News

Western GeoPower’s South Meager project with commercial potential

Alexander Richter 22 Apr 2009

The company's "independent consultants GeothermEx, Inc., have recommended a drilling program at the South Meager geothermal reservoir to target a recently-identified zone of high permeability which has demonstrated commercial potential.

The company’s “independent consultants GeothermEx, Inc., have recommended a drilling program at the South Meager geothermal reservoir to target a recently-identified zone of high permeability which has demonstrated commercial potential.

Reporting on the results of airlift-assisted flow-testing of well MC-8, GeothermEx projected that a new deviated well starting from a lower wellhead elevation into the same permeable zone and at a much shorter vertical depth than well MC-8 would flow at the equivalent of more than 6 megawatts (MW) of electrical energy. Well MC-8 itself was unable to sustain self-flow following air lifting due to physical constraints imposed by the deep water table.

To access the zone of permeability, GeothermEx has designed a deviated well starting from the valley floor with a projected true vertical depth of 1,660 meters and a total wellbore length of less than 2,000 meters. Wellbore simulation indicates that this well could flow at the equivalent of 6.4 MW of electrical output at a wellhead pressure of 140 psig. If the reservoir fluid encountered by this new well is at a greater temperature than the temperature measured in MC-8, or should the well be drilled deeper than the targeted 1,660 meters, the megawatt capacity of the well could increase accordingly.

“The recent flow testing has corroborated our earlier projection of high temperature, reasonable permeability and a deep water table at South Meager,” said Dr. Subir Sanyal, President of GeothermEx. “While a deep water table has limited the well’s productivity, commercial productivity can still be achieved in a well drilled from the valley floor and targeted to the permeable zones in wells MC-8 and MC-6.”

Several excellent and easily-accessible locations for new drill pads are available on the valley floor with ready access to the permeable zones in MC-8 and MC-6. The Company intends to commence the permitting process for the future wells once the snow has cleared sufficiently to allow surveying of the sites.

“Our understanding of the geothermal reservoir characteristics at South Meager has increased substantially,” said Kenneth Macleod, President and CEO of Western GeoPower. “We can now focus on securing the funding and permitting necessary to complete the drilling program and prepare a feasibility report on the project.”

In 2004 and 2005, wells MC-6, MC-7 and MC-8 were drilled on a single pad approximately 700 vertical meters above Meager Creek on the shoulder of Pylon Peak. The pad was located closer to the projected upflow zone of the geothermal reservoir in comparison with earlier pads located on the valley floor. Subsequent testing confirmed that two of the wells, MC-6 and MC-8 encountered significant permeability and all three wells showed higher temperatures at shallower depth than previous wells. However, the presence of the geothermal water table at over 500 meters below the pad has inhibited the ability of the recent wells to self flow. The wells are being maintained for additional testing purposes and future enhancements are being considered, such as deepening and/or sidetracking, once additional permeable targets are identified by future drilling activities. Further drilling is required to define the full commercial power production potential for South Meager.

Western GeoPower continues to liaise with provincial government agencies and key community and First Nations stakeholders in preparation for submission of an Application for Certification of the South Meager project under the BC Environmental Assessment Act. The Company also is actively engaged in soliciting federal funding for project development and working directly with the British Columbia government on the updating of provincial geothermal legislation and regulations.”

Source: Company announcement, more details on the South Meager Project (WGP website)