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Evaluation of The Geothermal Potential In North Eastern Morocco
ONHYM as a state owned institution is very involved in the development of geothermal energy in Morocco. Since 2012, ONHYM has conducted various projects on the evaluation of geothermal potential in the country. An overall synthesis was conducted pertaining to the compilation of all existing geoscience data. This allowed defining two large areas with relative high potential: North Eastern part of the country and the Atlantic margin in the South. In North Eastern Morocco, surface geothermal activity has been reported in the first decade of last century, and various aspects have been studied and reported. This paper exhibits results summary of the project titled "Study of the Geothermal Potential in North Eastern Morocco" and launched by the ONHYM (National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines). The overall objective of the project is to identify and evaluate the geothermal potential in North-Eastern Morocco. This part of the country is characterized by recent widespread volcanic activity (14.6 – 0.3 Ma), a thin crust, geothermal gradient and heat flux that exceeds respectively 40 °C/km and 110 mW/m2. As part of this project, ONHYM conducted an exploration campaign and carried out a comprehensive surface exploration program comprised of detailed geology, geochemistry surveys of the surficial index and deep boreholes. The results of this program allowed identifying and selecting five areas with potential geothermal resources. A road map was proposed to develop this energy in the next coming years for direct use as well as for electricity production using a binary system. The road map provides pilot projects in geothermal direct use and power generation in accordance with the new mining law that integrated in 2015, geothermal exploration and exploitation licenses.