Converting Wells to Energy Storage
Renewell Energy publishes a white paper on the logistics behind their technology that converts oil and gas wells to energy storage.
Natural gas and oil wells are ubiquitous in our lands, from the urban landscape of Los Angeles to the rolling plains of West Texas. These wells are a testament to the widespread and historical significance of fossil fuels in providing energy for the world. Remediation of these wells after the end of their productive lives has proven an ongoing challenge. As a result, there are presently over two million so-called idle oil and gas wells in North America alone. This paper describes the processes and challenges related to these idle oil and gas wells, and lays out a beneficial solution: converting idle oil and gas wells to energy storage for the electricity grid. A typical oil and gas well has a productive lifetime of about 20 to 30 years. When the value of the oil produced no longer exceeds the cost to produce it, the well stops producing and becomes what is called an idle well. Once a well reaches the end of its life, it must be retired and remediated through a process known as plug and abandonment (P&A). P&A often involves a plug and cement at the bottom of the well, but, in the United States, state regulations determine the particulars of the P&A process. Once it is properly sealed and has passed certain time-sensitive tests, nature is allowed to reclaim the well area.Converting Oil and Gas Wells to Energy Storage | By Paola Vega Jaquez, 2021