Recent Thermal and Hydraulic Stimulation Results at Raft River, ID EGS Site

The Raft River geothermal field, located in Cassia County in southwestern Idaho, is the site of a Department of Energy Enhanced Geothermal System project. U.S. Geothermal, Inc. currently produces about 11 MWe from Precambrian metamorphic rocks. These lie beneath ~5,000 ft of Quaternary and Tertiary volcaniclastic and volcanic deposits. Maximum temperatures range from 271o F to 300o F.

Well RRG-9 ST1, the well targeted for stimulation is located approximately 1 mile south of the main bore field. The open hole section of the well, from 5,551 to 5,900 ft MD, consists of Precambrian Elba Quartzite, the stimulation target, granite and minor diabase. Prior to setting the casing acoustic, gamma ray, and density logs were run. After completing the well, a step rate/step down test was conducted. The maximum injection rate achieved was 18 bpm at a wellhead pressure of 1,150 psig.

A borehole televiewer run in the open hole section showed evidence of more than eighty fractures. The majority of these fractures trend from N20⁰W to N20oE and dip from 40o to 60oW. Permeable fractures were encountered in the Elba Quartzite at 5,640-5,660 ft MD. Analysis of the injection test indicates that the minimum in-situ principal stress in this zone is 3,050-3,200 psi, corresponding to a fracture gradient of 0.59-0.62 psi/ft. A discrete fracture network model was developed using

measured and inferred fracture orientations, distributions and dimensions.

A three-phase stimulation program is proposed for RRG-9 ST-1. During the first two stages, water at 140oF, and later 40oF, will be injected to pre-condition and thermally fracture the reservoir. The third stage will consist of a high rate, large volume conventional hydraulic stimulation.

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