Problems at drillhole RN-17 at Reykjanes
Drillhole RN-17 at Reykjanes has been the prime candidate for deep drilling by the IDDP. However a flow test of this well in November 2005 was cut short when it became plugged by rock debris and last week attempts to clean and condition this drillhole failed. A caliper log revealed that there has been extensive caving. We therefore reluctantly conclude that drillhole RN-17 is no longer a candidate for deep drilling by the IDDP. We must therefore now consider alternative “wells of opportunity” at the Reykjanes geothermal field for deepening.
In December 2003, Hitaveita Sudurnesja Ltd (HS) offered one in a series of several production wells they planned to drill as a candidate for deepening by the IDDP, once its production characteristics had been evaluated. HS intended to release this drillhole, or another well of opportunity, to IDDP for deepening, provided enough steam for a 100 MW power plant had been secured before mid-year 2006.
In February 2005 RN-17 was completed to 3.1 km depth, the deepest drillhole in the field, and was then the prime candidate for deepening by the IDDP. Accordingly all daily reports and well reports were written in English and, following the ICDP protocol, made available at the ICDP website, as well as on the ISOR website. ICDP agreed to finance a spot core in this well. However, by the time funding became available RN_17 had already been completed and so the core was collected from the bottom of well RN-19, another “well of opportunity” that was being drilled at that time. In 2005 the IDDP distributed samples of drill cuttings from RN-17 and core from RN-19, for study by the international science team. At the moment several groups in Italy, France, Germany, USA, Russia and Iceland are studying this material as well as drill cutting samples from other wells at the Reykjanes geothermal field. Other teams were waiting for fluid samples from the flow test of RN-17 of last November that ended abruptly due to collapse of the formation, as mentioned above.
Losing RN-17 as a candidate for IDDP deepening is most unfortunate for both Hitaveita Sudurnesja Ltd and the IDDP, while the severe financial loss has all been borne by the HS. However the IDDP will continue as other wells of opportunity are available. At the moment HS and IDDP are discussing and evaluating which of the other wells at Reykjanes can be considered for deepening. Wells RN-16, RN-19 and RN-20 are being evaluated in this respect. IDDP Deep Vision and the PI’s will make a new announcement on this matter once it is finalized.