AltaRock Energy joins partnership with drilling firm

Well at the Newberry project site in Oregon (source: AltaRock Energy)
Alexander Richter 16 Dec 2014

AltaRock Energy partners with ON Energy on drilling services, where AltaRock's Stimulation Services will contribute stimulation technology to the drilling services of ON Energy in the U.S.

AltaRock Energy and ON Energy announced today a partnership to further the commercialization of enhanced geothermal energy as a new source of electric power.  The companies have entered into a partnership that will provide advanced tools for geothermal developers, through a joint venture.

According to the agreement, AltaRock’s Stimulation Services LLC business unit will contribute stimulation technology and ON Energy, the exclusive U.S. drilling services partner of Hanjin D&B, will provide deep drilling services. By combining technical resources, the companies aim to take a leadership position in the commercialization of products for deep geothermal reservoirs.

“ON Energy has demonstrated excellence in bringing down the cost of hard rock drilling and we see this as the critical next step in deploying geothermal power at a scale that can displace coal,” said Aaron Mandell, Chief Executive Officer at AltaRock Energy. This agreement is established on the heels of a successful demonstration in the city of Gwangju, South Korea. Utilizing a novel “water hammer” drilling machine, Hanjin D&B,
the Korean manufacturing partner for ON Energy, achieved a depth of over 12,000 feet, at up to ten times the drilling speed of conventional drilling and as much as 50% lower cost. The water hammer is tailored for hard rock and can handle a wide variety of geologic conditions.

“We are proud to partner with AltaRock. Using the water hammer technology we will be able to introduce and deliver a first of a kind drilling technology for the U.S. geothermal industry that can significantly reduce cost,” said Daniel Lee, Chief Executive Officer at ON Energy.

“By integrating geothermal stimulations and deep drilling into a single offering we will be able to provide a new cost structure for geothermal development. Our goal is to reduce the overall risk of exploration by reducing the cost of constructing a reservoir”, said Aaron Mandell.

Cost reductions in the geothermal industry will be realized by reducing both the cost of drilling, as well as increasing the success rate. When used in conjunction with deep drilling, stimulations improve the natural rock permeability and increase the productivity of injection and production wells. AltaRock and ON Energy have planned to collaborate on an integrated demonstration in 2015 at the Newberry Volcano EGS project in
Deschutes County, Oregon.

Source: Company release (pdf)