Preliminary geothermal exploration study in the ifal basin (Tertiary), Western Arabian Peninsula

Indra Arifianto, Paul Martin Mai, V. C. Vahrenkamp

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


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has bold plans to diversify its energy mix, as spelled out in the Saudi 2030 vision. One of the energy diversification targets is geothermal energy, particularly in context of low to medium enthalpy energy for space heating/cooling, and water desalination applications. Areas with low-to-medium enthalpy geothermal potential in the Kingdom are stretched along the western Arabian peninsula, a region considered to have higher geothermal gradient than the eastern side. In the early stage of a geothermal exploration study, subsurface data are essential for a first-order analysis of the thermal potential of the basin. Due to limited availability of subsurface data, especially seismic data and well data, we utilize open satellite gravity data in the Ifal Basin, one of the promising areas located in north-west Saudi Arabia and site for one of the Kingdom's giga-projects, NEOM. We estimate temperature profiles based on gravity modelling informed by published stratigraphic data. The results indicate a geothermal gradient of 30oC/km to 35oC/km in the Ifal Basin. The temperature may reach 100oC at the basement high, and more than 200oC at the basin depocentre.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFirst EAGE Workshop on Geothermal Energy and Hydro Power in Africa
PublisherEuropean Association of Geoscientists & Engineers
ISBN (Print)9789462823747
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-05-12


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