Successful transition to a low-carbon global economy will require greater geological insight than before; we must still explore for critical minerals that enable essential technologies, and many low-carbon energy systems rely fundamentally on the subsurface flow of fluids. For example, the world will need greater amounts of lithium and copper, and successful geothermal and CCS projects require deep understanding of water and CO2 reservoir dynamics.
The location of these critical resources and the character of subsurface reservoirs on today’s Earth depend on the geologic processes that shaped the geography and climate of the past. Getech’s Globe™ is an essential knowledge-base that helps decipher geo-history in order to make better decisions today.
Globe™ is a geoscience knowledge-base for ArcGIS that helps you understand Earth’s geological evolution in order to better predict the location of its natural resources. Globe™ documents the evolution of geology and structures, tectonics and climate at a fine spatial and temporal resolution for the last 400 million years.
Traditionally, geoscientists in the petroleum industry relied on Globe™ to understand the paleoenvironmental conditions responsible for creating organic-rich hydrocarbon source rocks, and for the sediment-supply systems responsible for depositing and burying sandstone or carbonate reservoirs and mudstone seals. Those same organic-rich rocks also mediate subsurface redox conditions responsible for sediment-hosted mineralization of critical electrification metals like copper and zinc. The same tectonic and climatic forces that weather and erode mountains to make sandstones are responsible for the exposure and supergene enrichment of porphyry copper deposits and important chemical residua like bauxite, chromium or nickel laterites, and rare-earth enriched clays.
The subsurface distribution of porosity and permeability, also known as “reservoir quality”, is key to determining economic success or failure of hydrocarbon accumulations, and remains of primary importance regardless what type of fluid is flowing. Engineers and geoscientists must still predict the spatial distribution of reservoir quality when extracting geothermal heat, or storing hydrogen, or sequestering carbon dioxide.
Reservoir quality depends completely on the geologic history responsible for the mineralogy, grain size, sedimentary architecture, and burial history of the reservoir. Understanding the reservoir is even more important for hydrogen and CO2, which may actively change the chemistry of the reservoir and promote diagenesis in real time. Forecasting injectivity and storage for hydrogen and carbon over time arguably requires even greater insight into reservoir mineralogy than hydrocarbon production ever did.
The geologic past remains key to the energy future: Globe™ helps unlock the puzzle.
Posted by Bill Heins, Chief Geoscientist.