--> --> Abstract: Deep Permian Basin Geothermal Electric Power Production: A First Year Assessment, by Richard J. Erdlac, Robert Trentham, Linda Armour, Robert Lee, and Bruce Miller; #90078 (2008)
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Deep Permian Basin Geothermal Electric Power Production: A First Year Assessment

Richard J. Erdlac1, Previous HitRobertNext Hit Trentham2, Linda Armour2, Previous HitRobertTop Lee3, and Bruce Miller4
1Geothermal, Energy America Inc., Midland, TX
2UTPB-CEED, Odessa, TX
3Lee Engineering, Midland, TX
4Geological Consultant, Midland, TX

The first year of a proposed 3-year geothermal resource assessment was completed covering an 8-county region within the Delaware and Val Verde Basins of Texas, along with additional data from the Trans-Pecos region. The project received funding from the DOE, DOC/EDA, and the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO).

The study began by developing and organizing multiple Excel databases of over 8,000 temperature-depth (t-d) recordings from log headers. The t-d data is uncorrected and thus provides the lower temperature that is expected to be encountered within the formation associated with the t-d recording. The data were then analyzed on a county by county basis to develop temperature depth equations. Graphs were generated and used to develop the equations of best statistical fit for these data. The data were found to be represented by log-normal rather than linear curves, possibly reflecting variations in rock thermal conductivity and thermal blanket effects that some formations may generate. Regional data regarding salinity versus density of brine within the Permian Basin were obtained which are important when calculating the aquifer thermal carrying capacity of a target geothermal reservoir. Equations were identified that can be used to calculate this thermal carrying capacity. A preliminary map was generated showing temperatures and depth relations in Pecos County using Petra software. More detailed maps are necessary at constant depth and within target formations.

Temperatures of 250F (121C) to over 400F (204C) were encountered within many of the deeper wells in the region. These temperatures are appropriate for generating electrical power using existing binary plant technology. This electricity can be either used on site by the operating company for running other oil and gas recovery operations, or sold to the grid as renewable energy.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90078©2008 AAPG Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas