Utilization of existing hydrocarbon wells for geothermal system development: A review

Josiane Jello, Tugce Baser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review focuses on repurposing abandoned hydrocarbon (oil and gas) wells for the geothermal system development. There are approximately three million abandoned wells in the United States alone, and these wells emit alarming amounts of greenhouse gases and pose serious health hazards. These issues can be addressed by repurposing abandoned wells for the utilization of geothermal energy systems, leading to an increase in the number of geothermal systems deployments. Despite this potential, there are only a few numbers of installations of a geothermal system converted from hydrocarbon wells. Therefore, this study presents a comprehensive review on the current status of abandoned wells, potential risks to environment and human health they pose, and available feasibility and pilot studies on repurposing oil and gas wells for geothermal system development. The challenges, opportunities, and pathways to improve the current understanding of repurposing wells are presented in detail. Utilization of existing wells for an advanced geothermal energy storage system development for flexible energy generation is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121456
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Oct 15 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change mitigation
  • Geothermal energy
  • Hydrocarbon wells
  • Methane emissions
  • Repurposing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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