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Detour on Journey to the Center of the Earth

James Glanz, in the New York Times, reports (here) that AltaRock Energy has halted drilling in its deep drilling project at the Geysers, California.  The project was aimed at demonstrating feasibility of drilling into the earth's crust at points where thermal extrusions from the mantle are close to the surface (think Yellowstone).  Water, circulated through cracks in the well bottom, would generate steam.

The drill hole was suspended at 12,000 feet.  Federal scientists said that AltaRock had been unable to penetrate a formation known as caprock.  The project has been supported by private equity of more than $26 million (according to Kate MacKenzie at ft.comhere) and $6.25 million in federal grants.

It is not clear if AltaRock will make further attempts at the Geysers site or move elsewhere.