3-D Seismic Methods For Geothermal Reservoir Exploration And Assessment-Summary

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Report: 3-D Seismic Methods For Geothermal Reservoir Exploration And Assessment-Summary

A wide variety of seismic methods covering the spectrum from DC to kilohertz have been employed at one time or the other in geothermal environments. The reasons have varied from exploration for a heat source to attempting to find individual fractures producing hot fluids. For the purposes here we will assume that overall objective of seismic imaging is for siting wells for successful location of permeable pathways (often fracture permeability) that are controlling flow and transport in naturally fractured reservoirs. The application could be for exploration of new resources or for in-fill/step-out drilling in existing fields. In most geothermal environments the challenge has been to separate the background natural complexity and heterogeneity of the matrix from the fracture/fault heterogeneity controlling the fluid flow. Ideally one not only wants to find the fractures, but the fractures that are controlling the flow of the fluids. Evaluated in this work is current state-of-the-art surface (seismic reflection) and borehole seismic methods (Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP), Crosswell and Single Well) to locate and quantify geothermal reservoir characteristics. The focus is on active methods; the assumption being that accuracy is needed for successful well siting. Passive methods are useful for exploration and detailed monitoring for in-fill drilling, but in general the passive methods lack the precision and accuracy for well siting in new or step out areas. In addition, MEQ activity is usually associated with production, after the field has been taken to a mature state, thus in most cases it is assumed that there is not enough MEQ activity in unproduced areas to accurately find the permeable pathways. The premise of this review is that there may new developments in theory and modeling, as well as in data acquisition and processing, which could make it possible to image the subsurface in much more detail than 15 years ago. New understanding of the effect of fractures on seismic wave propagation are now being applied to image fractures in gas and oil environments. It now may be appropriate to apply these methods, with modifications, to geothermal applications. It is assumed that to implement the appropriate methods an industry coupled program tightly linked to actual field cases, iterating between development and application will be pursued. The goal of this work is to evaluate the most promising methods and approaches that may be used for improved geothermal exploration and reservoir assessment. It is not a comprehensive review of all seismic methods used to date in geothermal environments. This work was motivated by a need to assess current and developing seismic technology that if applied in geothermal cases may greatly improve the chances for locating new geothermal resources and/or improve assessment of current

E. L. Majer

Geothermal Technologies Legacy Collection, 2003

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E. L. Majer. 2003. 3-D Seismic Methods For Geothermal Reservoir Exploration And Assessment-Summary. (!) : Geothermal Technologies Legacy Collection.