Peak Oil and Natural Gas Essay

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Energy Economics – Study Notes
Lecture 1
In Canada, 75% of our energy is Hydrocarbons, 15% Renewables, and 10% Nuclear.
In the World, 81% is Hydrocarbon, 13% Renewables, and 6% Nuclear.
World consumption of oil is about 90 million barrels per day or about 30 billion barrels of oil per year.
World consumption of natural gas is about 300 billion cubic feet per day or about 100 trillion cubic feet per year.
FRACKING – involves applying high pressure water to break rocks, in order to extract shale gas, which is a natural gas that could replace oil. Challenge is horizontally drilling, since it is very deep. Shale is a sedimentary rock.
Other Facts:
Japan has the largest nuclear base, Canada has tar sands (thick liquids)
Urban Heat Island effect – urban expansion will lead to higher temperature
Why do we consume so much energy?
Wealth, developed countries, long winters in Canada and Russia, population density (if dense, subway works. If sparse, then cars must be bought).
Pearl Harbour – Japanese attacked US because of an oil embargo. It wanted to easily attack
INodnesia for oil supply in 1941.
Canada and Russia use the most natural gas, which is shipped through pipelines and have different markets depending on geography.
Hydrocarbons can be in gas form (methane), liquid form (oil and tar sands), or solid form
(coal). Coal produces 2x as much CO2 as natural gas, and Oil adds 1.5x as much CO2.
Some argue that natural gas is a bridge fuel that will take us from one era to the next.
Carbon Economy – where combustion of hydrocarbons produce CO2 and energy.
Hydrogen Economy – burning hydrogen to produce water and energy.
Our Atmosphere:
- Nitrogen 78%
• Oxygen 21%
• Argon 0.9%
• Carbon Dioxide 0.035%
Fractional Distillation – how chemicals in a barrel of oil are separated. Different components of crude oil have different boiling points, and at first, you boil everything to 600 degrees
Celcius. The vapour goes up a fractional distillation column, it cools and becomes a liquid.
The trays collect various liquid fractions. It goes from residue, to diesel (260), kerosene (180), naphtha, petrol (40), and refined gas.
Primary energy is a source of energy that has not been subject to a conversion or transformation process



Secondary energy involves conversion

First law of thermodynamics: conservation of energy. changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed.
Second law of thermodynamics: law of entropy. system, the potential energy of the system is reduced and it results in losses primary energy  secondary energy  work
Forms of Energy:
heat, vibration of molecules
Biomass – people burned firewood.
Waterwheels for grinding grain.
Bronze age – burned a lot of copper and tin
Iron Age – melting iron at 1500 degrees
Sail ships and windmills were invented
Industrial Revolution – External Combustion Engines (steam engines), Coal, Coke?
19th century – internal combustion
20th century – turbines



Internal vs. External Combustion Engines:
In an Internal Combustion Engine, the Fuel is burnt in the cylinder or vessel eg. Diesel or
Petrol engine used in Cars.
In an External Combustion Engine, the internal working fuel is not burnt. Here the fluid is being heated from an external source. The fuel is heated and expanded through the internal mechanism of the engine resulting in work. eg. Steam Turbine, Steam engine Trains.
Internal engine has its energy ignited in the cylinder. like 99.9% of engines today.
An external combustion example is a steam engine where the heating process is done in an boiler out side the engine.
Rules of Thumb:
27% of carbon dioxide is carbon.
The world consumers 90 million barrels of oil per day, or 30 billion in a year.
Natural gas – 300 billion cubic feet per day, or 100 trillion a year.
Coal adds 2x as much CO2 as natural gas
Oil adds 1.5x as much CO2 as natural gas.
Lecture 2
Conservation tillage is any method