TRANSGEO aims to transform abandoned oil wells in Central Europe into geothermal projects

The newly launched TRANSGEO project aims to investigate abandoned oil and gas wells in central Europe and how they can be utilized for extracting geothermal energy.

The project was co-funded by the European Commission and the Interreg Central Europe Programme. With a budget of €2.61 million (80 percent funded by the European Regional Development Fund), the project has partners in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. The coordinator for this project is Hannes Hofmann, the head of the Helmholtz Young Investigators Group “Advanced Reservoir Engineering Concepts (ARES)” at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam.

TRANSGEO’s initiative is to explore innovative concepts and technologies that facilitate the effective repurposing of oil and gas infrastructure. The project will achieving this by focusing on the following objectives:

  1. Develop a comprehensive system for evaluating the techno-economic aspects of repurposing wells. This includes the creation of a repurpose assessment tool to identify feasible solutions for transitioning towards regional energy sustainability.
  2. Evaluate the potential, demand, and feasibility of different repurposing technologies within former hydrocarbon exploitation regions located in Central Europe.
  3. Formulate a framework consisting of policies, regulations, and supportive measures that promote and accelerate the transition from fossil fuel-producing areas towards sustainable growth through the utilization of geothermal energy.

Interreg champions this transnational collaboration in order to achieve “technological, legislative, economic and social challenges related to structural change and heat transition.” Furthermore, the push for scientists, industry leaders, and regional development in these countries are “essential for the development of joint novel solutions for well repurposing.”

This initiative will allow for thousands of highly skilled oil and gas workers to redirect their expertise into the clean energy sector. According to ThinkGeo, similar initiatives are taking place globally, such as Project Innerspace in the United States and CeraPhi in the United Kingdom.

This has been a core initiative of Eavor since its inception. Alberta’s rich history and prosperity in oil and gas have allowed engineers, geologists, and skilled labour workers to become experts of worldwide calibre. Using this drilling expertise and repurposing them for cleantech is key to making an efficient and cost-effective transition to a cleaner electrical grid.

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