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Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP)



Reykjanes RN-17The main purpose of the IDDP project is to find out if it is economically feasible to extract energy and chemicals out of hydrothermal systems at supercritical conditions. To study the supercritical hydrous fluid, an advanced drilling technology needs to be applied and a novel fluid handling and evaluation system designed.

(Figure ©: IDDP)

Potential Benefits of the IDDP:

  • Increased power output per well, perhaps by an order of magnitude, and production of higher-value, high-pressure, high-temperature steam.
  • Development of an environmentally benign, high-enthalpy energy source below currently producing geothermal fields.
  • Extended lifetime of the exploited geothermal reservoirs and power generation facilities.
  • Re-evaluation of the geothermal resource base.
  • Industrial, educational, and economic spin-off.
  • Knowledge of permeabilities within drillfields below 2 km depth.
  • Knowledge of heat transfer from magma to water.
  • Heat sweeping by injection of water into hot, deep wells.
  • Possible extraction of valuable chemical products?
  • Advances in research on ocean floor hydrothermal systems.



Europe, Atlantic Ocean, Iceland, Reykjanes



63° 49' 12'' N, 22° 41' 24'' W (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • IDDP-1: June 19, 2008 (begin), July 2009 (end)


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Gudmundur Ómar Fridleifsson, HS Orka HF
  • Wilfred Allan Elders, University of California at Riverside, Department of Earth Sciences, Petrology, Geochemistry, Geothermics
  • Greg Bignall, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited, Wairakei Research Center


Cooperating Principal Investigators

No Co-PIs found for this project


Partners and Contractors



Geothermy, ICDP-2012/04, Iceland, IDDP, Native Hydrogen, Natural Resources, Rifting, Supercritical Fluids, Thermal Regimes


Current State





    Google Earth/Maps