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Geothermal Workshop (Society of Exploration Geophysicists) October 30, Houston

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 12 Sep 2009

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) will hold a geothermal workshop on Friday, October 30, at the end of its annual meeting in Houston, Texas.

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) will hold a geothermal workshop on Friday, October 30, at the end of its annual meeting in Houston, Texas.

The annual meeting of the Society for Exploration Geophysicists is the largest exploration geophysics meeting in the world, typically attracting around 7,000 participants.

The geothermal workshop will give an overview of the use of geothermal energy to produce electricity. Three types of geothermal electrical production will be discussed. One is the conversion of oil and gas wells that co-produce large amounts of hot water for use in direct electricity generation. The second are hydrothermal resources consisting of high permeability hot rock.

The source of the heat in these systems is typically magmatic and they often have significant amounts of in-situ water. The final geothermal system we will discuss are enhanced geothermal systems, or what is often called hot, dry rock. These are systems that are generally deep and impermeable, possibly drilled into bedrock, with little or no in-situ water. The source of the heat can be either magmatic or the decay of radioactive elements in basement rock. Each of these types of geothermal involves different kinds of technologies along with their own opportunities and challenges.

The workshop will have speakers from Australia, Europe, and the United States who will discuss geothermal systems from the perspectives of exploration, drilling, and finance. The talks will be 30 minutes long with 10 minutes for questions in order to facilitate presenting the topics in depth while leaving time for significant discussion. Geothermal exploration and drilling has much in common with the oil and gas industry, but it also involves some unique technologies and presents special challenges.

One of the main objectives of the workshop is to highlight the similarities and differences between geothermal and oil and gas in order to facilitate the transfer of technology and know how between the two fields.

For additional information, see the SEG web page at http://www.seg.org or contact the workshop co-organizer, Dr. John K. Prentice at jkprentice@triplepointphysics.com.