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Comment published on 2 December 2020, see Energies 2020, 13(23), 6373.
Article

Repurposing Hydrocarbon Wells for Geothermal Use in the UK: The Onshore Fields with the Greatest Potential

James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
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Energies 2020, 13(14), 3541; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143541
Received: 12 June 2020 / Revised: 30 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 July 2020 / Published: 9 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section G: Geo-Energy)
One potential opportunity for the decarbonisation of heat supply in the UK is the repurposing of onshore hydrocarbon wells for the production and/or storage of geothermal heat. This paper reports an investigation into the most favourable candidate sites for such repurposing, taking into consideration the available thermal energy outputs and technological options for heat use. A GIS mapping model was generated, combining public domain data on onshore wells and production data from onshore fields, provided by the UK Oil and Gas Authority, with available subsurface temperature data. This model has thus integrated information on location, depth, operational status, and bottom-hole temperature for onshore hydrocarbon wells with production rates from onshore fields in the UK. Of the 2242 onshore hydrocarbon wells thus reported, 560 have the potential to be repurposed, 292 of which are currently operating. Using aggregated water production data for all operating wells in each field, the fields with the greatest potential for geothermal repurposing are ranked. Two of these, the Wytch Farm and Wareham fields, are selected for more detailed analysis. Wytch Farm, the largest onshore oilfield in western Europe, produces water at ~65 °C that might yield a feasible thermal power output of ~90 MW. If an end use could be found where it might substitute for burning of natural gas, the value of this output would be ~£90,000 per day or ~£30 million per year. However, this field is located in a protected landscape where local development would be restricted by planning regulations. The Wareham field is not in a protected landscape, but the low temperature, ~44 °C, and low flow rate limit the scope of potential end uses. Nonetheless, these and the other highly ranked fields have potential heat outputs that are significant compared with other geothermal heat projects, thus offering the possibility of making useful contributions to the decarbonisation of UK energy use. View Full-Text
Keywords: geothermal energy; repurposing hydrocarbon wells; UK resource assessment geothermal energy; repurposing hydrocarbon wells; UK resource assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Watson, S.M.; Falcone, G.; Westaway, R. Repurposing Hydrocarbon Wells for Geothermal Use in the UK: The Onshore Fields with the Greatest Potential. Energies 2020, 13, 3541. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143541

AMA Style

Watson SM, Falcone G, Westaway R. Repurposing Hydrocarbon Wells for Geothermal Use in the UK: The Onshore Fields with the Greatest Potential. Energies. 2020; 13(14):3541. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143541

Chicago/Turabian Style

Watson, Sean M., Gioia Falcone, and Rob Westaway. 2020. "Repurposing Hydrocarbon Wells for Geothermal Use in the UK: The Onshore Fields with the Greatest Potential" Energies 13, no. 14: 3541. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143541

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