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Six Oil and Gas Districts Three Geothermal Districts

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The Geothermal Section oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, plugging, and abandonment of geothermal wells on state and private lands to ensure public safety and protect underground and surface waters. California is the United States' largest generator of electricity from geothermal energy. In 2012, California received nearly4.5 percent of its electrical energy from geothermal resources (about 13,000 Gigawatt-hours). The state has over 650 active, high-temperature geothermal wells (with fluids over 212 F) and 280 injection wells.

Six Oil and Gas Districts

Three Geothermal Districts

Drilling, operation, maintenance, plugging, and abandonment of geothermal wells on state and private lands to ensure public safety and protect underground and surface waters.Oversight of Geothermal Well Operations

California is the United States' largest generator of electricity from geothermal energy650 active, high-temperature geothermal wells (with fluids over 212 F)

280 injection wells

4.5% of Electrical Energy 13k Gigawatt-hours)

GeothermalGenerate Electricity

Base load goethermal plants run 24/7.

Need agreements to provide energy to support building new plants or expand existing plant.8GeothermalAquaculture


The Geysers45 square miles15 power plants335 steam wells53 injection wells360 degree average steam temperature75 psi average steam pressure20,000,000 gallons/day wastewater injectionSoutheast Geysers Effluent Pipeline

Water Loss

Make up WaterWater Reuse

State-Wide SeismicityAll Eqs 7 days


Induced Seismicity

Source: usgs.govSalton Sea FieldHigh pressureHigh temperature (600 degrees Fare height)High permeable sedimentary basinOnshore resource potential 1,400 MW11 power plants operating in onshore area - 380 MW cumulative capacity

Hudson Ranch 1Salton Sea Geothermal PlantHigh temperature flash technologyFirst stand alone geothermal energy source plant built in Salton Sea field in last 20 years.Three production well, four injection wellsTwo wells produce 40 MW each

Source: Power-eng.comPlant DetailsHigh pressure brine separator steam flashSteam scrubber (remove impurities)Steam turbineBrine sent to standard pressure crystallizer (steam separation - standard pressure steam)Low pressure separator (final stage steam separation)Clarifier tanks to separate out suspended silica, then reinjected

Make-Up WaterWell produce brine

Water from Imperial Valley Irrigation District used to make-up for water lost in operations

Brine treated and reinjected

Geothermals FutureShort TermLong-TermBenefitsDrawbacks

Well StimulationWhat is Hydraulic Stimulation ?

Increase permeability of oil-/gas-bearing formations Use of water, proppant, and chemicals to open fissures to allow oil/gas to flow to wellRecent development? Combination of multi-stage HF in long, horizontal formation Tight shales or other types of formations require HF

Source: is HF in California Basic petroleum geologyOil and gas formed in source rock over millenniaMigrate up into reservoirs where all of CA production has occurredWhen the formation is too tight, oil will not flow to the wells drilled into it

HF is a formation stimulation practice (commonly referred to as well stimulation)is the application of fluid and sand (proppant) in pressures sufficient to break oil and gas formations Formation stimulation is the means to increase formation permeability and flow to wellPractice known for decades, but rapid increase in use by combining with horizontal COMPLETION capability raised awareness of useCan be used in formations that in prior eras would have been considered dry holes.Application of HF has been controversialNot here to take sides in that debateLegislature and Administration determined that course of action was robust regulation and thats what we are doingNote that concerns about the practice water quality, chemical toxicity, etc -- have been tangled with concerns about changes in land use patternsWhy? B/c experience in other states/regions. Transition to....26Hydraulic Stimulation -- Last 2 months WST proposals shown offshore since the Department site went live (includes Well Stim since December 2013)

27Historic Regulation

Department of ConservationWell Construction StandardsFocus on competent well boresEnsure zonal isolationFacilities regulationCovers pipelines, collection/separation vessels / tanksIncludes Spill Prevention and Contingency Planning

Well Construction StandardsHistory of some of the strongest well construction standards in USWell construction involves metal casing surrounded by layers of cement that bond to rockWhole point is to ensure zonal isolation, regardless of what practice engagedYou have to build your well to our standards. You cant break your well. If you DO break your well, you have to fix it.Facilities RegulationsAddresses tanks, collection/separation facilities, pipelinesIncludes Spill Prevention Plans and Spill Contingency Planning28Interim Regulations

Requires:Neighbor notificationPressure testing of well and surface equipmentWater quality monitoring plansDisclosure of HF fluid contentPublic disclosure

In interim, regulations require as of 1/1/14Operator certification of many of the details above, including

Public notification 30-days priorIncl. requirement for well testingWater quality monitoring plans required Must meet broad standard in regulations this year while SWRCB determines final criteriaWell integrity testing and monitoring, as abovePublic disclosure 60-days afterDepartment website is up and runningAll approved applications are now shown on GIS-based platform, searchable by many fieldsAll approved applications, however, were done so prior to 1/1/14 under guidance established by DOGGR prior to effective date of SB 4No approvals issued since 1/1/14 regulations went into placeOperators still trying to navigate water quality monitoring provisions29Permanent Regulations

Will require:Permit from DOGGRNeighbor notificationPre-WST evaluation of formation & wellMonitoring during and after WSTWater quality monitoring plans and water management plansPublic disclosure of job and chemicals usedProcess for adoption

When permanent regulations effective on 1/1/15, will requirePermit from DOGGRIncluding details about location, depth, intended chemical use, and other detailsNeighbor noticing 1500 of well and 500 of well track 30-days prior to WSTWith provisions for operator-paid, independent lab testing of wells in the notice zonePre-WST evaluation of surrounding featuresFive-times radius analysis of wells, geologic structure, faults, that could be conduitsPre-WST testing of well integrityCement integrity is key to zonal isolationMonitoring during WST for potential failureShut down if suspect eventPost-WST monitoringUp to five years of monitoringWater quality monitoring plansCriteria of monitoring and plan content to be developed by SWRCBPublic disclosure of WST jobs 60-days afterIncl. ACTUAL chemicals usedFracFocus, but also DOC websiteProcess for permanent regulations Sent out for comment in mid-NovemberInitial comment period closed in mid-January (60-days)Received over 100,000 commentsExpect a second round of comment to commence in Q2 2014Need to finish process by October 15 to meet SB 4 deadline

IF TRADE SECRETS COMES UPSB 4 included substantial restrictions on trade secret protections for well stimulation fluids used. In light of those restrictions, we will probably see few, if any, claims of trade secret protection.SB 4 established clear procedures for handling of claims of trade secret protection, and for sharing trade secret information with health professionals other public agencies. When and if we are faced with claims of trade secret protection, we will follow those procedures30

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