At a total depth of 3396 metres the deepest well in Saskatchewan has officially been drilled. The well is owned by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre's Aquistore project.
"We are ecstatic," said PTRC CEO Dr. Malcolm Wilson. "This project is already the first of its kind in the world, so to find out that we drilled the deepest well is a nice surprise."
Confirmed on August 31st by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Economy, the deepest well drilled to date in the province is PTRC's Aquistore well, at 3396.0m Total Vertical Depth (TVD).
Located just outside Estevan, the Aquistore project is a deep-saline CO2 storage research project. Partnered with SaskPower's Boundary Dam Carbon Capture venture, Aquistore will assist SaskPower in meeting its emission reduction targets by taking captured CO2 from emissions and storing it deep underground.
The PTRC is striving to demonstrate that deep geological storage of industrial CO2 is a safe and feasible response to reducing green house gases and also meeting Canada's climate change goals.
"The Aquistore Project is an important one as it puts Estevan and Saskatchewan on the world stage," said Wilson. "Aquistore will be 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."
"Having drilled for 58 days, Aquistore is one of the most unique wells," said Kevin Brydges, Drilling Supervisor for Aquistore. "Once operational, it will be the first of its kind, and having it be the new deepest TVD well in Saskatchewan is an additional recognition."
He added, "We are glad to be associated with it."
While south-eastern Saskatchewan is known for its oil and gas resources, most are shallow wells. The Aquistore well, then, becomes a primary data point for the Deadwood formation, (the deepest sedimentary unit in the Williston Basin). Research is the essential component to this project, as a result the CO2 injection well, also referred to as an evaluation well, is heavily instrumented with monitoring equipment.
"The comprehensive suite of well logs and core samples is creating a buzz within industry," said Kyle Worth, Aquistore's Project Manager. "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 to start next month, it is expected that this observation well will be of a comparable depth.
"It's full steam ahead," said Wilson. "The second well will contribute significantly to the data already being collected and perhaps even beat our own record."