Geothermal Resource Decision Workshop (Part 3)

Date and Time
October 18, 2020 09:00 AM (PDT)–01:00 PM (PDT)

2020 GRC Short Course: Geothermal Resource Decision Workshop Modules 8, 9, 10: Deep Circulation Exploration, Development and Economic Constraints

This 2.5 day interactive online workshop has been adapted from the Geothermal Resource Decision Workshop curriculum used worldwide for geothermal industry training and academic courses. Three new modules using real data from different resources will extend the decision issues covered in the 2016 and 2017 GRC short courses. Modules 8 and 9 provide participants experience exploring for deep-circulation, fault-focused moderate temperature systems similar to those found in the US Basin and Range, Turkey, the west branch of the East African Rift and Sumatra. Module 10 illustrates how geoscience resource assessments interact with costs related to access, drilling and generation technology to constrain decision criteria like minimum resource size in the overall context of the economics of market constraints and power price.

This workshop provides hands-on experience using real data to construct geothermal conceptual models, practice using them to predict probabilistic outcomes for well targets and resource capacity, make decisions based on predictions and economic context, and test these against real outcomes. Decision research has shown that practice preparing predictions using real data, making decisions based on these predictions, and immediately comparing these decisions to actual outcomes is an effective approach to improving decision performance. Best practice publications in the geothermal industry emphasize integrating geoscience data to build geothermal resource conceptual models as the basis for well targeting and resource capacity assessment.
Following a presentation on decision-making under the uncertainty characteristic of conventional geothermal exploration, lectures will introduce the components of geothermal conceptual models for two deep-circulation heated, fault and formation-hosted reservoirs. To simulate the experience of professionals supporting high-value resource decisions, teams of 3 or 4 participants will complete exercises with expert coaches who will ensure progress regardless of participants’ backgrounds. Brief lectures on geothermal geochemistry, geology, geophysics, the thermodynamics of water flow in rock, well temperature log interpretation, decision risk assessment and economic criteria for decision making will be interspersed among the exercises that provide participants with opportunities to:

  • design a conceptually effective and financially efficient exploration survey;
  • interpret and integrate real geoscience data using a conceptual model approach;
  • build an initial range of resource conceptual models;
  • complete probabilistic well target and resource capacity risk assessments;
  • interpret drilling results, update conceptual models and reassess targets and capacity;
  • assess the economic implications of resource parameters like temperature, productivity and well depth for project viability and minimum power plant capacity; and
  • based on well results, recommend constructing a power plant at the minimum economic capacity or terminating the investment.

This workshop is directed at geoscientists, engineers and managers who wish to better appreciate how geothermal data sets can be used to support resource decisions in the context of economic constraints.

Because this will be an interactive online workshop, connectivity requirements will include a Windows10 or Mac OS10.13 computer running a Chrome77+, Firefox76+ or Safari13+ browser connected to the internet with speeds of 8 Mb/s download and upload. A slower upload speed will work, but will be less interactive.

Speakers and coaches for this workshop include: William Cumming (Cumming Geoscience), Nick Hinz (Geologica Geothermal), Amanda Lonsdale (Magnitude Global Finance) and Irene Wallis (Cubic Earth, New Zealand).

Sunday: Lectures and Module 10 exercises led by Amanda Lonsdale on the financing of geothermal development, including how economics constrain minimum power plant size. Following a lecture by Bill Cumming on combining the Module 9 resource capacity assessment with the Module 10 financial constraints on power plants, the teams will make investment recommendations, followed by a “reveal” of the actual development.

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