At a total depth of 3396 metres the deepest well in Saskatchewan has officially been drilled. Confirmed on September 10th, the well is home to the Petroleum Technology Research Centre’s Aquistore project. “We are ecstatic about the news,” said PTRC CEO Dr. Malcolm Wilson, “This project is already the first of its kind in the world. To find out we drilled the deepest well is a nice surprise.”
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Economy confirmed the news, “At 3396.0m Total Vertical Depth, the PTRC’s Aquistore well is the deepest well drilled to date in the province,” said the office of Energy and Resources.
Located outside of Estevan, the Aquistore project is a deep-saline storage project. Partnered with SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Carbon Capture venture, Aquistore will assist SaskPower in meeting their green house gas reduction targets, as the first project to demonstrate deep saline CO2 storage in Canada.
Having drilled for 58 days, Aquistore is one of the most unique wells, says Kevin Brydges Drilling Supervisor for Aquistore, “Once operational it will be the first of its kind, and having it as the new deepest TVD well in Saskatchewan is an additional recognition.” He adds, “We are glad to be associated with it.”
While south-eastern Saskatchewan is well known for its oil and gas resources, most are shallow wells. Due to the lack of deep wells in the area, the Aquistore well is set to become a primary data point for the Deadwood formation. The Deadwood formation is the deepest sedimentary unit in the Williston Basin. As Wilson noted, this is good news for Aquistore, “As the PTRC’s first well drilled, Aquistore is already the first project in the world to integrate commercial-scale CO2 capture, transportation, and injection from a coal-fired electrical generating station into a deep geological formation. We knew our targeted injection zone, the Deadwood, was obviously quite deep. Now that we know the depth, it’s excellent”.
The comprehensive suite of well logs and core samples are creating a buzz within industry. Project Manager Kyle Worth explained, “To have quality cores from such a depth is a rarity and our Science and Engineering Research Committee is eager to start analyzing the samples”. The complete set of logs and other data that accompany this well are useful not only for CO2 storage, but also for oil companies in the area who have interests in hydrocarbon bearing formations.
Information following from this well provides valuable knowledge for the robust monitoring, measurement and verification (MMV) program undertaken by the project. To further track the CO2, a second ‘observation’ well will be drilled. With drilling anticipated in October, 2012 it is expected that this observation well will be of a comparable depth. These two fully instrumented wells can provide valuable information and data to the project and other interested parties. “It’s full steam ahead,” concludes Wilson, “the second well will contribute significantly to the data already being collected”.