Senergy has established a specialist geothermal team in Australia as a direct result of increasing demand in the growing geothermal market.
Kris Johnstone, who recently joined Senergy as a drilling project manager, has been appointed head of the team, bringing with him more than 17 years of onshore and offshore drilling experience. Additional support is provided by Senergy’s dedicated global network of specialists who include experts in geomechanics, performance drilling and formation damage.
Through its integrated approach of combining a local team with international specialist groups, Senergy is currently providing services, including well operations project management, to three Australian-based geothermal companies. Senergy’s Australian operations are managed from offices in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Pat Neve, Senergy’s director for Asia Pacific, said: “Senergy is well placed to capture opportunities in the embryonic geothermal market. We have extensive experience of advanced drilling techniques including coiled tubing drilling and managed pressure drilling in a range of on and offshore environments such as HPHT, deepwater and hard rock drilling. We are also able to capitalise on our invaluable wealth of experience working in the UK Continental Shelf, particularly in Scotland’s North Sea.
“In addition, we provide subsurface and electrical engineering support, which are critical elements in the successful delivery of geothermal projects and the connection of energy to the national electricity grid.”
Currently 12 geothermal wells are planned in Australia. These wells are technically challenging, being drilled to depths in excess of 4,500m and temperatures in excess of 200 degrees centigrade.
Kris said: “By the very nature of its geology, Australia is perfectly situated to have one of the most active geothermal sectors in the world. We expect to see the geothermal market grow over the coming years and are committed to expanding our own specialist team in support of this increased activity.”
Formerly operations project manager for Geothermal Explorers Ltd, Kris led a multi-discipline team for the drilling of a challenging hot fractured rock geothermal well in Basel, Switzerland. The project involved drilling to a depth of 5,000 metres and through 2,500 metres of crystalline rock. Kris also has experience in high pressure high temperature (HPHT) and underbalanced drilling (UBD) techniques.
Among other specialist members of the Senergy geothermal team are Melanie Vonthethoff, senior advance drilling techniques engineer. Melanie is well known in Australia’s geothermal sector through her active participation in the Australian Geothermal Energy Group (AGEG). She has extensive experience in the application of advanced drilling techniques such as managed pressure drilling and coiled tubing drilling in both onshore and offshore environments.
The team’s well engineering manager for Asia Pacific is Ken Muir, who has almost 30 years of international experience. Ken also has particular expertise in managed pressure drilling in a range of environments including HPHT, deepwater and coal seam gas.
Senergy, which employs more than 450 people worldwide, is an energy services company with headquarters in Aberdeen, UK, and a network of global offices in Australia, South-east Asia, the UK, Norway and the Middle East.
The Group’s services encompass alternative energy solutions, geosciences, reservoir engineering, geohazard assessment, marine site surveys, rig positioning, wells engineering and operations and project management. In the alternative energy sector, Senergy delivers world-class consulting and advisory services to clients in the wind power, grid connection, carbon capture and storage, geothermal and coalbed methane markets.