The Potential Impacts of Co-produced Geothermal Waters. KEY POINTS The amount of geothermal energy contained in oil and gas producing sedimentary basins is orders of magnitude greater than the energy requirements of the U.S., but it is largely untapped.
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School of Engineering and Mines
Will Gosnold1, Zhengwen Zeng1, Mike Mann2, Hossein Salehfar3
2 Chemical Engineering, 241 Centennial Drive, Mail Stop 7101, [email protected], (701-777-3852)
3 Electrical Engineering, 243 Centennial Drive, Mail Stop 7165,[email protected], (701-777-4432)
“The potential power production in the mid-continent using oil field waste waters with ORC technology is estimated to be at least 5.9 GW and could be as high as 21.9 GW,” (McKenna et al., 2005; MIT - 2007).
The Madison Fm in western North Dakota contains 1,476 EJ of thermal energy. Colors are temperature, contours are depth (m).
EGS is an acronym for Enhanced Geothermal Systems
The table below was derived from Appendix A.2.2 of the MIT Report “Future of Geothermal Energy, 2007.”
The two temperature maps above relate to Enhanced Geothermal Systems and were developed as part of a series of maps by the SMU Geothermal Laboratory for the Department of Energy. The implications for utilization of EGS were summarized as follows in the MIT Report. “If we limit our calculation of stored thermal energy in place to a depth of 10 km beneath the land area of the United States, then the amount of thermal energy in the crust is so large (about 14 million quads) that we can view it as sustainable. Even if we were to use it to provide all the primary energy consumed in the United States, we still would be depleting only a tiny fraction of it.” "The Future of Geothermal Energy," MIT Report, January 22, 2007.