• 2 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 2 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 2 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 2 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 2 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 2 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 2 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 2 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 2 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 2 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 2 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 3 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 3 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 3 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 3 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 3 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 3 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 3 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 3 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 4 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 4 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 4 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 5 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 5 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 5 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 5 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 5 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 5 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 5 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 5 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 5 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 6 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 6 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 6 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 6 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 6 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
John Daly

John Daly

Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European…

More Info

Iceland Taps Magma for 24/7 Geothermal Energy Source

Iceland Taps Magma for 24/7 Geothermal Energy Source

Renewable energy has always faced a significant bottleneck for broader acceptance – the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, the sun doesn’t always shine, and 24/7 renewable power sources such as hydroelectric dams require massive investment before coming operational. Given that consumers are solely concerned with bottom line, the cost of a kilowatt-hour, renewables have faced an uphill struggle to gain acceptance.

One 24/7 potential source of renewable energy is geothermal, and now Iceland has apparently surmounted one of the industry’s bottlenecks.

..and it was inadvertent.

Iceland’s first “magma-enhanced” geothermal Icelandic Deep Drilling Project IDDP-1 well at Krafla has been proclaimed successful, according to the first scientific reports emanating on the project.

The Krafla IDDP-1 well unexpectedly drilled into magma during boring an exploratory well.

Related article: Good Year For Green

Significance? The Krafla IDDP-1 borehole has demonstrated that it’s possible to drill down to molten magma and retain technical control, and inserting a steel-casing at the bottom of the hole was proven to be viable, allowing for the utilization of hot, high-pressure steam for months at temperatures exceeding 450° Centigrade, a global record for geothermal heat capture.

While 450° Centigrade is not hot enough at atmospheric pressure to be supercritical, it nevertheless still contains an enormous amount of usable energy, with Icelandic engineers estimating that they could use the well to create a 36 megawatt power plant, 2,000 percent what a thermal coal-fired power plant could produce.

The IDDP and Iceland’s National Power Company reinforced the IDDP-1 borehole with steel casing, allowing temperatures of up to 1000° Centigrade generating heated steam vents sustaining working temperatures as high as 450°C, vastly exceeding the standard heat geothermal power plants utilize, with the borehole’s estimated 36 megawatt power generation being more than half of the nearby 60 megawatt power Krafla geothermal plant.

Iceland is not hoarding its discovery, having published the results of their research in the “Geothermic” journal. The importance of the discovery could introduce a new method for producing geothermal energy. Iceland currently produces 65 percent of its energy from geothermal power, with more than 90 percent of homes there now being heated by geothermal energy.

The IDDP project is largely funded by a consortium of Icelandic energy companies investigating the possibility of greatly increasing the country’s energy resources by producing deep, high-enthalpy, supercritical geothermal fluids.

Related article: London Plans to Use Heat from the Underground to Keep Homes Warm

Whether Iceland’s accomplishments can be reproduced worldwide is at this stage problematical - even with current advanced drilling technology it is still almost impossible to strike magma directly, with only earlier incident having occurred once before, in Hawaii.

While geothermal energy because of cost remains overshadowed by other sources of clean energy such as wind and solar, it is slowly attracting more investment resources to develop the technology and Iceland’s accomplishment should be evaluated in this context.

The IDDP is a collaborative project between Icelandic HS Energy Ltd., National Power Company and Reykjavik Energy and the government’s National Energy Authority of Iceland. It will drill the next borehole, IDDP-2, in southwest Iceland at Reykjanes in 2014-2015.

University of California Riverside Emeritus professor of geology Wilfred Elders commented, “Essentially, the IDDP-1 created the world’s first magma-enhanced geothermal system. This unique engineered geothermal system is the world’s first to supply heat directly from a molten magma. In the future, the success of this drilling and research project could lead to a revolution in the energy efficiency of high-temperature geothermal areas worldwide.”

And Iceland is not the only country pressing on geothermal development. On 16 September 2013 the Icelandic International Development Agency signed a Partnership Agreement with the Ethiopian Government to cooperate in geothermal development.

By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News