Estevan – After almost a decade, the development of the concept of geothermal power supply, Saskatchewan's Deep Earth Energy Production (DEEP) Corp. eventually piercing its first hole south of Torquay in the eyes of the American border. A successful project will create the first geothermal power plant in Canada.
On Nov. 8, the company, headed by Chief Executive Officer Kirsten Marcia, breaks its pipe and pierce ahead of a full probe next week. Until November 13, the drilling rig was moved and the well was carved on November 14.
This hole will be significant, aiming to be the deepest in Saskatchewan. It will overtake the two Aquistore wells by 100 meters to a total vertical depth of approximately 3,500 meters.
Marcia talks to Pipeline News on November 9th.
DEEP was created in 2010. It has "splendid outbursts," she noted, where they would move a huge distance, then be delayed by funding. But in recent weeks, they have received $ 4 million in new equity funding, allowing the company to begin drilling. They have hired a drilling facility that works nearby, but there will be a window of opportunity.
The well is expected to take 25 days for training, much longer than a typical well in the area. This is partly due to the fact that they plan to place a 200-meter core at the bottom, including cutting the core into the PreCambrian basement, which forms the basis of sediment beds.
"We hope to catch a core in the basement," she said. They strive to reach 20 meters in the basement, as this will provide the necessary depth for the logging tools that follow to scan the entire sedimentary column.
Although Marcia itself was a geologist sitting on wells, DEEP hired John Lake, a prominent Saskatchewan geologist who once engraved the Pipeline News coverage.
This hole will be the first of six, paving the way for three production wells and two injection wells. The wells should be located at a distance of 300 to 500 meters.
This initial well will be slightly smaller in diameter, 7 inches, from right to bottom. The next production wells will have a diameter of 9-5 / 8 inches.
This will cope with the large electric submersible pumps (ESP) that will move with a huge amount of water by pulling it off from Winnipeg and the dead form that make up the last 200 meters of the hole. The Icebox, which covers the Winnipeg formation, acts as a cartoon, as well as in the Aquistore project, approximately 29 kilometers east.
Aquistore injects carbon dioxide from a carbon capture and storage project in a deep saline aquifer up to a depth of 3,400 meters and two kilometers west of the power plant. SaskPower, which has already contributed $ 1 million to the DEEP project, shares data with DEEP that it has received from Aquistore.
Marcia noted that in this case the Icebox acts as heat insulation for its purpose.
This kernel is a pre-test for the resource needed to refine the assumptions, she explained.
Marcia said that's a good "about a mile" of similar depth drilled by Canadian Natural Resources Limited in the 1980s. This well was recorded at a temperature of 95 degrees Celsius but three days later he recorded 126 degrees Celsius.
That's why the area is so attractive and why they break through so deeply. Marcia noted that this is not a volcanic geothermal project, but rather one in the sediment pool. "The deeper you go, the warmer it is," she said, as the heat comes from the center of the earth.
"This is heat extraction, heat is the resource, and water is the environment for moving the resource."
The plan is to break through this first well and then complete it three weeks later to find its real temperature. The pit will run for seven days, using it to model complete production wells. They will also test the injectability of Manvil formation for future injection wells.
By the end of March, testing is expected to be fully reviewed. "If the first well provides enough data to convince a lender of production wells, we're going for it," Marcia said.
Then, after the spring collapse in 2019, the plan is to continue with the production and injection wells by piercing them as "doublets".
Inventory wells, however, will not reach the same depth as the production wells, but rather the much shallower formation of Manville, which is usually used to eject wells in the region. This initial well can also be used as an injection well. This may be necessary to maintain the pressure in the tank.
Each production well will use an ESP that draws one megawatt, approximately 1340 horsepower, into power. The total power output from this project is expected to be 10 megawatts, but taking into account the power consumption of the pumps and the installation, net power will be five megawatts. It will be connected to a substation in Bromhead.
The debt part of the project is the electricity production plant itself.
The ground installation uses the Rankine organic cycle. By using a low boiling working fluid, the hot water drawn from the production wells transfers its heat through a heat exchanger, which causes the working fluid to blink in gas (i.e., boil) and propel the turbine. The cooling tower cools the working fluid back into the liquid phase for reuse. The water is then pumped from the injection wells.
This system is almost identical in concept and scale to what is already being done in the compressor stations of the Alliance pipeline that passes through Saskatchewan. These heat recovery installations were installed in Kerrobert, Loreburn, Estlin and Alameda in 2008 and each produces net five megawatts of energy.
Indeed, the reality that DEEP's geothermal concept uses well-established and already existing technologies – wells for the production and injection of heat-using wells to operate the organic circulatory circulation of the Rankine cycle – makes it somewhat problematic in attracting funding, according to Marcia, There was nothing new , by itself. But this is a new application of this technology in the sediment pool and in particular in the Wissington pool, which makes it unique
The project may double in size, she noted, but at some point it might make more sense to reproduce the project instead of adding it to it. This is scalable and repetitive.
The system will cool the water from 120 ° C to approximately 65 ° C, but this still means that there is a lot of usable heat in it. While its goal is to produce electricity rather than cucumbers, she thinks she may have opportunities on the way to using waste heat for greenhouses or other applications
On top of that, if things are going well after two and a half years, Marcia says there may be power to the grid that can be renewable, with the main power being about 95% of the time. She called it "the most attractive of all renewable sources" and said it could compensate for coal.
Marcia noted that they are using data, technology and processes in the oil fields to create renewable resources, and that without this industry no one will even know that there is a geothermal resource.