Lect4_aut2017_intro_to_ff_&_prospecting_oilgas_170922.pdf

Lect4_aut2017_intro_to_ff_&_prospecting_oilgas_170922.pd...

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Class props: beach ball, reservoir rocks
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Remember from Lecture 2: ± Oil, natural gas, and coal are all fossil fuels. They are hydrocarbons that store chemical energy. All are depletable (a “stock” resource) - resources that have accumulated over millions of years in the earth’s crust (not like solar and wind that are flow resources). ± Fossil fuels became dominant energy resources in the 20 th century. All have significant historical implica�ons (economy, poli�cs, society, environment). Coal and oil’s growth were driven by new end use growth (industrial revolu�on, illumina�on, automobiles); natural gas use growth was spurred later.
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Fossil fuels did not derive from dinosaurs, although we thought they did until about the 1980s.
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Students already saw this in The Energy Basics lecture. Fossil fuels (represented as gray and black in these pie charts) dominate over 80% of energy use in both the US and the World. Note that electricity use accounts for 35% and 40%, respec�vely, of world and US energy use. Q: Why is electricity genera�on less fossil fuel intensive? A: Oil dominates transporta�on, which is the largest energy end use. Electrifica�on of transporta�on could change this, but s�ll early days. But for the �me being, oil is primarily used for transport (not electricity in most cases), and there are many non-fossil fuel resources that can only be used for electricity genera�on, such as nuclear, hydro, solar and wind energy. Q: What major trends/changes are we seeing for fossil fuels? ± Overall slow shi� from oil and coal towards more renewable energy & natural gas. ± Growth in US natural gas use by industry and in the electric power sector (it surpassed coal last year as the number one electricity source). ± Peak oil?! ± Significant reduc�ons in coal in the US due to ageing coal power plant fleet and increased environmental regula�on. But growth elsewhere, in developing countries like India and Indonesia. Despite developing country growth, overall global coal consump�on fell by 1.8% in 2015, well below the 10-year average annual growth rate of 2.1% (driven by a 12.7% decline in the US and a 1.5% decline in China due to slower economic growth).
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Natural gas has the least number of components of the periodic table – it is the simplest of the fossil fuels. Contrast is stark with coal – a good chunk of the periodic table can be found in coal. So if you burn these things, the original chemical nature of natural gas (which is 90% methane in most cases) means that it burns cleaner than coal. Other components found in natural gas, oil, and petroleum include sulfur. A maceral is to coal as a mineral is to rock— degraded remains of plants with characteris�c chemical and physical a�ributes.
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Natural gas from a wellhead also contains some quan��es of hydrocarbons other than methane, in par�cular, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). NGLs are a family of five hydrogen/carbon compounds o�en found with natural gas. They are typically in liquid form at surface temperature and atmospheric pressure. They are the lighter hydrocarbons (typically two to seven carbon atoms) that can also be found in lighter crude oils.
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  • Spring '14
  • JaneWoodward

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