Influential factors on the development of a low-enthalpy geothermal reservoir: A sensitivity study of a realistic field

Yang Wang, Denis Voskov*, Mark Khait, Sanaz Saeid, David Bruhn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


A realistic deep low-enthalpy geothermal reservoir based on real data with high detail and complicated sedimentary structure is utilized to perform sensitivity analyses of the geological features influencing reservoir properties. We perform simulations using the Delft Advanced Research Terra Simulator (DARTS). Compelling numerical performance of DARTS makes it suitable for handling a large ensemble of models including efficient sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. The major finding is that shale facies, generally ignored in hydrocarbon reservoir simulations, can significantly extend the predictive lifetime of geothermal reservoirs exploited by deep well doublets. It is important to accurately account for the shale facies in the simulation, though with an additional computational overhead. The overburden layers can improve doublet performance, but the impact depends on reservoir heterogeneity. In addition, heterogeneity will also divert the flow path with even a minor shift in the well placement. The discharge rate, an essential parameter of geothermal operation strategy, inversely corresponds to the doublet lifetime but positively correlates with the energy production for studied parameter ranges. Low sensitivity of doublet lifetime to vertical-horizontal permeability ratio and permeability-porosity correlation is observed. All these systematic findings for a realistic geothermal field with characterization at unprecedented level of detail can help to provide a general guideline for forward simulation and farther improve the profitability of geothermal energy production in realistic deep geothermal reservoirs through computer-assisted modeling and optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-651
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Doublet lifetime
  • Low-enthalpy geothermal
  • Numerical simulation
  • Sensitivity analysis


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