The National Geothermal Data System deploys free, open-source online scientific information, a mammoth resource of geoscience data. In the data visualization shown here, Schlumberger utilized bottom hole temperatures from the National Geothermal Data Systems (NDGS) on-line platform to supplement subscription data temperatures used to create basin-wide 3D temperature models in Petrel Exploration and Production software | photo courtesy of Schlumberger

In response to industry demand for better scientific data about the subsurface, an Energy Department Recovery Act initiative has deployed a free, open-source online platform known as the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS). Today, this mammoth resource of geoscience information – 9 million data points and growing – represents critical subsurface information from all 50 states and enough raw data to pinpoint elusive sweet spots of geothermal energy deep in the earth. This best-in-class data collection and usability effort supports the Energy Department’s intention to reduce cost and risks associated with widespread adoption of geothermal energy. A dedicated node on the system – the DOE Geothermal Data Repository – also collects data from all DOE-funded projects in the geothermal sector. 

Already, NGDS’s publicly accessible, free data is providing tangible value to the industry.  For example, Schlumberger, a global industry leader serving the oil & gas sectors, was able to make better drilling decisions because of raw temperature data supplied to the NGDS. Additionally, through NGDS data, Big D Engineering discovered a basin of geothermal brine under much of Hidalgo County, Texas, and is now exploring the feasibility of turning non-potable, brackish geopressured-geothermal water into a valuable commodity for the region: clean drinking water.

Learn more about the National Geothermal Data System.