Converting Abandoned Oil Wells in Alberta to Extract Geothermal Energy and Boost Employment

converting abandoned oil pumps into geothermal energy wells
Image Source: the great 8, CC BY 2.0

According to a recent industry report, Alberta is planning to use tax dollars to convert its abandoned oil wells into facilities that extract geothermal energy and help the unemployed get work.

The province’s recent federal budget has been anticipated by thousands of unemployed energy workers who are hoping that it will include bringing their jobs back to life. While their request is going to be realized, their new work will be different from the previous one, as they will not be drilling for oil but for geothermal energy. Expressing his views on the project and his support for the geothermal industry, Edmonton Member of Parliament (MP) Matt Jeneroux said:

“Right now we have 200,000 people out of work, and this an opportunity with a bunch of orphaned wells around that we can convert those to geothermal. It’s a potential savings for the provincial government, but it also helps get people back to work.

“There’s 50,000 to 60,000 abandoned wells right now, so if there’s a potential in some of those that really gives people the potential to get back to work, but also the economic benefit as well.”

However, Jeneroux warned that geothermal power is not 100%. He said that the right spots need to be identified, emphasizing that abandoned wells in the foothills of Alberta’s Rockies will be among the perfect candidates.

He adds that this project is also supported by back-bench MPs and Liberal cabinet ministers.