AGU poster available on .pdf format (423 kb)
Reykjavik Energy, at its board meeting yesterday, formally approved the IDDP funding request of up to 300 Mkr for deepening an IDDP well at Reykjanes, first to 4 km in 2006 and the 5 km in 2007, and to participate in the flow tests in the following two year as requested. At the current exchange rate (61.55 kr/USD) this equals about 4.9 M USD. Now all parties concerned have approved IDDP’s request for similar funds, i.e. Hitaveita Sudurnesja, Landsvirkjun, the Government of Iceland, Orkuveita Reykjavíkur, and ICDP together with the US NSF.
This is a major milestone as funding for the drilling of first IDDP drillhole is now secured. We still expect to seek additional international funding to participate in the elaborate flow test planned for 2008-2009, roughly yet another 4.9 M USD according to our current plan for the flow test as outlined in the feasibility report, which is a technical challenge. That plan however is likely to be re-evaluated as we move along.
The immediate next step is to continue preparing for the drilling to 4 km next year. We need to address the IDDP candidate wells available at Reykjanes and the science program, and to continue selecting and to order appropriate casing material and wellheads. Now we can really get down to addressing the scientific program, secure in the knowledge that it will go forward, and in a reasonable time frame. No matter what is found, the results are going to be significant and exciting for all of us who are interested in the roots of hydrothermal systems.
For those interested in samples from the Reykjanes wells we refer to the August 12th news.
The Government of Iceland decided at its meeting on 30th August 2005, to participate significantly in funding the IDDP drilling and flow testing in 2006-2009.
This is a major step forward in our search for domestic and international funds for IDDP.
The RN-17 well report is now available under Daily Report on the ICDP website. The report is 198 p. long including appendices. The well RN-17 was drilled and funded by Hitaveita Sudurnesja (HS) as one of many production wells at Reykjanes. RN-17 is a prime candidate as a well of opportunity for deepening in 2006 and 2007 by IDDP. The HS energy company will need to release the candidate well officially to IDDP prior to a final decision on deepening. At present IDDP expects to receive funds for deeping from multiple sources. The funding issue should be clarified soon.
The well RN-17 was completed as a 12 ¼ inch barefoot drillhole, 3082 m deep, cased by cemented 13 3/8 inch steel casing to almost 900 m depth. Upon IDDP deepening, a 9 5/8 inch casing will first be inserted and cemented before deepening with a 8 ½ inch drill bit to 4 km depth. Frequent spot coring is planned in that depth interval, funded by ICDP and the US National Science Foundation. Later in 2007 it is proposed to continuously core this well down to 5 km depth.
Scientists involved in IDDP research can now make a formal request for samples of the drill cuttings available from well RN-17. Such sample requests should be made before November 1st, 2005. Conventional drill cutting samples (125 ml containers) were collected at 2 m intervals. Additional large cutting samples (1000 ml containers) were collected at 50 m intervals. A 2.7 m long dolerite spot core from a neighbouring well, RN-19, was also obtained. See the RN-17 well report for details.
Please note we have begun distributing daily information and data from well RN-17 through the ICDP network, see: here
Drilling of the production part of RN-17, from 900 m downwards with 12 ¼ inch drillbit, will begin later this week.
The RN-17 well is one of the candidate wells for IDDP deepening to 5 km.
Phase 1 of the IDDP well will be rotary drilled to a depth of 2.7 km at Reykjanes, beginning in November 2004, and lasting about 50 days, funded by Hitaveita Sudurnesja, an Icelandic the energy company. After the well heats up it will be flow tested in 2005. Geological, and geochemical sampling and geophysical logging will be carried out by ISOR, as for a conventional Icelandic geothermal well. The ICDP in Potsdam will provide funds to obtain 2 or 3 spot cores from the bottom of this drillhole. This will mark the beginning of our international scientific effort in the IDDP.
Phase 2. Because of the realities of the funding situation and environmental considerations that restrict drilling during the spring and early summer (May-July), the nesting season of Arctic Terns, deepening the well will be phased over the years 2006 and 2007. In Phase 2, we propose to case the well to 2700 m and then to deepen it from 2.7 to 4.0 km. To reduce costs this will be done by rotary drilling instead of continuous coring that was originally proposed. We anticipate that the Icelandic energy companies, and the Icelandic Government (IS) will fund the basic rotary drilling costs of Phase 2 and that ICDP will provide funds to obtain several spot cores during Phase 2 drilling. We will also propose that the National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF) at least matches the ICDP funding so that we can at least double the amount of spot coring in Phase 2. A second flow test will be carried out in 2007.
Phase 3. Based on the expected thermal gradient temperatures at 4.0 km should approach 400°C, so that for salinities like that of seawater, we will have to drill deeper in order to approach supercritical conditions. Phase 3, of the IDDP, will drill from 4.0 to 5.0 km in 2007 or 2008. Because of the extreme scientific interest in such high-temperature hydrothermal conditions we propose to continuously core that interval using a hybrid coring system. We anticipate funding this partly from ICDP and from proposals to the NSF and other funding agencies such as the IODP, other science funding agencies, and energy companies.
Phase 4 will begin in 2008-2009 and consist of a third flow test of the 5.0 km borehole and pilot plant studies. Funding for Phase 4 will be sought from the European Commission (EC) – Framework Program 7 (FP7), from energy companies, and from other potential funding sources.
Scientist interested in participating in the IDDP should email a brief statement of their interest to email@example.com as soon as possible.