Reservoir Engineering Assessment Of Dubti Geothermal Field, Northern Tendaho Rift, Ethiopia

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Journal Article: Reservoir Engineering Assessment Of Dubti Geothermal Field, Northern Tendaho Rift, Ethiopia

Following on from surface exploration surveys performed during the 1970s and early 1980s, exploration drilling was carried out in the Tendaho Rift, in Central Afar (Ethiopia), from October 1993 to June 1995. Three deep and one shallow well were drilled in the central part of the Northern Tendaho Rift to verify the existence of a geothermal reservoir and its possible utilisation for electric power generation. The project was jointly financed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Project activities were performed by the Ethiopian Institute of Geological Surveys and Aquater SpA. The main reservoir engineering data discussed in this paper were collected during drilling and testing of the above four wells, three of which are located inside the Dubti Cotton Plantation, in which a promising hydrothermal area was identified by surface exploration surveys. Drilling confirmed the existence of a liquid-dominated shallow reservoir inside the Dubti Plantation, characterised by a boiling-point-for-depth temperature distribution down to about 500 m depth. The main permeable zones in the Sedimentary Sequence, which is made up of lacustrine deposits, are located in correspondence to basalt lava flow interlayerings, or at the contact between volcanic and sedimentary rocks. At depth, the basaltic lava flows that characterise the Afar Stratoid Series seem to have low permeability, with the exception of fractured zones associated with sub-vertical faults. Two different upflows of geothermal fluids have been inferred: one flow connected to the Dubti fault feeds the shallow reservoir crossed by wells TD-2 and TD-4, where a maximum temperature of 245°C was recorded; the second flow seems to be connected with a fault located east of well TD-1, where the maximum recorded temperature was 270°C. A schematic conceptual model of the Dubti hydrothermal area, as derived from reservoir engineering studies integrated with geological, geophysical and geochemical data, has been tested by numerical simulation, using the TOUGH2/EWASG code. Preliminary simulations, using a simple 3-D numerical model of the Dubti fault area, showed that measured temperature and pressure distribution, as well as evaluated non-condensable gas pressure at reservoir conditions, are compatible with the rise of geothermal fluid, at about 290°C, along the sub-vertical Dubti fault from beneath the surface manifestations DB1, DB2 and DB3 located at the south-eastern end of the fault. According to the proven shallow field potential, development of this field could meet the predicted electricity requirements of Central Afar until the year 2015.

Alfredo Battistelli, Amdeberhan Yiheyis, Claudio Calore, Corrado Ferragina and Wale Abatneh

Published Journal 
Geothermics, 2002



Alfredo Battistelli,Amdeberhan Yiheyis,Claudio Calore,Corrado Ferragina,Wale Abatneh. 2002. Reservoir Engineering Assessment Of Dubti Geothermal Field, Northern Tendaho Rift, Ethiopia. Geothermics. (!) .