Gulf Coast Programmatic Environmental Assessment Geothermal Well Testing: The Frio Formation of Texas and Louisiana
Description: In accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR Part 711, environmental assessments are being prepared for significant activities and individual projects of the Division of Geothermal Energy (DGE) of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). This environmental assessment of geopressure well testing addresses, on a regional basis, the expected activities, affected environments, and possible impacts in a broad sense. The specific part of the program addressed by this environmental assessment is geothermal well testing by the take-over of one or more unsuccessful oil wells before the drilling rig is removed and completion of drilling into the geopressured zone. Along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast (Plate 1 and Overlay) water at high temperatures and high pressures is trapped within Gulf basin sediments. The water is confined within or below essentially impermeable shale sequences and carries most or all of the overburden pressure. Such zones are referred to as geopressured strata. These fluids and sediments are heated to abnormally high temperatures (up to 260 C) and may provide potential reservoirs for economical production of geothermal energy. The obvious need in resource development is to assess the resource. Ongoing studies to define large-sand-volume reservoirs will ultimately define optimum sites for drilling special large diameter wells to perform large volume flow production tests. In the interim, existing well tests need to be made to help define and assess the resource. The project addressed by this environmental assessment is the performance of a geothermal well test in high potential geothermal areas. Well tests involve four major actions each of which may or may not be required for each of the well tests. The four major actions are: site preparation, drilling a salt-water disposal well, actual flow testing, and abandonment of the well.
Date: October 1, 1977
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