Spirit of Montserrat photo of drill rig at Mon 3 well.

Geothermal Capacity of Well 3 Still to Be Tested

Testing on the exploration well Mon 3 is still to be done, shared Her Excellency the Governor Elizabeth Carriere.

In her March 23rd press conference, Governor Carriere addressed what she called “uninformed rumours about the success (or lack of it) of MON #3.”

“DFID is committed to supporting the exploration of Geothermal energy in Montserrat. It offers a cleaner and more economical alternative to importing expensive fossil fuel.  To date DFID has funded the drilling of the first two exploratory wells (MON#1 & #2).  Following extensive advice from industry experts DFID and GoM decided to drill a 3rd well (MON#3) in an area that was scientifically assessed to provide a higher yield but also to provide scope for reinjection of the waste brine from power generation in to one of the wells.  The drilling of MON#3 commenced in August 2016 and continued until mid-December. During the latter stages of drilling MON#3 the geological stability of the well became greatly reduced.  A decision by all of the assembled experts was made to protect the integrity of the well by drilling in the final production zone using bentonite slurry (mud) and then inserting a slotted screen in to the well.

“The ‘mud’ within the 2668 metre well now needs to be removed ahead of well stimulation and well testing.  The cleaning work will be covered under an amendment to our existing drilling contract. Work is planned to resume shortly,” Governor Carriere said.

She went on to say that at the conclusion of the MON#3 cleaning and testing, GoM will have a full picture of the available resource of the three wells which will help in discussions and decisions in relation to the required surface development.  A range of technical experts are also being consulted on next steps. DFID and GoM have also had preliminary discussions about how to take the next stage of the project forward.

It should be noted that DFID took over responsibility for procurement and management of the MON #3 well project. Discover Montserrat has learned, they have handled it differently than the Ministry of Communications and Works did for the first two wells. This has created delays in the project execution.