Exploratory Well

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Exploration Technique: Exploratory Well

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Drilling Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Exploration Drilling
Parent Exploration Technique: Exploration Drilling
Information Provided by Technique
Lithology: Can provide core or cuttings
Stratigraphic/Structural: Identify stratigraphy and structural features within a well
Hydrological: -Water samples can be used for geochemical analysis
-Fluid pressures can be used to estimate flow rates
Thermal: -Temperatures can be measured within the hole
-Information about the heat source
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Exploratory Well:
An exploratory well is drilled for the purpose of identifying the lithological, structural, hydrological, or thermal characteristics of a geothermal resource. Exploratory wells are used to locate and roughly define the potential power output of a resource.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle


 
Introduction
Exploratory wells are drilled to further define or constrain a particular hydrothermal resource. This could be done before any other drilling or to expand and learn more about the dimensions of an existing geothermal power facility.

Note: the terms exploratory wells and exploratory boreholes have been used interchangeably in the geothermal and oil and gas industries. Technically the difference is that a borehole does not produce fluid and a well does.

 
Use in Geothermal Exploration
Exploration wells can be used for many purposes in the geothermal industry. They can provide critical information about the resource at depth allowing developers to better understand the potential power output from a particular area. Exploratory wells are also useful for existing geothermal power facilities interested in expanding their resource. Drilling tends to be the most expensive phase of developing a geothermal resource; so many other exploration techniques are done prior to exploratory drilling (Jennejohn, 2009; FIGA, 2011). However, drilling is the only way to verify that the resource is capable of producing sufficient hydrothermal fluids for power generation.
 
Related Techniques
Thermal gradient holes (TGH) may be drilled prior to any other drilling techniques. TGH are typically narrow and shallow, but can still locate anomalous geothermal gradients, and depending on the drilling conditions, they are often cost effective (Jennejohn, 2009).


A pressure temperature log is generated from a tool sent down a hole, similar to TGH, but accounts for other properties. A pressure temperature log can be done in an exploratory well. See Pressure Temperature Log to learn more about this technique.











 
References


Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Exploratory Well At Coso Geothermal Area (1967) Coso Geothermal Area 1967 1967


Exploratory Well At Coso Geothermal Area (1977-1978) Coso Geothermal Area 1977 1978


Exploratory Well At Dixie Valley Geothermal Area (Allis, Et Al., 1999) Dixie Valley Geothermal Area 1997 1998


Exploratory Well At Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area (FURUMOTO, 1976) Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area 1961 1961


Exploratory Well At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (McNitt, 1963) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1959 1962


Exploratory Well At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Smith & Rex, 1977) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1976 1976


Exploratory Well At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Sorey, 1985) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1976 1985


Exploratory Well At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Sorey, Et Al., 1991) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1983 1983


Exploratory Well At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Suemnicht, 1987) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1985 1985


Exploratory Well At North Brawley Geothermal Area (Matlick & Jayne, 2008) North Brawley Geothermal Area 1975 1980


Exploratory Well At Raft River Geothermal Area (1950) Raft River Geothermal Area 1950 1950


Exploratory Well At Raft River Geothermal Area (1975) Raft River Geothermal Area 1975 1975


Exploratory Well At Raft River Geothermal Area (1976) Raft River Geothermal Area 1976 1976


Exploratory Well At Raft River Geothermal Area (1977) Raft River Geothermal Area 1977 1977


Exploratory Well At Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Faulder, 1991) Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1991 1991


Exploratory Well At Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Petersen, 1975) Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1968 1968


Exploratory Well At Salt Wells Area (Bureau of Land Management, 2009) Salt Wells Geothermal Area 2008 2008


Exploratory Well At Salt Wells Area (Edmiston & Benoit, 1984) Salt Wells Geothermal Area 1980 1980


Exploratory Well At Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area (Nielson & Hulen, 1984) Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area 1959 1983


    Document # Analysis
    Type
    Applicant Geothermal
    Area
    Lead
    Agency
    District
    Office
    Field
    Office
    Mineral
    Manager
    Surface
    Manager
    Development
    Phase(s)
    Techniques
    DOI-BLM-CA-170-02-15 EA Mammoth Pacific Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area BLM BLM Central California District Office BLM Bishop Field Office BLM Geothermal/Exploration Exploration Drilling
    Exploratory Well
    Slim Holes
    Drilling Methods
    DOI-BLM-CA-650-2005-086 EA Robert A. Phinney, Deep Rose LLC Coso Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM California Desert District Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Exploration Exploratory Well
    Flow Test
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0051-EA EA Terra-Gen Power LLC Coyote Canyon Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Exploration Exploratory Well
    EA for Well Field Development at Patua Geothermal Area - DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-00016-EA EA Gradient Resources Patua Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management
    Bureau of Reclamation
    Geothermal/Exploration
    Geothermal/Well Field
    Drilling Techniques
    Exploratory Well
    Thermal Gradient Holes
    NVN-088205 EA Ormat Technologies Inc Gabbs Valley Geothermal Area BLM Stillwater Field Office BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office BLM Stillwater Field Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Geothermal/Exploration Exploratory Well
    Observation Wells
    Thermal Gradient Holes


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