Abstract

For the past four years, the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) has been investigating a method for extracting geothermal energy from hot, but essentially impermeable, rocks at moderate depths. The concept is to drill a hole into the hot, relatively impermeable rock and create a large hydraulic fracture that serves as a downhole heat exchanger. A second hole is drilled to intersect the fracture, creating a circulation loop for the injected water.

Two deep holes (GT-2 and EE-1) have been drilled at the Fenton Hill site in northern New Mexico. The first hole, GT-2, has a depth of 2,928 m and a bottom-hole temperature of 197 °C. The second hole, EE-1, has been temporarily halted at at depth of 3,062 m, where the temperature is 205.5 °C. Hydraulic fractures have been created in both holes, and fluid communication between the holes was established in October 1975. Circualtion experiments are now being conducted between the two holes.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.