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Forty years of geothermal exploration and attempted development on Newberry Volcano has yet to result in geothermal electricity production. Since the National Volcanic Monument was formed in 1990, all drilling efforts have been on the volcano flanks where deep wells have encountered very high temperature at depth (320 C and 3 km), but no significant permeability. From 2010-2015, AltaRock Energy used the latest technologies and Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) methods to stimulate NWG 55-29, a well drilled by Davenport Newberry in 2008. That project ended with significant progress but not enough funding to drill a production well and prove the EGS resource. Private and public funding for geothermal research and development, which has been cyclical depending on the price of oil, global warming concerns, and politics, is back up. New plans to drill deeper at Newberry to access temperatures above 400 C are being made by AltaRock and a new drilling technologies partner, Quaise Energy.
Central Oregon Geoscience Society
P.O. Box 2154, Bend, Oregon 97709