Per a February 2017, IDDP press release, the Iceland Deep Drilling Project on the Reykjanes Peninsula, January 25, 2017 completed drilling of its newest IDDP-2 well at a depth of 4,659 meters (15,286 feet), where bottom of well temperature reached a supercritical 427°C (800°F) with fluid pressure of 340 bars (4,930 psi). Taking advantage of HS Orka’s existing 2,500 m deep, RN-15 well and expanding its depth to 4,659 m required 168 days beginning August 11, 2016. RN-15 is now the deepest geothermal well in Iceland and later in 2018 as temperature and pressure stabilizes, flow testing will be completed, with expectations running high; this well at supercritical temperatures, may yield as much as five times more energy than typical lower temperature wells. IDDP computer modeling suggests supercritical energy returns over that of conventional wells may increase as much as a factor of ten – vastly increasing geothermal cost effectiveness within competing alternative energy markets.
This IDDP development is of interest to Z Group Energy as ZGE’s closed, geothermal technology, employing supercritical temperatures would likely become the energy market’s greenest, cleanest, most cost-effective electricity producing system – not to mention ZGE’s only emission is H2O. Historically, deep drilling equipment has experienced difficulty at temperatures above 300°C. It appears Houston’s Baker Hughes (combined as of July 2017 with GE Oil & Gas, now the world’s first full-stream oil and gas company) now has at IDDP-2, proven drilling capabilities well beyond 400°C. Given that clean water becomes supercritical (neither liquid nor gas) at about 374°C, this proof-is-in-the-pudding IDDP development is of immense importance to ZGE’s closed system geothermal technology and may well foreshadow 2018 as a milestone year for innovative geothermal technology.