In the UK Sector of the North Sea there are ~285 named fields (159 oil, 85 gas, and 41 condensate). There are ~470 active oil and gas facilities in the UK North Sea. Decommissioning and removal plans show about 74 platform removals are planned over the next decade with about 1,400 wells planned for plugging and abandonment. Associated with these developments, more than 5,000 wells have been drilled. OGA reports that there are almost 800 suspended wells currently “inactive”, many >2 years.
That means there are hundreds of end of life, suspended oil or gas wells available to be considered for repurposing to potentially produce clean, renewable geothermal energy.
Using some of these assets for environmentally sustainable energy could postpone abandonment expenditures for decades and create clean energy value today.
In 2018, water production accounted for 90-95% of total fluids production in mature fields of the North Sea. Some fields producing 10-15,000 BOPD produce over 300,000 BWPD. Circulating water through geothermally heated reservoirs is a key mechanism of Multiple Well Open Systems, so some of these reservoirs may be suitable for this kind of Geothermal energy solution.
More than 50 no. facilities have elevated well bottom hole temperatures suitable for low enthalpy power generation solutions, illustrating the concept of good geothermal heat gradients associated with some hydrocarbon accumulations.