Petratherm’s drilling rig for the Paralana project arrives in Australia

Alexander Richter 21 May 2009

Petratherm's drilling rig for the Paralana project arrives in Australia from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

A recent article in Australia talks about the arrival of the “state-of-the-art drilling rig shipped from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates” for the Paralana geothermal power project by Australian Petratherm.

Accroding to the article, “the custom-made 2000hp Weatherford Lighting Rig, totalling 1346 tonnes will be transported by heavy road transport to Arkaroola in the outback.

The rig is worth many millions of dollars and is thought to be the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Geothermal energy developer Petratherm is on track to commence drilling at its Paralana Joint Venture project next month.

The Paralana JV plans to use the rig to drill 4km below the earth’s surface creating a deep injection well, that in tandem with a soon-to-be- drilled second well, will establish an underground heat exchanger capable of circulating super-heated water by early 2010.

Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis said the arrival of the cutting-edge drilling rig was a major milestone for the company and the wider geothermal energy sector.

He said he was exited about the start of major drilling next month following exploratory drilling results indicating that Paralana has the highest recorded heart flow of all geothermal projects on mainland Australia.

“We believe our Paralana JV project is the best commercial geothermal energy project in Australia,” said Mr Kallis.

“Our target is still to deliver Australia’s first commercial geothermal energy supply by early 2011.

“We then anticipate supplying South Australian homes and businesses on a much larger scale by 2013.”

The project covers more than 500 square kms of known “hot rock” granite resources next to the Arkaroola-Mount Painter region.

Australia is at the world forefront of the drive to develop geothermal power plants from hot rocks deep underground, superheating water to drive turbines.

The aim is to extract heart from the granite rock by circulating water and then to generate big amounts of low-emission base-load electricity from that heat.

The groundbreaking project has won significant Federal Govern-ment support, including a $7 million grant through the government’s $50 million geothermal drilling program.

Paralana JV has also applied for funding via the government’s $435 million Renewable Energy Demonstration Program to help finance a 30MW commercial demonstration project at the site.

Source: The Recorder (Australia)