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Nevada State Exploration Process (4-NV-a)

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State Exploration Process Process

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4-NV-a.1 - Is the Proposed Activity Pre-Drilling Exploration or Exploration Drilling?

On Nevada state lands, no geothermal exploration permit is required for geothermal exploration not involving drilling (pre-drilling exploration).


4-NV-a.2 - Has an Environmental Review Been Completed for Exploration Drilling?

Despite the lack of formal environmental review process for the state of Nevada, if the project is on federal lands or receives federal funding, and environmental review will be required.


4-NV-a.3 - Environmental Review Process

Environmental Overview: 9


4-NV-a.4 and 4-NV-a.5 - Will You Use Ground Water in Your Exploration Activities?

If a developer wishes to use groundwater to explore for geothermal resources, the developer must request a waiver from the State Engineer for temporary water use.

Temporary Use of Ground Water for Exploration:
4-NV-b


4-NV-a.6 and 4-NV-a.7 - Will Exploration Wells be Cased Longer than 60 Days?

If Developer will case his wells for longer than 60 days, Developer will be required to secure a Monitoring Well Waiver.

Monitoring Well Waiver:
4-NV-c


4-NV-a.8 - Will you Drill a Series of Wells in a Project Area?

Developer may apply for one of two different geothermal exploration permits depending on the type of exploration project.


4-NV-a.9 - Apply for Geothermal Project Area Permit

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

NAC 534A.193 The application must:

1.  Include a statement of the number, purpose and estimated depth of the proposed wells in the project area;

2.  Include a description of the kind of casing, equipment for the prevention of a blowout and drilling rig which will be used;

3.  Include the name of the owner of the land or designated lots on which the proposed wells will be located;

4.  Include the name of the owner of the geothermal resource;

5.  Include the name and address of the operator and drilling contractor;

6.  Include a description and map of the project area by section, township and range; and

7.  Be accompanied by the bond required by NAC 534A.250.


4-NV-a.10 - Review Application and Distribute to Relevant Agencies

DOM will review the application and distribute it to other state agencies that may be interested in the permit.


4-NV-a.11 - Issue Geothermal Project Area Permit

If the DOM is satisfied with the permit application, DOM will issue the permit.


4-NV-a.12 - Apply for Individual Geothermal Well Permit

NAC 534A.190. Application for permit for individual geothermal well. (NRS 513.063, 534A.090)  

An application for a permit to drill or operate an individual geothermal well must be submitted to the Division on a form provided by the Administrator. Except as otherwise provided in NAC 534A.196, an application must

1.  Include a statement of the purpose and estimated depth of the well

2.  Include a description of the kind of casing, equipment for the prevention of a blowout and drilling rig which will be used

3.  Include the name of the owner of the land or designated lot on which the well will be located and the owner of the geothermal resource

4.  Include the name and address of the operator and drilling contractor

5.  Be accompanied by the bond required pursuant to NAC 534A.250, and

6.  Include a description of the location of the proposed well by the quarter-quarter section, section, township and range. If the area has not been mapped, the application must state the location by distance and direction from an established landmark. For domestic and commercial wells a street address may be used, if available.

Permit for Geothermal Development - Observation and Thermal Gradient Wells


4-NV-a.13 - Review Application and Distribute to Relevant Agencies

DOM will review the application and distribute it to other state agencies that may be interested in the permit. Typically, DOM will scan the permit application and then send it along to the county, State Engineer's Office, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.


4-NV-a.14 - Issue Individual Geothermal Well Permit

If the DOM is satisfied with the permit application, DOM will issue the permit.


4-NV-a.15 - Provide DOM 48 Hour Notice Prior to Drilling

Developer must give DOM 48 hours notice before engaging in exploration drilling activities.


4-NV-a.16 - Drill Exploration Wells

After giving notice to DOM, the developer may initiate exploration drilling activities.


4-NV-a.17 - Does the Permit Require Modification?

If the developer needs to modify the original geothermal permit issued, the developer must file a sundry notice.


4-NV-a.18 - Sundry Notice

Initiate Sundry Notice process.

Sundry Notice:
5-NV-b


4-NV-a.19 - Does Initial Survey Indicate a Potential Production Geothermal Well Field?

If the initial survey does not indicate a viable geothermal well, the developer must begin the well abandonment process.


4-NV-a.20 - Well Abandonment Process

Well Abandonment Process:
20-NV-a




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Edit Nevada Division of State Lands
State Land Leasing, Exploration, and Well-Development Contact
775.684.7040

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