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Title: Deep geothermal: The ‘Moon Landing’ mission in the unconventional energy and minerals space

Deep geothermal from the hot crystalline basement has remained an unsolved frontier for the geothermal industry for the past 30 years. This poses the challenge for developing a new unconventional geomechanics approach to stimulate such reservoirs. While a number of new unconventional brittle techniques are still available to improve stimulation on short time scales, the astonishing richness of failure modes of longer time scales in hot rocks has so far been overlooked. These failure modes represent a series of microscopic processes: brittle microfracturing prevails at low temperatures and fairly high deviatoric stresses, while upon increasing temperature and decreasing applied stress or longer time scales, the failure modes switch to transgranular and intergranular creep fractures. Accordingly, fluids play an active role and create their own pathways through facilitating shear localization by a process of time-dependent dissolution and precipitation creep, rather than being a passive constituent by simply following brittle fractures that are generated inside a shear zone caused by other localization mechanisms. We lay out a new paradigm for reservoir stimulation by reactivating pre-existing faults at reservoir scale in a reservoir scale aseismic, ductile manner. A side effect of the new “soft” stimulation method is that owing to the design specificationmore » of a macroscopic ductile response, the proposed method offers the potential of a safer control over the stimulation process compared to conventional stimulation protocols such as currently employed in shale gas reservoirs.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [3] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [3] ;  [10] ;  [6] ;  [11] ;  [5] ;  [12] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [13] more »;  [14] ;  [6] « less
  1. Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW (Australia). School of Petroleum Engineering; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Kensington WA (Australia). Earth Science and Resource Engineering; Univ. of Western Australia, Perth, WA (Australia). School of Earth and Environment
  2. Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Dept. of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  3. Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW (Australia). School of Petroleum Engineering
  4. Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom). School of Geosciences
  5. Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW (Australia). School of Petroleum Engineering; Queensland Univ. of Technology, Brisbane (Australia). School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Earth Systems
  6. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Kensington WA (Australia). Earth Science and Resource Engineering
  7. Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) (Germany)
  8. Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW (Australia). School of Petroleum Engineering; Sun Yat-Sen Univ., Guangzhou, (China). School of Earth Science and Geological Engineering
  9. Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem (Israel)
  10. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  11. Univ. of Western Australia, Perth, WA (Australia). School of Earth and Environment
  12. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Floreat Park, WA (Australia). Land and Water
  13. Univ. of Geosciences, Wuhan (China). School of Environmental Studies; Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Dept. of Earth Sciences and Minnesota Supercomputing Inst.
  14. RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany). Aachen Inst. for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science (AICES)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1177610
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU--14-33317
Journal ID: ISSN 1674-487X; PII: 515
Grant/Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Earth Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1674-487X
Publisher:
China University of Geosciences
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; CREEP; DISSOLUTION; FRACTURE MECHANICS; GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; PRECIPITATION Creep; Dissolution; Enhanced Geothermal Systems; Fracture Mechanics; Geothermal Energy; Precipitation