RAPID/Geothermal/Well Field

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Geothermal Well Field Comparison

The development of geothermal resources requires the drilling of geothermal wells. The legal and regulatory framework for drilling on state or private land is controlled at the state level, while drilling on federal land is controlled at the federal level. The regulations for geothermal wells are sometimes modeled after the laws and regulations for oil and gas drilling. Since geothermal drilling has the potential to affect numerous environmental concerns a developer will also have to consider federal and state environmental regulations when drilling a well.

Possible permits and rights that a developer may require to drill a geothermal well include: land access permits, drilling permits, pit permits, pollution discharge permits, water permits or water rights, and geothermal rights or leases.

Drilling regulations are typically highly technical and designed to prevent the waste of resources. A developer may be limited in how they decide to develop a geothermal field and how a particular well is constructed. Environmental regulations may also dictate how a well is drilled and constructed in order to protect the environment, in particular water and ground water resources.

Permitting Location Drilling & Well Field Permit Agency Drilling & Well Field Permit

Geothermal Well Field in Alaska

Alaska Division of Oil and Gas

All wells drilled in support or in search of the recovery or production of geothermal resources must comply with 20 AAC 25.705-.740. The developer should submit a Permit to Drill (Form 10-401) before drilling or redrilling a well or re-entering an abandoned well (20 AAC 25.005). Upon application, the AOGCC will classify a well as:

  • exploratory;
  • development, either oil or gas;
  • service; or
  • stratigraphic test.

Geothermal Well Field in California

California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources

Before drilling can commense, an approved Notice of Intention (NOI) to Drill (OGG105) must be approved by the appropriated DOGGR District Office. The application is required for temperature gradient wells, exploratory wells, Observation wells and injection wells.

Geothermal Well Field in Colorado

Colorado Division of Water Resources

A permit issued by the State Engineer must be obtained prior to construction or use of any geothermal well. According to the Office of the State Engineer's Rules and Regulations for Permitting the Development and Appropriation of Geothermal Resources Through the Use of Wells, “Geothermal Well” means a well that is constructed for the purpose of exploration, use of a geothermal resource, or reinjection of a geothermal fluid.

Geothermal Well Field in Federal

Bureau of Land Management

Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002)

Geothermal Well Field in Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division

A developer seeking to drill, modify, or modify the use of a well for exploration or development must receive a drilling or modification permit prior to conducting the operation.

Geothermal Well Field in Idaho

Idaho Department of Water Resources

Any person, owner or operator who proposes to construct a well for the production of geothermal resources or to construct an injection well must obtain a Permit to Drill for Geothermal Resources from the Idaho Department of Water Resources.

Geothermal Well Field in Montana

Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

Currently, Montana does not have a well-established process for obtaining a permit to drill for geothermal resources. Interested developers should contact the MDNRC for information and requirements.

Geothermal Well Field in Nevada

Nevada Division of Minerals

If a developer plans on drilling a single well, the developer must submit an application for a permit to drill or operate an individual geothermal well to the Nevada Division of Minerals on a form provided by the Administrator. Except as otherwise provided in NAC 534A.196.

If a developer plans on drilling multiple exploratory wells in a defined project area, the developer must submit a Geothermal Project Area Permit application to the Nevada Division of Minerals.

If a developer plans to make minor changes to an existing well, the developer must submit a Sundry Notice to the Nevada Division of Minerals

Geothermal Well Field in New Mexico

New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

Permit to Drill

Geothermal Well Field in Oregon

Oregon State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Developers seeking to commence drilling, redrilling, or deepening of a geothermal well must obtain a Geothermal Well Permit from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Geothermal Well Field in Texas

Railroad Commission of Texas

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) requires the appropriate drilling permits and supporting documentation for exploratory wells, commercial drilling operations, geothermal wells, and co-production wells. .

Geothermal Well Field in Utah

Utah Division of Water Rights

Developers must obtain approval from the Utah Division of Water Rights (Division) before conducting geothermal drilling operations where the geothermal resources are greater than 120°C. Developers must file a Notice of Intent to Drill (NOI) with the Division before drilling, redrilling, deepening, permanently altering the casing of, or abandoning a well

Geothermal Well Field in Washington

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Drilling Permit

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