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The Fossil Fuels: Natural Gas and Coal. Lecture #5 HNRT 228 Spring 2014 Energy and the Environment. iClicker Question. What is a typical drill depth for an oil well? A Several hundred feet B 1000 feet C Several thousand feet D All of the above E Only A and B above. iClicker Question.

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The fossil fuels natural gas and coal

The Fossil Fuels:Natural Gas and Coal

Lecture #5

HNRT 228 Spring 2014

Energy and the Environment

Iclicker question
iClicker Question

  • What is a typical drill depth for an oil well?

    • A Several hundred feet

    • B 1000 feet

    • C Several thousand feet

    • D All of the above

    • E Only A and B above

Iclicker question1
iClicker Question

  • Which of the following is (are) used to confirm the presence of oil in a well?

    • A Core samples

    • B Well logging

    • C Drill stem testing

    • D All of the above

    • E Only A and B above

Iclicker question2
iClicker Question

  • What is the name of the suspension used to keep fractures in rock open and allow oil to flow?

    • A crackant

    • B fracture suspension

    • C flowant

    • D fracturant

    • E proppant

Iclicker question3
iClicker Question

  • The process by which components in a chemical mixture are separated according to their different boiling points, is called

    • A Distillationism

    • B Fractionation

    • C Fractioning

    • D Fractional distillation

    • E Fractional fractionating

Iclicker question4
iClicker Question

  • Which of the following are not petroleum derived products?

    • A gasoline

    • B kerosene

    • C jet fuel

    • D plastics

    • E None of the above

The fossil fuels natural gas and coal

Oil Exploration Summary

  • Oil is trapped in rare geological structures

  • Most of the oil in the world comes from a few large wells

  • About one in ten exploratory drillings strike oil

Overview of natural gas
Overview of Natural Gas

Supply of recoverable natural gas available at affordable costs has greatly increased over past 10 years

Industry’s ability to produce natural gas from shales has gone from almost 0 to > 20% of U.S. needs in just 10 years

Natural gas demand is at 22-23 Tcf/year in the U.S. (historic highs). Increased availability of gas will allow demand to continue to grow over next several years

1999 view of natural gas supply
1999 View of Natural Gas Supply

  • N. American natural gas reserves found each year were replacing produced gas, but…

    • Industry needed to drill more and more wells just to hold reserves constant while demand for production was increasing

    • Production from the Gulf of Mexico had peaked and was in decline

  • The petroleum industry was starting to have success in producing gas from shale

U s reserve base trends before and after shale gas production
U.S. Reserve Base – Trends Before and After Shale Gas Production

Significant increase in gas reserves and production from shales starts in 1999

Source: EIA

U s natural gas production
U.S. Natural Gas Production Production




U.S. natural gas production is at its highest level ever in 2008

Source: EIA

Offshore gulf of mexico in steep decline
Offshore Gulf of Mexico in Steep Decline Production

Production is down by almost 50% from 2001-07

Source: EIA

Enter barnett shale
Enter Barnett Shale Production

  • Barnett Shale

    • Geological formation located in the Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin of Texas

    • Consists of sedimentary rocks of Mississippian age (354–323 million years ago)

    • Formation underlies the city of Fort Worth and underlies 5,000 square miles (13,000 km2) and at least 17 counties of Texas

Barnett shale daily production
Barnett Shale– Daily Production Production

(TX RR Commission Areas 5 + 9 only)



Percentage of U.S. natural gas demand supplied by Barnett Shale only

- 0%

While supply from offshore GoM has fallen by >6 bcf / day, Barnett Shale production has grown by > 4 bcf/d

Source: TX RR Commission

What has changed to allow us to produce this gas
What Has Changed to Allow us to Produce This Gas? Production

  • Techniques to allow horizontal wells to be drilled efficiently have greatly improved

    • In 4Q ’06, Barnett wells drilled in 25 days for $161/ft;

    • In 2Q ‘08, Barnett wells drilled in 19 days for $131/ft

    • This is 24% faster and 19% cheaper

Source: Simmons

Frac d fracturing wells
Frac’d (Fracturing) Wells Production

Barnett shale is very hard, and it was virtually impossible to produce gas in commercial quantities from this formation until recent improvements were made in hydraulic fracturing technology and horizontal drilling, and there was an upturn in the natural gas price.

What has changed to allow us to produce this gas1
What Has Changed to Allow us to Produce this Gas Production

  • Ability to drill longer laterals

  • Experimentation on Completion Methods:

    • Cemented/Uncemented liners

    • Staged Frac’ing

    • Simulfracs

    • Frac fluids and proppants

What has changed to allow us to produce this gas2
What Has Changed to Allow us to Produce This Gas? Production

Ability to fracture shales and significantly increase production per well has dramatically improved

  • In 2005, the median initial production rate Barnett Shale wells in Johnson County, TX was 2.2 Bcf /day

  • In 2008, the median initial production rate for the Barnett wells in the same county was 7.0 Bcf/day

Source: IHS

What has changed to allow us to produce this gas3
What Has Changed to Allow us to Produce This Gas? Production

Combining drilling + production efficiencies:

  • One rig in 2005 could drill 9 wells at 2 bcf/well


  • One rig in 2008 can drill 12 wells at 4.5 bcf/well

    In 2005, the rig added 18 bcf of reserves

    In 2008, the rig adds 54 bcf of reserves

The fossil fuels natural gas and coal

Basins Where Additional Gas Will Be Produced From Shales Production





Estimated Gas In-Place in these Shales is ~ 2000 Tcf

Today s relative share of energy market by fuel
Today’s Relative Share of Energy Market by Fuel Production

Source: EIA – Annual Energy Outlook 2009

Iclicker question5
iClicker Question Production

  • Which shale basin stretches from West Virginia to New York?

    • A Haynesville

    • B Woodford

    • C Barnett

    • D Marcellus

    • E None of the above

U s energy demand by fuel
U.S. Energy Demand by Fuel Production



120 -



100 -


80 -

Quadrillion Btu’s

60 -

Natural Gas

40 -


20 -


0 -






Source: EIA – Annual Energy Outlook 2009

Natural gas use by sector in 2008
Natural Gas Use by Sector in 2008 Production

29% Electricity Generation

21% Residential

Electricity generation from natural gas has grown at rate of 4%/year since 1990

14% Commercial

3% Transportation

33% Industrial

Industrial usage of natural gas has fallen at rate of 2%/year since 1998

Source: EIA – Annual Energy Outlook 2009

Today s relative share of electricity generation by fuel
Today’s Relative Share of Electricity Generation by Fuel Production

Other Renewables 3%







Natural Gas


Oil 1%

Source: EIA – Electric Power Monthly, April 2009

Natural gas supply thru 2030
Natural Gas Supply thru 2030 Production



25 -


20 -

15 -



10 -

5 -

Net Imports

0 -





Source: EIA – Annual Energy Outlook 2009

Supply vs demand thru 2015
Supply vs. Demand thru 2015 Production

Available supply: Assume 1.8% growth / year in production capacity (starting in 2010) and net imports at 3 Tcf/yr vs. 3.3-4.0 Tcf/yr seen since ‘01

Demand (dashed curve): Assume 4% growth in use of gas for electricity generation after 1 year, 3% reduction in overall demand for 2009

Natural gas is cleaner
Natural Gas is Cleaner Production

Relative Level of NOx Emissions









Natural Gas


Ethanol Blends

Low Sulfur Diesel

Bio Diesel

Relative Level of Particulate Emissions








Source: South Coast Air Quality Management District

2007 Air Quality Management Plan Summit Panel

Natural gas is a low carbon fuel
Natural Gas is a Low Carbon Fuel Production

Natural Gas

Oil 28% more

Coal 43% more






Pounds of Carbon per Billion BTU

Source: EIA, Natural Gas: Issues & Trends, 1998

Iclicker question6
iClicker Question Production

  • Which has lowest amount of nitrous oxide emissions?

    • A Diesel Fuel

    • B Gasoline Fuel

    • C Bio-diesel Fuel

    • D Ethanol-blend Gasoline

    • E Natural Gas

Iclicker question7
iClicker Question Production

  • Which has lowest amount of particulate emissions?

    • A Diesel Fuel

    • B Gasoline Fuel

    • C Bio-diesel Fuel

    • D Ethanol-blend Gasoline

    • E Natural Gas

The fossil fuels natural gas and coal

iClicker Question Production

  • Which puts the lowest amount of carbon into the environment?

    • A Oil

    • B Coal

    • C Natural Gas

Overall economics of fuels before any carbon tax
Overall Economics of fuels before any carbon tax Production


Source: SDI research + team analysis

Distribution of natural gas
Distribution of natural gas Production

  • Impractical to ship: must route by pipe

  • 1.3 million miles of pipe (250,000 miles of mains)

Natural gas
Natural Gas Production

  • Extracted as oil-drilling byproduct

    • was once burned off at well head as means of disposal

  • Mostly methane, some ethane, and a little propane, butane

  • 2 times cheaper than electricity per energy content, comparable gasoline per joule

    • this is recent: in 2004, it was 3.5 times cheaper than electricity, 3 times cheaper than gas

  • Well-suited to on-the-spot heat generation: water heaters, furnaces, stoves/ovens, clothes dryers

    • more efficient than using fossil-fuel-generated electricity

Summary of natural gas
Summary of Natural Gas Production

U.S. has a very large natural gas resource base remaining to be produced, and

The petroleum industry has greatly improved its ability to produce gas from shales, so

We believe supply capacity will be able to meet growing demand w/o significant cost increases unless government imposes onerous taxes and additional regulation.

How much do we use and where do we get it
How much do we use, and where do we get it? Production

  • In 2003, we used 21.8 Tcf (Tera-cubic feet, or 1012ft3); about 23 QBtu (23% of total)

  • Out of the 21.8 Tcf used, 88% was domestic

    • 11.8% from Canada

    • 0.08% from Algeria (shipped in liquefied form)

    • 0.03% from Mexico

  • Have used about 1,100 Tcf to date


How much do we have left
How much do we have left? Production

  • Estimated recoverable amount: 871 Tcf

  • 40 years at current rate

  • Estimates like this do account for future discoveries

    • present proven reserves provide only 8 years’ worth

Recollecting chemistry
Recollecting Chemistry Production

kJ per gram

  • All fossil fuels are essentially hydrocarbons, except coal, which is mostly just carbon

  • Natural Gas is composed of the lighter hydrocarbons (methane through pentane)

  • Gasoline is hexane (C6) through C12

  • Lubricants are C16 and up











Hydrocarbon reactions
Hydrocarbon Reactions Production

  • Methane reaction:

    CH4 + 2O2 CO2 + 2H2O+ energy

    1 g4 g2.75 g2.25 g55 kJ

  • Octane reaction:

    2C8H18 + 25O2 16CO2 + 18H2O+ energy

    1 g3.51 g3.09 g1.42 g48 kJ

  • For every pound of fuel you burn, you get about three times that in CO2

    • one gallon of gasoline  ~22 pounds of CO2

    • occupies about 5 cubic meters (1300 gallons) of space

Iclicker question8
iClicker Question Production

  • Which natural gas has the highest potential energy content per gram?

    • A Octane

    • B Heptane

    • C Butane

    • D Methane

    • E Hexane

Aside carbohydrate reactions
Aside: Carbohydrate Reactions Production

  • Typical carbohydrate (sugar) has molecular structure like: [CH2O]N, where N is some integer

    • refer to this as “unit block”: C6H12O6 has N=6

  • Carbohydrate reaction:

    [CH2O]N + NO2 NCO2 + NH2O + energy

    1 g 1.07 g 1.47 g 0.6 g 17 kJ

  • Less energy than hydrocarbons because one oxygen already on board (half-reacted already)

  • For every pound of food you eat you exhale 1.5 lbs CO2

The fossil fuels natural gas and coal
Coal Production

  • Coal is a nasty fuel that we seem to have a lot of

  • Primarily carbon, but some volatiles (CO, CH4)

  • Reaction is essentially C + O2 CO2 + energy

  • Energy content varies depending on quality of coal, ranging from 4–7 Cal/g

  • Highly undesirable because of large amounts of ash, sulphur dioxide, arsenic, and other pollutants

  • Also ugly to remove from the ground

Coal types and composition
Coal types and composition Production




fixed carbon














moisture content



volatile matter



Use of coal
Use of Coal Production

  • 88% of the coal used in the U.S. makes steam for electricity generation

  • 7.7% is used for industry and transportation

  • 3.5% used in steel production

  • 0.6% used for residential and commercial purposes

  • 0.1% used on Halloween for trick-or-treaters <chuckle>

Estimated worldwide coal reserves
Estimated Worldwide Coal Reserves Production

*1st edition of book had U.S. at 1500 billion tons. What happened to all that coal?

†1st edition of book had Russian coal at 4300 billion tons. Gross overestimates?

Iclicker question9
iClicker Question Production

  • Which country has the most coal reserves?

    • A Russia

    • B China

    • C United States

    • D Australia

    • E Canada

When will coal run out
When will coal run out? Production

  • We use 109 tons of coal per year, so the U.S. supply alone could last as long as 250 (1500) years at current rate

  • Using variable rate model, more like 75–100 (400–600) years

    • especially relevant if oil, gas are gone

  • This assumes global warming politics doesn’t end up banning the use of coal

  • Environmental concerns over extraction also relevant

Shale oil
Shale Oil Production

  • Possibly 600–2000 billion barrels of oil in U.S. shale deposits

    • compare to total U.S. oil supply of 230 billion bbl

  • Economically viable portion may only be 80 billion bbl

  • 8 times less energy density than coal

    • lots of waste rock: large-scale disposal problem

  • Maximum rate of extraction may be only 5% of our current rate of oil consumption

    • limited by water availability

Tar sands
Tar Sands Production

  • Sand impregnated with viscous tar-like sludge

  • Huge deposit in Alberta, Canada

    • 300 billion bbl possibly economically recoverable

  • It takes two tons of sands to create one barrel of oil

    • energy density similar to that of shale oil

  • In 2003, 1 million bbl/day produced

    • grand hopes for 5 Mbbl/day; or 6% of world oil production

  • 2002 production cost was $20 per barrel, so economically competitive

In class question for group discussion
In Class Question for Group Discussion Production

  • In 2009, we had “snowmageddon”. There was a political pundit talk show on television where the moderator of the show asked the panel about the weather storms (snow storms in USA and cyclones in Australia) and if they may be a result of global warming. The moderator quoted Al Gore about the reason that these weather patterns may be indicators of global warming. One of the pundit’s stated that Al Gore would link anything bad to global warming. Discuss in your groups these matters. Address two questions in your responses:

    • How is the moderator question itself flawed?

    • How may global warming and low pressure storm intensity be causally linked?