Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Multistage fracturing is a breakthrough for EGS - dramatically improving energy production per well

ResFrac's fully-coupled fracturing and reservoir simulator is ideal for simulating hydraulic fracturing and long-term circulation in multistage EGS designs

Fracture propagation

3D fracture initiation and propagation, interaction between wells, stress shadowing, proppant transport, complex fluid additives and non-Newtonian flow, diverters, and wellbore dynamics.

Fracture reopening during circulation

Ability to simulate the mechanical opening of fractures, and the associated increases in fracture conductivity, induced by cooling during long-term fluid circulation.

Decision support tools

NPV maximization using ResFrac's economics engine and cloud-based optimization tools.

The ResFrac team offers authentic, deep expertise in multistage fracture design optimization and Enhanced Geothermal Systems

ResFrac shows how buoyancy-driven convection and thermoelastic stresses can surprisingly improve thermal longevity.
Researchers from Fervo Energy and Princeton used ResFrac to design a flexible-dispatch EGS system.

What are Enhanced Geothermal Systems?

Enhanced Geothermal Systems use hydraulic stimulation to produce from high-temperature, low permeability resources

Geothermal production potential is huge across the United States and globally. However, production is limited by insufficient natural permeability in most resources. Analogous to the shale revolution, EGS promises to unlock these resources by enabling much higher flow rates and low power costs.

Multistage stimulation resolves the problems that have historically limited EGS performance

Traditional EGS designs have been performed in a single stage, without proppant. These designs suffer from flow localization, where the fluid flows into a relatively small number of flowing pathways. In formations lacking large, naturally conductive faults, these designs have suffered from insufficient unpropped conductivity. Shale-style ‘plug and perf’ limited-entry completions with resolve both of these problems.

Key technical references

McClure, M., and R. Horne. 2014. An investigation of stimulation mechanisms in Enhanced Geothermal Systems. International Journal for Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences.
McClure, M., C. Kang, and G. Fowler. 2022. Optimization and Design of Next-Generation Geothermal Systems Created by Multistage Hydraulic Fracturing. SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition. 
Shiozawa, S., and M. McClure. 2014. EGS designs with horizontal wells, multiple stages, and proppant. Thirty-Ninth Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford, CA.
Wang, Z., M. McClure, and R. Horne. 2009. A single-well EGS configuration using a thermosiphon. Thirty-Fourth Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University.

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