Geothermal discoveries in Szaflary. Drilling of the deepest borehole in Poland is underway. It is to reach a depth of 7 km

Luc Williams

“On Thursday at 7:00 p.m. it will resume drilling rig work. We want to reach the intended goal, i.e. a depth of 7,000 m. We held a series of consultations with a larger group of experts from the drilling industry. International experts also participated in the consultations. Thanks to the commissioned analyses, a further action plan was presented,” Rafał Szkaradziński, mayor of the Szaflary commune, which is the investor, told PAP.

Changes in drilling technology

Further work is to be performed using another auger, selected specifically for this type of rock formation. The drilling team will also use a modified mud to bring the spoil to the surface. Additionally, a different drilling rate will be used, i.e. the drill pressure on the rock formation will change.

The completion date of the works is not known yet. Initially, it was supposed to be at the turn of March and April this year. As the mayor assures, after resuming drilling, the pace of work will be known and then we will know the date of completion of the works.

Hard Rock Problems and Well Stabilization

Drilling a seven-kilometer geothermal drilling in Szaflary started in April last year. Drilling progress was 40 to 50 m per day, but after encountering very hard rocks at a depth of 5,900 m, progress was negligible. Additionally, the walls of the well began to crumble. In order to stabilize them, the so-called cement plug, which was later drilled, but the work stopped at this depth.

Using hot water to heat buildings

According to the design assumptions, at the bottom of the seven-kilometre borehole there may be a geothermal source with a temperature above 150 degrees Celsius. Already at a depth of approx. five kilometres, deposits of hot springs with a temperature of approx. 120 degrees Celsius were encountered. Earlier, at a depth of approx. 3 kilometres, the first aquifer with a temperature of 85 degrees Celsius was encountered.

Hot water is to be used mainly for heating of buildings in the Szaflary and Nowy Targ communes. The total cost of the investment is PLN 132 million. The works are financed in full by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. (PAP)

Author: Szymon Bafia


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