Sierra Geothermal Power drills first exploration well at Silver Peak

Alexander Richter 20 Jan 2010

Canadian listed Sierra Geothermal Power commences drilling of a core-slim-well at its Silver Peak project in Esmeralda County, Nevada.

In a release by the company, “Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. provides an update on the exploration drilling program at its 100% owned Silver Peak project.

SGP commenced drilling of a core-slim-well at its Silver Peak project. Well 38-11 is being drilled to a maximum depth of 2,133 metres or 7,000 feet and targets multiple zones of high geologic interest. Well 38-11 will be the first deep well test at Silver Peak. This well follows SGP’s recent shallow temperature gradient drilling and geophysical surveys. Well 38-11 is funded on a 50:50 cost share basis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program grant which was awarded to SGP in 2009.

SGP has contracted Major Drilling Group International Inc. to drill the well with an LF230 mounted core drill rig. Drilling is supervised by senior geologist Mr. John Deymonaz. Core samples are being collected from the top of competent bedrock to the bottom of the hole to provide geological information on subsurface rock types, faults, and fractures. This information will be integrated into SGP’s 3D geologic model for Silver Peak. The primary objective of the well is to test temperature and permeability in the subsurface. A secondary objective is to compare core drilling rates to conventional and coil-tube rig drilling rates.

“This a great step forward in the advancement of the Silver Peak project. Our plan here is to drill a coil tube slim well next and, pending results, drill the first production assessment well. If successful, we can then continue drilling production wells to feasibility, execute a Power Purchase Agreement and secure plant permits,” said President and CEO Gary Thompson.

About Silver Peak: The Silver Peak geothermal power project is part of SGP’s Paymaster district and located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, 240 kilometres (150 miles) northwest of Las Vegas, and covers 7,873 acres. GeothermEx’s independent analysis estimates a resource capacity of 15-40 MW of power. The Silver Peak property has two 55 kV transmission lines connecting to the Nevada and California power grids and a substation located on the lease itself. Many geothermal features are visible on the property. The recent shallow drilling measured a maximum temperature of 88 degrees Celsius or 190 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of 140 meters or 459 feet. Chemical geothermometers that have been applied to the thermal waters suggest that temperatures may reach 200-230 degrees Celsius (400-440 degrees Fahrenheit) at depth.”

Source: Company release