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The DESTRESS project officially ended

The DESTRESS project officially ended

63 months after the kick-off meeting in Utrecht in March 2016, the DESTRESS project successfully completed its final months and officially ended in May 2021. The DESTRESS project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission, aimed to demonstrate soft stimulation treatments of geothermal reservoirs, expand knowledge, and provide solutions for more economical, sustainable, and environmental exploitation of underground heat. The project succeeded in delivering good practice for treatments which may be useful in designing future regulatory frameworks for geothermal stimulation.

Geothermal heat offers a renewable source for heat and energy production. However, geothermal stimulation treatments need to be optimised for various site conditions to minimise the negative impacts on the environment while exploiting the reservoir’s potential. This demands for a holistic approach defined as ‘soft stimulation’ considering technological, economic, environmental, and societal aspects – as applied within the framework of DESTRESS. It has been tested successfully in Soultz-sous-Forêts (France), Pohang (South Korea), Geldinganes (Iceland), and the BedrettoLab (Switzerland). The work conducted within DESTRESS covered all phases of a geothermal project, from the planning to the exploration and exploitation. All findings have been published in scientific journals and summarised in the comprehensive final report of the DESTRESS project.

As the project comes to an end, the website will not be updated anymore. However, it remains available and provides access to all best-practice reports, scientific publications, deliverables, information materials, newsletters and much more.

Operational tests at the Mezőberény geothermal site successfully completed

Operational tests at the Mezőberény geothermal site successfully completed 

As previously reported, a European team of scientists is analysing key drivers and searching for solutions to improve the geothermal heating plant's performance in Mezőberény, Hungary. The onsite operations have just been successfully completed and the obtained results are being evaluated in detail at the German Research Centre in Potsdam and the Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands.

The heating plant in Mezőberény comprises a production well and an injection well whereby formation water is circulated among the wells and the natural underground reservoir cyclically, closing the reinjection loop of the doublet system. Despite the local effort of conducting the heating plant effective functioning, several handicaps have been observed along the operational process of reinjecting formation water into the natural underground reservoir. Aware of the observed operational constraints, the scientists, in collaboration with Hungarian companies, performed well integrity and injection tests on-site to analyse and evaluate the actual well conditions and propose further technological applications that could lead to carry on the heating plant.

A workover rig was located on site in late January 2021 to perform well logging measurements and well integrity tests. The operations campaign started measuring the well's inner sizes to validate its free passageway for upcoming downhole tools. Once the well gauges sizes were verified, then it was cleaned and circulated with bottom hole assemblies and environmentally friendly fluids. After conditioning the well logging downhole measurements, hydraulic test was performed to collect information of well integrity and injection parameters through the well screen sections.

The results from well logging data show that the wellbore is accessible to the bottom true vertical depth, near 2 km, which is an essential downhole feature for further operations. The logging data delivered up to date also displays no signs of aggressive corrosion damage in the downhole piping system called casing. The temperature and neutron logging data suggest that the filters or screens in the deeper well section located at the reservoir's face can work as pathways or channels for fluids injection. Complementary to well logging measurements, a set of hydraulic tests were conducted to verify the saleability of the casing-cement interface. The positive results point to the premise that no damaged interface prevails in the well. After testing the well conditions hydraulically and evaluating the equipment's reliability, a cold brine injection test was performed to evaluate the reservoir admission and temperature cooling reaction over time. The well logging and hydraulic testing operations were successful in terms of confirming the well integrity, unplugged screens pathways and formation admission parameters. The premier evaluation of the combined injection tests corroborates low formation injectivity values which adduce that upcoming stimulations procedures will be advisable to improve the reservoir injectivity performance.

The downhole measurements have generated large amounts of data and new information which are now being analysed. The analysis and results will be decisive contributions for supplementary stimulation action plans.

Start of operational work at the Mezőberény geothermal site

Start of operational work at the Mezőberény geothermal site

In 2011, the Mezőberény municipality (Hungary) had decided to establish a geothermal plant to heat municipality buildings in the centre with geothermal water from the Békés Basin. A well doublet and the necessary surface technology with several heating centres were implemented and set into operation. Despite various efforts, it was not possible to achieve a sustainable reinjection of the cooled down thermal water. In September 2020, scientists of the DESTRESS project from Germany and The Netherlands were searching for solutions to improve the performance of the system. As a result, the researchers developed a new concept for a sustainable carbon-free domestic heat supply for the municipality of Mezőberény.

In the first step, operational work started at the end of January 2021 and is expected to last about two weeks. A drilling rig will be mobilized at the site, and the necessary infrastructure will be set up. Downhole measurements and special tests shall provide information about the condition of the well and the integrity of its casings. The precise knowledge of the actual state is prerequisite for reliable operation in the further work program.

MANNVIT, an Icelandic company with Hungarian branch located in Budapest, will manage the works. The local Mezőberény '17 Kft company did the preparatory and groundworks with a local workforce. Furthermore, the company Vabeko Kft. is involved, which has a lot of experience in this field. The German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) is providing the professional expertise and will evaluate the results for further proceeding. There will be more information at a later stage.


Osvald Máté
Fenntartható Energia Mérnök

Project leading institution: German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

Welcome to DESTRESS

DESTRESS stands for a promising and future-oriented approach to demonstrate soft stimulation methods of EGS. We focus on solutions for the exploitation of underground heat which are economical, sustainable and environmentally responsible. Co-funded by the EU, we contribute to the European energy strategy, which targets renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction and energy efficiency. The primarily objective of DESTRESS is to develop a comprehensive compilation of good practices for successful geothermal projects through demonstration and research.

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Access Programmes

DESTRESS offers virtual and physical access to its sites. Every demonstration site differs in its environment and the stimulation techniques used.