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Drilling for Geothermal Data in West Virginia

Dr. Shikha Sharma, WVU professor of Geology and IsoBioGeM lab director, is leading a team of researchers who will gather data from an exploratory borehole well near Morgantown in 2023. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the team will provide the first geological data on whether geothermal reservoirs can be a clean energy source for parts of West Virginia and Mid-Appalachia.

This exploratory well will be a simple borehole drilled 3 miles vertically to assess the geothermal heat potential in this region.  The well will be used to collect critical rock samples and data on heat temperatures. It will not be a production well, meaning no energy or heat will come out of the well, only scientific data and rocks. No fracking is involved. 

Learn More : Exploring Geothermal Energy for West Virginia

What’s so hot about this research?

Mention geothermal energy in the US, and most will point to the West. This research will help decide if geothermal heat can be added to West Virginia's energy mix.

  • Advancing WVU's efforts to add cleaner, renewable power to reduce its carbon footprint
  • Deepest geothermal borehole in Mid-Appalachia (15,000 ft.)
  • Using state-of-the-art oil and gas drilling techniques for a geothermal data well
  • Evaluating shallow formations for thermal energy storage
  • Researching low-temperature geothermal data in the eastern U.S. and demonstrating its capabilities as a heat resource beyond the western states

 See More on FAQ Page


Keeping you updated on the latest geothermal projects at West Virginia University.

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