Application of 2D VSP Imaging Technology to the Targeting of Exploration and Production Wells in a Basin and Range Geothermal System Humboldt House-Rye Patch Geothermal Area Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Application of 2D VSP Imaging Technology to the Targeting of Exploration and Production Wells in a Basin and Range Geothermal System Humboldt House-Rye Patch Geothermal Area
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies Program
Project Type / Topic 2 Validation of Innovative Exploration Technologies
Project Description Phase I will consist of the acquisition, processing and interpretation of two 2-dimensional vertical seismic profiles (VSPs) at strategic positions crossing the range front fault system in the Humboldt House-Rye Patch (HH-RP) geothermal resource area. APEX-HiPoint Reservoir Imaging, Project team partner, will use its borehole seismic technology deploying up to 240 multicomponent phones on a fiber optic wireline system coupled to a high-volume data acquisition system. A vibroseis source will be recorded along the 2D profiles with offsets up to 10,000 feet on either side of the receiver wells, creating a wide horizontal aperture. Using dynamic borehole cooling, the APEX receivers will be deployed in an extended vertical array above and below the interface (and large velocity contrast) between Tertiary valley fill sediments and Triassic and older reservoir rocks, significantly increasing vertical aperture, multiplicity, frequency and signal quality. Optim, Project Team partner, will use its patented nonlinear optimization technique on both borehole and surface data to obtain high resolution velocity models down to target depths, also a “first”. HiPoint’s patented, time-domain processing techniques will be employed to provide accurate, high-resolution reflection images in a fraction of previous compute times.

Phase II will consist of the drilling of two wells to targets identified in Phase I, using equipment and services provided by Project team partner ThermaSource.

Phase III extended testing and sampling will be contingent on the evaluation of Phase II results. The test sequence will be designed to use the existing site injection permit, monitoring flow rates, pressures and temperatures for a sufficient period to analyze reservoir properties and well capacities. Fluid sampling will be conducted at regular intervals throughout the test.

State Nevada
Objectives Presco Energy, LLC, Principal Investigator, and its Project Team propose a “first” for the geothermal industry: the use of a state-of-the-art 2D vertical seismic imaging technology in a geothermal resource area heretofore plagued by high exploratory risk. Seismic imaging technologies have been applied at a number of sites in the Basin and Range, and typically encounter a highly-variable shallow environment in the “Valley Fill”, severely distorting ray paths, complicating velocity models and rendering reflection images unusable.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Presco Energy, Inc.
Awardee Website
Partner 1 APEX-HiPoint, LLC
Partner 2 Optim, LLC
Partner 3 University of Nevada, Reno
Partner 4 Southern Methodist University
Partner 5 ThermaSource, Inc.

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000109
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $2,277,081.00
Awardee Cost Share $1,934,148.00
Total Project Cost $4,211,229.00

Principal Investigator(s) Presco Energy, LLC

Targets / Milestones All Phase I tasks, including permitting in the Humboldt House Federal Unit, are expected to be complete within six months of Project start. Phase II is expected to be complete within eight months following completion of Phase I. Phase III tasks are expected to be complete within 10 months following the Phase III start, or 24 months following Project start.

Location of Project Rye Patch, NV
40.4475°, -118.2897°
About the Area Humboldt House-Rye Patch (HH-RP) geothermal resource area

Impacts Validation that 2D VSP is a viable exploration method for geothermal energy in a very promising geothermal field. The project addresses the regional challenge of shallow, unconsolidated fill and the solution could be applied across the Basin and Range.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs