Abstract: Use of Reserve/Resource Estimates by National ERDA Laboratory
I. Y. Borg
The 1973 embargo and subsequent price increases focused the attention of the nation and the national laboratories on reserve/resource data for energy fuels. Formation of ERDA emphasized the increased interest in long-range research and development (R&D) with the objective of developing novel energy sources.
Planning requires reconnaissance of the extent of this nation's reserves/resources, understanding of what these numbers mean, and a choice between the estimates available. The purpose is to recognize short supply, to estimate lead times available to develop alternative sources, and to indicate potential resources that require extensive, multidiscipline R&D efforts to develop.
The role of a national laboratory is to pursue long-range projects where initial investment of time and money may be unrealistic from industry's point of view. Nonetheless, industrial cooperation is vital to their success.
Before fruitful programs are selected, funded, and inaugurated, a new set of information pertaining to fossil reserves/resources is needed. Data tend to be specific and are usually difficult to garner from current sources such as API, AGA, NPC, or U.S. Geological Survey reports. They include information on attitude and thickness of continuous sections, e.g., of heavy-oil accumulations or oil shale; the data are crucial to the technology chosen for the development of the resource. The depth of the accumulations is pertinent as is location of the resource. Large accumulations in populated areas pose special problems as do diffuse resources spread over hundreds of square miles. There is no single recognized data bank containing information of this type. It is largely proprietary and unco lated. Increased cooperation between industry and government is needed in order to develop these novel fuels.
As a consequence of study and reviews at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, large ongoing programs have evolved. They deal with in-situ coal gasification and oil-shale retorting, laser enrichment of uranium, utilization of geothermal brines, and a transportation program designed to develop alternate automotive fuels (MeOH, MeOH-gasoline, lithium-air-water battery) and alternate/hybrid engines for them.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90968©1977 AAPG-SEPM Annual Convention and Exhibition, Washington, DC