Geothermal Energy in Gabon

Gabon is a country with good access to electricity for its population and is blessed with hydrocarbon resources which are exported. Electricity is about one half from carbon based fuels and one half from hydropower. Hydropower is a good renewable energy source, but it can have seasonal intermittency due to climate changes. To have a more resilient Energy Mix, it would be possible to develop Geothermal Energy resources which could provide a good economic, environmentally sustainable baseload. People and companies experienced with carbon based or hydropower generation equipment would be well equipped to support Geothermal Energy.

  • Gabon is located on the northwestern margin of the Congo Craton. The West Congolian Belt crosses into the Southern Gabon Basin, generally up to the N’Komi fault zone. The Ogooué Orogeny continues with over 200km of igneous intrusive units above a partial melting zone. Ogooué is a fold-thrust belt bounded by the Ikoy–Ikobé and Ougoulou–Offoué faults. Igneous plutonic intrusions above tectonic subduction zones are found on both the western and eastern sides of this orogeny. The Francevillian pull-apart basin to the east contains the N’Goutou alkaline complex. All these structures contain potential heat pathways to bring geothermal heat closer to the surface for potential use;
  • Gabon’s conventional oil and gas wells located offshore and onshore would have data available for bottom hole temperatures and geothermal temperature gradients to help identify areas for potential sedimentary geothermal resources above crustally thinned rift locations (e.g., on the east side of the Lambarene Horst);
  • Further heat flux density exploration in these areas is necessary to develop opportunities, but the types of geology in Gabon have been seen in other successful geothermal locations;
  • Clean, environmentally sustainable renewable Geothermal Energy would be possible thanks to modern, low and medium enthalpy Binary ORC power generation solutions. Good geoscience tools are available to help incrementally explore and de-risk the areas of potentially suitable heat energy sources before more expensive drilling is required;
  • Very attractive Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is commercially feasible for some developments to help improve electrification, reduce reliance on carbon fuelled power plants and hydropower plants, reduce energy poverty, and increase grid resilience for Gabon. Increased electrical supply will also support domestic conversion of raw materials to capture more value for Gabon.

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