Setback for Geodynamics pilot plant in Australia

Alexander Richter 8 May 2009

Geodynamics experienced an uncontrolled leak of water and steam from a well at its project in South Australia.

As reported locally and picked up internationally, “Geodynamics experienced an uncontrolled leak of water and steam from a well at its project in South Australia”, so Bloomberg.

The official company statement: “Geodynamics as operator of the Innamincka Joint Venture provides the following update on the well incident on April 24, 2009 at its Habanero 3 well site located near Innamincka in remote northeastern South Australia.

Water and steam are still flowing from Habanero 3. Well control specialists remain on site and Geodynamics is acting on their advice to stop the flow. Once the flow of water and steam has been stopped, the Company will be able to secure the well, examine the cause of the incident and assess future implications for the well.

The Company continues to closely monitor the situation, and further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

The Company also confirms that the Joint Venture carries ‘Control of Well’ insurance (as mandated by government regulation) and insurance underwriters have been notified of the circumstances of the incident.”

In another article by Bloomberg it is talked about that “the incident comes less than four weeks after Geodynamics said that tests at the project, 30 percent owned by Origin Energy Ltd., confirmed the generating system would work.

Given that they came out with a comment on proof-of- concept some weeks ago, it is a bit disappointing that something unexpected like this has occurred,” said Stephen Bartrop, principal at Sydney-based analysts Stock Resource. The incident highlights “the risk in this project and geothermal projects in general.”

Tata Power Ltd., India’s biggest non-state electric utility and Sydney-based Origin are Geodynamics’ biggest shareholders. The incident involved “a rapid release of pressurized water and steam” detected in the well “cellar,” a seven-meter deep concrete box set into the ground through which the well is drilled, Managing Director Gerry Grove-White said on a conference call.

Source: New Scientist, Bloomberg