The GEP site for the proposed Gippsland and LaTrobe projects covers a large part of the Gippsland Basin and the Latrobe Valley, and is currently in possession of Greenearth Energy.
This project is still in its nascent stages, with exploration currently taking place in the area to further understand the suitability of its geological composition for geothermal energy production.
The very thick brown coal deposits in the area tend to obscure geophysical signals, making geological mapping beneath the coals difficult. The main investigative focus has been on understanding heat flow and temperature at depth. Following this will be a mapping of the subsurface layering in this area, which is key to advancing its geothermal potential. The investigation commenced in 2009. Given the Latrobe Valley’s large greenhouse gas footprint and the area’s simultaneous potential to contain both usable geothermal resources and possibly as a reservoir for greenhouse gas emissions, the company regards a conclusive assessment of the subsurface in the Latrobe Valley area as being vital. As it stands, negotiations are continuing with both the Victorian and Federal Government, universities and industry on potential collaborative efforts to accelerate this program. One obvious point to make is the fact that this resource sits underneath the Latrobe Valley, making it perfect for energy production should it be deemed commercially viable because of the need to create new low carbon jobs as the transition away from coal starts to happen.
Part of the analysis involves the monitoring of ‘micro-earthquakes’ and seismic activity in the area. A trial has been commenced for monitoring micro-earthquakes in the Gippsland area to discern major fracture zones and key sedimentary layers. Through a coordination agreement with the petroleum explorer, Lakes Oil N.L., Greenearth Energy Ltd has been able to gain access to the Loy Yang 2 petroleum well and position geophones at both the surface and 1,350 metres deep at the Loy Yang-2 well in November 2008. This equipment is continuously monitoring the occurrence of natural sub-surface activity for interpretation. By November 2009, sufficient enough data was available for a full review and assessment of the ability of this technique to accurately map the subsurface conditions.
Further information from the proponent and project can be found here.