Presentation on theme: "Taxonomy of Unconventional Oils: Chemical Makeup and Climate Considerations Deborah Gordon Senior Associate Carnegie Energy & Climate Program February."— Presentation transcript:
Taxonomy of Unconventional Oils: Chemical Makeup and Climate Considerations Deborah Gordon Senior Associate Carnegie Energy & Climate Program February 8, 2012
What Are Unconventional Oils? The term unconventional oil is synonymous with oil that cannot be produced, transported, or refined using traditional techniques The transition to unconventional oils might be viewed as a technologically and economically driven re-definition of the resource base for liquid hydrocarbon fuels The chemical make up of these petroleum resources and their climate impactscan be vastly different from one another and from conventional oil
Conventional Crude Oil Hydrogen-rich hydrocarbon compounds with fewer carbon atoms and lower molecular weights Crude continuum from high quality light, sweet crudes (Libya and Nigeria) to heavy, sour crudes (Venezuela) Lighter, sweeter crudes have chemical make ups that yield todays marketable petroleum products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel) C 1 to C 60 Molecular weight ~ 200
Oil Sands and Heavy Oil Contain large, carbon-laden hydrocarbon compounds Extra heavy oils (also called bitumen), are extremely viscous – sometimes nearly solid Typically contain high concentrations of sulfur and metals such as nickel and vanadium Require pre-processing into synthetic crude oil Removal by mining or in-situ with different impacts
Oil Shale The petroleum component of the oil shale (kerogen) is less mature, and has not yet been fully transformed into oil or natural gas Kerogen in the oil shale cannot be pumped directly from the ground or refined with traditional techniques Oil shale must be heated to high temperatures to transform the kerogen into an upgraded hydrocarbon product, similar to diesel
Tight Oils Referred to as Shale Oil Produced from low-permeability siltstones, sandstones, and carbonates Extraction methods are unconventionalfracking and horizontal drilling Oils vary but tend to have similar properties (density, sulfur content) as conventional oil product Heavier hydrocarbons, more diesel-like make up
Unconventional oils are an evolving species of new petroleum fuels Their quality will change over time Source: IEA, David Fyfe, http://csis.org/files/attachments/110621_Energy_Fyfe.pdf
As oil quality changes so do the processes to refine them and the products they yield
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Comparing Conventional and Unconventional Oils Life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil sands are reported to increase by 5 to 15 percent [per mile driven] compared to the average crude refined in the United States Well-to-wheel emissions are one measure to compare the lifecycle GHGs from motor vehicles using different fuels Per barrel produced and per energy produced, GHG emissions increases from unconventional oils are estimated to be significantly greater than conventional oil3x or more
Climate Considerations of Unconventional Oil Production All fuels except CTL: IEA Energy Technology Network, May 2010, http://www.iea-etsap.org/web/E-TechDS/PDF/P02-Uncon%20oil&gas-GS-gct.pdf CTL: EU Fuels Directive Draft, 2009 Petroleum Fuel Low Emissions Estimate g CO 2 /MJ High Emissions Estimate g CO 2 /MJ Average Emissions Estimate g CO 2 /MJ Average Increase UO compared to Conventional Oil Conventional Oil184.108.40.206 Oil Sand and Heavy Oils9.31612.63x Oil Shale135031.57x Coal-to-Liquids (CTL)-- 10122x
Managing Climate Impacts from Unconventional Oils Global unconventional resources are massive and largely untapped Unconventional oil in the ground may be far greater than all of the worlds currently economically recoverable conventional oil The paradigm shift to UOs highlights the need for early and comprehensive assessment of the environmental and social impacts of resource development, including the need for mitigation strategies and long range planning Climate, environmental, and other social factors are not being fully considered in early UO developments worldwide.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Critical aspects [of unconventional oils] are often not well understoodfor instance, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity or effects on water supplies. Source: National Petroleum Council, September 15, 2011
New oils will replace the loss of more than one-half of global conventional oil production through 2035 Understanding and managing GHGs from Unconventional Oils matters to maintain the 2 o C climate safety threshold New Fuels Require New Rules Source: ExxonMobil, The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, 2012
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