Update on the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project – January 2019

Drilling of our first well, UD-1, started on 8th November 2018. We originally intended this to be the injection well but, having reviewed the drilling performance to date and the geological information from cuttings, we have decided that it will now be the production well. This is the more important well of the two as it will provide crucial information about the geology and temperature at our target depth, and it is important that we complete it as soon as possible.

At the date of writing (31 st January) we have reached a depth of 2,300m. We will continue drilling at a diameter of 12 ¼” to a depth of about 4,000m and then run the last of the three casing strings. Then we will finish the hole at a diameter of 8 ½” before carrying out a short period of production testing and scientific measurements. We will then skid the rig 8m to the second hole location and begin drilling UD-2, sometime in April.

Drilling has been slower than expected and there have been some technical issues with the rig and casing that have caused minor delays. We will try to
catch up some of the lost time but it is likely that we won’t now finish the second well until May or June, roughly a month later than our original plan.
The microseismic monitoring system continues to collect background data, and we are working towards completing the remaining installations before drilling of UD-1 is finished.

Our education programme continues to gain momentum with continuing visits to both primary and secondary schools, participation in the Cornwall STEM programme and development of a specific learning hub for the closest secondary schools based on measuring worldwide seismic activity. During 2018 the programme directly reached more than 2,000 local students.

The public drop-in sessions at site have been very well attended and we have been pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response from visitors. The next session is planned for 18 th February, and further sessions will be arranged in March and April. The dates will be publicised on the project website, on community noticeboards and on Gate B at the site.

The project website provides information about geothermal energy in general, and the UDDGP project in particular, and will be kept up to date with news on the programme and site activities.

UDDGP Project Team