Transforming abandoned wells for geothermal energy production

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.