Political push in Canada for utilising drilled oil wells for geothermal development

Political push in Canada for utilising drilled oil wells for geothermal development Oil well in Alberta/ Canada (source: flickr/ davebloggs007, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 23 Mar 2017

Politicians from Alberta are calling for federal support for geothermal, which could help bring jobs back to unemployed oil workers by utilising abandoned oil wells for geothermal energy utilisation.

With Canada’s oil and gas sector particularly in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan hit by low oil prices and thousands of layoffs. There is now increasing preasure to help those workers to find jobs.

One of the points now being raised is the opportunity that lies in those wells for geothermal utilisation and there are hopes this could bring thousands of jobs back to a sector hit hard by the low oil prices.

In a news article from Alberta/ Canada, it is said that “Edmonton-Riverbend MP Matt Jeneroux has a private members motion on the order paper. M-122 calls for support for the geothermal industry in Canada.

“Right now we have 200,000 people out of work, and this an opportunity with a bunch of orphaned wells around that we can convert those to geothermal,” Jeneroux said in a phone interview from Ottawa. “It’s a potential savings for the provincial government, but it also helps get people back to work.”

He said the abandoned wells normally would have concrete pumped into them to cap them. Instead Jeneroux has been working with the industry to have those orphaned wells converted to geothermal production.

With potential seen in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, the 50-60,000 abandoned wells provide a good potential creating jobs, but also provide economic benefits. The federal budget could help set the right incentive by providing the same tax treatment as other altenerative energy sources have received over the years in Canada.

“Solar energy and wind energy is able to provide a tax incentive to go and pursue that technology, but geothermal isn’t.”

“One of the changes proposed by the Canadian Geothermal Association is that they’d like to see geothermal included in that. If that’s some of the regulatory changes that the government can make, then great, but what we’re calling on them is to take a review and take geothermal seriously.”

For more details see article linked below.

Source: 630CHED