Evolution of a Geological Model for Co-Producing Electricity at the Blackburn Oil Field, Nevada: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Oil fields characterized by significant proportions of hot water in the reservoir offer a unique opportunity for geothermal energy co-production and utilization. Development of an accurate geological model is essential in understanding the subsurface. However, this is a challenge at the preliminary stages of resource assessment when data on the subsurface parameters and subterranean fault network is scarce. Our focus in this paper is to explore a methodology for developing an accurate conceptual geological model of the complexly faulted reservoir at the Blackburn Field, Nevada, to create a numerical simulation that will eventually be used to assess the potential of co-producing electricity. There are four steps to the evolution of this model: (1) collection of public data and research on the geological setting of the system; (2) digitization of seismic time-interpretation and cross-sections to create the most representative model of the subsurface; and (3) creation of a natural-state numerical model to simulate the thermal gradient through the subsurface. Utilizing publicly available data of the geological system and Leapfrog conceptual modeling software, we refined a preliminary model to be more representative of the subsurface geology of an active geothermal exploration stage project. The conceptual geological model developed has been imported into VOLSUNG reservoir modeling software to create a natural-state model, further characterizing the Blackburn Field reservoir's thermal gradient. In the future, new seismic data will be utilized to further evolve the conceptual geological model for numerical simulations.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2024
EventStanford Geothermal Workshop - Palo Alto, California
Duration: 12 Feb 202414 Feb 2024


ConferenceStanford Geothermal Workshop
CityPalo Alto, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-88526


  • Basin and Range province
  • Devonian reservoir
  • fault system
  • geological model
  • reservoir simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of a Geological Model for Co-Producing Electricity at the Blackburn Oil Field, Nevada: Preprint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this