Induced Seismicity is one of the most important geothermal issues currently being investigated, especially in association with the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). PIRSA recognises the need to address this issue and have commissioned research studies on the topic.
In 2005, the Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) commissioned the Australian School of Petroleum at University of Adelaide to undertake a research study of potential induced seismicity associated with the fracture stimulation of ESG wells in the Cooper Basin. The results of this study are detailed in the following report by Dr Suzanne Hunt and Mr Cameron Morelli. This report has been peer reviewed and reviewers comments are also provided.
Final report: Cooper Basin HDR Hazard Evaluation: Predictive Modelling of Local Stress Changes due to HFR Geothermal Energy Operations in South Australia
Reviewers comments and authoirs respose: Hunt and Morelli, 2006 - reviewers comments
Following from the 2006 report by Hunt and Morelli a report on the ‘Analysis and Management of Induced Seismic Risks associated with Engineered Geothermal System Operations in South Australia’ has been completed and is now available.
The objective of the study was to develop the necessary protocols for the analysis and management of seismic risk associated with EGS operations in SA by building on the finding sof the previous Hunt and Morelli (2006) report that focused on evaluating the hazard associated with inducing seismicity at a single EGS site in the Cooper Basin. As well as the final report, the author created Google earth tools to view spatial and temporal distributions of natural seismic events recorded in the South Australian and Australian catalogues.
PIRSA employed William Cibich to work on a geothermal research project which was focused on reservoir fluid behavior in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) and on the development of a mathematical model to predict pressure losses in EGS. The outcome of this work was the report A Steady-State Pressure Model for Water Flow in a Hydraulically Fractured Geothermal Reservoir and an accompanying Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet which implemented the model. The report showed the results of a sensitivity analysis that was performed on the model. This work was presented at the 2008 Australian Geothermal Energy Conference (Abstract).
As part of William’s Honours study in Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide, he further developed the EGS model. His honours thesis An Analytical Model for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) was completed, presenting the findings of further literature assessment into reservoir and well flow modelling as well as the results of an analysis on the Hijiori EGS long term circulation test in Japan. Further improvements to the well model were made through the year and validation tests were conducted by comparison to other models. A final paper following further review presented the project developments.
Status of Geothermal Industry in Australia, 2000-2005
Report by Prame Chopra at the World Geothermal Congress 2005, Antalya, Turkey 24-29 April 2005