Lendava/Maribor – A pilot project designed to extract geothermal energy from abandoned oil and gas wells will kick off in Lendava, in what is seen as a potential use case for abandoned wells around the world.
The project involves sinking a Slovenian-designed geothermal gravitational heat tube into an abandoned well to a depth of about three kilometres to secure sufficient heat energy to produce power.
The initiative is led by a subsidiary of the state-owned power utility HSE, energy group Petrol and chemical company Nafta, which is located in the area where oil and gas used to be extracted.
The trio signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lendava municipality last week.
There are at least 15 abandoned oil and gas wells in Slovenia and over ten million around the world, according to HSE.
This means the project is a potential milestone for geothermal energy extraction around the globe as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Andrej Tumpej, the director of HSE subsidiary DEM, said the project would be the first real-world application of a Slovenian patent.
Its execution will be “a new stepping stone in development and the transition to a low-carbon society,” he told an online press conference on Thursday.
Petrol board member Jože Bajuk added that projects such as this harboured great potential in Petrol’s efforts to become a low-carbon energy company.