Geothermal Energy Resources from an Oil & Gas Perspective

For those more familiar with conventional oil & gas resources, it is convenient to make a comparison showing similarities and differences:

Oil & GasGeothermal Energy
Source Rock – fine-grained sediments with sufficient amounts of organic matter, which generate and release hydrocarbons able to migrate upwards;
Fluids – hydrocarbon oil & gas and water;
Reservoirs – accumulations of hydrocarbons contained in porous or fractured rock formations (i.e. sandstone, limestone);
Trap/Seals –structural or stratigraphic traps with cap rock seals preventing further hydrocarbon migration;
Surface Indicators – oil & gas seeps / releases, acoustic plumes;
Exploration – Geophysical (Gravity, 3D Seismic), Wells.  
Heat Source – volcanic/magmatic sources along plate boundaries; abnormally high heat flow from thinner crust areas; or granitic igneous intrusions;
Fluids – mineralised water / brines or surface injected fluids;
Reservoirs – Permeable Hydrothermal (wet, able to be produced and reinjected) or Fractured Rock (dry, natural or induced, able to have surface fluids injected and circulated);
Traps/Seals – Thermal seals including impermeable rock;
Surface Indicators – thermal gradients, hydrothermal features;
Evaluation – Geophysical (AMT, Gravity, some Seismic), Wells.

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