The GEM systems recover a non-renewable resource, Geopressured-Geothermal (GPGT) brines, and convert it into a renewable energy resource (solar ponds) while enabling cost-effective enhanced recovery of collocated oil. The cost-offsets of the oil recovery process essentially pay for building the solar ponds.
The GPGT conversion system recovers raw GPGT brine through a wellbore, separates the natural gas, and concentrates the brine in a multi-effect evaporator.
The gas and distilled H2O are used in a patented process to steamflood collocated (shallower) heavy oil reservoirs. The process uses half the gas of conventional methods, thereby reducing the carbon footprint while also mitigating environmental problems with produced water disposal.
The GEM design enables building large-scale solar ponds from the concentrated brine discharge using revenue offets from the steamflood oil recovery process. The solar ponds are equipped and used for long-term production of solar-thermal electricity.
This completes the conversion of the finite GPGT resource into a renewable energy resource. To recap GEM's conversion method:
A: Recover and convert GPGT brine
B: Enable efficient, cost-effective oil recovery
C: Build solar ponds as a co-product of A,B
The system is proposed for deployment in California and Texas, where the two largest U.S. GPGT basins exist. The CA GPGT capacity is estimated at 1000+ baseline systems, and the TX GPGT capacity is conservatively twice that of CA.
One CA baseline system's projected yield is 6000 bpd steam (800 psi, x=0.80 quality), for a five-year GPGT flow-life, est. 1-4 MM bbls oil recovered per system. The corresponding solar pond for such a system is projected to yield an annual average 2 MWe (continuous).
The full potential in CA alone is 1-4+ Bbbls of recovered oil and 2+ GWe renewable electricity.