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Open AccessArticle

Barite Scale Formation and Injectivity Loss Models for Geothermal Systems

1
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2
Institute of Geosciences, University of Potsdam, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
3
Landesamt für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Geologie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 18273 Güstrow, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3078; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113078
Received: 1 October 2020 / Revised: 25 October 2020 / Accepted: 28 October 2020 / Published: 3 November 2020
Barite scales in geothermal installations are a highly unwanted effect of circulating deep saline fluids. They build up in the reservoir if supersaturated fluids are re-injected, leading to irreversible loss of injectivity. A model is presented for calculating the total expected barite precipitation. To determine the related injectivity decline over time, the spatial precipitation distribution in the subsurface near the injection well is assessed by modelling barite growth kinetics in a radially diverging Darcy flow domain. Flow and reservoir properties as well as fluid chemistry are chosen to represent reservoirs subject to geothermal exploration located in the North German Basin (NGB) and the Upper Rhine Graben (URG) in Germany. Fluids encountered at similar depths are hotter in the URG, while they are more saline in the NGB. The associated scaling amount normalised to flow rate is similar for both regions. The predicted injectivity decline after 10 years, on the other hand, is far greater for the NGB (64%) compared to the URG (24%), due to the temperature- and salinity-dependent precipitation rate. The systems in the NGB are at higher risk. Finally, a lightweight score is developed for approximating the injectivity loss using the Damköhler number, flow rate and total barite scaling potential. This formula can be easily applied to geothermal installations without running complex reactive transport simulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: reactive transport; radial flow; geothermal energy; scaling; phreeqc; formation damage reactive transport; radial flow; geothermal energy; scaling; phreeqc; formation damage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tranter, M.; De Lucia, M.; Wolfgramm, M.; Kühn, M. Barite Scale Formation and Injectivity Loss Models for Geothermal Systems. Water 2020, 12, 3078. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113078

AMA Style

Tranter M, De Lucia M, Wolfgramm M, Kühn M. Barite Scale Formation and Injectivity Loss Models for Geothermal Systems. Water. 2020; 12(11):3078. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113078

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tranter, Morgan; De Lucia, Marco; Wolfgramm, Markus; Kühn, Michael. 2020. "Barite Scale Formation and Injectivity Loss Models for Geothermal Systems" Water 12, no. 11: 3078. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113078

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