Black Warrior: Sub-soil Gas and Fluid Inclusion Exploration and Slim Well Drilling Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Black Warrior: Sub-soil Gas and Fluid Inclusion Exploration and Slim Well Drilling
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies Program
Project Type / Topic 2 Validation of Innovative Exploration Technologies
Project Description The project area encompasses 6,273 acres of both private and federal lands including water and surface rights. It is reasonable to expect a capacity of about 20 MW. GeothermEx estimated a potential capacity of 40 MW.

Black Warrior is a large blind geothermal prospect near the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation that was identified by reconnaissance temperature gradient drilling in the 1980s by Philips Petroleum but was never tested through deep exploration drilling. Although the 10 square miles of high heat flow in the area reveals significant energy potential it also makes selection of an optimal exploration drilling target difficult.

State Nevada
Objectives Apply highly detailed, precise, low cost subsoil and down-hole gas geochemistry methods from the oil and gas industry to identify up flow zone drilling targets in a blind geothermal prospect at Black Warrior, Churchill and Washoe Counties, Nevada.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Nevada Geothermal Power Company
Awardee Website
Partner 1 Gore Technologies

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000109
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,597,847.00
Awardee Cost Share $1,597,847.00
Total Project Cost $3,195,694.00

Principal Investigator(s) John Casteel

Targets / Milestones - Discover a blind low to moderate temperature geothermal reservoir in western near Reno.

- Create short and long term jobs near Reno associated with the project to explore, and operate the discovered resource.
- If successful, the project will also create multiple long term professional employment opportunities in the chemical analytic laboratories that provide analyses.
- Apply a combination of detailed sub-soil gas, hydrocarbon, and isotope data possible up flow in a geothermal prospect.
- Calibrate the sub-soil chemistry with down hole fluid inclusion stratigraphy analyses to define a follow-up exploration drilling target.
- Successful application of these exploration and drilling methods might allow replication at multiple sites along the geothermal trend in several known blind targets in the region.
- Extend the DOE sub-soil 2 meter probe technology to gas sampling.

Location of Project Black Warrior, NV

Impacts Validation of relatively simple and cost-effective analyses that would significantly advance our ability to target "blind" fault-hosted geothermal systems.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs