Hydraulic Fracturing and Geothermal Energy

Hydraulic fracturing has been and continues to be a major techno logical tool in oil and gas recovery, nuclear and other waste disposal, mining and particularly in-situ coal gasification, and, more recently, in geothermal heat recovery, particularly extracting heat from hot dry rock masses. The understanding of the fracture process under the ac tion of pressurized fluid at various temperatures is of fundamental scientific importance, which requires an adequate description of thermomechanical properties of subsurface rock, fluid-solid interaction effects, as well as degradation of the host rock due to temperature gradients introduced by heat extraction. Considerable progress has been made over the past several years in laboratory experiments, analytical and numerical modeling, and in-situ field studies in various aspects of hydraulic fracturing and geothermal energy extraction, by researchers in the United States and Japan and also elsewhere. However, the results have been scattered throughout the literature. Therefore, the time seemed ripe for bringing together selected researchers from the two countries, as well as observers from other countries, in order to survey the state of the art, exchange scientific information, and establish closer collaboration for further, better coordinated scientific effort in this important area of research and exploration.