The would-be fracking company, IGas, has announced an agreement with CeraPhi Energy to develop geothermal energy projects using existing oil and gas wells.
The first project would be near Lincoln at one of IGas’s existing sites, the company said this morning.
It would be used to demonstrate the commercial potential of geothermal energy from repurposed oil and gas assets, IGas said, for direct heat for agriculture, home heating and cooling and hybrid energy schemes that would also generate power.
In a statement to investors, IGas said the project would use its deep local knowledge, surface infrastructure and existing wells, along with a closed loop downhole heat exchanger developed by CeraPhi.
IGas did not identify the site location. The company’s headquarters are at the Welton oil field, about five miles from the centre of Lincoln.
IGas’s shale gas operation at Misson in north Nottinghamshire has been suspended following the ongoing moratorium on fracking in England announced in November 2020. In July 2021, IGas was refused planning permission to extend the life of the Misson site by another three years. It has until the end of February 2022 to lodge an appeal.
Exactly a year ago, IGas acquired GT Energy UK Limited, a geothermal business with plans for a deep renewable heat scheme in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Planning permission for that project was granted in June 2021.
IGas chief executive, Stephen Bowler, said today:
“The signing of the agreement with CeraPhi is another important step in IGas’s drive to diversify its operations, adding to the ongoing work on hydrogen production and carbon storage and bolstering our established geothermal offering.
“As local authorities and other large-scale users of heat transition away from fossil fuels we are receiving an increasing number of enquiries looking to geothermal as a solution and through this growing pipeline of development opportunities, IGas is well-positioned to deliver a solution to the long-term decarbonisation for heat in the UK.”
Karl Farrow, chief executive of CeraPhi Energy, said
“The repurposing of oil and gas wells to access subsurface thermal heat to produce baseload clean energy has to become a primary step to developing a wider appreciation of what geothermal can provide us. This agreement with IGas is yet another demonstration of the energy transition harnessing existing skills and expertise that we have in the UK to support a net zero target.”
CeraPhi Energy has offices in London, Great Yarmouth and Penryn, in Cornwall, and Houston. In June 2021, the company announced its was working with Third Energy to investigate using non-producing gas wells in Ryedale for geothermal energy.