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Announcing Workshop to Plan for Deepening Newberry Well and reach over 450 °C

July 10, 2017

Bend, Oregon, July 10, 2017: The NEWGEN consortium is pleased to announce that an international workshop of geoscience experts will be held this fall to develop a full proposal for drilling one of the hottest wells in the world at Newberry Volcano, central Oregon. The workshop will be held at the Oregon State University – Cascades campus in Bend, Oregon from September 10-14, 2017.

Important scientific questions related to volcanic hazards and geothermal energy will be discussed by more than 40 engineers and scientists during this workshop sponsored by the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP). ICDP is a non-profit organization that supports international science teams with a proven need for land-based drilling. While ICDP may partly fund future drilling, an important goal of the workshop is to identify other funding sources interested in contributing to potential economic breakthroughs in geothermal energy production and scientific breakthroughs in earthquake and volcano studies.

The Newberry Geothermal Test Facility is located on the western flank of the caldera rim of Newberry Volcano, one of the largest geothermal heat reservoirs in the western United States, extensively studied for the last 40 years. Here, hot rock is relatively close to the surface, making it easier to drill super-hot wells and carry out enhanced geothermal system (EGS) research. Millions of dollars have already been invested in the site by private geothermal developers and the US Department of Energy, resulting in a ready-to-use facility with the necessary infrastructure, environmental permits, land commitments, and monitoring plans. An idle geothermal exploration well drilled in 2008, already 3500 m deep and 320°C at bottom, will be evaluated for deepening another 1500 m to reach temperatures above 450°C.

The NEWGEN consortium was formed in 2015 by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, AltaRock Energy, Oregon State University and Statoil to develop a research observatory on geothermal energy on Newberry Volcano. The ICDP workshop was proposed by the NEWGEN team, and other world-renowned scientists and engineers from the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, Iceland, France, and Italy. Invited participants will have world-class expertise in geothermal energy, drilling at extreme temperatures, seismology, and volcanology.

For more information, please contact Susan Petty at Hot Rock Energy Research Organization,

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