DBFT – Deep Borehole Field Test, New Mexico

nara vista core drilling company

DBFT Scientific Drilling Project Overview

DOSECC a global core drilling company, in partnership with Enercon Federal Services, was awarded a contract by the US Department of Energy to evaluate the scientific and technical aspects of drilling deep, large diameter boreholes in crystalline rock for the safe and effective disposal of waste. Although holes of this type may eventually be used for the disposal of certain forms of nuclear waste, the purpose of this contract is to investigate the geological and geochemical properties of deep granite and evaluate techniques for drilling large diameter (8-3/4″) holes to a depth of 5,000 meters (16,405 feet) in this environment.  No nuclear waste will be placed in the hole or be used in the project in any way.  The project will be conducted near the town of Nara Visa, New Mexico.  DOSECC will be partnering with Enercon Federal Services, Wastren Advantage and Fugro.

The test will require deeper and wider core drilling services than what has typically been drilled in crystalline rock. Most of 2017 will be spent working with local communities and government entities to communicate the purposes and methods of the testing including: how the site will be responsibly managed during testing, how the land will be restored once the research is complete, as well as permitting the hole and developing the drilling and testing plan. Since previous efforts to test this method in North and South Dakota lacked community support, DOSECC’s strong track record of building trust with residents through transparency and communication was a factor in their selection.

The scientific drilling and data collection itself will not likely commence until the spring of 2018, once the DOE determines the most promising site where a successful community partnership has been established. When the drilling portion begins, the scientific drilling team will be tasked with drilling a 5000-meter deep borehole 8-3/4” in diameter. If successful, a second borehole, 17” in diameter, would be drilled to the same depth at the same site. The data gathered will allow scientists to study the type and temperature of the rock as well as the nature and chemistry of the fluids encountered.

This page will be updated with project developments as they become available.

Related Media:

DOSECC press release

Energy.gov: Studying the Feasibility of Deep Boreholes

NEI Magazine: DOE to Begin Deep Borehold Field Test

Quay County Sun: Exploring Deep Borehole Field Test