Stochastic Model of Fracture Frequency Heterogeneity in a Welded Tuff EGS reservoir, Snake River Plain, Idaho, USA

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Alex Moody, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, United States and Jerry Paul Fairley Jr, Univ Idaho, Moscow, ID, United States
In light of recent advancements in reservoir enhancement and injection tests at active geothermal fields, there is interest in investigating the geothermal potential of widespread subsurface welded tuffs related to caldera collapse on the Snake River Plain (SRP). Before considering stimulation strategies, simulating heat extraction from the reservoir under in-situ fracture geometries will give a first-order estimation of extractable heat. With only limited deep boreholes drilled on the SRP, few analyses of the bulk hydrologic properties of the tuffs exist. Acknowledging the importance of the spatial heterogeneity of fractures to the permeability and injectivity of reservoirs hosted in impermeable volcanic units, we present fracture distributions from ICDP hole 5036-2A drilled as a part of Project HOTSPOT. The core documents more than 1200 m of largely homogeneous densely welded tuff hosting an isothermal warm-water reservoir at ~60˚ C. Multiple realizations of a hypothetical reservoir are created using sequential indicator algorithms that honor the observed vertical fracture frequency statistics. Results help form criteria for producing geothermal energy from the SRP.