UK players exploring on reusing non-producing gas wells for geothermal

UK players exploring on reusing non-producing gas wells for geothermal Geothermal energy has multiple applications (source: CeraPhi Energy)
Alexander Richter 22 Jun 2021

UK based Third Energy UK and CeraPhi Energy partner on exploring opportunities to repurpose non-producing gas wells for geothermal energy production.

UK-based Third Energy UK, a privately-owned group of power generation and onshore gas exploration companies based in North Yorkshire, England has announced a partnership with renewable energy developer CeraPhi Energy.

The partnership aims to investigate reusing Third Energy’s non-producing gas wells for geothermal energy. Third has turned to CeraPhi Energy’s expertise and proprietary technology to assess the viability and commercial potential of repurposing wells at its north Yorkshire sites.

Both companies say the results could be game-changing for geothermal ‘s role in the energy transition and have a revolutionary impact on the UK onshore oil and gas sector’s late life and ‘orphaned’ wells.

Feasibility and conceptual studies for reusing the wells will start next month initially looking at MN4, KM3 and KM8 wells in the Vale of Pickering under the new head of terms signed with Third.

The CeraPhi team’s focus will be on assessing the wells’ development potential for its patented technology CeraPhiWell (TM), a closed loop downhole heat exchanger that draws up subsurface heat to be used for different applications for scalable baseload energy including:

  • Direct heat for agriculture
  • Residential heating/cooling
  • Downhole green hydrogen production
  • Incorporation of heat pumps for enhanced heat recovery
  • A combination of heat and power

CeraPhiWell (TM) is at the heart of CeraPhi’s strategy to de-risk geothermal energy scale-up using end-of-life and non-producing oil and gas wells and prove the “huge commercial potential” for geothermal energy production to achieve the 500GW of additional geothermal energy in the next 30 years in line with Paris 2050 Climate Accord for carbon reduction.

CeraPhi CEO Karl Farrow said: “This is a step change approach and to look at energy transition differently using older non-productive oil and gas assets to produce clean energy and help the decarbonisation process.

“We have been discussing this with Third for more than nine months and it’s a great example of clean energy transition by an operator who can see a clear benefit and wants to lead by example.”

Russell Hoare, Third managing director said: “We have been assessing the possibility of repurposing our wells for geothermal energy and other uses for more than a year now, and as a continuation of the feasibility work already completed, we are excited to be engaging with CeraPhi on these specific projects with a view to developing those assets for the Net Zero future.”

Third Energy aim is to diversify its existing power generation assets and develop new sources of energy consistent with the UK Government’s Net Zero 2050 targets.

Mr Farrow said: “A baseload energy working alongside other renewables like wind and solar will make a significant contribution towards carbon reduction target. Also, repurposing oil and gas wells represents a new tool for the management of plugging and abandonment obligations and liabilities.

“Geothermal energy production is simply the use of heat and the heat is everywhere. We know from oil and gas that the deeper you drill the hotter it gets and so he right temperatures can be accessed anywhere.”

Source: company release by email