Exprodat, the oil and gas GIS services, software and training supplier has provided the Geology Department at Utah State University (College of Science) with licenses of their popular Exploration Analyst and Data Assistant extensions to Esri’s ArcGIS for use in geothermal resource exploration.
These software products were created to assist the petroleum industry with an exploration strategy called “Play Fairway Analysis”. Pioneered by the petroleum industry to integrate data at regional and/or basin scale in order to systematically define and rank exploration targets (plays), Play Fairway Analysis provides greater technical rigor than traditional exploration approaches, and facilitates quantitative risk-based decisions even when data are sparse or incomplete.
John Shervais, Professor of Geology at Utah State University explained more about how the software will help geothermal resource exploration: “Integration and analysis of data is critical if our geothermal Play Fairway Analysis is to be successful. Using Exprodat’s software means we are able to easily and quickly take data from a huge range of sources to build a powerful ArcGIS database and perform geotechnical interpretation.”
The Geology faculty at Utah State University (John Shervais, PI/PD; James Evans, Co-I) has recently received funding from the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technology Office to adapt Play Fairway Analysis to geothermal systems in southern Idaho, an area of known high heat flow.
Additional partners in the project include the Center for Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface (Boise State University), the U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Leidos Inc., and Geoscience Technology & Engineering. The USU team will use a variety of petroleum industry tools to process the raw data, which will then be compiled into ArcGIS, using the data integration tools in Data Assistant and evaluated using Exploration Analyst.
Chris Jepps, Exprodat’s Technical Director said “We’re delighted that Utah State University Geology Department has signed up to the educational use program for our software products. They are one of a number of education establishments who benefit from our petroleum extensions to Esri’s ArcGIS platform, and we look forward to helping support their geothermal exploration activities over the coming years.”
Geothermal energy is the only clean, renewable source that produces 24-hours a day; regardless of cloud cover or wind speed. New techniques that use lower temperature resources have vastly expanded the reach of geothermal energy and driven a new boom in geothermal resource exploration. The US Department of Energy hopes to improve the success rate of these projects, and to foster the discovery of “blind” geothermal resources, which have no obvious surface expression.
For more information on Exprodat’s educational use software licenses, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or for further information on Utah State University’s Geology Department’s geothermal resources projects, contact email@example.com.