Getting ready for the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1 starting Oct. 24, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland, ThinkGeoEnergy is collaborating with Green by Iceland and Iceland Geothermal, a cluster initiative by the Iceland geothermal energy sector on a short interview series.
Today, meet Sigurdur Sigurdsson, CEO of Iceland Drilling Company, a leading high technical company in the field of high temperature geothermal drilling and have many decades of experience in both high and low temperature drilling. The company has been the dominating player in drilling most if not all the wells for the geothermal power plants in Iceland. The company has also worked internationally providing drilling services to geothermal projects, across the world.
1. Any suggestions for WGC attendees that are “must-see” while they are in Iceland?
The suggestions always depend on the weather. If it’s good, there are many short tours from Reykjavík worth doing. I recommend driving Nesjavallaleid Road 435 to the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant. (Please check road status as it closes in winter) From Nesjavellir, it is a short trip to Þingvellir National Park and the Öxará River to see the spawning of monster brown trout (Oct.-early Nov.). Naturally, the volcanic eruption near Reykjavík is a must-see if it is active.
2. How did you come to work for Iceland Drilling, and how has this changed your view on sustainable energy?
After a management career of 25 years in both the Scandinavian and Icelandic construction industry, I joined Iceland Drilling as CEO in 2016. Everyone in Iceland knows Iceland Drilling, geothermal energy, and its use. Therefore, I already had a positive view of sustainable energy when I came to work for Iceland Drilling. At the time, I did not know the vast untapped potential globally that now needs to be explored and used to fight for a better environment.
3. Talk about your company’s area of expertise?
Iceland Drilling has over 50 years of experience in the field of geothermal drilling in both high and low-temperature zones. The company has built a vast knowledge base in Iceland and internationally with many global geothermal drilling projects. With several hundred geothermal wells successfully drilled, Iceland Drilling prides itself as a worldwide geothermal drilling service partner.
4. How many countries have you worked in with geothermal?
Iceland Drilling has worked for some of the world’s leading companies in the geothermal industry. The company has a variety of expertise in international deep drilling projects, with a record of several hundred high-temperature geothermal wells. The company has drilled over 300 deep geothermal wells in the last 20 years in 12 different countries in Europe, the Caribbean, South America, the Philippines, and New Zealand.
5. What is one of your favourite projects, and why?
Perhaps not surprisingly, my favourite projects are those that are very successful for our clients and fulfill their expectations in terms of time, cost, quality, and the well’s performance. Iceland Drilling has participated in many such projects, but my favourite is probably our drilling work in San Jacinto, Nicaragua, in 2016-17. Another similar success drilling story is a project in New Zealand, the Ngawha expansion project in 2018-19.
6. How do you see the long-term future for geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy has huge potential, both as an energy source to heat houses in Europe and to produce electricity in select locations. Geothermal energy must play a larger role in the energy transition of the global energy sector from fossil-based to zero-carbon. The difficulties with geothermal are the cost of exploration and the risk of a non-successful project. To secure the future of geothermal energy, in my opinion, is to find ways to lower the cost of exploration while increasing the probability of success. We must also re-evaluate risk allocation between the developer and the financing party to reduce costs.
Meet Iceland Drilling Companyat the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1, Oct. 24-27, 2021 at the Iceland Pavilion on the exhibition floors.