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Establishing major permeability controls in the Mak-Ban geothermal field, Philippines

December 31, 2008

Recent updating of the conceptual model of the Mak-Ban (Bulalo) geothermal field verified both structural and stratigraphic controls on permeability and connectivity in the reservoir. Two silicic units within the predominantly andesitic production zone were identified from borehole logs, core and drill cuttings. Whole rock chemical data and petrographic analysis confirmed two rhyolite units that consist of partially welded ash-flow tuffs and lava with primary devitrification and vapor-phase alteration textures typical of subaerial rhyolites. U/Pb dating of zircons from the units showed two distinct episodes of silicic volcanism at 352 ± 16 ka and 501 ± 12 ka, respectively. A recent drilling campaign allowed the running of more gamma ray (GR) in tandem with PTS logs. The logs validated the presence of two units with high GR response generally coinciding with permeable zones just below the interpreted top of the reservoir.

Naphthalene disulfonate tracer testing defined a predominantly fault-controlled flow path of fluids from the edges of the field into the central production area. Fifteen to 25% of injected tracers were recovered in production wells over a five-year monitoring period. Peak arrival of tracer returns indicated average speeds between 0.1 to 1.3 m/hr, allowing for sufficient time for the fluids to heat up prior to re-emergence in production wells. Although faults are known to be important pathways in most geothermal reservoirs, the identification of specific structures with high connectivities in Mak-Ban provide an important insight on fluid migration from peripheral areas. This information is critical in preparing a reservoir management strategy for addressing the entry of cool marginal recharge into the center of the field.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title Establishing major permeability controls in the Mak-Ban geothermal field, Philippines
Authors Ronald O. Vicedo, James Stimac, Vilma T. Capuno, Jacob B. Lowenstern
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geothermal Resources Council Transactions
Index ID 70237334
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center

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