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The UK legislator with primary responsibility for energy has claimed that exhausted fracked natural-gas wells will be suitable for re-use as a geothermal energy supply (not necessarily geothermal for electricity production, but rather for heat distribution, so let's say 80° - 250°C).

Is there much of a co-location of the geo-thermal resource in the UK, with the more easily obtained frackable natural gas; and would an exhausted fracked well be structurally suitable for this?

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Viability of an oil or gas well for geothermal energy production is dependent upon several factors:
- Geothermal heat profile with depth near the well - Depth of the exhausted well - Volume of fluid acting as a heat exchange around and near the well.

I think it might be possible to use exhausted natural-gas wells will be suitable for re-use as a geothermal energy supply. Likelihood of success would require site investigation and the engineering pilot study. This idea would be ideal for university engineering / geology research.

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  • $\begingroup$ Presumably the fracking would increase near-well permeability, which would make it better (=higher effective volume) for a heat-exchange system? $\endgroup$ – winwaed Nov 21 '14 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. The fact is almost all oil, gas and water wells are fracked to increase production. $\endgroup$ – Gary Kindel Nov 21 '14 at 16:56

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