Well in St. Gallen successfully produces hot water and natural gas

Well in St. Gallen successfully produces hot water and natural gas City of St. Gallen, Switzerland (source: flickr/ Hellebardius, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 12 Nov 2013

First test results are positive for the geothermal project in St. Gallen in Switzerland, a potential combined heat and power project. The drilled well produces hot water at sufficient temperatures, but it also produces Methane, an unexpected side product.

Following news on seismic events and an unclear situation regarding the continuation of the geothermal project in St. Gallen, Switzerland, there are now positive news.

Last week, the city councelor Fredy Brunner announced that they are extremely happy about the results of recent activities on the project.

Since the pump tests in 4,000 meters, there have been no more seismic events.

First results of tests show now a significant amount of hot water inflow, according to the project manager, Marco Huwiler. The temperature lies at an expected 140-145 degrees Celsius. If the amount of water found will be sufficient for running a geothermal power plant will have to be determined through testing over the coming months.

As a side product, natural gas in the form of Methan has been produced on the site. The gas has a purity of 90 percent. The project team is rather surprised about the amount of gas being produced. With the gas being burned on a daily basis on the drilling pad, the city could heat the whole city. But experts are more cautious about statements like this and say that the size of the found gas reservoir cannot be estimated. It has  and will not be the goal to produce gas through the project.

Currently, the project finishes last elements and in the coming weeks, the drilling contractor will dismantle the drilling rig. The well will be closed with several packers and being left idle until mid-2014.

The city’s administration will then decide how to further proceed with the project. In the best case, the project will produce power and heating for parts of the city of St. Gallen.

The project has an estimated overall cost budget of around CHF 160 million ($180 million).


Source: 20min