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First geothermal resource well authorization issued in British Columbia, Canada

View over Valemount, BC, Canada (source: Borealis GeoPower)
Alexander Richter 30 May 2018

Canadian geothermal developer Borealis GeoPower has secured the first geothermal resource well authorization for its geothermal project in Valemount, British Columbia (BC), Canada.

In a release this week, BC Oil and Gas Commission announces the issuance of the First Geothermal Resource Well Authorization in the province of British Columbia (BC) in Canada.

The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has issued geothermal resource well authorizations to Borealis Geopower Inc. for four thermal gradient wells on its Canoe Reach Geothermal Project, south of Valemount B.C.

Borealis Geopower Inc. is a renewable geothermal energy company based in Calgary, Alberta with plans to drill geothermal wells to produce renewable power and heat. The well authorizations will allow the company to begin drilling for collection of geotechnical and temperature gradient information.

The Commission issued the well authorizations on May 29, 2018 and represents the first time the Commission has issued a well authorization under the Geothermal Resource Act. The Commission was made the provincial regulator of geothermal resources on March 31, 2017.

The permit authorizes drilling on four prospective geothermal wells that Borealis GeoPower hopes to develop into a small pilot geothermal project near Valemount.

The Geothermal Resources Act governs development and use of geothermal resources (80 degrees Celsius and above) and the Commission has jurisdiction over the operational requirements. The Commission is the provincial single-window regulatory agency responsible for regulating oil and gas operations in B.C., and has direct authority over technical aspects of geothermal resource authorizations, such as wells and facilities.

Companies are required to work through other agencies, such as the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to gain permits for related geothermal activities, such as tenure and land access.

“We not only drill into mountains, but by working together, we also move them, and Borealis is deeply committed to our team and host community.” – Alison Thompson, President & CEO, Borealis GeoPower

Further details and background information on the regulatory elements behind the commission and geothermal regulations can be found in the document linked below. Details on the project by Borealis GeoPower can be found here.

Source: BC Oil & Gas Commission (pdf)