Thursday, April 27, 2006

Drilling for ....... Baking Soda?

Im back up here in (yep, you guessed it) Colorado on a project for a company called Natural Soda. They are actually drilling into the largest commercial natural soda resurve in the Western Hemisphere! About 2000 feet below the surface there is a huge reserve of natural baking soda. It is exactly the same as the stuff you get at the grocery store for making cookies and stuff! To get it out, they drilled two horizontal wells through it, and when finished, they will pump hot water down one of the wells which will mix with the baking soda and wash it out. They will then pump the water back up the other well and about a mile down some pipes (like the one going off the left side of the picture above) to their processing facility. The water/baking soda mix then enters a giant centrifuge where it is dried. After the water has been removed, it is packaged for anything from baking to livestock feed.
Unfortunately, they are still using a drilling rig on this project, which means everything moves slowly. I arrived here on Tuesday night and might be working by this evening. There is always something to wait for on a drilling rig! Luckily, we are just down the road from a giant Shell project, so John (other SDI hand) and I snuck into their camp for some really good dinner yesterday.
The weather is beautiful here in Colorado, btw - sunny and warm!


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