The DESCRAMBLE Final Conference took place in Pisa, Italy, on March 2018, and has been the occasion to learn about the project result and to exchange ideas and hints with international colleagues. The conference brought together EU and national representatives from industry and research to explore and discuss opportunities and strengths related to drilling in superhot condition for producing heat and electrical power.
The conference was organized in 4 blocks of presentations.
The opening session provided an overview of actual geothermal perspectives in the topics related to the DESCRAMBLE project. Following the welcome notes from the Host (CNR), the EU support to geothermal energy was presented F. Gagliardi, EU Commision Officer. A series of presentations then addressed drilling technologies and European activities in this field. E. Huenges (GFZ) presented the activity of the Working Group on Drilling of the ETIP-DG, and debated the status of drilling technologies and innovation frontiers. His presentation was followed by the presentation of two European running Projects strictly linked to the topics of reference of DESCRAMBLE: I. Thorbjornsson (ÍSOR) and A. Ragnarsson (ÍSOR) described the DEEPEGS and GEOWELL European Projects, respectively. Another important international project, which was originally mentioned in DESCRAMBLE proposal for coordinated efforts, is JBBO Project in Japan: since Prof. Asamura could not attend or organize a presentation, R. Bertani (DESCRAMBLE’s Coordinator), who was recently invited in Japan, reported about the status of pre-feasibility studies carried on in Japan. Bertani also presented, on behalf of P. Romagnoli of Enel Green Power (EGP), the genesis of DESCRAMBLE’s proposal.
After the opening, three technical sessions describing the DESCRAMBLE project results run for the rest of the day. The presenters of the opening session were kindly available for chairing and moderating all the sessions of the day.
Session 1 covered the description of Pre-drilling assessment activities. Active seismic data were discussed by S. Ciuffi (EGP) in relation to VSP data, and W. Rabbel (Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel - CAU), who described seismic data processing, while M. Casini (EGP) described the definition of drilling target based on seismic data, underlining the differences between what was expected and what was retrieved during the drilling. R. Spinelli (EGP) introduced to the Seismicity Monitoring in the DESCRAMBLE’s study area. A. Dini (CNR) made an overview of Pre-drilling resource assessment, focusing on granite, hydrothermal vein and metamorphic basement petrology, and explaining how samples and studies from other areas provided information to forecast deep drilling and crustal conditions.
Lessons learnt in drilling DESCRAMBLE’s super-hot well was the base of D. Pallotta (EGP): new material for cement and drilling fluid, drillbit, BOP and drilling procedures were described in detail and have been a main topic of discussion during the networking moments of the conference. The modelling of drilling and production conditions in a supercritical well completed the session, and was presented by M. Hjelstuen from SINTEF on behalf of researchers of SINTEF who could not join the conference.
After lunch, Session 2 and 3 focused on the activities performed during and after the drilling. M. Hjelstuen (SINTEF) described the prototype developed in DESCRAMBLE for measuring temperature and pressure in very harsh well condition. The prototype was also on show in the Hall of the Conference area. H. Büsing from RWTH Aachen University and G. Montegrossi from CNR described the reservoir modelling performed in the Larderello area, pinpointing the advancements achieved in software development and interpretation results.
G. Giudetti from Enel Green Power and F. Gherardi from CNR described the Gas logging results and discussed their preliminary interpretation, explaining the insights they provided on deep crustal condition and potential chemical reactions of drilling fluids at bottom-depth.
J. Niederau and R. Pechnig from RWTH Aachen University and H. B. Motra from CAU discussed the petrophysical properties at high temperature and pressure condition of core samples retrieved during the DESCRAMBLE drilling, whereas R. Pechnig from Geophysica LtD discussed the logging results. Eventually, G. Ruggieri (CNR) presented the petrographic characterization of core samples and described the synthetic fluid inclusions experiment performed in the DESCRAMBLE well and M. Cei (EGP) pinpointed how the DESCRAMBLE drilling activities helped in constraining resource characterization.
The project coordinator, R. Bertani (EGP) concluded the conference, narrating how, as in other moments of the production history of Larderello, the innovative drilling has provided unprecedented information of deep resource condition, and opened new technological perspectives for further deployment of geothermal resources. Although the drilling proceeded in very harsh condition, with temperature above 500 °C and pressure exceeding 300 bar, drilling procedures proved totally safe.
The 24 posters constituting the Poster Session were ideal for learning in more detail the technical advances achieved during the DESCRAMBLE project, and also a place for showing results from other projects and activities.
The Proceedings of the Conference are available for download here. See below for presentations.