New golden age for the oil industry on electricity from deep rock heat
Why should we increase energy consumption all the time? Why do so few ask the question why we have to use so much of our energy for unnecessary waste? Through schemes with heavy subsidies and extensive tax exemptions, the authorities have set out to attract giant international data centres, battery and hydrogen factories, far in excess of the capacity we ourselves need. In addition to being a major price driver, this will also put further pressure on our increasingly stressed energy production. Norway can rather become a world leader in energy efficiency. Remember that approx. 50% of the energy consumption in buildings is used for heating.
We have 70 years of experience from the North Sea, where we have drilled over 5,000 oil and gas wells. Many of these have high pressure and high temperature, and the reservoirs contain billions of cubic meters of boiling water that can be used in electricity production. Just replace the gas turbines with steam turbines and upgrade some of the suitable wells to retrieve enough boiling water to supply the shelf and land with electricity. SINTEF researched this possibility in the mid-90s. There are also binary systems that can produce at lower temperatures.
We see that offshore wind has become the new tsunami in energy production and is flooding all other good measures. Offshore wind will never be profitable, nor is it stable. There is also no innovation in technology. It is just a scaling up of the size of the wind turbines, placed on a floating element. Norway has no competitive advantage with offshore wind, as foreign companies own most of the technology (turbines, transformers and generators). China will most likely take over the entire market at more competitive prices than we can manage here on the mountain. Offshore wind also has major negative environmental consequences, including in relation to seabirds and bird migration, emissions of microplastics with bisphenols and other environmental toxins, noise that disturbs whales and fish, etc.
Offshore wind at Hywind/Tampen is an example of a gigantic and unnecessarily wasteful project. Offshore offshore wind will never be able to provide an environmentally efficient green transition and electrification. For the oil industry, which depends on a stable energy supply with a high level of security, there is no use for unstable energy. With offshore wind, the gas turbines will still have to ensure current equalization and backup. Periodically, they will therefore also have to idle with a higher total climate emission than without the unstable energy from sea wind. Something can still be saved, as the wiring network and the transformers that have been installed can also be used to receive electricity from geothermal electricity production. Where there are no platforms that can be used, floating electric platforms can be made that can take boiling water straight up from the seabed.
A surplus of electricity from the North Sea can be sent to land, and thus we will avoid further development of wind power, on land and sea, in addition, we can dam up nuclear power, which always comes up as a solution when frustration is at its highest. Nuclear power is not good when it comes to energy preparedness, it is far too vulnerable in terms of sabotage etc
Thorium reactors are expensive and require continuous mining
In any case, making thorium fuel would be very expensive and energy-intensive, requiring continuous mining and electrolysis, as well as high temperatures. As environmentalists, we will do everything we can to stop nuclear power. What we need is a stable energy supply in Norway and Europe. Geothermal electricity and heat can cover this entire need. With energy efficiency and heat storage/ENØK here at home, this alone will be able to replace all wind power.
Boiling water from wells in the North Sea is the energy of the future
We have known about the possibility of boiling water from the seabed for several decades. AS Norge has wasted this energy by emptying it into the sea instead of utilizing the warm water for electricity production. In addition, the oil industry has used gas turbines to generate electricity for the platforms. State environmental crime has thus been committed for close to 70 years.
There is no time to lose, we are the best in the world at drilling, and the production of electricity can be started at short notice. Now political circles must see the possibility of producing electricity on the continental shelf, so that the production is almost emission-free. The possibilities for retrieving energy from the ground are at least as great as they are at sea. The excess energy from the North Sea can also help cover much of the need on land. Geothermal electricity and heat has greater potential than other energy production, and has the advantage that it makes little impact on nature, is emission-free during production, has a steady and stable energy supply, is robust, and not least good opportunities as short-distance energy with production close to where it is to be used.
Steam turbine for geothermal electricity production (Siemens)
Over nearly 70 years, we have worked up a gold mine in the North Sea, and this important gold is called boiling water in oil and gas wells. Norway has a unique opportunity to build up jobs based on technology and expertise from the oil industry, and through this create truly green and sustainable jobs. The potential on land can be as great as in the North Sea. Intelligent use of technology in energy efficiency will make Norway a leader in this field as well. Geothermal is energy for the future.