NPGS Monthly Meeting—Thursday, March 5 Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society

Nevada Petroleum & Geothermal Society
Speakers: Karen Loomis and Vincent Ramirez
Topic: Lithium in Three Easy Steps: Railroad Valley Case Study

Abstract: Geologic investigations for lithium-bearing liquids have resulted in the discovery of a large brine complex in Railroad Valley, Nevada by 3PL Operating Inc. This deposit may not be unique to the region. We call this the “super-brine” complex due to the high concentration (more than 37%) of complex salts. The Pliocene deposit covers 55 square miles, is more than 1,000 feet thick, and includes 600 feet of evaporites representing about 100 cycles of evaporation. The proportion of double and triple salts, as well as metals, is typical of other commercial deposits in the western U.S.

Mapping of previously unrecognized ancient shorelines was instrumental to understanding the pluvial relationship between the high lake levels and cyclical salt layers in the basin center. Work that accompanied this basin analysis study includes geologic mapping, correlation of outcrops and subsurface units, delineation of a detailed stratigraphic and structural framework, and geophysics acquisition and analysis.

This study indicates that the Pliocene geologic history of Railroad Valley is common throughout the Great Basin region, and that similar deposits are likely in other areas if certain geologic and geomorphic criteria exist.

Bio: Dr. Karen Loomis earned her B.S. in Geology from UCLA, and her Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University. She is Chief Geologist of 3PL Operating Inc. (3PL), and owner of Loomis Geologic Consulting, and specializes in sedimentary basin analysis.

During her 30-year career, she has worked as an international petroleum geologist exploring for oil and gas with ARCO International, Venoco, and Terra Nova Energy. She was a research geologist in the Stratigraphic Analysis group at the ARCO Research Lab, where she developed and transferred technology related to oil and gas exploration. At Kennedy/Jenks Consultants and Tetra Tech, she was an environmental scientist, and managed groundwater resources. In addition to teaching courses at ARCO, Dr. Loomis has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and at Santa Barbara City College. She is active in the Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS), and was President of NPGS in 2018–2019.

At 3PL, she has utilized her skills in basin analysis and subsurface stratigraphy to explore for lithium in Nevada. The first lithium exploration well for 3PL utilized a new exploration model not used by any other lithium mining companies, and resulted in the discovery of a lithium-enriched, super-brine complex.

For more information on Karen’s background and publications, please visit her LinkedIn page at

Bio: Vincent Ramirez has a M.A. degree in Geology from UC Santa Barbara. He is the CEO of 3PL Operating Inc., a Nevada lithium exploration company.

Vincent previously worked for Shell Oil as an exploration geologist in Alaska, the continental United States, and Yemen. He has drilled 61 oil and gas wildcats worldwide, including 44 discoveries. While at Shell Oil, Vincent also was the Operations Manager for the San Joaquin Basin, and he was the appointed Structural Geology instructor at the Shell Research Lab.

Vincent discovered and developed several oil fields in central Siberia during 10 years with the Lundin Group. During this time, he transformed an oil company from bankruptcy to $850 million in value, drilled the highest-producing well in Russia (11,300 BOPD), and drilled the first multi-lateral wells in Russia, while overseeing 350 employees as CEO.

He has published extensively on structural geology subjects, including the San Andreas Fault, Ridge Basin, the California Coast Ranges, and obduction tectonics. Vincent’s geologic presentations commonly are forward-thinking and controversial.

Date: Thursday, Mar 5, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Pacific Time
Location: Tamarack Junction, 13101 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV  89511

More information and register online and reserve your seat!

For further information contact:
Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Phone: (775) 800-1862

The dinner bar will be sponsored by Paul Graham Drilling, Geo Drilling Fluids, and Resource Cementing, Please give them a BIG Thank You!

NPGS Meeting—Thursday, February 6

Nevada Petroleum & Geothermal Society

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society

Speaker: Kurt Kraal (UNR Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy)

 Topic: Linkages between Hydrothermal Alteration, Natural Fractures, and Permeability: Integration of Borehole Data for EGS Characterization at the Fallon FORGE Site, Nevada, USA

Abstract: Between 2016 and 2018, the Fallon FORGE EGS (Engineered Geothermal System) site in Churchill County, Nevada, USA, underwent detailed geoscientific characterization to evaluate its suitability to operate as a field demonstration site to test and develop EGS technologies. This included the compilation, synthesis and acquisition of varied datasets including geophysical, geological, geochemical, hydrological, and down-hole log and mineralogy datasets. The data collection culminated in the drilling of a 2481 m EGS observation well (21-31) to further verify the geology and properties of the proposed EGS reservoir. In this presentation, we analyze borehole data from well 21-31, including analysis of drill cuttings and sidewall cores (petrographic, XRD, hyperspectral) to interpret lithology and hydrothermal alteration, wireline geophysical logs (e.g. gamma, neutron porosity, resistivity, sonic scanner), borehole imagers (FMI, BHTV), and pressure and temperature logs. In addition, we present well testing data that was conducted to estimate permeability and injectivity of the formation to host the proposed EGS reservoir. We integrate these data to investigate the properties of natural fractures, stress state, and the type and location of hydrothermal alteration encountered in the borehole. We focus our investigation of the location of current and passed permeability encountered in the well, as well as linkages between the various data types. Our findings show that the majority of the well is low permeability (< 10-16 m), with some discrete, localized zones of relatively high permeability (~ 10 -12 m, less than 0.5 % of the pre-Miocene (deep) part of the well). Based on our analysis of the correspondence between drilling mudloss locations, sonic fracture analysis, and temperature logs, three distinct zones in the wellbore were identified as possibly hosting some of the permeability indicated by the well testing. We investigate the linkages between current permeability, past permeability (as indicated by hydrothermal alteration) and other datasets including fracture characteristics, and lithologic variability. Hydrothermal alteration and veining was found throughout the entire pre-Miocene interval, suggesting the presence of an active high-temperature convection-dominated hydrothermal system in the past, and therefore previously higher permeability. Lastly, we adapt our findings to update the conceptual model for proposed EGS development at the Fallon site, and explore implications for development in the Great Basin regionally.

Bio: Kurt is a 3rd year Geology Ph.D. student in the department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research at the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy focuses on characterizing known geothermal systems, both conventional (hydrothermal) geothermal systems and EGS in terms of reservoir properties, geology, and hydrothermal alteration. Kurt’s previous presentations at the Geothermal Resources Council (2018) and the Stanford Geothermal Workshop (2019) focused on applying infrared reflectance spectroscopy to characterize mineralogy observed in geothermal wells in Nevada. Field areas investigated include the Tungsten Mountain geothermal field, operated by Ormat Nevada, Inc., and the Fallon FORGE EGS site, both located in Churchill County, Nevada. Kurt’s future research plans include investigating the effects of hydrothermal alteration on the physical and mechanical properties of geothermal reservoirs in both Nevada and beyond. Kurt graduated from University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Geology in 2016.

The event details are as follows:

Organization: Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS)
Event Name: February 2020 NPGS Meeting
Date(s): Feb 6, 2020, 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Cocktails, wine and beer will be served starting at 6:30 PM, and dinner is served at 7:15 PM.
Location: Tamarack Junction

Click here for event information:

Cocktail Hosts: The dinner bar will be sponsored by Welsco Drilling Co., Please give them a BIG Thank You! Welsco Drilling Corporation began operation with an old cable tool back in 1972. The Corporation continued to drill water wells and provide pump services until the early 80s where work began with its first geothermal steam project. Since that time Welsco has honed its skills in the Geothermal Steam arena, has completed a multitude of water well projects and has added a 24-hour pump service. Our highly skilled and qualified team looks forward to providing you with our best.

For further information contact:

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Phone: (775) 800-1862

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Meeting—Thursday, January 9, 2020

Title: Geothermal Systems, Saline Lake Basins and Mineral Extraction
Speaker: Will Osborn (Geothermal Solutions Inc.)

Abstract: The extraction of lithium and other industrial minerals from geothermal fluids and evaporite deposits is receiving renewed interest due to the growing demand for electric vehicles and storage of renewable energy. A review of hypersaline brine chemistry and previous efforts to extract minerals from geothermal fluid at the Salton Sea geothermal field elucidates a primary impediment to commercial development. A cost-effective, rapid lithium extraction technique is essential, as an alternative to the traditional water-consumptive evaporative concentration method, to spur additional development of the Salton Sea geothermal field and new lithium resources identified in Northern Nevada, and elsewhere around the world.

Bio: Will has thirty-five years of experience in geothermal energy exploration, resource development, plant operations, and implementation of innovative technology, including Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) and mineral extraction. He holds earth science degrees from University of California at Santa Cruz and Riverside. His M.S. thesis work on the geochemistry of the Salton Sea geothermal system revealed the evolution of sulfur and sulfate minerals originating in the overlying saline lake basin. From 2000-2002, he was General Manager of CalEnergy’s zinc extraction facility. More recently, his work has involved lithium extraction from geothermal systems and the saline lake basins of Northern Nevada.

What: Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Monthly Meeting
Date: January 9, 2020; 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction, Reno
Boart Longyear Drilling Services will be sponsoring the bar.
Event information and reserve your seat!

NPGS December Meeting— Thursday, December 5

Organization: Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Event Name: NPGS Christmas Dinner
Date:  Dec. 5, 2019, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction
More information:

“Please join us for the annual NPGS Christmas Dinner on Thursday, December 5th, 2019 at the Tamarack Junction.  As usual, we’ll have cocktails wine and beer (Graciously sponsored by Paul Graham Drilling, Geo Drilling Fluids and Canamera Coring!), followed by our Christmas dinner and a festive evening of outlandish Christmas sweaters, raffle prizes and good conversation!  All are encouraged to dress festively and we’ll have several special awards for best overall “Christmas outfit”, ugliest sweater, and best or most fun “themed” sweater (e.g., a geology/drilling or other unique theme sweater that fits the bill).  As always we encourage you to bring a guest – spouse, significant other, or a friend or colleague.  The more the merrier!

In the holiday spirit of giving this year we will be raffling or auctioning off a variety of donated gifts to help raise funds for the student scholarships. Each registered dinner guest will receive 1 raffle ticket, however everyone is encouraged to purchase up 10 additional tickets at the door (please bring cash or check!).

In addition, there will be an optional small gift exchange (practical/useful/enjoyable please, not “white elephant”).  If you would like to participate, bring an appropriate gift in the price range of $10- $15.  Alternatively, the gift may be donated to the raffle ticket/auction to support and benefit the student scholarships!”

Please thank our dinner bar sponsors:

  • Paul Graham Drilling
  • GEO Drilling Fluids, Inc.
  • Canamera Coring

NPGS Monthly Meeting—Thursday, October 3

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Monthly Dinner Meeting
Title: The Increasing Value of Geothermal in the West, Get Your Pickaxes Ready
Speaker: Paul Thomsen, Ormat Technologies
Abstract: I will discuss the economic benefits and value of geothermal compared to other renewable resources using actual market data, as well as forecasts for the coming 10-20 years. I will briefly explain how geothermal accrues greater economic benefits than solar PV in the California ISO (CAISO) wholesale energy market and in meeting resource adequacy (RA) requirements. For these reasons and others, significant quantities (GW) of new geothermal are being selected through capacity expansion modeling in California’s integrated resource planning (IRP) proceedings. This will require accelerated geothermal expansion across the Western U.S.

Bio: Paul Thomsen is the Vice President of Business Development for Ormat Technologies. Upon assuming this role in November 2018, he has taken responsibility for expanding Ormat’s existing portfolio of geothermal, solar, and recovered energy generation projects.

Thomsen brings expertise in both the public and private energy sector, previously serving as Commissioner and Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, and Director of Policy and Business Development for Ormat. He also worked for the law firm of Lionel Sawyer and Collins and United States Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan. He has advocated for meaningful energy policy as President of the Board of Directors of the Geothermal Energy Association and Chairman of the United States Clean Heat and Power Association.

Thomsen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Sign-up or more information here:

Date: Thursday, Oct 3, 2019
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Pacific Time
Location: Tamarack Junction
13101 South Virginia Street
Reno, NV  89511

Cocktails, wine and beer will be served starting at 6:30 PM, and dinner is served at 7:15 PM. The bar will be jointly sponsored by Krummrich Engineering, and McGinley & Associates

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—Thursday, Sept 5

Speaker: Dave Browning, TerraCore
Topic: Hyperspectral Core Imaging: Applications in Unravelling Deposit and Reservoir Mineralogy

Abstract: Hyperspectral core imaging is a passive and non-destructive spectroscopic method for identifying and mapping mineralogy in drill-cores and cuttings. Hyperspectral data is available across the Visible-Near-Infrared (VNIR; 350-1000nm), Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR; 1000-2500nm), and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR; 7500-12000nm) regions. The information obtained allows for representative quantification of mineralogy across intervals, providing a reliable, consistent and objective record that is directly applicable to reservoir characterization. Hyperspectral core imaging also allows for the observation of mineralogical and textural properties which are not visually detectable, such as chemistry changes and grain size detection (i.e. sediment vs. cement). The rich dataset provided by hyperspectral imaging provides insight into conventional and unconventional resources, aiding the geologists in the understanding of their reservoir. The spectral data is collected by utilizing a core imaging workstation that combines a long-wave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral camera with a SWIR hyperspectral camera and a high resolution RGB line scan camera. Several case studies will be presented demonstrating the importance of hyperspectral core imaging for petroleum and geothermal applications and how it can be utilized in conjunction with other datasets to better understand deposit and reservoir mineralogy.

Bio: Dave Browning has worked with hyperspectral data sets for over ten years, starting with utilizing spectroscopy as an exploration tool in Northeastern Nevada. He received a Master of Science degree from the University of Idaho, Moscow, for his thesis focused on ammonium bearing minerals and their ability to aid in regional exploration campaigns. As an exploration geologist he has designed and led several exploration campaigns focused in Nevada. Since joining TerraCore in 2014 he has been a lead geologist on projects of varying deposit types and industries across North America, from exploration through to production.

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS)
September 2019 NPGS Meeting
Date: Sept. 5 2019, 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction, Reno, Nevada
Event information.

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—Thursday, May 2

A message from NPGS: “We are pleased to announce May 2019 NPGS Meeting on May 2, 2019.  This is the FINAL dinner meeting for the season, so please join us before taking the summer break. The bar will be sponsored by Sinclair Well Products, and talk will be given by Bill Ehni. Please note, online registration ends Monday night, April 29th.”

Speaker: Bill Ehni

Topic: Adventures in Nevada Oil and Geothermal Exploration,
some answers to geologic questions with examples from White River Valley, Lake Valley, Beowawe and Wabuska

Abstract: White River Valley, in Nye County Nevada, has no oil production as of this date; however, there have been numerous good oil shows, and coupled with the presence of good source rocks and reservoir rocks, it is only a matter of time before oil production is established. The southern half of white river valley is a Tertiary graben with Paleozoic bedding dipping to the east at about 20 degrees. The 50 square mile Neogene basin created by this graben is bounded on the east by the Eagan Range with nearly 12,000 ft of displacement along west dipping normal faults and on the west by an east dipping with a minimum of 9000 ft of displacement. Mississippian source rocks in the central portion of the graben are well within the oil window and source rock analyses indicate that over 500 million barrels of oil have been expelled from the hydrocarbon kitchen.

In Lake Valley there have been 4 wells drilled for oil and gas exploration and a considerable amount of 2D seismic data. A well drilled by Amoco in1984 and drilled to a total depth of 12,750 ft (BHT 208F) encountered 2,368 ft of Mississippian rocks. Brent Energy drilled a well to a total depth of 9178 ft (BHT 226F) and encountered 1750 ft of Mississippian section. In 2010 Cabot drilled a well to 9515 ft (BHT 128F). Cabot was anticipating a 2100 foot thick section of potential Mississippian source rocks, which seems logical based on the earlier drilling results, but only found 400 ft of source rocks that were not in the oil window. These perplexing results are due to an inordinate thick section of volcanic rocks. The thick section of volcanic rocks encountered in the Cabot well probably have a significantly higher thermal conductivity which accounts for the lower bottom hole temperatures compared to offset wells. The missing Mississippian section in the Cabot well was probably eroded away, possibly by a drainage systems flowing west from the Indian Peak volcanic complex, and then subsequently filed by volcanic rocks with a relatively high thermal conductivity resulting in a thin section of Mississippian Chainman that is not in the oil window.

A curious geothermal anomaly identified in at least one publication on the Beowawe Geothermal system appears to be related to the Miocene Northern Nevada Rift. Magnetotelluric data suggests that the Beowawe system is on a northeast trending resistivity anomaly that originates near the Northern Nevada Rift. Although igneous activity associated with the Miocene Northern Nevada Rift is too old to be directly related to the Beowawe Geothermal system, it appears that secondary northeast trending structures, such as the Malpais Fault, are locally geothermally anomalous. Other northeast trending structures along the Northern Nevada Rift could be geothermal targets for additional geothermal exploration. A blind geothermal system south west of the Beowawe geysers is on trend with this resistivity anomaly and is undoubtedly related to the same northeast trend structure that controls the Beowawe geothermal system.

Bio: William J. Ehni has a Bachelors degree in Geology from Humboldt State University in 1975. He worked for 5 years in the Geysers California, 3 years at Republic Geothermal, and 3 years in Austin Texas at Geotronics Corporation. In 1985 he founded Ehni Enterprises Inc.

Click here for details or to register online and reserve your seat.

The event details are as follows:

Organization: Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Event Name: May 2019 NPGS Meeting
Date: May 2, 2019, 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
Location: Tamarack Junction

For further information contact:
Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Phone: (775) 800-1862