Interpretation of production data from the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Baja California, Mexico.
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The Cerro Prieto geothermal field, located about 35 km south of the U. S. -Mexican border, has been producing electrical power from a large underlying geothermal reservoir since March 1973. In April 1979, a total of 26 wells supplied steam to produce 150 MW of electric power. Presently, the field is producing about 180 MWe, including 30 MWe produced by a secondary flash system. An areal distribution of heat and mass production in the Cerro Prieto field has been presented for two different times to determine the initial state of the alpha and beta aquifers and the behavior of the field under production. Production from most wells declined over the years, possibly due to scaling in the wellbore, reduced recharge to the aquifer, high resistance to flow, etc. In most wells fluid enthalpies declined over the years, perhaps due to mixing with colder waters. If a two-phase region surrounding a well is intercepted by other neighboring wells, its pressure and saturation temperature decline, resulting in increased fluid enthalpy. Based on this study, flow barriers have been established between production wells.
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