NWO project on minimizing the risk of induced seismicity associated with geothermal energy granted

News - 12 July 2021 - Webredactie CiTG

Anne Pluymakers, Annemarie Muntendam-Bos, Denis Voskov (all TU Delft) and André Niemeijer (Utrecht University) have been awarded funding from the NWO OTP program for their project “Minimizing the risk of induced seismicity associated with geothermal energy in fractured reservoirs”

The proposed increase in geothermal energy in the Dutch energy mix to meet the energy transition goals 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. The aim of this project is 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. With the help of two PhD students and using a combination of numerical and experimental work, this project 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. The user committee consists of VITO, Erdwerk GmbH, Geothermie NL, Geothermal Association Bavaria (GAB) and the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI).