Geothermal Resources, Vicksburg Formation, Texas Gulf Coast

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Loucks, R. G.

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The potential for discovering geopressured geothermal reservoirs in the Vicksburg Formation is limited to Hidalgo County along the Lower Texas Gulf Coast. In Hidalgo County, an area of approximately 385 square miles (designated the Vicksburg Fairway) contains up to 1,300 feet of geopressured sandstones with fluid temperatures greater than 300°F. In-place effective permeability, however, averages less than 1 millidarcy in the Vicksburg sandstones because of fine grain size and extensive late carbonate cementation. Also, the areal extent of individual reservoirs is limited in a dip direction by growth faults and in a strike direction by the lenticular morphology of the sandstone bodies.

In conclusion, under the present specifications set for a geothermal fairway, the Vicksburg has minimal potential because of low reservoir deliverability, which is constrained by low permeability and somewhat limited reservoir continuity. If future tests indicate that lower permeabilities are acceptable, the Vicksburg Fairway should be reconsidered because of the presence of extremely thick sandstone bodies.


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