Update on the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project

April 2019

Drilling of our first well, UD-1, continues. On 9th February it became the deepest hole drilled in Cornwall and last week it became the deepest hole ever drilled on land in the UK. At the date of writing (9th April) we have reached a depth of 4,580m.

At 4,000m we stopped drilling to carry out geophysical logging and run our last string of steel casing. The geophysical logs are a suite of measurements made in the hole by running instruments on a cable. They give us valuable information on the rock properties and the geological structures we have drilled through.

The casing operation was the most difficult and complex we will carry out on the project. We ran 4,000m of 9 5/8” diameter steel casing into the hole and then cemented it in place, partially using lightweight cement. The cementing operation was carried out on Sunday 24th March.

After reconfiguring the wellhead and safety equipment to fit the new casing, we started drilling again on 31st March at a diameter of 8 ½”. We will continue drilling at this diameter until we have drilled through our target fault. Then we will carry out more logging, and a brief production test, before moving the rig to start the second well. Drilling has continued to be slower than expected and, although we are looking at ways to speed up the programme for UD-2, it is likely that we won’t now finish drilling until late June.

The microseismic monitoring system continues to collect background data, and detect occasional minor natural earth tremors, the most recent near St Agnes in February.

Our education programme is going strong, with visits to primary and secondary schools, participation in the Cornwall STEM programme and development of a specific learning hub for the closest secondary schools, based on seismicity.

The public drop-in sessions at site continue to be very well attended and we have been pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response from visitors. The next sessions are planned for 16th April 2-4pm and 18th May11am-1pm. Further sessions will be arranged in future months and 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

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