Investigation of the synergy potential of oil and geothermal energy from a fluvial oil reservoir

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Geothermal projects, as renewable energy projects, are not economically attractive in most places of the world at the current state of development; for this reason, subsidies are required by energy and environmental authorities in order to increase the interest in such projects. In this paper, we assess and model strategies for integration of geothermal energy with oil productions of the Moerkapelle oil field in the Netherlands. To do so, numerical simulations have been employed to analyse the feasibility of a fluvial oil reservoir for the synergy potential of oil and geothermal energy exploitation. In order to implement the simulation studies, single phase and two-phase non-isothermal fluid flow modelling are utilized for the geothermal well doublet system and for water flooding in an oil reservoir (including facies heterogeneity), respectively. A series of simulations have been conducted to investigate how hot water from a geothermal reservoir beneath a heavy oil reservoir in the fluvial sedimentary system of the West Netherlands Basin can be used for Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery (TEOR) and geothermal energy production. This study finds that the high degree of heterogeneity in fluvial oil reservoirs could significantly affect oil recovery improvement and hence the synergy strategy. High values of a) Net to gross (N/G) b) Bottom Hole Pressure (BHP) and c) horizontal wellbore length are favourable for oil recovery. In contrast, wide horizontal wellbore spacing and high oil viscosity have an adverse effect on oil recovery enhancement. Furthermore, the results display that the enhanced oil production helps to reduce the required subsidy for a single doublet geothermal project up to 100%. Consequently, the extra amount of oil produced by utilising the geothermal energy, could make the geothermal business case independent and profitable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106195
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Geothermal energy
  • Heterogeneity
  • Net present value (NPV)
  • Net to gross (N/G)
  • Thermal enhanced heavy oil recovery (TEOR)


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