Western GeoPower acquires additioanl geothermal leases in California

Alexander Richter 12 May 2009

Western GeoPower acquired approx. 3,000 acres of private geothermal leases with a confirmed high-temperature geothermal reservoir, at South Brawley, in Imperial County, Calif.

Western GeoPower (TSX:WGP) announced the acquisition of “approximately 3,000 acres of private geothermal leases with a confirmed high-temperature geothermal reservoir, at South Brawley, in Imperial County, Calif.
The South Brawley leases grant Western GeoPower the right to develop the geothermal reservoir and build a plant for electricity generation.

Commercial geothermal power has been generated continuously throughout Imperial County since the early 1980s, with the present generation level being about 530 megawatts (MW) from the Salton Sea, East Mesa and Heber plants. The Western GeoPower leasehold is situated in the South Brawley Known Geothermal Resource Area, with extensive infrastructure throughout the region providing ready access for development.

A preliminary review of earlier data from the Western GeoPower South Brawley leases conducted by independent consultants GeothermEx, Inc., has determined that the leases lie at the core of a geothermal anomaly which has been well defined from geophysical surveys.  Four deep wells plus a side-track of a well (varying in depth from 13,381 feet to 14,000 feet) were drilled and flow tested on the Western GeoPower property between 1978 and 1982.  In addition, a prolonged (34-day) pressure interference test was run in this field during 1982-1983.

Although the wells are now plugged and abandoned, they have confirmed the existence of a high temperature (up to 278 C or 532 F) reservoir, and pressure interference testing has demonstrated the existence of high flow and storage capacities within the reservoir.  A wellhead productivity of 700,000 pounds per hour (equivalent to about 7 MW) had been demonstrated by well testing. However, the wells had a narrower diameter than is conventional for geothermal wells today and the wells showed major formation damage.  New wells with a larger diameter drilled on the property should have a much higher productivity, according to company officials.

The reservoir fluid is hyper-saline with a total dissolved solids content of 22 percent to 23 percent and a non-condensable gas concentration in the total fluid of 2 percent to 2.5 percent.  The reservoir brine is highly enriched in dissolved zinc, lead and silver.  Preliminary modeling indicates that the property can readily support simultaneous power generation and commercial production of zinc, lead and silver.

“The South Brawley leases complement Western GeoPower’s strategy to acquire geothermal projects with demonstrated production potential,” said Kenneth MacLeod, president and CEO of Western GeoPower. “We are confident of achieving substantial time and cost savings by taking advantage of the earlier well testing data and targeting new wells to intersect the known productive zones.”

Western GeoPower will retain GeothermEx, Inc. of Richmond, Calif., to provide an independent assessment of the potential for the South Brawley leases and design a drilling program to confirm the resource.”

Source: Company release via PR-Inside