Lincolnshire’s exhausted oil wells investigated as source of geothermal energy

An onshore oil field in Lincolnshire could be used as a source to provide geothermal heat.
Europa Oil & Gas, which operates the West Firsby oil well in Lincolnshire, has announced plans to assess the field’s potential as a geothermal test and commercial deployment site and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Causeway Geothermal (NI). Causeway GT says its mission is to provide locally sourced, clean, 24-7 heat for industrial and commercial customers.
Europa says West Firsby is late in its productive life. Its nine wellbores with seven wellheads extend over an area of 2.5km2 and to a depth of 1,680 m. It says, “The existing well bores, together with the availability of data collected over the last 34 years and the geothermal gradient make West Firsby one of the best candidates in the UK for testing geothermal solutions.” The companies will work together to utilise existing infrastructure and wells to test geothermal solutions at West Firsby with the objective of developing, evaluating and refining elements of CausewayGT’s technology, while also assessing the potential delivery of heat from West Frisby.

Over two years, the teams at CausewayGT and Europa will analyse the West Firsby dataset, including rock properties, temperature data and well data, and assess the potential for commercial deployment of geothermal at the site.

Simon Oddie, chief executive of Europa, said: “Teaming up with CausewayGT to evaluate the conversion of onshore legacy oilfields, such as West Firsby, into 100% clean, reliable, and cheap sources of electricity and heat by harnessing geothermal energy demonstrates our ambition to make a positive contribution to the ongoing energy transition.” He added, that Europa can “play a key role in proving up the viability of generating clean energy and heat from legacy oil fields and in the process advancing the geothermal industry in the UK.

Niall McCormack, chief executive of Causeway Geothermal (NI) Ltd said: “Working with Europa to undertake studies and potential field tests at West Firsby is a significant development for CausewayGT and geothermal energy in the UK. West Firsby provides a significant opportunity to utilise the existing well stock and the site to calibrate the dynamic modelling of CausewayGT’s geothermal energy system, to test scenarios with a view to optimising deployment and also to testing viability of different deployment approaches. ”