Identifier

etd-11102010-200649

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geology and Geophysics

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Northwestern Louisiana sits atop a geothermal anomaly that stretches across Eastern Texas and into Southern Arkansas. Geothermal gradients are observed in this area that are greater than the Gulf Coast average of 22-26oC/km. South Bossier Parish, in particular, could be an ideal location for economic production of electricity by conventional geothermal or enhanced geothermal projects due to ideal geothermal production temperatures of 120-180oC at a relatively shallow depth of approximately 3-5 km. A localized geothermal of 35oC/km gradient was determined using bottom-hole temperatures (BHTs) from 147 wells. At approximately 3.2 km depth, temperatures of approximately 130oC within the geopressured sands of the Lower Cotton Valley are the best potential target. The Lower Cotton Valley is a tight, gas-bearing sand that is a target for hydrocarbon production by the oil and gas industry. With permeabilities averaging 1 mD and porosities of 8%, this sand must be stimulated by hydraulic fracturing to prove economic. Moreover, little water is produced out of the formation (1 to 5 barrels per day). This is not economic for electricity generation by conventional geothermal energy generation. Enhanced geothermal systems production, such as methane generation and super-critical CO2 injection, could prove economic, but more research must be done. Deeper potential reservoirs, such as the Smackover and Eagle Mills formations, have been drilled within the study area, and could be potential resources upon further investigation. Geothermal energy production for generating electricity in South Bossier Parish, Louisiana is not economic at this time, but with further research and new technologies could be feasible in the near future.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Nunn, Jeffrey A.

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