Large amounts of oil and gas were produced in Central Europe from thousands of deep wells, but after decades of production many of the hydrocarbon wells are abandoned or must soon be abandoned. The declining hydrocarbon industry leaves behind an enormous infrastructure and thousands of highly skilled workers, especially in rural areas facing multiple economic and social challenges. Instead of abandoning unused wells, they can be used for geothermal energy production and heat storage to support local communities and industries in the energy transition. However, this potential is largely underutilised due to economic uncertainties and non-technical barriers.
The overall objective of TRANSGEO is to enable a structural change from a fossil-fuel producing hydrocarbon industry towards sustainable green energy provision from geothermal energy sources within Central Europe with focus on rural areas. Our approach of applying established geothermal technologies and workflows to the conditions of existing hydrocarbon infrastructure and matching it with local energy demand and heating networks
is highly innovative.
The main outputs include a transnational well repurpose potential assessment, site-specific feasibility studies, validated well repurpose methodologies, a web-based tool for assessment of well repurpose potential, and a transnational strategy and action plan. The uptake of these outputs will be ensured by a Cooperation Agreement for long-term support of well repurposing in Central Europe.
Transnational cooperation is indispensable because of the following reasons:
(i) technological, legislative, economic and social challenges related to structural change and heat transition are very similar in the considered regions;
(ii) competences and expertise of project partners operating in science, industry, regional development and regulation in different countries are essential for the development of joint novel solutions for well repurposing.
Policy objective: Cooperating for a greener central Europe (PO2)
Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany, www.gfz-potsdam.de
State Office for Mining, Geology and Raw Material of Brandenburg, Germany, https://lbgr.brandenburg.de/lbgr/de/
ONEO GmbH, Germany https://oneo.eu/
Geological Survey of Austria, Austria www.geologie.ac.at
Greenwell Energy GmbH, Austria https://www.greenwell.energy/
CROST Regional Development Nonprofit Ltd., Hungary
University of Pécs, Hungary https://international.pte.hu/
Mining Property Utilization Nonprofit Public Ltd, Hungary http://www.bvh.hu
Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd., Croatia www.menea.hr
University of Zagreb – Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, Croatia https://www.rgn.unizg.hr/en/
Local Energy Agency Pomurje, Slovenia, www.lea-pomurje.si