Here’s what lithium miner Anson found while fishing 2km down an oil well in Utah
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Junior lithium explorer Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has managed to pull out a bunch of old tubing and tools that had been stuck in an oil well in Utah since 1963.
You might be thinking: why is a lithium miner trying to pull stuff out of an old oil well?
Well, Anson wants to sample the brines contained in the Long Canyon No. 2 well at its Paradox lithium project.
Oil and gas production and exploration brings a mineral-rich salt solution to the surface called petroleum brine.
This brine hosts all sorts of other minerals like lithium, silicon, magnesium and potassium.
For companies only interested in the oil and gas, the petroleum brine is treated as a waste product and is usually injected back into the ground.
The Long Canyon No. 2 well was abandoned after an overshot tool (which cuts tubing), 200 feet of tubing and a 3-metre long shear and packer tool became stuck at 6200 feet (1.9km) during a drilling program in 1963.
Anson has now successfully “fished” the tubing and tools out of the Long Canyon No. 2 well. Look:
The company said the tools and their dimensions were not mentioned in historical logs.
With the blockage now clear, Anson can sample the “clastic horizons” that it is targeting at the Paradox project in the hopes of delivering a resource.
Anson is interested in these horizons because it achieved a high rate of artesian (groundwater under pressure) flow from the Clastic Zone 31 at the Skyline Unit 1 well.
This prompted the company to conduct pressure and other geophysical test work on the clastic horizon to assist in defining a resource.
The Long Canyon No. 2 lies 900m south-east of the Long Canyon 1 well, which has a historical lithium grade of 500 parts per million (ppm) — which Anson says is comparable to the highest known lithium brine grades worldwide.
It is also located 2.86km south-east of the recently re-entered Skyline Unit 1 well, which had a flow rate of 123 barrels per hour and a lithium grade of 193.5ppm.
Anson said the flow rates at the Skyline Unit 1 well were significantly higher than the company achieved during its re-entry of the Cane Creek 32-1 well.
Mid-last year, Anson picked up enough ground to build a pilot plant and extract brine from the Cane Creek 32-1 well pad to produce battery-grade lithium and other minerals.
Anson is also considering using the Cane Creek 32-1 well to supply energy for the pilot plant.
Investors seemed to like the news: shares advanced over 8.5 per cent to 7.6c on Tuesday morning.