Geothermal Energy in Senegal

Today’s post (23) Senegal is on a good path with world class offshore hydrocarbon discoveries, but the there does appear to be some clean, renewable Geothermal Energy opportunities also. High geothermal gradients have been observed in some oil & gas wells due to volcanism (extrusive and intrusive rocks) along the northern coastline and due to salt diapirism along the southern coastline. Inland there is crustal thinning with shallow basement rock that has resulted in somewhat higher than normal geothermal gradients. Aligned with some graben basin faults here there are diorite intrusions resulting from the partial melting of mafic rock with higher thermal heat flows. All of these geological features may offer heat flux pathways to reasonable depth Geothermal development wells.

  • Underlying Senegal, the Senegal Basin is a sedimentary basin of sandstone deposited over rift systems. The eastern side of the country is higher terrain that leads to mountainous orogenic belts in surrounding countries around the West African Craton;
  • High geothermal gradients have been observed in some oil & gas wells due to volcanism (extrusive and intrusive rocks) along the northern coastline and due to salt diapirism along the southern coastline. Inland there is crustal thinning with shallow basement that has resulted in somewhat higher than normal geothermal gradients. Aligned with some graben basin faults here there are diorite intrusions resulting from the partial melting of mafic rock with higher thermal heat flows;
  • There are 20# locations with geothermal heat flows 51-60 mW/m2;
  • Clean, environmentally sustainable renewable Geothermal Energy is 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, replace aging coal fired power plants, reduce energy poverty, and increase grid resilience for Senegal.

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