Boise, Idaho, September 22, 2009 – U.S. Geothermal, a renewable energy company, initiated development drilling at the Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Project located in eastern Oregon.
Well NHS-5, the first well in this new program, is currently drilled to a depth of 300 feet. The total depth of the well is to be drilled to about 2,800 feet, where it is expected to encounter a large aperture fracture containing geothermal fluid. Up to three large diameter wells, ranging in depth from 2,300 to 3,800 feet, are planned in this drilling program.
Construction of the associated drill pads began during the week of August 17. One drill pad is complete and a second pad is currently under construction. Trinity Drilling of Gillette, Wyoming has been contracted to drill the wells, mobilized their drill rig to the site, and initiated drilling on September 18. Permits for four exploration wells were received from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries on September 11, allowing for expansion of the program based on results.
In addition to these deep, large diameter production wells, a temperature gradient well program consisting of up to 9 small-diameter wells each about 500 feet in depth was initiated during the week of September 7. The temperature gradient well program will acquire field data necessary to better understand the full geothermal resource potential at Neal Hot Springs.
Well NHS-1, the first production well at Neal Hot Springs, was drilled in June 2008 and flowed under artesian pressure at a rate of 2,315 gallons per minute with a flowing production temperature of 286.5 degrees F (141 degrees C).