Subsurface Characterization for Evaluating Geothermal Resource Potential from Existing Oil and Gas Wells in Tuttle, Oklahoma: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Oil and gas (O&G) wells often encounter co-produced hot water, possibly suitable for geothermal direct-use applications. The City of Tuttle is located on the eastern part of the Anadarko sedimentary basin in Oklahoma with high heat-in-place potential and recovery capability at depth. This study aims at demonstrating the potential of geothermal energy production for direct-use applications in two public schools and 250 nearby houses in Tuttle via repurposing existing O&G wells. In this scope, geochemistry, geology, and borehole log data were collected and incorporated into a 3D conceptual subsurface model. A digital elevation model (DEM) was used to represent the study area topography with four O&G wells. In addition, hydrogeochemical characteristics of the geothermal fluid and scaling potential were analyzed using ternary diagrams and chemical ratios to develop mixing models. The subsurface geology model indicated that the study area primarily consists of Permian to Mississippian Sandstone and Limestone formations, implying a porosity ranging between 12% and 22%, and a permeability up to 3.90E-14 m2 in certain reservoir levels. The reservoir temperature is expected to be ranging between 80 degrees C to 95 degrees C around 3 km depth with an average temperature gradient of 22.8 degrees C/km. Chemical geothermometers also estimated the reservoir temperature as 90 degrees C. Findings of the chemical model demonstrated that the geothermal fluid is Sodium-Potassium-Chloride-Sulfate type and possibly mixed with shallow groundwater resulting in higher Ca and Mg concentrations and lower Na/K ratio implying lower calcite scaling. These results comprehensively characterize the potential of geothermal resources in the study area and imply that geothermal energy production by repurposing existing O&G wells is suitable for low-temperature direct-use applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 Geothermal Rising Conference - Reno, Nevada
Duration: 1 Oct 20234 Oct 2023


Conference2023 Geothermal Rising Conference
CityReno, Nevada

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5700-88751 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-86947


  • geothermal energy
  • geothermal resource assessment
  • geothermometer
  • hydro geochemistry
  • repurposing oil and gas wells
  • subsurface characterization


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