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Five projects chosen to receive up to $15m in joint geothermal/ oil DOE research program

ThermaSource Rig 108, The Geysers (Source: ThinkGeoEnergy)
Alexander Richter 10 Jul 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office and the Office of Fossil Fuels have announced the selection of 5 projects to receive up to $15 million in research funding.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) and the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced the selection of 5 projects to receive up to $15 million in funding to investigate wellbore integrity research subjects via a Lab Call announcement. This funding opportunity will address two topic areas: 1) Wellbore Diagnostics and Integrity assessment in legacy wells, and 2) Sensors and Tools for Autonomous Completions and Long Term Monitoring of Wellbore Integrity.

The Lab Call is part of a larger effort to address technical challenges associated with operating in the subsurface. In response, DOE has established an integrated technology team that encompasses DOE offices involved in subsurface activities that are aligned with energy production/extraction, subsurface storage of energy and carbon dioxide, subsurface waste disposal and environmental remediation, as well as analysis associated with the subsurface.

GTO and FE partnered in response to a report published by FE in October 2016 titled, Ensuring Safe and Reliable Underground Natural Gas Storage. The report states that to lower the risk for wellbore failure, operators should prioritize integrity tests that provide hard data on well performance through monitoring, logging, and mechanical integrity testing. Well Integrity testing should also use multiple methodologies and not rely on a single diagnostics, and use continuous real time monitoring.

The selected awardees include:

  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Source: DOE Geothermal Technologies Office