HS Orka preparing for drilling of wells at geothermal site of Eldvörp, Iceland

Drilling rig on site of the IDDP on the Reykjanes Peninsula (source: IDDP/ HS Orka)
Alexander Richter 9 Apr 2018

Icelandic energy company HS Orka is preparing drilling work on site of Eldvörp, a geothermal field near existing geothermal plants of Svartsengi and Reykjanes in Iceland.

Contractors of Icelandic geothermal energy company HS Ork­u have started work on a new drill pad in the lava field of Eldsvötn near Grindavík, Iceland. This is the second drill pad on site, with plans to establish a total of three to five.

On the site there are previous wells from the 1990s. The work now undertaken is connected to test equipment, aAccord­ing to Ásgeir Mar­geirs­son, CEO of HS Orka, it is conn­ected to test equip­ment.

A little east is the new drill pad, wh­ere the first part of the experi­mental well has been dril­led. HS Orka has been gran­ted a licen­se to drill a several rese­arch wells and a special en­vironmental assess­ment has been completed for them. For the purpose of this projects roads around the area are utilised.

With increasing tourism in Iceland and also in this part of the country, there have been concerns of the environmental impact of the drilling by the local planning agency. The main negative effects were seen as the visual nature and noise due to the drilling activities. The area surrounding the Eldvörp crater is seen as a national treasure by many. There have also been concern on the impact to the vegetation.

As part of Iceland’s General Master Plan for energy uilization, the area is set out as an area that can be ulitised for energy generation under the framework program. A special en­vironmental assess­ment must though be carried out if development is planned. The CEO of HS Orka says that the area will be evalua­ted when the wells will be drilled. There are no plans for the utilisation on site, but to produce hot water for the local district heating system in Sudurnes and steam for power generation in other plants, either at the geothermal power plant at Svartsengi or at an industrial area west of the Grindavik community.