Project Info

Geothermal energy production from deep reservoirs for electricity generation

Luis Zerpa

Project Goals and Description:

This projects evaluates requirements of geothermal energy production for electricity generation, targeting production of hot fluids from deep reservoirs. The project will be divided in two parts: i) literature review of current field cases, ii) numerical modeling of prospective geothermal fields. Geothermal energy is a natural resource that is considered renewable. However, geothermal energy is contributing only 2% to the current U.S. renewable electricity generation. Petroleum engineering disciplines are well posed to make significant contributions in the development of geothermal energy production for electricity generation by translating technologies used for production of oil and gas to geothermal fields.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Not applicable.
  • S. Rocha, L.E. Zerpa. “Evaluation of closed-loop geothermal heat extraction concepts using reservoir simulation,” GRC Transactions, Vol. 45, San Diego, CA, USA (2021).
  • M. Zhou, J.K. Cho, L.E. Zerpa, C. Augustine. “Optimization of well configuration for a sedimentary enhanced geothermal reservoir,” GRC Transactions Volume 40, October 23-26, 2016, Sacramento, California, USA. [Link]
  • L.E. Zerpa, J.K. Cho, C. Augustine. “Assessing the Effect of Realistic Reservoir Features on the Performance of Sedimentary Geothermal Systems,” GRC Transactions Volume 39, September 20-23, 2015, Reno, Nevada, USA. [Link]

Primary Contacts:

Luis Zerpa, | Ali Nassereddine,

Student Preparation


Current student at Mines, preferable in the Petroleum Engineering Department.


5 hours per week.


  • Synthesize information from technical literature.
  • Numerical modeling of geothermal reservoirs.


We will held weekly individual meetings to provide guidance and work on analysis of results. The student will have opportunities to practice oral presentations on research group meetings and receive feedback from members of the group.


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