Journal of Energy and Power Technology (JEPT) is an international peer-reviewed Open Access journal published quarterly online by LIDSEN Publishing Inc. This periodical is dedicated to providing a unique, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary platform for researchers, scientists and engineers in academia, research institutions, government agencies and industry. The journal is also of interest to technology developers, planners, policy makers and technical, economic and policy advisers to present their research results and findings.
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Where to Drill? -- Measuring Percolation Flow Systems in Critical State Geothermal Reservoirs
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Open) Submit Now
Peter Leary, PhD
GeoFlow Imaging, Auckland, New Zealand.
Research Interests: Applied physics of rock-fluid interaction in crustal reservoirs
About This Topic
Recent innovations in surface seismic array data processing have allowed 25m-resolution mapping of large-scale spatially erratic percolation pathways during the production of hydrocarbon-bearing shale formations. Parallel observation of deep basement microseismicity stimulated by controlled injection of fluid reveals that injected fluids induce seismic slip on existing permeability structures rather than generate fresh fracture-flow conduits. Together these observations imply that convective fluid flow in geothermal systems naturally emits seismic energy whose localised spatial origin can be measured with sufficient accuracy to allow targeted drilling of geothermal brownfield and greenfield sites. Targeted drilling of spatially erratic convective flow systems can greatly reduce the drilling cost overhead that currently hinders development of geothermal power production.
The scientific support for acquiring and interpreting seismic data associated with convective geothermal flow structures follows from the unique material properties of crustal rock. First, the Fourier fluctuation power of crustal porosity Sφ(k) scales inversely with spatial frequency k, Sφ(k) ~ 1/k over five decades of scale length, 1/km < k < 1/cm; the physical origin of this ‘’1/f-noise’’ scaling arises from a thermodynamic order-disorder phase change in crustal rock taken as a binary population of grain-scale fluid flow/no-flow poro-site deformation energetics. Second, crustal permeability is controlled by porosity as κ(x,y,z) ~ exp(αφ(x,y,z)), where the empirical parameter α is sufficiently large that permeability is lognormally distributed; all crustal fluid extraction well productivity distributions are lognormal; further, reservoir microseismic magnitude distributions are lognormal. A third observational support is that crustal permeability and reservoir microseismicity distributions are internally spatially correlated according to the two-point correlation function Γ(r) ~ 1/r1/2. Physically relevant numerical modelling of fluid flow in crustal rock requires embedding these spatial distributions at all scales within the computational volume.
The critical-state material spatial correlation complexity of crustal flow systems means that to improve drilling efficiency geothermal reservoir operators must locate large-scale flow structure drilling targets with sufficient resolution rather than rely on statistical inferences from low resolution data. The volcanic terrains of most convective geothermal flow systems create problems for seismic measurements. We invite contributions that address the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of seismic data leading to systematic location of major convective geothermal flow structures as drilling targets.
crustal reservoir flow; crustal fractures; microseismicity; crustal critical state.
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