The United Nations' Approach To Geothermal Resource Assessment

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Journal Article: The United Nations' Approach To Geothermal Resource Assessment

Although the emphasis of United Nations' assisted geothermal projects has been on demonstrating the feasibility of producing geothermal fluids, the potential capacity of individual fields has been estimated by both the energy in place and decline curve methods. The energy in place method has been applied to three geothermal fields resulting in total resource estimates ranging from 380 to 16,800 MW-yr. The results of these studies must be considered highly tentative, however, due to inadequate reservoir data and a poor knowledge of producing mechanisms. The decline curve method has not given quantitative results concerning ultimate field potential because of the relatively short duration of well tests (several weeks to a maximum of 11 months). In all cases, however, the decline of flowing wellhead pressure, field pressure, and flow rate has continued to decrease with time. A new method for making regional assessment of geothermal potential is described, which is based, in part, on an assessment of the probable range of the power potential of geothermal fields as inferred from a frequency distribution analysis of fields already under development throughout the world. Depending on the reservoir containing dry steam or water, and its location in a region of groundwater recharge or discharge, average power potentials can be expected to range from 36 to 3360 MW.

J. R. McNitt

Published Journal 
Geothermics, 1978

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J. R. McNitt. 1978. The United Nations' Approach To Geothermal Resource Assessment. Geothermics. (!) .

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