Exploration and Resource Assessment at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho Using an Integrated Team Approach
Description: The U.S. Air Force is facing a number of challenges as it moves into the future, one of the biggest being how to provide safe and secure energy to support base operations. A team of scientists and engineers met at Mountain Home Air Force Base near Boise, Idaho, to discuss the possibility of exploring for geothermal resources under the base. The team identified that there was a reasonable potential for geothermal resources based on data from an existing well. In addition, a regional gravity map helped identify several possible locations for drilling a new well. The team identified several possible sources of funding for this well—the most logical being to use U.S. Department of Energy funds to drill the upper half of the well and U.S. Air Force funds to drill the bottom half of the well. The well was designed as a slimhole well in accordance with State of Idaho Department of Water Resources rules and regulations. Drilling operations commenced at the Mountain Home site in July of 2011 and were completed in January of 2012. Temperatures increased gradually, especially below a depth of 2000 ft. Temperatures increased more rapidly below a depth of 5500 ft. The bottom of the well is at 5976 ft, where a temperature of about 140°C was recorded. The well flowed artesian from a depth below 5600 ft, until it was plugged off with drilling mud. Core samples were collected from the well and are being analyzed to help understand permeability at depth. Additional tests using a televiewer system will be run to evaluate orientation and directions at fractures, especially in the production zone. A final report on the well exploitation will be forthcoming later this year. The Air Force will use it to evaluate the geothermal resource potential for future private development options ...
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Armstrong, Joseph C.; Breckenridge, Robert P.; Nielson, Dennis L.; Shervais, John W. & Wood, Thomas R.
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