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Environmental considerations and economic implications in the development of geothermal energy

Description: "Any time that man has activity, there will be an impact on the environment. We can talk about minimizing the effects of this activity, but the real answer to working out environmental problems is environmental management. Nevertheless, the cookbook-type regulations severely restrict development of environmental-management options. A better solution would be to have a number of ways to predict as accurately as possible the environmental or ecosystem response to man's activities, so that rational judgments can be made by society as to the best operational criteria.… Certainly if geopressured geothermal-resource development becomes a reality, the options chosen for environmental management may not be pleasing to everyone, but, hopefully, decisions will be made to benefit the most people, not only for a short time but for the generations to follow."
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Moseley, Frank N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geothermal resource utilization - Paper and cane sugar indsutries

Description: This paper was prepared from information developed during a study done by DSS Engineers, Inc., under contract from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. The study was made as a specific contribution to an overall report by the United States in the area of industrial utilization of geothermal resources. This is part of an overall study in nonelectrical uses of geothermal resources for a subcommittee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Due to limited time and funds, it was initially decided to restrict the study to the geopressured zone along the northern Gulf of Mexico Coast. Also, it was to be limited mainly to considering utilizing the thermal energy of this “geoenergy” resource for process use in the pulp and paper industry and cane sugar industry. For the selected industries and resource area, the final report sets forth energy requirements, identifies specific plant and sites, includes diagrams of main processes used, describes process and equipment modifications required, describes energy-recovery systems, sets forth waste-disposal schemes and problems, and establishes the economics involved. The scope of work included considerable data collection, analysis and documentation. Detailed technical work was done concerning existing processes and modifications to effectively utilize geothermal energy. A brief survey was made of other industries to determine which of these has a high potential for utilizing geothermal energy. Presented in this paper is a summary of the findings of the study, with emphasis on how the thermal energy is extracted and utilized in the processes and on the economics involved. (13 figs., 7 tabs., 7 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Hornburg, C. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heat exchanger performance with low-salinity geothermal brines

Description: "I want to apologize for my associate, Gil Lombard [Sand Diego Gas and Electric Company], for his not being here to present the paper [on low-salinity heat exchanger performance tests for the Imperial Valley resource]. I’m sure it would be of much interest to you. However, I don’t mind pinch-hitting for him because he is in the Imperial Valley, starting construction of a test facility that is the first step, I hope, in bringing revenue to Imperial Magma. I can’t give you any of the specific facts and figures associated with the tests themselves, but I thought it might be of interest to give you a little briefing on what has gone on in the way of heat exchanger testing because it would appear that in many of the applications of the geopressured geothermal resource, heat exchangers are going to be involved in one way or another."
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Hinrichs, Tom
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Numerical simulation of geopressured geothermal reservoirs

Description: This paper discusses the governing equations describing mass and energy transport in geopressured geothermal reservoirs. A fully interacting rock-fluid system with rock porosity, permeability, and thermal conductivity dependent on the fluid and rock stresses is considered. The mathematical model includes the effects of solution and free natural gas. Sample calculations of a hypothetical hydrothermal reservoir are presented to show the applicability of reservoir simulation. (4 figs., 9 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Knapp, Roy M. & Riney, T. David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Panel discussion

Description: Panel discussion: summation and future projections. Introductory remarks by panelists followed by questions and comments from the floor. Panelists: Dr. Joseph Barnea (former director of Resources and Transport for the United Nations; energy consultant to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)); the Honorable Clyde F. Bel, Jr. (member of the Louisiana House of Representatives representing District 90 and New Orleans); Dr. David Lombard (acting chief of the Advanced Systems Branch of the Division of Geothermal Energy Research and Technology, Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)); Fred C. Repper (vice-president of Central Power and Light Company in Corpus Christi, Texas); Dr. Hans Suter (environmental consultant in Corpus Christi, Texas; environmental columnist for the Corpus Christi Caller Times). Session chairman: Herbert Woodson.
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Given, No Author
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Potential power generation and gas production from Gulf Coast Geopressured Reservoirs

Description: Extensive on-shore and offshore zones of geopressured water reservoirs are found in the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region. Energy in these reservoirs is present in the form of natural gas in solution, thermal energy, and hydraulic, energy. Reservoir depths generally vary from 5000 to 20,000 feet, with corresponding temperatures from below 200°F to above 300°F. Natural gas is presumed to exist at saturation levels in the reservoirs. Total-flow, flashed-stream, and binary-cycle thermal energy conversion systems were investigated as a means to utilize the thermal energy. The total-flow system was selected for a detailed power-plant systems analysis. Power-plant net power output was determined for both surface and injection disposal of the waste water. The range of electrical and gas output from 7-inch nominal production wells is from 0.36 megawatts (Mw) and 6.4 standard cubic feet per second (scf/sec) to 6.2 Mw and 39.9 scf/sec. The lowest values are for the shallow reservoirs with fluid disposal by injection, and the higher values are for the deepest reservoirs with surface disposal. The shallow reservoirs would not be profitable for combined gas production and electrical-power generation, but might be profitable for gas production alone. Deeper reservoirs would be profitable for combined gas production and power generation. The class of deepest reservoirs, without the presence of gas, would be marginally profitable for electrical generation alone. (9 figs., 4 tabs., 8 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: House, P. A.; Johnson, P. M. & Towse, D. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reflection seismic techniques locate geopressured geothermal anomalies

Description: The prediction log (P-log) has been used worldwide as a best-efforts prediction of the lithology and pressures to be encountered while drilling deep exploration tests. In these endeavors, it has been observed that high temperatures are a common characteristic of zones of abnormal pressure. A linear relationship between quantitative amounts of pressure and heat has not been established, but a good correlation exists for relative quantities. This is especially true of the Anadarko Basin and the Gulf of Mexico embayment areas of Texas and Louisiana. The phenomena have been noted in these areas for decades in the course of drilling deep tests. In the past few years, some geophysicists have begun to extract from seismic data information that locates and delineates these anomalous conditions. The interpretive techniques outlined in this presentation have been used all over the world, with outstanding results in predicting abnormal pressure and relative lithology. The benefits are incalculable for lease evaluation, logistics planning, better drilling programs, and environmental protection. With the current sudden demand for more geothermal energy, it is obvious that these same techniques have direct appliqation to the exploration for geopressured geothermal anomalies. The method should become a very powerful tool in helping to solve out energy problems. (10 figs., 3 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Aud, B. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regional sand distribution of the Frio Formation, South Texas - A preliminary step in prospecting for Geothermal Energy

Description: Many prospective oil wells have penetrated the geopressured zone in Tertiary sediments along the Texas Gulf Coast. However, because few oil or gas wells produce from this area, the regional sand distribution within these zones is not well known. Limited data indicate that the pore spaces within the sand in the geopressured zone are filled with water that has a high temperature and a relatively low dissolved-solids content and that is saturated with methane gas. This water is believed to be an important source of thermal energy and methane gas. For more information concerning the origin of the geopressured zone see Dorfman and Kehle (1974) and Jones (1970). The first step in appraising the Gulf Coast geothermal resources entails a detailed geologic study of the main sand trends. Of these, the Frio and Wilcox formations appear to be the thickest (fig. 1). This report deals largely with the Frio formation. The Wilcox formation has been studied by Fisher and McGowen (1967). Other parts of the Tertiary that have been studied in detail are the Queen City formation (Claiborne), which was reported on by Guevara and Garcia (1972), and the Jackson formation, reported on by Fisher and others (1970). The United States Atomic Energy Commission, through the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and the Center for Energy Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, supported this preliminary study of the geothermal resources of the Frio sands in South Texas. The South Texas area (immediately north of Corpus Christi and south to the Rio Grande, fig. 2) was selected because the geopressured zone is known to occur there at relatively shallow depths (Jones, 1970) and because of the abundance of oil-well records for the area. The study includes a sand-facies analysis and an integration of the facies data with existing information relative to temperatures ...
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Bebout, D. G.; Agagu, O. K. & Dorfman, M. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reservoir mechanics of geopressured aquifers

Description: To evaluate the practicality of producing ’ energy from geopressured aquifers, methods to predict energy-production rates are necessary. This paper reviews established petroleum-reservoir engineering techniques as applied to geopressured systems. Also, the effects of dissolved natural gas, shale water influx, and abnormally high rock compressibilities on aquifer behavior are discussed. (6 figs., 2 tabs., 9 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Bernard, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Well-information systems as applied to geopressured reservoir description

Description: The purpose of this paper is to present a brief discussion of contemporary well-information systems. Equipment and procedures useful for geopressured reservoir description are emphasized. Efficient execution of a proposed drilling operation begins with preplanning. The well information systems to be employed depend upon the cost and complexity of the operation. If abnormal pressures are anticipated, equipment and techniques have been developed for monitoring instantaneous indicators and drilling trends. The occurrence of pressure can be detected with sufficient accuracy to ensure safe and economical operation. Reservoir data accumulated during the drilling operation can be beneficial to both drilling and reservoir engineers. These data can be made available in the form of tables and logs. Computer-generated data can be stored for later processing. (6 figs., 2 tabs., 8 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Young, F. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental problems associated with the production of energy from geopressured reservoirs

Description: A study of the environmental effects of power production from geopressured reservoirs reveals two important problems that cannot be adequately evaluated at this time: surfaces subsidence and the possible inducement of earthquakes, which could result from the efficient production of power over the lifetime of a reservoir. These effects must be considered in any environmental impact statement and must be monitored over the entire lifetime of a production facility. A particular reservoir in northwest Cameron County, Texas, was used as a model. Pertinent parameters are as follows: Depth of sand 14,300-15,000 ft; Thickness 700 ft; Temperature 320°F; Reservoir pressure (ave.) 12,000 psi; Total salinity 2,000-6,000 ppm; Permeability 0.10-0.14 Darcy; Porosity 0.25; Area of reservoir 300 mi{sup 2} or more; Well-head pressure 5,000 psi or more. Environmental studies were based upon the properties and location of this model reservoir. (4 figs., 4 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Herrin, Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drill-stem testing and sampling of deep Frio and Wilcox reservoirs

Description: Methods of sampling and evaluating geopressured geothermal aquifers in extreme South Texas are discussed. The area of investigation includes Starr, Hidalgo, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron counties in the Texas valley and covers representative methods of evaluating the Frio formation (Oligocene) and the Wilcox formation (Eocene). (6 figs., 4 refs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Montgomery, J. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic analysis of the use of Texas geopressured geothermal resources for the production of electrical power

Description: Two geopressured geothermal-reservoir sands in South Texas were indentified and described. Power production from these reservoirs was evaluated, using both flash and secondary-fluid systems. Results indicated water yields sufficient to power a 25-Mw plant in one reservoir and a 60-Mw plant in the second. Economics of the plants were most favorable in the latter, where a two-flash system gave power at 26.8 mils per kilowatt hour as compared to the secondary isobutane system at 33.3 mils per kilowatt hour. Both values assume credit for 30 scf methane per barrel of water. Power-cost calculations show this power to be competitive for 50-Mw and larger plants at 20 percent return on investment. Using 15 percent return on investment, this power source is shown to be very competitive. All costs are given on a 1980 basis, assuming a 5 percent annual inflation rate. (9 figs., 7 tabs.)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Wilson, John S.; Shepherd, B. P. & Kaufman, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geothermal and Hydrocarbon Regimes, Northern Gulf of Mexico Basin

Description: Geothermal heat flow in the Gulf basin is primarily a function of its hydrology. Water expelled from sediments with deepening burial and increasing overburden load escapes upward and toward the basin margin. Where it moves freely in the hydropressure zone, the basin is relatively cool; but where rapid sedimentation and contemporaneous faulting have retarded water loss from compacting sediments, the interstitial fluid pressure reflects a part of the overburden load, and the formation waters are superheated and geopressured. The geopressured zone is common below depths of about 3 km (9,600 ft) in the basin, beneath an area of 375,000 km{sup 2} (150,000 mi{sup 2}), and extends downward perhaps 15 km (50,000 ft) to the base of Cenozoic deposits. The upper boundary of the geopressured zone is the most important physical interface in the basin. Across it the head of formation water increases downward from a few hundred to several thousand feet above sea level; the geothermal gradient increases downward from 20° to 40° C/km to 100°C/km or more; the salinity of formation water decreases downward, commonly by 50,000 mg/l or more; and the porosity of shale and sand increases downward by 10 to 25 percent. Petroleum matures in geopressured clay at 140° to 220°F. Montmorillonite is dehydrated at 180° to 250°F; fresh water released may equal half the volume of the mineral altered. Molecular solubility in fresh water of the hydrocarbons in Gulf basin crude, under geopressured zone conditions, could account for petroleum resources of the basin. Exsolution of petroleum hydrocarbons near the geopressured zone boundary could account for observed occurrences. This geopressured zone is a natural pressure vessel from which superheated water of moderate salinity could be produced through wells, each yielding millions of gallons a day at pressures of several thousand pounds per square inch, and temperatures above ...
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Jones, Paul H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The energy potential of geopressured reservoirs: hydrogeologic factors

Description: The energy potential of geothermal waters in the geopressured reservoirs of the Gulf Coast ultimately depends on the yield of wells tapping these reservoirs. An analysis is made to determine possible well yields in a geopressured reservoir in Hidalgo County, Texas. The reservoir lies beneath an area 16 kilometres (10 miles) wide and 48 kilometres (30 miles) long, with the long axis extending northeast-southwest parallel to and east of the McAllen fault. The average pressure-to-depth ratio in the reservoir is 17 kilonewtons per square metre per metre (0.75 pound per square inch per foot). The average temperature of the water is 135°C (275"F), and the average salinity is about 25,000 milligrams per litre. On the basis of solubility data, the average methane content is estimated to be 4.8 standard cubic metres per cubic metre (standard cubic feet per cubic foot). Based on an idealized model of the reservoir, the results of the analysis indicate that a single 0.23-metre (0.75-foot) diameter well at the center of the reservoir could sustain a flow rate of 0.31 cubic metre per second (11 cubic feet per second) for 20 years. The total production rate from the reservoir could be increased to 2.7 cubic metres per second (95 cubic feet per second) for the 20-year period by assuming that a minimum flow rate of 0.15 cubic metre per second (5.3 cubic feet per second) per well is satisfactory and by developing the reservoir with 18 wells at optimum spacing. Estimates of subsidence under the 18-well production scheme indicate that the average subsidence over the reservoir area would be about 1 metre (3 feet) at the end of the 20-year production period. In the immediate vicinity of a centrally located well, subsidence would be about 2 metres (6 feet). The thermal, mechanical, and methane energy contained ...
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Papadopulos, Stavros S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Thirteenth Annual Interagency Geothermal Coordinating Council Report for Fiscal Year 1988

Description: The U.S. Interagency Geothermal Coordinating Council was a multi-agency group charged with identifying and reducing barriers to geothermal energy development in the U.S. Many of the issues covered related to regulations for and progress in the leasing of Federal lands in the West for power development. The IGCC reports are important sources of historical information. (DJE 2005)
Date: March 21, 1989
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effects of Water Injection into Fractured Geothermal Reservoirs: A Summary of Experience Worldwide

Description: Reinjection of water into fractured geothermal reservoirs holds potential both for improvement and degradation of total energy recovery. The replacement of reservoir fluid can mean support of placement of reservoir pressures and also more efficient thermal energy recovery, but at the same time the premature invasion of reinjected water back into production wells through high permeability fractures can reduce discharge enthalpy and hence deliverability and useful energy output. Increases in reservoir pressure and maintenance of field output have been observed in operating fields, but unfortunately so too have premature thermal breakthroughs. The design of reinjection schemes, therefore, requires careful investigation into the likely effects, using field experimentation. This paper summarizes field experience with reinjection around the world, with the intention of elucidating characteristics of possible problems. The results summarized in this paper fall into three categories of interest: permeability changes dye to injection (both increases and decreases); the path followed by injected water (as indicated by tracer tests); and the thermal and hydraulic influences of injection on the reinjection well itself and on surrounding producers. [DJE-2005]
Date: June 1, 1982
Creator: Horne, Roland N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department