Energy giant withdraws from geothermal joint venture

QUEENSLAND energy giant Origin Energy has announced its intention to withdraw from two joint ventures with geothermal exploration company Geodynamics.
At the end of the 2013 financial year, Origin will be completely removed from the Innamincka Deeps and Innamincka Shallows joint ventures.
Innamincka Deeps – 70 per cent owned by Geodynamics and 30 per cent by Origin – is a 2300 square kilometre project in the Cooper Basin, South Australia and is estimated to contain 59,200 petajoules of thermal energy.
The Cooper Basin also contains Innamincka Shallows, which is equally owned by the two companies and is focussed on exploring shallow hot sedimentary aquifers. Geodynamics had its first warning in August 2012 when Origin decided to stop funding its share of the cost to complete the Habanero 4 well, and earlier in the year the company decided not to participate in the proposed 2013 financial year work program and budget to complete testing and trial operations of the 1 megawatt Habanero pilot plant.
The Habanero pilot plant will undergo a trial operation in April. Geodynamics managing director and chief executive Geoff Ward said Origin’s support allowed the company “to significantly progress the development and demonstration of an enhanced geothermal system (EGS) in Australia”.
“The development of EGS geothermal resources in Australia remains a long-term challenge requiring significant capital investment and extension of infrastructure,” he said.
“However, we remain convinced that these resources will play a material role in Australia’s long-term energy economy as a reliable supplier of large-scale, continuous, predictable, controllable energy.”

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