An assessment of value for deep sedimentary geothermal resources in Texas

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Date

2012-05

Authors

Uddenberg, Matthew Emmanuel

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Abstract

Building upon work completed by the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) for the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) this thesis develops a coherent strategy for assessing the value of geothermal resources for different regions within Texas. Valuing geothermal resources is difficult because energy output from a specified resource is predicated on the development strategy employed and the dynamic qualities of the reservoir being analyzed. To account for these factors a lumped parameter model is developed to provide a flexible means for assessing the value of different resources. The model is designed to quickly adapt to different reservoir geometries, provided by the NGDS, and account for the dynamic nature of geothermal resources, which will vary as a function of the development strategy employed. In this paper two development strategies for a field located in Hidalgo County have been modeled to illustrate the use of the model and explain how its structure allows for realistic and nuanced analysis. The two scenarios modeled have a sustainable outcome, where the geothermal resource produces a continual low amount of power, and an unsustainable outcome, where power generation is initially high but terminates before the expected life of the project. The outcomes from these two scenarios clearly illustrate the usefulness of using a lumped parameter model to assess the value of a geothermal resource with regards to a set of defined objectives.

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