• 3 minutes China has *Already* Lost the Trade War. Meantime, the U.S. Might Sanction China’s Largest Oil Company
  • 7 minutes Saudi and UAE pressure to get US support for Oil quotas is reportedly on..
  • 11 minutes China devalues currency to lower prices to address new tariffs. But doesn't help. Here is why. . . .
  • 15 minutes What is your current outlook as a day trader for WTI
  • 16 hours In The Bright Of New Administration Rules: Immigrants as Economic Contributors
  • 10 hours Will Uncle Sam Step Up and Cut Production
  • 1 day Movie Script: Epstein Guards Suspected Of Falsifying Logs
  • 33 mins Domino Effect: Rashida Tlaib Rejects Israel's Offer For 'Humanitarian' Visit To West Bank
  • 11 hours Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House
  • 14 hours Continental Resource's Hamm (Trump Buddy) wants shale to cut production.Can't compete with peers. Stock will drop in half again.
  • 1 day Significant: Boeing Delays Delivery Of Ultra-Long-Range Version Of 777X
  • 3 hours Gretta Thunbergs zero carbon voyage carbon foot print of carbon fibre manufacture
  • 7 hours NATGAS, LNG, Technology, benefits etc , cleaner global energy fuel
  • 2 days I think I might be wrong about a 2020 shakeout
  • 2 days Kremlin Says WTO's Existence Would Be In Doubt If the U.S., Others Left
  • 1 day Why Oil is Falling (including conspiracy theories and other fun stuff)
  • 51 days To be(lieve) or Not To be(lieve): U.S. Treasury Secretary Says U.S.-China Trade Deal Is 90% Done
Alt Text

Is This The Future Of Alaska’s Energy Sector?

With crude oil production dwindling,…

Alt Text

A Surprising Innovation In Energy’s Hottest Market

Japanese researchers have found a…

Josh Owens

Josh Owens

Josh Owens is the Content Director at Oilprice.com. An International Relations and Politics graduate from the University of Edinburgh, Josh specialized in Middle East and…

More Info

Premium Content

Geothermal On Steroids: Drilling The World’s Hottest Hole

There are few places on earth as geothermal-friendly as the island nation of Iceland, with 25 percent of its total electricity production coming from geothermal facilities. So it makes sense that Iceland is now the stage for a joint attempt by Statoil and The Iceland Deep Drilling Project to drill the world’s deepest geothermal borehole.

The drilling, which began in August, has already reached depths of 4,500 meters, with a stated aim of hitting 5 kilometers before the end of the year. At that depth, the extreme pressure and heat of over 500 degrees Celsius (932 Farenheit) is expected to create ‘supercritical steam’, a substance that is neither liquid nor gas and holds the potential to create 10 times the energy of a conventional geothermal well.

But drilling what is being dubbed “the world’s hottest hole” does not come without risks. A similar attempt in 2009 ended in disaster, with the drilling team hitting magma at a depth of 2.1 kilometers, destroying the drill string and sending thick clouds of smoke and steam rushing back to the surface. This time around, the geologists are once again ‘drilling blind’, unable to examine exactly what type of rock they are passing through. But so far it has gone smoothly, and with only a few hundred meters left to go, the team appears confident that they will reach their goal.

Related: U.S. Solar Boom Continues: 1MW Installed Every 32 Minutes

While Iceland and its world record breaking borehole may be at the forefront of geothermal progress, the rest of the world appears intent on catching up. Kenya has been rapidly expanding the use of geothermal energy recently, with around half of its national grid now geothermally powered and a new major power plant set to be operational by 2018. In Indonesia, a Japanese funded team is developing a plant that, once completed, is set to be the world’s largest single geothermal power station.

(Click to enlarge)

With a geothermal renaissance clearly underway, the global impact of Iceland’s latest foray into the unknown could be enormous. Wilfred Elders, a geologist at the University of California, claims that “Potential sites for supercritical geothermal resources occur worldwide” and energy companies across the globe will be eager to capitalize on these sites should ‘the world’s hottest hole’ produce the expected results. It’s certainly a space for energy enthusiasts to watch closely.

By Josh Owens of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Me on December 20 2016 said:
    Interesting...would be nice to know exactly how hot the world's hottest hole is.....?

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play