Analysis of Thermally Induced Permeability Enhancement in Geothermal Injection Wells

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Reinjection of spent geothermal brine is a common means of disposing of geothermal effluents and maintaining reservoir pressures. Contrary to the predictions of two-fluid models (two-viscosity) of nonisothermal injection, an increase of injectivity, with continued injection, is often observed. Injectivity enhancement and thermally-affected pressure transients are particularly apparent in short-term injection tests at the Los Azufres Geothermal Field, Mexico. During an injection test, it is not uncommon to observe that after an initial pressure increase, the pressure decreases with time. As this typically occurs far below the pressure at which hydraulic fracturing is expected, some other mechanism for increasing the ... continued below

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57-65

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Benson, S.M.; Daggett, J.S.; Iglesias, E.; Arellano, V. & Ortiz-Ramirez, J. January 20, 1987.

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Reinjection of spent geothermal brine is a common means of disposing of geothermal effluents and maintaining reservoir pressures. Contrary to the predictions of two-fluid models (two-viscosity) of nonisothermal injection, an increase of injectivity, with continued injection, is often observed. Injectivity enhancement and thermally-affected pressure transients are particularly apparent in short-term injection tests at the Los Azufres Geothermal Field, Mexico. During an injection test, it is not uncommon to observe that after an initial pressure increase, the pressure decreases with time. As this typically occurs far below the pressure at which hydraulic fracturing is expected, some other mechanism for increasing the near-bore permeability must explain the observed behavior. This paper focuses on calculating the magnitude of the near-bore permeability changes observed in several nonisothermal injection tests conducted at the Los Azufres Geothermal Field. In order to evaluate the pressure transient data and calculate the magnitude of the thermally induced permeability changes, a new analytic solution for calculating pressure transients with time-varying sandface flowrates and temperatures has been developed. The effects of temperature-dependent fluid and rock properties, as well as a moving thermal front, are explicitly included in the calculations. Based on this new solution, a technique is developed for calculating the reservoir permeability, skin factor of the well, and near-bore permeability increases. The results of these calculations indicate that the permeability increases by a factor of 5 in the near-bore region during the 2 to 3 hour injection tests. A good correlation between the permeability increase and the sandface injection temperature indicates that the permeability increase is caused by cooling the formation. 9 figs., 9 refs.

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57-65

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  • Proceedings, Twelfth Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., January 20-22, 1987

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  • Report No.: SGP-TR-109-10
  • Grant Number: AT03-80SF11459
  • Grant Number: AS07-84ID12529
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 888500
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874226

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  • January 20, 1987

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 7:01 p.m.

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Benson, S.M.; Daggett, J.S.; Iglesias, E.; Arellano, V. & Ortiz-Ramirez, J. Analysis of Thermally Induced Permeability Enhancement in Geothermal Injection Wells, article, January 20, 1987; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874226/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.