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Whole Systems and Life Cycle Concepts to Understand Contributions of Different Energy Resources and Technologies

Carey King
Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas–Austin

High oil and gasoline prices are increasingly common topics in debate and in the press. While prices are what most people think about, energy accounting concepts are another way to analyze future oil supplies and substitutes. These energy analysis methods are not new, but this presentation will introduce the concept of ‘energy return on energy invested’ (EROI) and how it can help understand future options for services from liquid fuels and transportation options. Historical trends will show the battle between resource depletion and increased technological capability have had two cycles since World War II, and that we are at the bottom of the second cycle. The discussion of peak world oil production symbolizes the disagreement about the bulk quantity of future oil production and EROI helps explain why just counting the volume of production does not adequately measure productive value.

As an example of marginal oil resources, I will also discuss recent analysis of a hypothetical carbon dioxide capture, storage, and use network in the Texas Gulf Coast that models capturing CO2 from multiple coal-fired power plants for use in enhanced oil recovery and storage and saline reservoirs.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012