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Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Prospecting and Producing of Geothermal Energy

This five-day course focuses on geothermal methods for analyzing conventional and unconventional geothermal systems, and developing geothermal reservoirs. The course is designed for exploration, production, and development geoscientists.


Lectures show how geothermal analysis can reduce the risk associated with geothermal prospects, how to predict quality from inexpensive wellbore measurements, and how to identify reservoir heat transfer in conductively and advectively dominated reservoirs.  It provides interpretive guidelines for reservoir thermal signatures of various transient and steady-state heat transfer processes and teaches how to distinguish the overprint of steady-state conductive geotherms by various steady-state and transient processes. Participants learn how to derive
thermophysical rock properties from geophysical conventional logs, and how field and lab techniques can be combined to estimate geothermal prospects.


Case studies and exercises illustrate and assess different types of geothermal resources, the design and layout of geothermal heat production schemes for direct use and for conversion into electric energy.  The lectures and discussions are designed to improve basic understanding of the processes controlling geothermal systems and terrestrial heat transport. This will enable interpreting various thermal signatures and evaluating geothermal potentials. Class exercises show how to select suitable strategies for heat production from different reservoir types, and to layout subsurface installations for geothermal heat production – either for direct use or conversion into electric energy using.

Day 1

Concepts and physical Basics

  • Thermal structure of the Earth
  • Thermodynamic state functions (Gibbs equations, Maxwell relations)
  • Energy budget of the Earth
  • Thermal regime of the Earth, plate tectonics and geothermal systems
Day 2

Crustal heat transport and relevant rock properties

  • Heat transport by diffusion (steady state: conduction) and fluid-driven advection
  • Thermal conductivity and diffusivity
  • Specific heat capacity and thermal capacity
  • Radiogenic heat generation rate
Day 3

Borehole and laboratory methods for measuring geothermal data

  • Temperature and thermal conductivity
  • Specific heat capacity
  • Radiogenic heat generation rate
  • Porosity and density

Processing of geothermal data

Temperature corrections regarding

  • Technical perturbations
      Equilibration after borehole shut-in
      Borehole free convection
      Borehole in- and outflow
  • Natural steady-state and transient effects
      Topography
      Climate change
      Erosion and uplift, sedimentation and subsidence

 Calculation of temperature gradient

  • Calculation of heat flow
Day 4

Geothermal energy (shallow and deep borehole heat exchangers)?

  • Definition of geothermal energ
  • Types of geothermal resources
  • Direct use of geothermal heat
      Space heating and cooling
      Commercial and industrial applications
      Technological and economical aspects of direct use
           - Earth coupled heat extraction systems
           - Hydrothermal heating systems
Day 5

Geothermal energy (conversion into electric energy)

  • Geothermal reservoir development
  • Integrating of structural, geological, and geophysical data into a numerical model for simulating
    flow and heat transport in geothermal reservoirs
  • Step-out exploration and field development
  • Geothermal power generation: Technological and economical aspects of geothermal power
    generation
      - Natural steam power plants
      - Binary power plants
      - Power plants for Hot Dry Rock or Enhanced Geothermal Systems
      - Technical, economic and ecological aspects
Learning activity mix

Anyone involved in geothermal projects

Basic knowledge of geology and geophysics

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