Minimizing the risk of induced seismicity associated with geothermal energy in fractured reservoirs

This TU Delft-led project is supported by a user committee with commercial and non-commercial partners from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The proposed increase in geothermal energy demands a significant increase in wells, which makes the use of deep fractured and fault systems unavoidable. Induced earthquakes are among the biggest problems for subsurface operations, where especially in fractured reservoirs the risk is considered significant with the current state of knowledge. We want to gain insight into the complex interactions between processes inducing stress changes on faults above, in, and below a fractured carbonate reservoir and the subsequent reactivation of these faults. Through an experimental and numerical investigation, we will create constitutive models which will improve the currently limited understanding of the occurrence, location and magnitude of induced seismicity which occurred in pilot sites. We will combine our recommendations in a proposal for a “Guideline for operation of deep fractured reservoirs”.

I. Saifulli, TU Delft

PhD student, starting from April 2022

E. Kane, TU Delft

PhD student, starting from March 2022