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The geothermal potential of Clarke Lake and Milo gas fields in northeast British Columbia Arianpoo, Nastaran

Abstract

The increasing consumption of energy and its side-effects on the environment are driving an international effort to enhance the use of more environmentally-friendly energy resources such as geothermal energy which this research addresses. The work has involved an analysis of data provided by the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources collected from oil and gas wells drilled in the Northeast region of British Columbia for the purpose of evaluating the potential to exploit geothermal energy in the region. The study area was narrowed to two gas fields near Fort Nelson – Clarke Lake and Milo. The objectives of the project have been 1. to investigate the geothermal potential of the area; and, 2. to examine if non-geothermal wells could be used to recover geothermal energy; Using data gathered from the gas well log records, temperature gradient and heat flow maps were successfully generated for the study area using ArcGIS. A preliminary reservoir assessment has been done based on these maps. The results show the region has notably high potential for a deep geothermal project using Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) methodologies to produce significant amounts of electrical energy for a very long time in a sustainable fashion. It is recommended that additional exploration and exploitation drilling should be done at Clarke Lake to verify the conclusions and strengthen the assumptions about suitable local rock permeability and fluid availability at depth. With respect to geothermal energy production from spent oil and gas wells, there is currently insufficient temperature and fluid flow to either recover heat for a district heating system in the nearby community of Fort Nelson or to generate electricity using a Binary Cycle process. The quantity of heat is too low to be an economically viable investment while the temperature is too low at the current gas plants to technically generate power. The research has demonstrated that data from drilled oil and gas wells when studied can be used with confidence to evaluate the geothermal potential of a region and should be applied to other locations in British Columbia and elsewhere to produce similar temperature gradient and heat flow maps.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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