Geothermal Development in Colombia, South America

Exploring resources and conducting feasibility studies to improve geothermal development.

2012 - Present
Manizales, Colombia
Dewhurst Group

RESPEC has completed resource exploration and feasibility studies under the Dewhurst Group at the Nevado Del Ruíz geothermal development project in Colombia, South America. This project was completed for Empresas Públicas de Medellín E.S.P. Phase 1 included evaluating the legacy data, performing magnetotelluric surveys, and conducting preliminary 3D conceptual modeling. A cutting-edge physical model of the exploration area was generated by using 3D printing technology. This required integrating surficial and bedrock geological mapping, magnetic and gravity surveys, magnetotelluric soundings well and core data, structural measurements, and stress field interpolation. A 3D framework was created that represented a system of complex faulting forming an asymmetric graben by north- and south- dipping normal faults, both planar and listric. Exploration well targeting and a volumetric resource model were generated from the 3D framework. A physical 3D print of the conceptual model was made for the client for public communication and knowledge transfer.

Phase 2, funded by the United States Trade and Development Association for Nereidas Valley, was completed in 2015 and included targeted magnetic and gravity surveys, structural geology mapping, infrastructure evaluation, and detailed 3D reservoir conceptual modeling for exploration well targeting. RESPEC performed 3D conceptual modeling, exploration well targeting, resource assessment, and data collection services. RESPEC also set up multiple meteorological stations and a stream gauge station to characterize site hydrology and conducted a fiber-optic, distributed temperature survey to characterize the interaction between surface water and groundwater across the exploration site. Analyzing the meteorological data, stream flow, and temperature showed a strong reservoir pressure response to precipitation.

The Latin America Geothermal Development Fund (LAGDF) is the first multi-donor climate initiative to promote geothermal energy in Latin America. The objective of the LAGDF is to encourage public and/or private investment in geothermal power development in Latin America. The fund provides for geoscientific surface studies that will determine the optimal location of reservoir confirmation wells at the most promising geothermal prospects. Drilling and testing these wells will assist developers in securing financing for subsequent development phases. RESPEC is part of the fund-management technical evaluation board under the Dewhurst Group and is tasked with evaluating project data, resource assessment, reservoir engineering, and exploration well targeting.

1. Preliminary Reconnaissance and Surface Exploration
3. Feasibility Study