EU-funded Project Explores New Geothermal Survey Methodology

A new methodology is being developed that could maximize the chances of encountering a reservoir during geothermal surveys, according to the European Union’s Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS).

The new methodology is part of a European Union-funded project called IMAGE – integrated methods for advanced geothermal exploration.

The IMAGE partners took the current process of geothermal exploration beyond gathering of information that points to areas of high porosity and permeability as well as subsurface fault lines. CORDIS said that several geophysical explorations beyond the current state of the art were tested in different regions of Europe. A series of geophysical surveys yielded data on the spatial distribution of critical parameters of subsurface rock formations.

CORDIS also said that laboratory experiments have been carried out to investigate rock physical properties at supercritical conditions, and the resulting data complements the existing geochemical databases used by numerical models.

According to CORDIS, advanced reprocessing and modelling of the available data at regional and local scales are on the way.

“The focus is on prediction of reservoir parameters such as temperatures, in situ stresses and fracture permeability that can be deduced,” CORDIS said, adding that the data will be used to improve well-established geothermal exploration techniques.

IMAGE involves 11 geothermal research institutes and  eight industry partners from various European countries. The project results will contribute to the development of a reliable science-based exploration method for geothermal reservoirs.

Lead image credit: Jan Hopman.

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