Reservoir characterization studies ongoing in Los Humeros and Acoculco
To evaluate the physical properties of the rocks comprising the Los Humeros and Acoculco geothermal system, scientists from Europe conducted five field trips in cooperation with the Mexican scientists in these sites, collecting more than 330 outcrop analogues of representative lithology and drilling 70 plugs from cored sections of existing wells of Los Humeros. The petrophysical, thermal and mechanical properties of these plugs are being measured and will be used as calibrations for the measurements done in the outcrop samples. In general, petrophysical and rock mechanical data are needed for processing and interpreting the geophysical data and for parameterizing the geological models.
The metamorphic basement of Los Humeros and Acoculco geothermal system comprises of metamorphosed limestone and granitic intrusions. This project evaluates the potential of Acoculco as a possible Engineered (Enhanced) Geothermal System (EGS). Granite and skarn/marble samples were collected from Las Minas and Pueblo Nuevo Quarry for performing Hydraulic Stimulation experiments in laboratory scale. The samples were cut and polished and hydraulic fracturing experiments were performed on them. Results of the experiments will be reported in September 2018.
The research team is also working on analysing data from more than 50 wells received from CFE. These well data are crucial to understanding the physics of the geothermal system and provides the necessary details to support conceptual geological ideas. The biggest challenge faced by reservoir modelling group is the lack of conceptual understanding of the reservoir. In spite of several years of exploitation, Los Humeros is not yet completely understood due to lack of adequate geophysical measurements. However, the work carried out by the GEMex project, including geological, geochemical and geophysical investigations, might reveal important details towards the end of the project.