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GRC Workshops

GRC Workshops Chair: Dave R. Boden, Ph.D., CC Professor of Geoscience, Truckee Meadow Community College

Please Note: Due to scheduling issues, the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel room block is only available from 14-22 September. Those attending pre-meeting workshops and fieldtrips and needing a room 12 & 13 September at the GRC rate will have to make a reservation at the the Hilton Palm Springs Hotel where the room block is available 12-19 September. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Three GRC Workshops have been confirmed at the GRC Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, California, USA.

Friday & Saturday, September 13 and 14

New Frontiers in EGS Technology

Saturday, September 14

Supercritical and Superhot Geothermal Resources

Wednesday, September 18

Geothermal 101 - Open to the Public

New Frontiers in EGS Technology

Friday & Saturday, September 13 and 14New Frontiers in EGS Technology

Room: Smoketree AB                8:00am - 5pm
Cost: $650 (Member), $750 (Non-Member), $225 (Student)

Workshop Flyer (PDF)..........

Organized by:

  • Sabodh K. Garg, Ph.D., Vice-President and Principal Reservoir Engineer, Geologica Geothermal Group, Inc.
  • Azadeh Riahi, Ph.D., Senior Engineer, Itasca Consulting Group
  • William M. Rickard, PE, President and Principal Engineer, Geothermal Resource Group, Inc.
  • Will Pettitt, Ph.D., Executive Director, Geothermal Resources Council

High-temperature geothermal resources are the manifestations of cooling magmatic intrusions, which are vertically zoned. Beneath the low-permeability cap and the hydrothermal circulation volume, there exists a zone of limited permeability where meteoric fluid does not circulate freely, and thus engineering intervention is required to enhance permeability and fluid circulation.

It is estimated that roughly 90% of the geothermal power resource reside in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). While realization of EGS development on the 100+ GWe scale would make EGS a significant component of the renewable energy portfolio, numerous technological challenges remain in accessing and characterizing, creating, monitoring, operating, and sustaining engineered reservoirs.

Development of cost-effective EGS technology is critical to the long-term viability of the world-wide geothermal industry. This workshop is the third in a series of EGS-focused workshops sponsored by the GRC (previously held in 2012 and 2016), focusing on the latest research findings and practical experiences in geothermal reservoirs. The workshop instructors are experts from geothermal and petroleum industry, academic institutions, and U.S. national laboratories. 

In addition to formal presentations, ample time will be allowed for questions/discussion between participants and workshop presenters. 

Sponsored by

Agenda - Day 1:

07:30am – 08:00 

Register/Coffee and Continental Breakfast


Experimental Studies

Advances in understanding of fracturing mechanisms and heat and mass transport at the laboratory (e.g. block experiments), intermediate (e.g. Collab), and field scale (FORGE) will be covered in this session.

Chaired by:
Sabodh Garg

08:00 – 08:15

Welcome and Introduction

Sabodh Garg

08:15 – 08:45

Geomechanics Aspects of Reservoir Stimulation

Ahmad Ghassemi

08:45 – 09:15

Creation of permeable reservoirs under high pressure and high temperature environments: Insight from state-of-the-art laboratory experiments

Takuya Ishibashi

09:15 –10:00

The importance of data acquisition and numerical analysis for the further development of EGS

Thomas Kohl

10:00 –10:15

Coffee Break


10:15 –11:00

The EGS Collab Project: Stimulating Crystalline Rock

Tim Kneafsey

11:00 –11:45

Characteristics of the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE)

Stuart Simmons

11:45 –12:00pm



12:00 - 1:00

Lunch (Santa Rosa Room)


Reservoir Engineering: Common Practice And Technical Challenges

This session will overview engineering approaches to some of the EGS projects. Challenges associated with site characterization, stimulation, assessment of stimulated volume, and induced microseismicity will be discussed. Simulation of EGS processes at various scales, and novel numerical techniques such as discrete element modeling, will be presented.

Chaired by:
Azadeh Riahi

1:00pm – 1:40

Key Complex Process Couplings and Challenges in the Effective Recovery of Deep Geothermal Energy

Derek Elsworth

1:40 – 2:20

Using THMC modeling to inform Enhanced Geothermal System Development: Insights from Newberry, Fallon, and the Altona Site

Eric Sonnenthal

2:20 – 3:00 

Informed Design of EGS Operations using Numerical Modeling Tools – Review of Fallon FORGE Numerical Modeling Efforts

Branko Damjanac

3:00 – 3:20

Coffee Break


3:20 – 4:00 

A Review of Newberry Volcano EGS Demonstration

Trenton Cladouhos

4:00 – 4:40  

The Path Forward:  Utah Forge Reservoir Engineering Plans

John McLennan

4:40 – 5:00



5:00 – 7:00

Reception (San Jacinto Room)


Agenda - Day 2:

07:30am – 08:00

Register/Coffee and Continental Breakfast



Issues unique to EGS (e.g. zonal isolation) will be discussed. Topics include: casing and wellbore design considerations for EGS wells; directional drilling in extremely hard rock; use of PDC (Polycrystalline Diamond Compact) bits and MSE (Mechanical Specific Energy); Stimulation, how do we do it and what is important from a completion perspective; zonal isolation, and; cementing considerations.

Chaired by:
William M. Rickard

 08:00 – 08:15

Welcome and Introduction

Bill Rickard

08:15 – 08:45

Casing (material selection and premium connections) and wellbore design considerations for EGS wells

Bill Rickard

08:45 –09:15

Directional drilling (high temperature mud motors) in extremely hard rock

Sam Abraham

09:15 –10:00

Use of PDC bits and Mechanical Specific Energy (making use of hydraulic surface torque data collection)

Ernesto Rivas

10:00 –10:15

Coffee Break


10:15 –11:00

Stimulation – how to complete a well for Stimulation and best practices

John McLennan

11:00 –11:45

Zonal isolation and cementing (methods and formulations) considerations

Hamid Najafi

11:45 –12:00pm



12:00 – 1:00

Lunch (Santa Rosa Room)


Technical and Commercial Viability of EGS – A Panel Discussion

The technical and commercial viability of EGS is investigated in this session through objective debate across a panel of experts, and using interactive Q&A with the audience, to get to the heart of how we turn the EGS concept into commercial reality.

Chaired by:
Will Pettitt

1:00 - 1:15

Session Conclusions

  • 1:00 – 1:05        Sabodh Garg: Experimental Studies
  • 1:05 – 1:10        Azadeh Riahi: Reservoir Engineering: Common Practice and Technical Challenges
  • 1:10 – 1:15        Sam Abraham: Drilling

1:15 – 2:35

Panelist Presentations

  • 1:15 – 1:35        TBC: What are the engineering and science research priorities for EGS to make it viable in the next 10 years?
  • 1:35 – 1:55        Thomas Kohl: What is the international view of the importance of EGS and how can we cooperate to ensure success?
  • 1:55 – 2:15        Trenton Cladouhos: Should we be targeting hotter reservoirs for the first operational EGS and what are the additional challenges faced?
  • 2:15 – 2:35        Rob Podgorney: What ideas should we be considering to make EGS wells commercial?

2:35 – 3:05

Coffee Break


3:05 – 3:45

Panelist Presentations (Continued)

  • 3:05- 3:25         Peter Meier: Is induced seismicity in EGS hydraulic treatments a friend or foe?
  • 3:25 – 3:45        Peter Ledingham:After the past four decades of research, is EGS closer to being the game changer for geothermal?


3:45 – 4:55

Panel Questions and Answers

Will Pettitt

4:55 – 5:00

Closing Remarks

Azadeh Riahi

Space is limited; early enrollment is recommended.

Supercritical and Superhot Geothermal Resources

Saturday, September 14

Room: Chino AB               8:00am - 5pm
Cost: $375 (Member), $475 (Non-Member), $175 (Student)

Organized by Wilfred Elders (Professor Emeritus, UC Riverside), with instructors from USA, Japan, and Iceland.

There is increasing interest in supercritical and superhot geothermal systems as wells penetrating such reservoirs could potentially yield an order of magnitude more power than that currently produced from typical geothermal wells. Such resources are likely wherever young volcanic rocks occur at drillable depths.


Wilfred Elders, University of California, Riverside, USA. Susan Petty, Alta Rock Energy USA
Samuel Scott, Reykjavik University, Iceland. Ingólfur Ö Þorbjörnsson,  Iceland GeoSurvey, Iceland
Matthew Uddenberg, Stravan Consulting LLC, USA. Tatiana Pyatina, Brookhaven National Lab., USA
Hiroshi Asanuma, AIST, Japan Þorleikur Jóhannesson, Verkis, Iceland






Welcome and Introductions  



Enthalpy and Flow Characteristics of Supercritical Fluids and Their Reactions With Crustal Rocks & Their Worldwide Potential.

Wilfred Elders


Modeling Supercritical Systems Associated With Igneous Intrusions.

Samuel Scott


Coffee Break



Economics of Supercritical Geothermal Resources.

Matthew Uddenberg


Challenges of Drilling, Logging, and Completing High Temperature and Pressure Wells.

Susan Petty


The Iceland Deep Drilling Project, Phase 1, Drilling Into Magma

Wilfred Elders


Morning Session Q&A



Lunch (Santa Rosa Room)



The Iceland Deep Drilling Project, Phase 2, Drilling Into a 600oC Supercritical System.

Wilfred Elders


The Japan Beyond The Brittle Project..

Hiroshi Asanuma


Casing, and Expandable Couplings For Hot Wells.

Ingólfur Ö Þorbjörnsson


Coffee Break



Very High Temperature Casing Cements.

Tatiana Pyatina


IDDP Fluid Handling and Power Production Issues.

Þorleikur Jóhannesson


The Newberry Crater, Oregon Superhot System.

Susan Petty


Utilizing Supercritical Systems To Produce Flexible And Integrated Combinations Of Electricity, Hydrogen, and Minerals.

Wilfred Elders


Panel Discussion: Overview and Prospects For The Future.

Moderated by
Wilfred Elders

Ample time will be provided for workshop participants and presenters to engage in discussion to explore select topics in more detail.

Space is limited; early enrollment is recommended.

Both workshops mentioned above include lunches and a networking reception on Friday evening.

Geothermal 101 - Open to the Public

Wednesday, September 18

Room: Primrose A         9:00-11:00am
Cost: Free to the general public and GRC Annual Meeting & Expo registrants

Presented by: Gene Suemnicht

  • 9:00 -10:00am - Visit the Expo to understand the practical applications of geothermal energy.
  • 10:00 -11:00am - Workshop in room Primrose A, explaining the basics of clean, dependable, renewable geothermal energy.

Local and state legislators, energy regulators and their staff, educators, students and the general public are invited to a special workshop explaining the many benefits of geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy has been described as the most reliable renewable and a sustainable green energy. What does it take to discover and develop a high enthalpy resource? How does it fit into the mix of renewable electricity generation for the future?

Check back here for more information in the coming months.......

In the last decade alone the GRC has provided over 50 days of educational workshops:

2006 - Emerging High-Temperature Technologies and Tools for Geothermal Applications, San Diego, California, (2-days)
2006 - Geothermal Exploration Technologies, San Diego, California, (2-days)
2007 - Geophysical Techniques in Geothermal Exploration, Sparks, Nevada, (2-days)
2007 - Land, Lease, and Unitization Legal Issues, Sparks, Nevada, (2-days)
2008 - Geothermal Reservoir Evaluation, Reno, Nevada, (2-days)
2008 - Basics of Geothermal Resource Development, Reno, Nevada, (1-day)
2008 - Introduction to Geothermal Energy, Reno, Nevada, (1-day)
2009 - Geothermal Heat Pump Workshop, Salt Lake City, Utah, (2-days)
2009 - Webinar: Utility Geothermal Development Strategies, Online, (1-day)
2009 - Webinar: Enhanced Geothermal Systems, Online, (1-day)
2009 - Webinar: Geothermal Heat Pump Programs and Benefits, Online, (1-day)
2009 - Geothermal Power 101 - Basics of Geothermal Resource Development, Reno, Nevada, (1-day)
2009 - Geothermal Heat Pumps, Reno, Nevada, (1-day)
2009 - EGS and Other Emerging Technologies, Reno, Nevada, (1-day)
2009 - Getting More Geothermal Projects On-line, Reno, Nevada, (1-day)
2010 - Texas Geothermal Technologies, Dallas, Texas, (1-day)
2010 - Geothermal Reservoir Evaluation, Sacramento, California, (2-days)
2010 - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Portfolio (EERE), Sacramento, California, (1-day)
2010 - Geothermal Heat Pumps, Sacramento, California.(1-day)
2011 - An Introduction to Geothermal Resources Exploration and Development: Examples from The Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth Lakes, California, (1-day)
2011 - Geothermal Energy Leasing and Permitting, San Diego, California, (2-days)
2011 - An Introduction to Geothermal Exploration, San Diego, California, (2-days)
2012 - Recent Advances in Geothermal Geochemistry, Davis, California, (2-days)
2012 - Drilling, Reno, Nevada, (2-days)
2012 - Reservoir Stimulation, Reno, Nevada, (2-days)
2013 - Resource Assessment & Optimization, Sacramento, California, (2-days)
2013 - Exploration Drilling and Early Stage Geothermal Characterization, Bandung, Indonesia, (2-days)
2013 - New Developments in Power Plants, Las Vegas, Nevada, (2-days)
2013 - Geothermal Exploration in the 21st Century, Las Vegas, Nevada, (2-days)
2014 - Geothermal Drilling, Well Testing, Reservoir Monitoring & Management, Jakarta, Indonesia, (2-days)
2014 - Introduction to Hydrothermal Systems and Geothermal Exploration, Portland, Oregon, (2-days)
2014 - Geothermal Leasing, Unitization and Water Use Legal Issues, Portland, Oregon, (2-days)
2015 - Geothermal Workshop/Fieldtrip to Yellowstone National Park (5-days)
2016 - Conceptual Models of Geothermal Systems, Sacramento, California, (2-days)
2016 - Reservoir Stimulation, Sacramento, California, (2-days)
2016 - Best Practices in Operations & Maintenance, Sacramento, California, (1-day)
2016 - Geothermal 101 Sacramento, California, (Two Hours)
2017 - Project Development Strategy and Economic and Investment Evaluation, Jakarta, Indonesia, (2-days)
2017 - Geothermal Resource Decision Workshop 2, Salt Lake City, Utah, (2-days)
2018 - Project Development Strategy and Economic and Investment Evaluations, Reno, Nevada, (2-days)
2018 - Evolution of Geothermal Resource Models, Reno, Nevada, (2-days)
2018 - Geothermal 101, Reno, Nevada, (Two Hours)