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The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) announced the selection of three projects to receive up to $4.3 million in funding via a Lab Call to conduct early-stage research and development to advance state-of-the-art waterless stimulation technologies applied to geothermal wellbores.

The selected projects include:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Foam Fracturing Study for Stimulation Development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – Responsive Fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Systems
  • Sandia National Laboratories – POT (Pressure, Orientation, & Timing) for Anhydrous Energetic Stimulation

The most commonly applied wellbore stimulation technology, hydraulic fracturing, relies heavily on water-based fracturing fluids due to the general availability and low cost of water as well as its capability for proppant transport. DOE is interested in developing stimulation methods that require little to no water – reducing the usage needed for geothermal progress and easing constraints on water consumption. In addition, there are crosscutting applications with oil and gas, where there is growing concern with the amount of water disposed after similar operations have been completed.

For more information on the Geothermal Technologies Office, visit their website HERE.