Calpine Corporation, which operates 14 geothermal plants at The Geysers geothermal field, uses Paradigm SKUA-GOCAD to maximize information about the complex geology of The Geysers. Among other things, in a case study SKUA-GOCAD was successfully used to:
- Develop a 3D structural model of the subsurface using all available data constraints.
- Through 3D visualization and 3D seismicity analysis, help to better understand the spatial and spatiotemporal relationships between water injection and induced seismicity.
- Refine the understanding of fluid flow paths, fluid boundaries, reservoir heterogeneity and compartmentalization, to improve reservoir management and mitigate induced seismicity.
- Refine understanding of fracture systems and fault zones.
- Perform well planning and real-time drilling analysis.
- Provide a more integrated approach to field development and reservoir management by “completing the loop” between geoscience, drilling and reservoir engineering.
Using SKUA-GOCAD for induced seismicity analysis improved understanding of the spatiotemporal relationships between The Geysers’ water injection and induced seismicity. Calpine now uses 3D visualization as an effective tool for conveying technical subsurface information during analyses of drilling targets and real-time drilling involving geoscientists, reservoir engineers and drilling specialists.
Calpine benefitted greatly from SKUA-GOCAD 3D seismicity analysis software advances. Saving successive captured SKUA-GOCAD seismicity slice images, and animating through the image series using conventional software, assisted in defining consistent patterns that provided a better understanding of the complex fault zones and fracture systems in The Geysers.
In one example it was possible to provide reliable lithological unit depth predictions. Additionally, real-time drilling analysis of the well deviation surveys and lithology logs identified a close encounter with an adjacent wellbore, providing increased confidence prior to expensive drilling decisions.
3D visualization, data analysis and structural model building are assisting the ongoing effort to better understand the complex geology and steam reservoir of The Geysers. This has long-term benefits for effective reservoir management, including well planning for optimal reservoir utilization, real-time drilling decisions, and the potential for induced seismicity mitigation. 3D structural model development helps honor a vast collection of field data and more closely links geoscience, reservoir engineering and drilling. This is anticipated to contribute to reservoir management and induced seismicity mitigation efforts at The Geysers.
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* Based on a paper delivered by Calpine in February 2016 at the 41st Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University.