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Re-evaluation of Available Thermal Energy of the Lower Cretaceous Formations in the Denver Basin: Colorado and Nebraska

Anna M. Crowell and William D. Gosnold
University of North Dakota

We have obtained new data that have allowed us to revise our previous estimate of available thermal energy in the Lower Cretaceous formations of the Denver basin. We also have determined that at least a second-order polynomial correction is most accurate, if not a piecewise-defined function. Our previous linear correction is overly generous and as a result, we have re-analyzed the Harrison, Kehle, and Forster correction equations. Statistical analysis of the three existing corrections shows that the Harrison and Kehle equations agree closely with respect to depth, which can be characterized by the equation: ?Tcf = 2x10-6x^2 – 0.0082x + 14.7325. We have therefore corrected the bottom-hole temperatures using the Harrison correction, utilized ArcGIS to obtain volume of the target formations and average temperature, and used the available heat equation (Q = ?CPV?T) to determine thermal heat in place. The estimate of the recoverable energy in place was determined from Sorey et al. (1982) for a sedimentary basin with the characteristics of the Denver Basin, and is different than what can be obtained by a binary plant with current technology. The available energy in place, listed by target temperature range is: 90°C and up = 6.10 x 10^11, 100°C and up = 3.85 x 10^11, 110°C and up = 1.06 x 10^11, 120°C and up = 2.73 x 10^10, and 130°C and up = 2.00 x 10^9.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90169©2013 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section 62nd Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 22-24, 2013