Stanford University

ERE Seminar: Jack Norbeck, PhD, Fervo Energy — Geomechanics in geothermal reservoirs

Monday, Mar 4, 2019 12:30 PM
Room 104, Green Earth Sciences Building, 367 Panama Street, Stanford
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ERE Seminar: Jack Norbeck, PhD, Fervo Energy — Geomechanics in geothermal re…
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends, Members
Energy Resources Engineering

Geomechanics in geothermal reservoirs

Jack Norbeck, PhD
Co-Founder | Fervo Energy

Enhanced geothermal systems have the potential to play a major role in deep decarbonization of the power sector. Geothermal's unique ability to provide clean power with flexible load profiles would support the high penetration levels of variable wind and solar power needed to reach a 100% clean electricity grid. The innovations that have driven the shale revolution present an exciting opportunity for technology transfer between the oil and gas and geothermal industries - this technology has the scale-up potential that could finally unlock the 100 GW domestic resource for enhanced geothermal systems. 
In this talk, I will review the fundamental reservoir and geomechanical processes that underpin the thesis that unconventional oil and gas technology has strong application in geothermal systems. I will present geophysical observations and reservoir simulation analyses of three case studies: 1) Hydraulic stimulation at the Fenton Hill EGS project, 2) fluid-driven seismicity at the Long Valley Caldera (a natural hydrothermal system), and 3) diagnostic fracture injection tests (DFITs) at the Utah FORGE EGS site. Each of these case studies show evidence for mixed-mechanism stimulation, a process that involves a strong interaction between newly formed tensile fractures and natural fractures. Because mixed-mechanism stimulation can control reservoir permeability changes in geothermal settings, new opportunities exist to optimize reservoir engineering and completion enginering designs for enhanced geothermal systems.

Jack Norbeck is co-founder and CTO at Fervo Energy, a startup focused on driving innovation in geoscience to support a 100% clean energy future. Fervo is leveraging technology advances that drove the shale revolution to unlock the 100 GW resource for enhanced geothermal systems. Prior to founding Fervo Energy, Jack was a Mendenhall postdoctoral fellow at the US Geological Survey. Jack obtained a PhD degree from the Stanford ERE department in 2016. While at Stanford, he was awarded the Henry J. Ramey Jr. fellowship and served as President of the SPE student chapter. Jack also holds a MS degree in civil engineering from Colorado School of Mines and a BS degree in civil engineering from University of Colorado. 

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