Geothermal Resources, Wilcox Group, Texas Gulf Coast

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Bebout, Don G.
Gregory, A. R. (Alvin Ray), 1915-
Gavenda, V. J.

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Areas with the potential for containing geopressured geothermal fluids in economic quantities (geothermal fairways) occur in the Wilcox Group where the Gulfward-dipping sandstone/shale wedge thickens abruptly across a complex growth-fault system.

This regional study of sandstone distribution in the Wilcox Group is part of a much broader investigation aimed at assessing the potential for the production of geothermal energy from the geopressured zone of the onshore Tertiary along the Texas Gulf Coast (Dorfman and Keuffel, 1975, 1976). The objective of the study is to identify areas where the Wilcox Group contains significant thicknesses of sandstone with subsurface fluid temperatures higher than 300°F. These favorable areas are termed geothermal fairways and are areas in which additional, more detailed work is recommended in the search for prospective geopressured geothermal test-well sites. Reports summarizing similar studies of regional assessment of the Frio Formation and a prospective test-well site have been published by the Bureau of Economic Geology (Bebout, Dorfman, and Agagu, 1975; Bebout, Agagu, and Dorfman, 1975; Bebout, Loucks, Bosch, and Dorfman, 1976; Bebout, Loucks, and Gregory, 1977). The geothermal potential of the Vicksburg Formation is summarized by Loucks (1978). Funding for the entire geopressured geothermal assessment program has been provided by the Division of Geothermal Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.


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