geological, geochemical, geophysical, hydrological, and drilling activities. The strategy is based on a study of data submitted under the Department of Energy's Industry Coupled Case Study Program. Justification for inclusion in or exclusion from the strategy of all pertinent geoscientific methods is given. With continuing research on methods of exploration for and modeling of convective hydrothermal systems, this strategy is expected to change and become more cost-effective with time. Variations on the basic strategy are to be expected where the geology or hydrology requires it. Personal preferences, budgetary constraints, time and land position constraints, and varied experience may cause industrial geothermal exploration managers to differ with our strategy. For those just entering geothermal exploration, the strategy is expected to be particularly useful.
Date: December 1, 1979
Creator: Ward, S.H.; Ross, H.P. & Nielson, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report: Phase II Geothermal Exploration and Geothermal Power Plant Update for Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean

Description: The Phase I study of the geothermal potential of Ascension Island concluded that the possibility of a geothermal resource existing under the island was excellent. This conclusion was based on the presence of young volcanic rocks (a heat source close to the surface), an ample supply of water from the sea, and high permeability of many of the rocks which make up the island. The assumption was made that the resource would be similar to geothermal systems in the Azores or Japan, and a conceptual design of a power plant to utilize the resource was prepared upon which cost estimates and an economic analysis were subsequently performed. The results of the economic analysis were very favorable, and the Air Force decided to proceed into Phase II of the project. Under Phase II, an exploration program was designed and carried out. The purpose of the program was to ascertain whether or not a geothermal resource existed beneath Ascension island and, to the extent possible, to evaluate the quality of that resource. The exploration involved a detailed aeromagnetic survey of the island, reconnaissance and detailed electrical resistivity surveys, and drilling of holes for the measurement of temperatures. These methods have confirmed the existence of geothermal activity beneath Ascension. Measured temperature gradients and bottom hole temperatures as well as chemical geothermometers indicate temperatures sufficient for the generation of electricity within reasonable drilling depths. This report documents those conclusions and the supporting data. This report also documents the results of the power plant update with new data supplied from the Phase II exploration activities on the island. The power plant scenario has been changed to reflect the fact that the resource temperature may not be as high as that originally assumed in the Phase I study, the location of the production wells will in ...
Date: July 1, 1984
Creator: Nielson, D.L.; Sibbett, B.S.; Shane, M.K. & Whitbeck, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geothermal Gradient Drilling and Measurements Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean

Description: This technical report on the Phase II geothermal exploration of Ascension Island documents the data collected during thermal gradient drilling and the subsequent thermal and fluid chemical investigations. It also documents the completion of the Phase II exploration strategy which was proposed at the end of the Phase I--Preliminary Examination of Ascension Island. The thermal gradient drilling resulted in seven holes which range from 206 to 1750 ft (53-533 m) deep, with a cumulative footage of 6563 ft (2000 m). The drilling procedure and the problems encountered during the drilling have been explained in detail to provide information valuable for any subsequent drilling program on the island. In addition, the subsurface geology encountered in the holes has been documented and, where possible, correlated with other holes or the geology mapped on the surface of the island. Temperatures measured in the holes reach a maximum of 130 F (54.4 C) at 1285 ft (391.7 m) in hole GH-6. When the temperatures of all holes are plotted against elevation, the holes can be classed into three distinct groups, those which have no thermal manifestations, those with definite geothermal affinities, and one hole which is intermediate between the other two. From consideration of this information, it is clear that the highest geothermal potential on the island is in the Donkey Flat area extending beneath Middleton Ridge, and in the Cricket Valley area. Because of the greater drilling depths and the remote nature of the Cricket Valley area, it is recommended that future exploration concentrate in the area around Middleton Ridge.
Date: July 1, 1984
Creator: Sibbett, B.S.; Nielson, D.L. & Adams, M.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization and simulation of an exhumed fractured petroleum reservoir. Final report, March 18, 1996--September 30, 1998

Description: An exhumed fractured reservoir located near Alligator Ridge in central Nevada provides the basis for developing and testing different approaches for simulating fractured petroleum reservoirs. The fractured analog reservoir comprises a 90 m thickness of silty limestone and shaly interbeds within the Devonian Pilot Shale. A period of regional compression followed by ongoing basin and range extension has created faults and fractures that, in tern, have controlled the migration of both oil and gold ore-forming fluids. Open pit gold mines provide access for observing oil seepage, collecting the detailed fracture data needed to map variations in fracture intensity near faults, build discrete fracture network models and create equivalent permeability structures. Fault trace patterns mapped at the ground surface provide a foundation for creating synthetic fault trace maps using a stochastic procedure conditioned by the outcrop data. Conventional simulations of petroleum production from a 900 by 900 m sub-domain within the reservoir analog illustrate the possible influence of faults and fractures on production. The consequences of incorporating the impact of different stress states (e.g., extension, compression or lithostatic) are also explored. Simulating multiphase fluid flow using a discrete fracture, finite element simulator illustrates how faults acting as conduits might be poorly represented by the upscaling procedures used to assign equivalent permeability values within reservoir models. The parallelized reservoir simulators developed during this project provide a vehicle to evaluate when it might be necessary to incorporate very fine scale grid networks in conventional reservoir simulators or to use finely gridded discrete fracture reservoir simulators.
Date: December 1, 1998
Creator: Forster, C.B.; Nielson, D.L. & Deo, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Green River formation water flood demonstration project, Unita Basin, Utah. Quarterly technical progress report, January 1, 1995--March 31, 1995

Description: The objective of this project was to understand the successful water flood in the Monument Butte unit and apply it to other units and other reservoirs. Expanding the Monument Butte Water Flood was also one of the objectives. This report provides progress in the areas of field drilling and production results and modeling the boundary unit.
Date: June 1, 1995
Creator: Lomax, J.D.; Nielson, D.L. & Deo, M.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Green River formation water flood demonstration project, Uinta Basin, Utah. Quarterly report, 1 October 1 1995--31 December 1995

Description: The objective of this project was to apply the successful water flood technologies developed for the Monument Butte unit to other units in the vicinity. It was discovered that the unit boundaries were artificial and that an approach that considered reservoirs spanning several units was required. A comprehensive geostatistical data management and integration activity for a 12-section area around the Monument Butte unit is now underway.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Pennington, B.I.; Lomax, J.D.; Nielson, D.L. & Deo, M.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Green River formation water flood demonstration project, Uinta Basin, Utah. Quarterly technical progress report, April 1, 1995--June 30, 1995

Description: The objective of the project was to understand the water flood mechanisms underway in Monument Butte unit water flood and apply the technology, if possible to the Travis and the Boundary units. The purpose of the project was also to transfer the water flood technology to nearby units/fields/reservoirs. Technical progress is briefly described for the Monument Butte Unit, Travis Unit, and Boundary Unit.
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Lomax, J.D.; Nielson, D.L. & Deo, M.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Green River Formation Water Flood Demonstration Project, Uinta Basin, Utah. Quarterly technical progress report, July 1, 1993--September 30, 1993

Description: The project is designed to increase recoverable petroleum reserves in the United States. The Green River Formation in Utah`s Uinta Basin contains abundant hydrocarbons that are not easily recovered by primary means. The successful Lomax Montument Butte Unit water flood will be evaluated under this contract, and based on this information, water floods will be initiated in nearby Travis and Boundary units. In 1987, Lomax Exploration Company started a water flood in the Monument Butte Unit of a Douglas Creek member of the Green River Formation. This was a low-enerey, geologically heterogeneous reservoir producing a waxy crude oil. Primary production yielded 5% of the OOIP. Due to the water flood project, total production will yield an estimated recovery of 20% OOIP.
Date: December 1, 1993
Creator: Lomax, J. D.; Nielson, D. L. & Deo, M. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geology of Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA, Beaver County, Utah

Description: The Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA is located on the western margin on the Mineral Mountains in Beaver County, Utah. The bedrock geology of the area is presented. It is dominated by metamorphic and plutonic rocks of Precambrian age as well as felsic plutonic phases of the Tertiary Mineral Mountains Pluton. Rhyolite flows, domes, and pyroclastics reflect igneous activity between 0.8 and 0.5 million years ago. All lithologies present in the map area are described in detail with an emphasis on characteristics which will allow them to be distinguished in drill cuttings. The geothermal system at Roosevelt Hot Springs KGRA is structurally controlled with reservoir rocks demonstrating little primary permeability. North to north-northeast trending faults are the youngest structures in the area, and they control present fumarolic activity and recent hot spring activity which has deposited opaline and chalcedonic sinters. It is proposed here that the geothermal reservoirs are controlled primarily by intersections of the principal zones of faulting. Logs from Thermal Power Utah State 72-16, Getty Oil Utah State 52-21, and six shallow thermal gradient holes drilled by the University of Utah are presented in this report and have been utilized in the construction of geologic cross sections of the geothermal field.
Date: December 1, 1978
Creator: Nielson, D. L.; Sibbett, B. S.; McKinney, D. B.; Hulen, J. B.; Moore, J. N. & Samberg, S. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Green River Formation Water Flood Demonstration Project: Final report. [October 21, 1992-April, 30, 1996]

Description: The objectives were to understand the oil production mechanisms in the Monument Butte unit via reservoir characterization and reservoir simulations and to transfer the water flooding technology to similar units in the vicinity, particularly the Travis and the Boundary units. Comprehensive reservoir characterization and reservoir simulations of the Monument Butte, Travis and Boundary units were presented in the two published project yearly reports. The primary and the secondary production from the Monument Butte unit were typical of oil production from an undersaturated oil reservoir close to its bubble point. The water flood in the smaller Travis unit appeared affected by natural and possibly by large interconnecting hydraulic fractures. Water flooding the boundary unit was considered more complicated due to the presence of an oil water contact in one of the wells. The reservoir characterization activity in the project basically consisted of extraction and analysis of a full diameter c ore, Formation Micro Imaging logs from several wells and Magnetic Resonance Imaging logs from two wells. In addition, several side-wall cores were drilled and analyzed, oil samples from a number of wells were physically and chemically characterized (using gas chromatography), oil-water relative permeabilities were measured and pour points and cloud points of a few oil samples were determined. The reservoir modeling activity comprised of reservoir simulation of all the three units at different scales and near well-bore modeling of the wax precipitation effects. The reservoir characterization efforts identified new reservoirs in the Travis and the Boundary units. The reservoir simulation activities established the extent of pressurization of the sections of the reservoirs in the immediate vicinity of the Monument Butte unit. This resulted in a major expansion of the unit and the production from this expanded unit increased from about 300 barrels per day to about 2000 barrels per day.
Date: November 1, 1996
Creator: Deo, M.D.; Dyer, J.E.; Lomax, J.D.; Nielson, D.L. & Lutz, S.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Green River Basin Formation water flood demonstration project, Uinta Basin, Utah

Description: The Green River Formation of the Uinta Basin, Utah, contains abundant hydrocarbons that are inefficiently produced by primary means. However, secondary recovery projects have only been rarely implemented, largely because of complex geology and hydrocarbon chemistry. An evaluation of the successful Lomax Monument Butte Unit water flood will be performed under this contract, and based on this information, water floods will be initiated in nearby Travis and Boundary units. The project will also develop new techniques to characterize reservoir heterogeneity and the response of the reservoir to water flooding. In 1987, Lomax Exploration Company successfully implemented a water flood on their Monument Butte Unit which has a geologically heterogeneous low energy reservoir with a high paraffin crude oil. Production of about 5% of the OOIP from primary methods was increased through the water flood to an estimated recovery of 20% OOIP. The project will: (1) perform a technical evaluation of the successful Monument Butte Unit; (2) based on this information, extend the successful water flood to nearby Travis and Boundary units; (3) develop new characterization techniques and (4) transfer the technology to operators, regulators, government agencies, and the financial community.
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Lomax, J.D. (Lomax Exploration Co., Salt Lake City, UT (United States)); Nielson, D.L. (Utah Univ. Research Inst., Salt Lake City, UT (United States)) & Deo, M.D. (Utah Univ., Salt Lake City, UT (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Fuels Engineering)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Scientific core hole Valles caldera No. 2b (VC-2b), New Mexico

Description: Research core hole was continuously cored to 1.762 km on the western flank of the caldera's resurgent dome in 1988. Bottom hole temperature is about 295{degree}C within Precambrian (1.5 Ga) quartz monzonite, deep within the liquid-dominated portions of the Sulphur Springs hydrothermal system. VC-2b may be the deepest, hottest, continuously cored hole in North America. Core recovery was 99.2%. The only major drilling problems encountered were when temperatures at the bit exceeded 225{degree}C below depths of about 1000 m. The result of these conditions was loss of viscosity and/or lubricity in the mud, apparently caused by breakdown of the high temperature polymers. Lithologies in caldera-fill indicate the drill site may be proximal to ignimbrite vents and that an intracaldera lake with temperatures approaching boiling formed soon after the caldera itself. Structural correlations between VC-2b and the 528-m-deep companion hole VC-2a indicate the earlier Toledo caldera (1.45 Ma; Otowi Member tuffs) and even older Lower Tuffs caldera experienced no structural resurgence similar to the 1.12 million year old Valles caldera. The hydrothermal system penetrated by these bores, consists of a shallow vapor-rich cap, which has evolved from an earlier 200{degree}C liquid-dominated system, overlying stacked, liquid-dominated zones up to about 300{degree}C. Geochemistry of mud returns collected during drilling suggests chloride-rich geothermal fluids were entering the bore and mixing with the drilling fluids in the fractured lower Paleozoic and Precambrian sections. 23 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.
Date: January 1, 1989
Creator: Garner, J.N.; Hulen, J.B.; Lysne, P.; Jacobson, R.; Goff, F.; Nielson, D.L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department