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Utilising abandoned oil wells for geothermal in Alberta seeing political interest

Oil well in Alberta/ Canada (source: flickr/ davebloggs007, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 17 Oct 2017

Repurposing abandoned oil wells in the province of Alberta, Canada is seeing political support and a first project could kick off in the city of Devon, Alberta.

In September, a group of representatives from Precision Drilling, AltaCorp Financial, Alberta Geothermal and the mayor of the city of Devon Stephen Lindop met with representatives of the legislature of the province of Alberta in Edmonton.

The group presented on a project by Alberta Geothermal that plans to repurpose abandoned oil wells and utilising them for geothermal. Applied widely across the province this could account 20% of the greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris Accord.

“It’s a huge, huge opportunity,” commented Lindop. “Instead of searching for oil and gas they would just drill for heat, down to known heat zones all across the province of Alberta. And they would change the heat into electricity.”, as reported by Devon Dispatch.

The project is moving forward and receives support by key players across the province.  There is an inter-ministry meeting planned that is to help the project move forward. With the drop in oil prices, the province has faced increasing unemployment due to the layoffs in the oil patch.

So it is not surprising seeing a Precision Drilling as part of the pitch, as it needs to put up to 400 rigs back to work. With each rig needing a support team of about 100 people, these are around 4,000 people looking for jobs.

Albera Geothermal is in discussions with the city of Devon to discuss the project and setting up operations.

With preliminary research and testing already done, now details such as necessary licensing and next steps need to be worked out.

Source: Devon Dispatch