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Repurposing Oil and Gas Wells for Geothermal - The Well Integrity Perspective Featured Image

Repurposing Oil and Gas Wells for Geothermal - The Well Integrity Perspective

The number of O&G wells at the end of their economic life continues to grow. Likewise, the costs continue to increase for their decommissioning & abandonment. Many benefits would accrue if these wells could be used as a source of geothermal energy, and interest is growing in the feasibility of re-purposing these wells to geothermal. A major consideration in new geothermal projects is a huge up-front capex requirements. In general, a quarter of the costs go towards drilling new wells and one-third towards completions. Thus re-purposing these wells could result in significant cost savings. However, many other factors must be considered, such as local energy demand, potential market, existing infrastructure, and technical challenges. A conversion strategy for the existing wells is discussed in terms of the wellbore integrity requirements and steps to ensure hydrocarbon containment during the heat extraction process. Potential well-integrity challenges in the inspection and preparation of these wells will be discussed in this presentation.