THE OBSERVATION TODAY

The research effort is currently limited to pilot (or pre-industrial) projects, particularly in the field of geosciences. The approach is based on an empirical vision of the geological phenomena that determine the existence or not of a deep geothermal system.
As in all phases of exploration, the integration of new concepts and new technologies from scientific research is an essential vector of success, as oil exploration has shown for more than 60 years. The technological levers exist, and the methods for implementing and optimizing exploration programs (target selection, geophysical data acquisition, drilling) as well as knowledge have significant room for improvement compared to what has been undertaken by other industries.

THE CONTEXT OF R&D PROJECTS

The field concerned is primarily that of geosciences. The R&D approach is in fact very similar to that of the oil industry. Developing new technologies, integrating new knowledge to limit risks and therefore investments: first at the stage of studies, then of methodologies to be implemented and finally of innovative technologies to be developed.

UNCERTAINTIES

The criteria for selecting potential deep geothermal sites are not yet clearly established. The first-order geological parameters that govern their existence (origin and potential of heat flows, nature of the bedrock and hydrothermal potential) are poorly known and do not allow today to define the potential zones (drilling sites) with a sufficient level of risk.
As in the oil industry, these criteria are the discriminating parameters: identifying zones with high heat production, having the best image of the subsurface to pilot drilling, modeling deep structures to test and minimize risks (fracturing, induced seismicity), characterizing the host rock (level of fracturing of granitic or sedimentary bedrock), understanding the geological precursors on the surface (hydrothermal phenomena).

The principle in R&D

+  to develop and carry out R&D work for ourselves, the results of which will benefit our clients

+ to develop scientific partnerships with the academic world involved in deep geothermal themes (data acquisition, knowledge of bedrock, numerical modelling, imaging, mineral geochemistry, thermomechanics, etc.) and to bring together the interests of each party in the R&D process

The R&D approach

+ setting up R&D programs whose objectives are both to develop and validate new concepts in geosciences

+ develop and implement emerging technologies in digital geology, geophysics and drilling methods

WHY PARTICIPATE AND FUND R&D PROGRAMS?

THE EXPECTATIONS

The expected responses will allow the selection of the best sites and the use of the most relevant (least expensive) tools for the field data acquisition phases.

THE PRINCIPLE

Use external expertise, enhance existing scientific data, optimize study costs.

FINANCIAL INTEREST

The return on investment is positive since it contributes to optimize the investment of the exploration phases by limiting the geological risks.

WHAT ARE THE MODALITIES OF SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION?

The cooperation is based on contracts or research agreements with European institutes or university laboratories that have recognized expertise in the various fields of our activity.
The contract is established on an exclusive basis for a limited period and has a strict confidentiality clause.
The results and new data are shared between the cooperating parties (the company and the university) and valorized since they contribute to improve the knowledge and expertise of TLS Geothermics as a consulting firm. The results in technological innovation can be valorized on the market (patents).

RESEARCH AREAS

The stakes are both to understand the geological parameters that contribute to a better characterization of the sites, and to image them as well as possible in order to determine the location of the drillings, thus allowing the optimization of the acquisition programs.

The development of the R&D program is based on 2 axes: on the one hand, knowledge R&D which must allow us to improve our concepts and better define the criteria for the choice of potential targets; on the other hand, methodological R&D focused primarily on technological innovation.

Four main areas of technological research are recommended: imaging of deep geothermal reservoirs using passive geophysical acquisition techniques, the study of geological processes, their 3D numerical modeling in a static and dynamic manner, and the analysis of heat production mechanisms.

SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS

The networks are those that the associates of TLS Geothermics have developed and retained for many years in the multiple and diverse fields of their activities. These researchers or specialized laboratories, especially in France, are internationally recognized (publications) and are particularly well known in the fields of excellence of geology and geophysics: tectonics and petrology of the basement, continental volcanism, mineral geochemistry and hydrothermal phenomena, passive geophysics and modeling, 3D geological and tomographic modeling, etc.