Hydraulically Fractured Geothermal Well Delivers Promising Test Results

A Canadian company reports that it has drilled and completed a historic horizontal well in Saskatchewan.

A geothermal drilling site in southern Saskatchewan. Source: Deep Earth Energy Production
A geothermal drilling site in southern Saskatchewan. Source: Deep Earth Energy Production

Deep Earth Energy Production, or DEEP, says a positive well test from its first geothermal project represents a historic milestone.

The Canadian company reports that its Border-5HZ is the deepest horizontal well ever drilled in Saskatchewan and is also the world’s first 90° horizontal fluid production well to be drilled and hydraulically fractured for a geothermal power-generation application.

The initial results of the 20-stage stimulation and subsequent modeling “indicate a highly productive well—twice the productivity of an unstimulated well,” the company said in its announcement.

DEEP expects that the well will achieve commercial production rates of around 100 liters per second (~26 gal). The field plan is to use six producing wells and four injectors to generate up to 20 MW of power.

The well was drilled over a 6-week span between September and October to a total depth of 5,672 m (18,608 ft). The well’s total vertical depth is 3,450 m (11,318 ft) and its lateral section measured 2000 m (6,561 ft).

The project is one of several taking place across Canada to take further advantage of the country’s geothermal potential. While geothermal installations are used for heating applications, there are no geothermal projects supplying power to the grid in Canada.

Source: Deep Earth Energy Production

DEEP’s geothermal project is located just north of Canada’s border with North Dakota where thousands of oil wells have been drilled in recent years. The company has highlighted in past presentations that the oil and gas drilling in this area ultimately led to the discovery of the geothermal resource it is targeting.

Within the liquids-rich Williston Basin is what DEEP describes as a “pancake-like” hot sedimentary aquifer that happens to be hottest right along the international border. DEEP said the highest temperature recorded during the logging of its new well was 127°C (261°F).

DEEP is producing the high-temperature water using an electrical submersible pump and said the well was completing using a sliding-sleeve system. The company also noted that the hydraulic-fracturing operation was done using “standard horizontal-well completions procedures.”