Geothermal Reservoir Categorization and Stimulation Study

Analyses of the fraction of geothermal Wells that are dry (dry-hole fraction) indicate that geothermal reservoirs can be fitted into four basic categories: (i) Quaternary to late Tertiary sediments (almost no dry holes); (ii) Quaternary to late Tertiary extrusives (approximately 20 percent dry holes); (iii) Mesozoic or older metamorphic Rocks (approximately 25-30 percent dry holes); and (iv) Precambrian or younger Rocks (data limited to Roosevelt Springs where 33 percent of the Wells were dry). Failure of geothermal Wells to flow economically is due mainly to low-permeability formations in unfractured regions. Generally the permeability correlates inversely with the temperature-age product and directly with the original rock porosity and pore size. However, this correlation fails whenever high-stress fields provide vertical fracturing or faulting, and it is the high-stress/low-permeability category that is most amenable to artificial stimulation by hydraulic fracturing, propellant fracturing, or chemical explosive fracturing. Category (i) geothermal fields (e.g., Cerro Prieto, Mexico; Niland, CA; East Mesa, CA) are not recommended for artificial stimulation becaUse these younger sediments almost always produce warm or hot water. Most geothermal fields fit into category (ii) (e.g., Wairakei, New Zealand; Matsukawa, Japan; Ahuachapan, El Salvador) and in the case of Mt. Home, ID, and Chandler, AZ, possess some potential for stimulation. The Geysers is a category (iii) field, and its highly stressed brittle Rocks should make this site amenable to stimulation by explosive fracturing techniques. Roosevelt Springs, UT, Well 9-1 is in category (iv) and is a flow failure. It represents a prime candidate for stimulation by hydraulic fracturing becaUse it has a measured temperature of 227/sup 0/C, is cased and available for experimentation, and is within 900 m of an excellent geothermal producing Well. Library ID#=oitGHC_0343-01.

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Citation Date 1977-05-30T00:00:00

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Original ID E7726E72B23841B283325D7BEFC1D7B8
Index Date 2016-03-17T20:56:01
Original Format ISO-USGIN
Original Version 1.2

Author

Name Overton, H.L. , Hanold, R.J.
Organization Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory of the University of California, Los Alamos, New Mexico (USA)
Email geoheat@oit.edu