What happens when oil and gas wells dry up? Answer: A little better.
Owners, often small businesses that acquire wells from major producers when oil and gas production declines, can pay anywhere from $ 70,000 to $ 500,000 to safely cap them. This process involves filling the underground pipes with cement to close the oil and gas sources and then cutting the top half of the casing. However, the cost rises quickly if engineers must clean and remove contaminated soil.
At other times, producers simply walk away. In California alone, there are some 5,540 orphan wells and 37,000 inactive wells, including many from Los Angeles County. When this happens, state agencies become responsible for taking appropriate abandonment steps, causing California and other taxpayers to pay millions of dollars annually.
Professor Iraj Ershaghi of USC Viterbi, Omar B. in Petroleum Engineering. Milenge Chair, believes that his team has “brought in” an innovative way to take these dormant wells. environmental hazards And turn them into something valuable. “
In collaboration with Don Paul, a research professor of engineering and William M. KK Professor of Energy Resources, and Birendra Jha, an assistant professor Petroleum Engineering, Irshagi wants to convert inactive oil and Gas wells In condoms for sub-storage space much needed for solar and wind generated electricity. They believe that doing so can help prevent future rolling blackouts in California and increase the nation’s energy security
“It is a shame to leave these wells, which were drilled at a high cost, when we can use them for something that the country needs: SubService Energy Storage,” said Irshagi meet the needs. “This is going to be huge in terms of energy security and in terms of environmental safety in terms of storage. You can turn an eye and a potential problem into an opportunity.”
To convert inactive wells into subsurface storage, a company will pour cement down the pipes to seal oil and gas reservoirs. A sensor will be added near the top to detect any harmful leaks, and perforation will allow access to perforation-depth saline aquifers.
Created by lasting power solar panels Ershaghi said that the windmill placed near idle wells would be converted into high-pressure air. The air will pass through pipes between 1,000 and 8,000 feet below the surface into saline waterways, or shallow wet sand. He said that these wet sands, which are prevalent in California and elsewhere, can store huge amounts of sustainable energy.
High-pressure air will remain safely underground until necessary. Then “you can release it to create electricity using turbines and send electricity to the grid,” Irshagi continued. “So if you expand it all over California and other places, you’ll have these massive, massive geological storage sites that you can access when there is a blackout.”
Petroleum engineers and subsurface geologists currently sequester greenhouse gases such as greenhouse gases that add carbon dioxide to new deep wells, using similar concepts and methods. Opposite of CO2However, pressurized air is harmless, Ershagi said.
Nationwide, the Energy Information Administration says that oil and gas producers could go to 15,000 wells in California and 300,000 in the US in the coming decade. Although not all of them can be used for suboptimal storage, many can be converted. A single inverted well can store at least 5 megawatts of energy in thick, sandstone formations below the surface, while a retired oil or gas field can hold thousands of megawatts. One megawatt is equal to one million watts. For comparison, a typical lightbulb is 40 to 100 watts.
Ershagi, Paul and Jha have started their work. With the participation of Surface Power Generation Company, EIC, they are expected to be identified as a demonstration venue next summer and a prospectus by 2021. Irshagi and Paul, experts in subsurface engineering, geology, geonaveenbharatics and the Industrial Internet of Things, are overseeing the project, while Jha manages the geological, geotechnical and subsurface modeling work.
Irshagi said that the trio also has plans to collaborate with USC Viterbi computer scientists, civil and environmental and electrical engineers.
“I think it would be good for the good owners of oil and gas, who wouldn’t have to go through the huge expense of total abandonment and could actually get potential royalties to provide their wells for storage sites,” he said . “Utilities that are in dire need to meet deadlines alternatively Energy Come with solutions, and feasible Storage Like the entire economy, solutions will also benefit. This is a win. ”
University of Southern California
Quotes: Changing oil wells in batteries for sun and wind (2021, 13 January) Retrieved 13 January 2021 from https://naveenbharat.com/news/2021-01-oil-wells-batteries-sun.html .
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