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Directional drilling to kick off Geretsried geothermal project in Germany again

Drilling rig on project site of Geretsried, Bavaria/ Germany (source: Enex)
Alexander Richter 9 May 2017

The geothermal power project at Geretsried in Bavaria/ Germany is to kick off again with a planned directional drilling campaign in the hope to make an initial dry well productive.

Three years ago, the geothermal project in Geretstried in Bavaria, Germany found an unfortunate end. Dr. Robert Straubinger of Enex Power Germany described the drilling as “outstanding” yet dry, with insufficient water output. The project had spent around EUR 35 million ($39 million) by that point.  “We had chosen a wrong destination at that time,” the managing director explained.

The company followed up with a through analysis and further studies by specialists. Enex succeeded in gaining support for the project by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology both financially and scientifically. In December last year, the company conducted additional soil measurements with geophones, and the drilling path was changed once again at the beginning of the year.

According to Andreas Gahr, the Managing Director of Enex, the company intends to drill a deviated well, utilising the existing borehole, but the drilling path will have to be deviated at a depth of 4,000 meter and not as originally planned at 2,600 meters. The goal is to reach a the dolomite cliff zones at a depth of 4,800 meters.  “We hope for more than 60 liters of water the second, which is at least 150 degrees Celsius hot,” said Gahr.

Drilling company Daldrup & Söhne wants to reach the water-bearing layer in six to eight weeks and then begin the first pumping tests. If they are positive, the path is clear for reinjection drilling. There, the extracted water is later returned to the earth. Daldrup’s Managing Board Andreas Tönies is confident: “The probability of success is 90 percent.”

The drilling company actually made it possible to start a second approach of drilling in Gelting. Daldrup uses a self-developed integrated insurance model to hedge the risk of exploration. This made the project interesting again for investors. Aside from the Hörmann Group, the fund company Auctus – the latter as a majority shareholder – is now participating. Above all the Hörmann family thanked Enex CEO Straubinger: “Thank you for believing in the project to this day.”

The drilling for these two wells is expected to cost nearly EUR 20 million ($22 million). With a power plant to be built on site in the future, the overall investment is expected to be around EUR 50-60 million ($55-66 million) over the next years.

Source: Merkur