Managing Geothermal Exploration Risk

How To Decrease Geothermal Risk?


Exploration programs are usually developed in 3 steps: reconnaissancepre-feasibility and feasibility.

The size and budget of the exploration program should be proportional to the following characteristics:


  • Exploration objectives

  • Importance of the resources you expect to find

  • Planned utilization of the resource


Understandably, any reduction in the number or size of the program(s) will lead to a decrease in costs; however, it will also lead to a corresponding increase in risk of error or failure. On the other hand, decreasing exploration risk can increase the overall project cost.  The economic success of a geothermal exploration program centers on finding the right balance between cost and risk.  In order to minimize costs while effectively managing risk, it is essential that geophysicists work in close collaboration with geologists to carefully select the most appropriate geophysical method(s.)


In geothermal development, reservoir assessment and test drilling account for a large majority of the financial risk.  High quality, accurate geophysical surveys are an effective way to reduce overall drilling risk and increase the likelihood of drilling success. Quantec helps geothermal companies to prioritise drilling operations, making it easier to determine the viability of a potential geothermal resource.


Geothermal Handbook: Project Cost and Risk Profile


A More Comprehensive Exploration Solution


Quantec’s exploration approach offers the greatest possible value by providing the technical capability to maximize the effectiveness of your geothermal project. Our combination of ground geophysical exploration methods, global exploration experience and client success stories provide our geothermal clients with risk-minimizing exploration tools for economically and effectively investigating geothermal resources.  Quantec’s exploration processes and technologies are designed to help our clients build an increasingly accurate picture of geothermal resources while assisting with the planning of drilling and production wells to ensure the highest probability of locating commercially-viable reservoirs.


Gravity, Magnetics, TEM


Gravity and magnetic surveys are useful for determining broad structural or deep basement information; however, the results are typically insufficient on their own for geothermal exploration purposes.  When used in conjunction with MT methods, gravity and magnetics help to create a more comprehensive and enhanced solution for geothermal exploration.  These combined geophysical techniques make it possible for shallow and deep conductors to be accurately imaged and thus more accurate geothermal models developed.

At the interpretation stage, ambiguity arising from the results of one method is often eliminated by considering the results of complimentary survey methods.  Overall, a more reliable and complete model can be developed when methods are used in combination.  Furthermore, the integration of geophysical, geological and geochemical data is vital to the success of geothermal exploration programs.

To more effectively target your resources and make the most of your exploration budget, Quantec’s custom geophysical surveys consider property location, as well as seasonal and budgetary constraints.