Exploitation and Utilization of Oilfield Geothermal Resources in China
Geothermal energy is a clean, green renewable resource, which can be utilized for power generation, heating, cooling, and could effectively replace oil, gas, and coal. In recent years, oil companies have put more efforts into exploiting and utilizing geothermal energy with advanced technologies for heat-tracing oil gathering and transportation, central heating, etc., which has not only reduced resource waste, but also improved large-scale and industrial resource utilization levels, and has
... evels, and has achieved remarkable economic and social benefits. Based on the analysis of oilfield geothermal energy development status, resource potential, and exploitation and utilization modes, the advantages and disadvantages of harnessing oilfield geothermal resource have been discussed. Oilfield geothermal energy exploitation and utilization have advantages in resources, technical personnel, technology, and a large number of abandoned wells that could be reconstructed and utilized. Due to the high heat demand in oilfields, geothermal energy exploitation and utilization can effectively replace oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuels, and has bright prospects. The key factors limiting oilfield geothermal energy exploitation and utilization are also pointed out in this paper, including immature technologies, lack of overall planning, lack of standards in resource assessment, and economic assessment, lack of incentive policies, etc. Energies 2016, 9, 798 2 of 13 research efforts, including oilfield geothermal water reinjection technology, gas heat pump technology, medium and low-temperature geothermal power generation applications, oilfield geothermal resource assessment, etc., have been conducted and have made significant progress. It is well known that oil companies are not only major energy producers but also large energy consumers; they consume a large amount of gas, oil, and coal in order to heat living spaces, perform thermal recovery of heavy oil, provide heating to oil pipelines, etc. This consumption of gas and oil not only increases operating costs, but also living costs. The exploitation and utilization of available oilfield thermal resources could not only replace oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuels      , but could also provide a new path for oilfield economic diversification and future development. Therefore, the exploitation and utilization of oilfield geothermal energy has a bright future.