​DEEP advances field work for first geothermal power to Saskatchewan grid

DEEP Earth Energy Production Corporation commenced work on the second well for its Saskatchewan geothermal power project in early October, CEO Kirsten Marcia told the SIMSA Oil and Gas Supply Chain Forum on Oct. 3.

The first well was drilled in late 2018 and brought onto production with geothermal brine water on Aug. 25, 2019.

“Now that we’ve done our flow and build-up test, we are back in the field,” Marcia said.

With contractor Panther Drilling, DEEP will re-complete the first well to re-inject produced fluid into the reservoir, she said.

“We’ll be monitoring it with gauges to see how well it responds to re-injection. As soon as that’s complete, we’re drilling our second well.”

The second well will be drilled directionally, unlike the initial well, which was drilled vertically. Together this will create the project’s first geothermal well pair, where the directional well produces while the vertical well injects.

When complete, the $51.3-million project — a first in Canada — is expected to deliver five megawatts of baseload power to the Saskatchewan grid or enough to power approximately 5,000 homes, while reducing GHG emissions.

“We need that second well in place so we can do the long-term loop and refine our engineering and construction plans. But after that, things can move very quickly,” Marcia said.

“The longest-lead item is ordering the Organic Rankine Cycle power generating facility, which can take 12 to 16 months. The rest is infill drilling.

“At this point, we believe we can have power to the grid at the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.”

In January, the Government of Canada announced $25.6 million in funding for the project through Natural Resources Canada’s Emerging Renewable Power Program.

It was the third financial endorsement from Natural Resources Canada, which previously contributed $1 million for a pre-feasibility study and $350,000 for test drilling. Innovation Saskatchewan also contributed $175,000 towards test drilling.

The first facility is planned to be five megawatts, but the future is hopefully much larger, Marcia said.

“Think of a wind farm: 100, 200 megawatts. That’s our vision for this first field in Saskatchewan. We believe it’s not overselling it, but a reasonable starting point.”

— With files from Pipeline News

Image: DEEP Earth Energy Production Corporation

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