Resistivity During Boiling in the SB-15-D Core from the Geysers Geothermal Field: The Effects of Capillarity

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In a laboratory study of cores from borehole SB-15-D in The Geysers geothermal area, we measured the electrical resistivity of metashale with and without pore-pressure control, with confining pressures up to 100 bars and temperatures between 20 and 150 C, to determine how the pore-size distribution and capillarity affected boiling. We observed a gradual increase in resistivity when the downstream pore pressure or confining pressure decreased below the phase boundary of free water. For the conditions of this experiment, boiling, as indicated by an increase in resistivity, is initiated at pore pressures of approximately 0.5 to 1 bar (0.05 to ... continued below

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Roberts, J.; Duba, A.; Bonner, B. & Kasameyer, P. January 1, 1997.

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In a laboratory study of cores from borehole SB-15-D in The Geysers geothermal area, we measured the electrical resistivity of metashale with and without pore-pressure control, with confining pressures up to 100 bars and temperatures between 20 and 150 C, to determine how the pore-size distribution and capillarity affected boiling. We observed a gradual increase in resistivity when the downstream pore pressure or confining pressure decreased below the phase boundary of free water. For the conditions of this experiment, boiling, as indicated by an increase in resistivity, is initiated at pore pressures of approximately 0.5 to 1 bar (0.05 to 0.1 MPa) below the free-water boiling curve, and it continues to increase gradually as pressure is lowered to atmospheric. A simple model of the effects of capillarity suggests that at 145 C, less than 15% of the pore water can boil in these rocks. If subsequent experiments bear out these preliminary observations, then boiling within a geothermal reservoir is controlled not just by pressure and temperature but also by pore-size distribution. Thus, it may be possible to determine reservoir characteristics by monitoring changes in electrical resistivity as reservoir conditions change.

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC-127468
  • Grant Number: W-7405-Eng-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 882059
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876316

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  • January 1, 1997

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 9:15 p.m.

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Roberts, J.; Duba, A.; Bonner, B. & Kasameyer, P. Resistivity During Boiling in the SB-15-D Core from the Geysers Geothermal Field: The Effects of Capillarity, article, January 1, 1997; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876316/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.