Fervo Energy’s ‘Project Red’ Results Are a Historic Breakthrough for Geothermal Energy – What Comes Next?

Fervo Energy announced the results from their ‘Project Red’ pilot in northern Nevada (Norbeck and Latimer, 2023; Ma, 2023). The results are spectacular. For nearly 50 years, the goal of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (aka, Hot Dry Rock) has been to convert low permeability, hot formations into economically viable geothermal reservoirs (Murphy et al., 1977). Success has been elusive. During stimulation, flow tends to localize into a small number of flowing fracture pathways. This limits the flow capacity and heat sweep efficiency of the resulting reservoir.

A New Approach for Interference Test Analysis: Quantifying the Degree of Production Impact

This blog post summarizes a new procedure for interpreting interference tests in shale. The full procedure and a detailed writeup are provided by Almasoodi et al. (2023). Interference tests are one of the most effective diagnostics for assessing communication between neighboring wells. This information is critical for optimizing completion design and well spacing.

Optimization of perforation orientation for achieving uniform proppant distribution between clusters

Previously, a mathematical model for the problem of slurry flow in a perforated wellbore was described and the underlying physical mechanisms were discussed. The purpose of this blog post, on the other hand, is to couple the model with an optimization algorithm to investigate optimal perforation orientations that lead to the desired uniform proppant distribution between perforations. A brief description of the model is added at the beginning to cater for readers who are not familiar with the previous blog post.

Interesting papers from the 2023 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference

The 2023 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference was last week, and as usual, it had an outstanding lineup of papers and speakers. This blog post has a brief lineup of some of the papers that I found most interesting. As in past years, this rundown focuses on papers that I found interesting, based on my own personal interests. Usually, I am most interested in papers that improve our understanding ‘what’s going on’ in the subsurface. Also, I coauthored a paper at the conference, so naturally, I can’t help but include it on this list!

Proppant distribution between perforation clusters

This blog post summarizes the model for calculating proppant distribution between perforation clusters. A very detailed description of the model and literature review are available in [1]. The purpose here is to outline the model and its main features, to demonstrate the comparison with some of the available data (more comparisons in [1]), as well as to discuss limiting cases and sensitivities to various parameters. This blog post is solely focused on presenting the mathematical model. In future work, the results will be applied to practical optimization decisions.