Mar 18, 2011

Geothermal drilling at half the time and half the cost?

HTML clipboard BIgGav The Climate Spectator has an article on a company looking to make geothermal drilling a lot cheaper - Deeper, faster, cheaper.
The transformation of Australian industry into a low-carbon economy is often said to depend on the development of smart and high technology, but some of the country's most prospective clean energy resources could be unlocked by some good old-fashioned mining know-how.

Drilling for geothermal wells can cost $15 to $20 million...The GT3000 is the brainchild of Coretrack director Warren Strange, who in between coming to grief in Dakar rallies on his motorbike, built up a large drilling business before selling out to Brandrill for an estimated $26 million. He kept one subsidiary, Globedrill, and an idea to build the fastest, most compact and manoeuvrable, most affordable deep drilling rig in the world, and one designed specifically for the geothermal industry.

Coretrack says the GT 3000 has been achieving hard rock penetration rates of more than 30 metres an hour, many times faster than the existing platform-based drill rigs. It has used just a three-man crew and consumed only 14.6 litres of diesel per hour, compared to as much as 600 litres per hour used in competing oil and gas rigs.

The Salamander 1 well drilled by Panax Geothermal in South Australia in 2010 reached a depth of 4025 metres after 42 days and at a cost of $15 million. That equates to an average drill rate of 95 metres a day at a cost of $3,750 per metre.

It says the GT3000 could have done the same job in half the time and half the cost.