--> Challenges in Finding and Commercially Developing Geothermal Resources: Planning for Success

AAPG European Region, 3rd Hydrocarbon Geothermal Cross Over Technology Workshop

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Challenges in Finding and Commercially Developing Geothermal Resources: Planning for Success


Like many other, geothermal projects rely for commercial success on many factors falling into the right place at the right time. However, given the rather material levels of costs associated with geothermal projects, failure is not an option. This implies failure of any nature and almost any severity. Even a minor event or incident may escalate and eventually lead to the complete shutdown of a project, especially when happening unexpectedly and in the absence of rehearsed crisis management system. All are in principle evitable but may have, upon occurrence, adverse effects on what otherwise would make an important step in unlocking renewable potential. Hence, any risk which directly or indirectly, alone or in combination, may cause failure, must be identified, mapped, realistically assessed and most importantly, viably mitigated in the planning phase. There are proven and established ways of doing that and thus, considerably improving probability of success (POS). Due to the similarity of the process and the work flow applied to finding, developing and producing fluid resources from the subsurface, it becomes evident, that tapping into the knowledge and competence acquired by the hydrocarbon industry over more than a century is of central importance. Negligence is a recipe for failure, especially in more complex settings and projects. A proven approach of choice is the TECOP matrix. It is a multidisciplinary group approach widely applied in the energy industry. It differentiates between different causes for potential failure, namely Technical, Environmental, Commercial, Operational and Societal risk factor groups. This presentation will elaborate on the specifics of key risk and project management aspects underpinned by examples from both, the hydrocarbon as well as the geothermal realms, including combinations thereof (geothermal use of oil wells).