Studying Affecting Factors in Geothermal Energy Production from Depleted Oil Fields of Onshore Sarawak, Malaysia

M. Bataee, S. W. J. Tan, R. Ashena, R. Carter, Z. Bennour, Z. Hamdi, A. Rostamian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The main focus of this project was to study the feasibility of extracting geothermal energy from existing onshore oil fields located in the Baram basin, in northern Sarawak, Malaysia. This basin has a rich history of over 110 years of oil and gas exploration and production. The idea of repurposing depleted hydrocarbon fields for geothermal energy production is more interesting than conventional geothermal cases is owing to elimination of huge drilling and completion costs. Geothermal energy is clean, continuous, reliable, has low carbon emissions, requires minimal land use, and has lower material costs compared to other renewable sources. Additionally, it has minimal reliance on critical minerals. Recent published data demonstrate that the global levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) for geothermal is competitive with other forms of renewables at around US$100 / MWh. At the time of writing, there are no operational geothermal power plants in Malaysia, but plans are in place to investigate its potential further in Sabah and West Malaysia after 2025. Our study utilized simulation methods to calculate enthalpy production under certain assumptions. Numerical simulation modeling was conducted to perform sensitivity analysis on selected parameters, aiming to understand the effect of subsurface uncertainties on the range of geothermal energy production. These parameters include permeability, porosity, rock thermal conductivity, rock heat capacity, injection flow rate, injection temperature, and well spacing. The value of each parameter was calibrated based on existing published literature, and they were varied from maximum to minimum values against a base case scenario. The sensitivity analysis demonstrated that well spacing was the most significant parameter affecting the amount of geothermal energy production for the selected realizations and scenarios, which were based on analogue studies of the Baram Basin fields.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOffshore Technology Conference Brasil 2023
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781959025023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023
Event2023 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 24 Oct 202326 Oct 2023


Conference2023 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil
Abbreviated titleOTCB 2023
CityRio de Janeiro


  • analogue data
  • Baram Basin
  • geothermal energy
  • reservoir simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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