SCAN geothermal exploration campaign: results and outlook

Jun 14, 2021 | Lecture Archive

Henk van Lochem (EBN)

Geothermal energy is a resource that is sustainable and, because it is not dependent on weather or seasonal conditions, it is also reliable. It can play an important role in the Dutch Energy Transition, since 42% of our national energy demand comes in the form of heat. To accelerate the development of geothermal energy projects, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has provided funding for the SCAN programme. The purpose of the SCAN programme is to improve the mapping of the Dutch subsurface by gathering data in the areas that are – until now – under-explored because of their lack of oil and gas potential. By sharing this data SCAN will help support future determination of geothermal potential in these areas. EBN and TNO cooperate in the execution of the SCAN programme.
The SCAN programme focusses on three main activities: the acquisition of new 2D seismic, the reprocessing of vintage 2D seismic data and the drilling of a number of wells focusing on data acquisition. A large part of the seismic acquisition and processing has been completed; 24 new high-quality seismic lines have already  been made public to date. Several seismic reprocessing packages have been released that are located mainly around the center of the Netherlands. More reprocessing projects are underway resulting in an extensive improved PreSTM processed 2D digital regional data set of all SCAN areas. In our presentation we will show the status of the SCAN acquisition and reprocessing and present some examples of the results.
At the end of last year SCAN received funding for the exploration drilling phase. Data acquisition wells will be drilled to improve our understanding of the potential geothermal reservoirs where vintage E&P well data is missing. Next to core data for permeability assessments of the major geothermal reservoir units, data acquisition will also include a comprehensive suite of modern well logs, production/injection tests and other reservoir and seal data such as leak-off tests, check shots/VSPs and geomechanical measurements on core samples. In line with the state subsidy regulations the wells will be plugged and abandoned after the data acquisition programme has been completed.
Recently SCAN announced that the first data acquisition well will be located to the east of the city of Utrecht. In our presentation we will show the geological reasoning behind the selection of this location. For the selection of future SCAN data acquisition wells we have invited the geothermal community to indicate areas and geological formations where additional subsurface data could accelerate the future development of commercial geothermal projects.

About the presenter:

Henk van Lochem studied Geology at Utrecht University (Structural Geology with minor subjects Exploration Geophysics and Economic Geology).
In 1987, he co-founded Argo Geological Consultants and worked as consultant for various clients, especially frequent for Wintershall Noordzee, on exploration and development projects on the North Sea. Last project for Wintershall was related to the exploration, appraisal and development of two Chalk oil fields in the Dutch sector. Outside the North Sea area he has been consultant for exploration projects in, for example, Colombia, Poland, Bulgaria and Spain. He participated in a large number of evaluations for farm-in offers and acquisition opportunities. In 2018 he started as consultant for EBN within the SCAN geothermal project. Main tasks are the design and setting objectives for the 2D seismic survey and the selection of lines and processing QC for the 2D seismic reprocessing project. Made prospectivity analysis and identified geothermal leads within the SCAN areas for new “scientific” wells.

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