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New Zealand 3D modelling software to help geothermal development in Mexico

Leapfrog Geothermal model sample (source: Leapfrog brochure snapshot)
Alexander Richter 16 Jul 2018

New Zealand-based Seequent has highlighted the role of its 3D modelling software for helping Mexico to develop its geothermal resources.

With an impressive resource base for geothermal energy, Mexico has not seen much development as it could over the past decades. The reasons for this are many, but one is that development is costly.

“You have (under the earth) a source of energy that continues to flow that constant. But to drill a hole for thermal energy costs around 10 million dollars and if you dig on the wrong side, you lost everything, “says Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent, a New Zealand company that offers solutions for energy exploitation around the world and that since its creation in 2004 has a close relationship with our country.

This high cost of exploitation has impacted Mexico’s energy capacity in this area, despite the reforms approved in the matter. In 2014, the country was the fourth power in the field of geothermal energy generation, just below the United States, the Philippines and Indonesia. However, as soon as the end of 2017, Turkey – a country that did not even appear in the top ten three years ago – and New Zealand were placed in the fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Why is it so complicated to develop this type of project? Jeremy O’Brien, business director of Geothermal Energy at Seequent, says that, in addition to high costs, the lack of information is a key factor.

“The biggest challenge for Mexico is to analyze and exploit markets well and inform people of what it is. There are resources but people should have more information to support the development of this type of projects, “he says in a meeting he held with the ambassador of Mexico in New Zealand, José Gerardo Traslosheros months ago.

“We are already working with some of the largest geothermal companies and we hope to support the development of new geothermal resources in order to add more capacity in Mexico,” he added.

The role of Seequent in the exploitation of this and other energy sources is to help companies ‘see on the ground’, thereby reducing the risk and making the investment a safe bet. “This is a challenge for geothermal and we are helping to solve this problem,” Maloney adds.

How do they do that? The company developed a 3D geological modeling software ‘Leapfrog’ based on a pioneering algorithm that allows the rapid and automated formation of ‘surfaces’ directly from geological data.

That is, it allows you to literally see the different layers of soil before drilling.

Seequent is related to the exploitation of 40 percent of the geothermal capacity around the world, including Latin America. However, it is the mining companies that constitute Seequent’s largest business in Mexico.

“We have a long relationship with Mexico, and mining operations in Mexico are great innovators and were among the first to support our software worldwide,” said Nick Fogarty, General Manager of Mining and Minerals at Seequent.

“Although, mining has experienced a decline of one generation in recent years, we have experienced market growth, we are now seeing more activity as commodity prices increase and the market begins to recover. investments in the exploration of natural resources is driving mining operations to adopt innovative technologies that help boost efficiency and sustainability, “he added.

In Mexico, they work with the National Electricity Commission (CFE), Azure, Peñoles, Fresnillo, AngloGold Ashanti, Cobre del Mayo, Mining Negotiation Santa Maria de la Paz and Anexas, Leagold Mining, Mining Media Luna, Camargo Mine and AliGold.

Source: El Financiero