Observation Wells

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Exploration Technique: Observation Wells

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Drilling Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Development Drilling
Parent Exploration Technique: Development Drilling
Information Provided by Technique
Lithology:
Stratigraphic/Structural:
Hydrological: Total dissolved solids, fluid pressure, flow rates, and flow direction
Thermal: Monitors temperature of circulating fluids
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Observation Wells:
An observation well is used to monitor important hydrologic parameters in a geothermal system that can indicate performance, longevity, and transient processes.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle


 
Introduction
There are many applications for observation wells in subsurface geology. To understand hydrologic properties observation wells are drilled to monitor the height of the water table, dissolved solids, temperature, pressure, etc. (Skalbeck, et al., 2002). Observation wells are also used to monitor the transient processes of carbon capture and sequestration, from CO2 migration to mineral precipitation (Gislason, et al., 2010: Matter, et al., 2011). For geothermal resources, observation wells monitor fluid temperatures, chemistry, pressure, or all of the above to understand the real time evolution of fluid or other reservoir properties in a geothermal system. These wells can be initially drilled as exploration wells and converted to observation wells if production is not suitable, or they can be drilled for the purposes of monitoring the reservoir conditions.
 
Use in Geothermal Exploration
Monitoring wells allow for the direct observation of hydrologic processes within a geothermal reservoir providing detailed information that can be used to enhance the performance and sustainability of a power generation facility. To sustain long term fluid production in a geothermal system, it is imperative to monitor the reservoir conditions from injection wells to production wells (Matsushima, et al., 2004). Observation wells allow many of the vital reservoir properties to be recorded in real time throughout the life of the power generation facility. Perturbations in pressure or temperature will inform operators to make appropriate adjustments to continue production without risking the viability of the resource. Howle, et al., (2003) were are able to correlate subsidence in the Casa Diablo geothermal field in Long Valley Caldera, California, from increased fluid production at the geothermal power facility. These correlations were revealed by analyzing historical data gathered from observation and production wells that showed fluctuating fluid pressures and potentiometric surface of the ground water were related to fluid production (Howle, et al., 2003). In another example, using thermal and non-thermal wells Skalbeck, et al., (2002) were able to identify the mixing of thermal waters from Steamboat Hills geothermal area with the local aquifer and that faults control the fluid circulation in that area.












Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Observation Wells (Ozkocak, 1985) Unspecified


Observation Wells At Blue Mountain Area (Warpinski, Et Al., 2004) Blue Mountain Area


Observation Wells At East Brawley Area (Matlick & Jayne, 2008) East Brawley Area


Observation Wells At Fenton Hill HDR Geothermal Area (Dash, Et Al., 1983) Fenton Hill HDR Geothermal Area 1978 1980


Observation Wells At Fenton Hill HDR Geothermal Area (Shevenell, Et Al., 1988) Fenton Hill HDR Geothermal Area 1983 1984


Observation Wells At Lightning Dock Area (Warpinski, Et Al., 2004) Lightning Dock Area


Observation Wells At Lightning Dock Geothermal Area (Reeder, 1957) Lightning Dock Geothermal Area


Observation Wells At Mccoy Geothermal Area (DOE GTP) Mccoy Geothermal Area


Observation Wells At The Needles Area (DOE GTP) The Needles Area


    Document # Analysis
    Type
    Applicant Geothermal
    Area
    Lead
    Agency
    District
    Office
    Field
    Office
    Mineral
    Manager
    Surface
    Manager
    Development
    Phase(s)
    Techniques
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0001-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/Power Plant Exploration Drilling
    Observation Wells
    Well Testing Techniques
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0005-DNA DNA Magma Energy McCoy Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0019-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Salt Wells Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0020-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Salt Wells Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0046-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0048-DNA DNA Enel Salt Wells LLC Salt Wells Geothermal Area BLM Nevada State Office BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office BLM Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0058-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Dixie Meadows Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0068-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0073-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2013-0007-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2013-0023-DNA DNA Ormat Technologies Inc Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Carson City District Office BLM Stillwater Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2012-0011-DNA DNA US Geothermal Inc San Emidio Desert Geothermal Area Bureau of Land Management BLM Winnemucca District Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
    LLNV-WO1000-2009-0002-EA EA Ormat Technologies Inc Jersey Valley Geothermal Area BLM Nevada State Office BLM Winnemucca District Office BLM Humboldt River Field Office Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Exploration Drilling Techniques
    Observation Wells
    NV-020-07-EA-01 EA Ormat Technologies Inc Jersey Valley Geothermal Area BLM BLM Winnemucca District Office BLM BLM Geothermal/Well Field
    Geothermal/Exploration
    Drilling Techniques
    Observation Wells
    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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