Alberta looks at converting disused oil wells for geothermal energy production

Alberta looks at converting disused oil wells for geothermal energy production Oil well in Alberta/ Canada (source: flickr/ davebloggs007, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 12 Oct 2016

The Province of Alberta in Canada is looking at ways of creating jobs for its oil sectors and utilising some of the 78,000 suspended oil & gas wells in the province for geothermal energy systems seems to be a real option.

The Energy Ministry of the province of Alberta in Canada is looking at ways to rejuvenate its oil and gas business … and it does so by considering geothermal energy as an option, so a recent article on oil publication, Alberta Oil Magazine.

The currently low oil prices have hit Canada’s oil sector very hard, particularly in Alberta where oil is derived from oil sands at a high cost.

Now the province’s energy Minister has tasked his staff to consider options to move forward on climate plans. Converting disused well to be usable for utilising geothermal energy is a real option. There are though challenges, as simple as regulation. Converting a well used previously for extracting hydrocarbon is currently not as easy, as geothermal as a resource is currently not regulated under legislation in the province.

In the past, big oil firms were able to sell lower-then-expected producing wells to smaller firms, but with current cost structures there simply is no buyer. So the big oil firms see the conversion of oil wells to geothermal systems as a solution.

The company Sundial Energy is- so Alberta Oil – central to a feasibility study into developing Canada’s first geothermal heating project from a producing oil well. Value could be added to an abandoned well, by utilising heat for e.g. a greenhouse. The company has worked on a feasibility study, that indicates that geothermal could generate up to $1 million in annual revenue from heating facilities for year-round tomato production. One Calgary-based oil firm is spearheading efforts to prove the concept on a well in Saskatchewan but does not want to be named.

Alberta has around 78,000 suspended wells and only considering 10% of those wells being used, could still present a real economic option and jobs for an oil sector that is struggling.

For more details see the article, linked below.

Source: Alberta Oil