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Panax Geothermal to collaborate with University of Melbourne on Penola Project

Panax Geothermal's Salamander-1 well at Penola, Australia (source: Panax)
Alexander Richter 20 Feb 2012

Australian developer Panax Geothermal engages in a strategic partnership with the University of Melbourne on collaborating on research around the company's geothermal well Salamander-1 at its Penola project in South Australia.

Reported this morning by Panax Geothermal Limited, the company announced “it has secured a new strategic partnership to help deliver a long-term commercial solution for its Penola Geothermal Project in South Australia.

Panax has signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate with the University of Melbourne, which will allow the university access in and around Panax’s deep geothermal well, Salamander-1, near Penola in South Australia’s southeast.

The Salamander-1 well was completed to a depth of 4,025 metres in March 2010 and the first steam was produced in June 2010. Salamander-1 was the first deep geothermal well in the Otway Basin and is the first well of its type to demonstrate conventional geothermal technology in Australia.

Panax Geothermal Managing Director Kerry Parker said the research and studies conducted by the University of Melbourne on the Salamander-1 geothermal well, would provide insight into the complications found during well-testing, and contribute toward further progress of remediation options for the well.

“We are hopeful that this important research will help us answer questions about the seismic state of the area around Salamander-1, and the state of the key formations as producing geothermal reservoirs,” Mr Parker said.

“Research into understanding geothermal energy will take us one step closer to realizing the ultimate commercialization of this significant “under the grid” energy resource, which is of strategic importance to Australia.”

“With a better understanding of the results, we will be able to progress to the next stages of remediation and position ourselves to secure funding from the Australian Federal Government to allow further progress of this nationally important energy source.”

Panax is building on its investment in deep drilling by making Salamander-1 available to the geoscience research community at University of Melbourne.
The two-year research partnership with the University of Melbourne gives Panax access to the Australian Geophysical Observing System (“AGOS”), a A$23 million integrated research infrastructure platform funded by AuScope Limited* that will provide data to facilitate better long-term management of geological resources, particularly in Australia’s energy-rich sedimentary basins.

Establishing this research infrastructure under AGOS will allow AuScope’s partner institutions to begin to answer key questions about the Hot Sedimentary Aquifer (HSA) potential of the Otway Basin.

“This partnership will be a step towards establishing a unique national subsurface research facility that will benefit the entire Australia geothermal sector. The benefits will include capacity building, research and training, and understanding of the deep geothermal reservoirs that exist in the Otway Basin region of Australia,” Mr Parker said.

Panax’s Otway Basin geothermal tenements target four troughs, with higher than average temperatures. It is a significantly large project area with more than 3,000 kilometres2 and an estimated generating potential of more than 1,500 megawatts. The region will be a major contributor towards Australia’s clean energy targets given the size of the project and its strategic location.

Panax anticipates the research will deliver insight into downhole logging with temperature and seismic logging tools, and in situ stress analysis. Laboratory based research is also set to be carried out.”

Source: Company release by email