Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Updating global energy scene

In A Cubic mile of Oil, we described the pattern of global energy based on 2006 numbers, and those numbers were based on information culled from many sources.  To look at the short term trends since the publication of the book, I will rely on one source, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, with a consistent set of definitions for comparing energy sources.
According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy, total primary energy consumption in 2006 was 2.93 CMO.  It grew in the two subsequent years to 3.05 CMO, but in 2009, total energy consumption dropped to 3.01.  In 2010 it rebounded to a new high of 3.18 CMO, an 8.2% increase over the 2006 level.  The bulk of this increase came from increased consumption of coal and natural gas.  Coal use increased from 0.84 CMO to 0.94 CMO, and natural gas from 0.68 CMO to 0.76 CMO.  Over the same period, oil consumption increased from 1.04 CMO to 1.07 CMO. Production of electricity from nuclear energy remained essentially constant at 0.17 CMO, while production wind, solar, and geothermal increased by 71%, from 0.027 CMO to 0.047 CMO.
Installed Capacity (GW)

% Increase
Solar, PV

The reserves of conventional oil increased from 46 CMO in 2006 to 48 CMO in 2010; together with oil sands the proved reserves currently amount to 53 CMO, with a reserves to production ratio of 49 years.
Oil and Gas Discoveries in Israel
Within a few months of each other, two reports of discoveries of oil and gas resources in Israel made the headlines.  In 2009, natural gas was discovered in off-shore shale in the Tamar Mediterranean Sea straddling the coastal waters of Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus.  The deposit is estimated to contain 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and an additional 4.2 billion barrels of shale oil.  Shortly thereafter, an on-shore shale was discovered in northern Israel with estimated potential for producing 260 billion barrels of oil.  A WSJ article described these findings and wondered if Israel could become an energy giant.

The comparison with Saudi Arabian oil reserves needs to be understood in the context of the special meaning of "reserves."  Reserves are like money in the bank and unconventional resources are the earning potential of a high school graduate choosing the right college.  You cannot call any hydrocarbon accumulation a "reserve" unless you have a proven technology to recover that resource economically at today's prices.  These are part of SEC regulations. 

The article, like most in mainstream media, switches between barrels of oil and trillion cubic feet (tcf).  Let me translate them all into my favorite unit, cubic mile of oils (CMO).  Recall, current  global consumption of oil is 1 CMO/yr, and of natural gas it is 0.6 CMO/yr.

Saudi Arabia oil reserves 250 billion barrels = 9.4 CMO
Israel oil shale resource 260 billion barrels = 9.8 CMO
US shale gas resource 2,500 tcf = 16.3 CMO
Israel's major offshore gas find 16 tcf = 0.1 CMO
US Shale oil resource 1,500 billion barrels = 56.6 CMO
China shale oil resource = 13.4
Global conventional oil reserves are 46 CMO

Global unconventional oil resource is estimated between 200 and 400 CMO; much of it in Venezuela and Canada (~40 CMO each), but also significant amounts in US, China, Russia, Estonia, Congo, and yes, also the Middle-East/North-African countries.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting in CMO. This goes a long way towards simplifying the whole overview.