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From pilot knowledge via integrated reservoir characterization to utilization perspectives of deep geothermal reservoirs: the 3D model of Groß Schönebeck (North German Basin)

Norden, Ben; Bauer , Klaus; Krawczyk , Charlotte M.

The Groß Schönebeck site in the North German Basin serves as research platform to study the geothermal potential of deeply buried Permian reservoir rocks and the technical feasibility of heat extraction. The structural setting of the site was investigated in more detail by a newly acquired 3D-seismic survey to improve the former conceptual model that was based on several old 2D seismic lines. The new data allow a revision of the geological interpretation, enabling the setup of a new reservoir model and providing base information for a possible further site development of Permo-Carboniferous targets. The 3D seismic allows for the first time a consistent geological interpretation and model parameterization of the well-studied geothermal site. Main reflector horizons and the corresponding stratigraphic units were mapped and the structural pattern of the subsurface presented in the 8 km × 8 km × 4 km large seismic volume. Attribute analysis revealed some fracture and fault patterns in the upper Zechstein and post-Permian units, while formerly hypothesized large offset faults are not present in the Rotliegend reservoir. However, a well-established graben-like structure at the top of the Zechstein succession is most likely related to broken anhydritic brittle intra-salt layers of some meter of thickness. Most reflectors above the salt show a rather undisturbed pattern. The main reservoir sandstone of the Dethlingen Formation (Rotliegend) was mapped and characterized. The base of the underlying Permo-Carboniferous volcanic rock sequence and hence its thickness could not be depicted reliably from the geophysical data. Based on the seismic data and the available reconnaissance drilling, logging, and laboratory data of the Groß Schönebeck research site, the thickness and distribution of the sedimentary Rotliegend (with emphasis of the sandy reservoir section) and of the volcanic rock sequence was modelled and stochastically parameterized with petrophysical properties guided by seismic facies pattern correlation, providing a more realistic reservoir description. Properties include total and effective porosity, permeability, bulk density, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat capacity. The data and interpretation constitute the basis for a better understanding of the thermo and hydromechanical processes at the site and for future measures. Further site development could include a deepening of one well to provide evidence on the volcanic rock sequence and consider deviated wells into favourable zones and the design of a fracture-dominated utilization approach.
Published in: Geothermal Energy, 10.1186/s40517-022-00242-2, Springer Nature