Development of geothermal energy in sedimentary basins is an attractive option given the availability of data from the oil and gas industry. Previous geothermal studies in sedimentary basins have focused on temperatures and petrophysical properties. In this study, the focus is placed on historical reservoir performance. In the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, estimated temperatures and measured fluid production and injection rates at existing wells are combined to provide a per-well estimate of thermal power production. Nearly 700 of these hypothetical geothermal wells would produce 1 MW of power, and a total of 6 GW could be produced if all wells were converted to geothermal wells. Many of these wells may not be suitable for immediate use because of temperature anomalies resulting from injection of cooler water into target strata. Further research is needed to characterize the magnitude and extent of these anomalies. Geothermal potential should also be considered in the development of oil and gas resources in sedimentary basins.

You do not currently have access to this article.