Reykjavik Energy to Launch Largest Drilling Project in Iceland

Iceland Drilling Company and Reykjavik Energy have signed an agreement for drilling projects on Hellisheidi and the Mt. Hengill area in Iceland. The contract is the largest of its kind ever made in Icelandic history, the most extensive single drilling project ever undertaken in Iceland and the largest tender ever launched by Reykjavík Energy. The contract was signed by Mr. Bent S. Einarsson, Managing Director of IDC, and Mr. Alfred Thorsteinsson, Chairman of the Board of Reykjavík Energy. The total amount of the contract is ISK 7.4 billion. Work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2006, with the total term of the contract extending to 2009, at the least.

Bids were opened on September 27th on the Reykjavík Energy premises for the drilling of over 40 boreholes in Hellisheidi and the Mt. Hengill area, including 30 high-temperature wells. Two bids were submitted for the projects, one by IDC and the other in partnership by Ístak and Iceland Prime Contractor. The call for tenders was advertised in the European Economic Area and covers the drilling program of Reykjavík Energy over the next four years. The partnership of Ístak and Iceland Prime Contractor submitted a bid in the amount of ISK 8.3 billion, while IDC bid ISK 7.8 billion, in addition to submitting a variant bid. The cost estimate prepared by Reykjavík Energy consultants amounted to just under ISK 10 billion.

Foundation for a stronger economy

The contract covers the drilling of 30 high-temperature boreholes, both exploratory boreholes and production holes, 10 drainage holes, five freshwater wells and 13 gulp wells.

Alfred Thorsteinsson, Chairman of the Board of Reykjavík Energy, says that this is the largest single project ever undertaken by the company. "This historic agreement represents a significant and satisfying milestone on Reykjavík Energy's route to still further development of sustainable energy. The energy that we obtain through these new developments will provide the foundation for a stronger economy and numerous innovations, as in fact is already the case as regards the development on Hellisheidi".

IDC Managing Director Bent S. Einarsson says that the contract is extremely important for the company and represents yet another confirmation of the company's capacity to undertake large-scale projects. In addition, the contract period is longer than ever before, covering four years as compared to earlier contract terms of 12-18 months. "Our co-operation with Reykjavík Energy has always been good, as we share the same focus on quality, creation of value and respect for the environment. The project is a complex one, to be sure, and a difficult one as well, as high-temperature drilling in Iceland, in some of the most demanding conditions in the world, requires a great deal of experience and know-how."

High technology In co-operation with Baker Hughes Inteq, IDC has developed and adapted traditional directional drilling techniques to Icelandic conditions with good results. Directional drilling is both more environmentally sound and gives greater prospects of success.

Directional drilling results in increased quantities of steam in comparison with traditional drilling. The reason is that it is easier to drill into fractures and faulted areas, where the greatest reservoirs of steam are located in the Hellisheidi geothermal area.

The project, which is the largest ever undertaken by IDC, will employ the company's new and technologically advanced drill, Geysir, but in addition some expansion of the company's fleet of drills is anticipated.