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Experimental Boreholes

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy why Her Majesty's Government are ending funding for experimental boreholes for drilling for hot water at Southampton, Cleethorpes, Marchwood and Lame; and what conveniently available figures he has for the cost of capping and making safe the boreholes.

The research programme to which my Department has committed some £10 million over the past 9 years has shown that the United Kingdom geothermal aquifer resource is very limited in size and the prospects for its commercialisation are poor. I have therefore decided to discontinue work in this field. No decisions have yet been made on the existing boreholes at Southampton, Cleethorpes, Marchwood and Lame. Current estimates are that the cost of permanent capping and permanently making safe these boreholes would be £100,000 each.