A geothermal project constitutes two big stages: the exploration and the exploitation. Each one has a single task whose results allow defining the feasibility of a geothermal project, until achieving the construction and operation stage of the power generation plant. The first stage contains the area recognition, its limitation to the target, and elimination of external factors until defining a geothermal zone with characteristics to be commercially exploited. The main studies and analysis that can be applied during the exploration stage are listed, and the major indicator to continue with the project or suspend is the prefeasibility report. The major risks in the exploration stage are due to studies that are carried out on the surface; at this stage, the costs can be considered low. The main results of the exploration are the selection of sites to drill three or four initial wells. Each well provides a direct overview of the reservoir: depth, production thicknesses, thermodynamic parameters, and production characteristics. The drilling of three to four exploratory wells is recommended, as far as there is certainty of the feasibility of the project, and the development of the field begins with drilling of sufficient wells to feed the plant. In this stage, the cost increases, but the risks decrease.
Part of the book: Renewable Geothermal Energy Explorations