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Drilling for Geothermal and CCS Data in West Virginia

Dr. Shikha Sharma, WVU professor of Geology and IsoBioGeM lab director, is leading a team of researchers who are gathering data from an exploratory well near Morgantown. Drilling started in mid-May. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the team will collect the first geological data on whether geothermal reservoirs can be a clean energy source for parts of West Virginia and Mid-Appalachia.  Carbon storage is also part of the research project.

This exploratory well is a borehole drilled 3 miles vertically to assess the geothermal heat potential in this region.  The well is being 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

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

WVU geothermal well pad in Morgantown, West Virginia

Same geology, same drilling, different resource: Geothermal interest simmers in Pennsylvania

WVU's geothermal well may be example for rest of the region.
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geothermal well pad image by Andy Travis, Northeast Natural Energy

Project explores potential of geothermal in West Virginia

The WVU geothermal well in the Morgantown Industrial Park, which began drilling in mid-May, has so far reached 1,300 feet in depth. 

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WVU researchers at geothermal well site

First geothermal well in West Virginia drills for new potential

West Virginia is well known for being a gas and oil state, but now officials with that background are hoping to use their experience to add geothermal to the energy mix.
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Image of geothermal experiment in WVU lab

Bubbling to the surface: WVU engineers develp new geothermal energy technology

WVU researchers develop a new airlift approach to optimize current geothermal pump technologies.
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View all news.

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