ever-increasing global demand for energy is fueling debate on future
worldwide energy supplies -- and in Dallas, it will provide the
fuel for a forum that aims to tackle the subject head-on.
from industry, academia and government will be featured in a forum
at the AAPG Annual Meeting titled " The Future of Global Energy
-- Technical, Environmental, Economic and Policy Issues."
chaired by Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology,
the University of Texas at Austin, and Pinar Yilmaz with ExxonMobil
in Houston, will be held Tuesday, April 20, from 1:25-5 p.m., in
the Dallas Convention Center's Ballroom C1/C2.
the forum was an outgrowth of work at the BEG and within major oil
companies on the future of fossil energy and the long-term trend
toward natural gas in a global context. Questions to be considered
types of economies are developing via industrialization today?
advancements are occurring in developed countries?
does it mean in terms of energy and the associated impact on the
will primarily cover the U.S. perspective on the future of global
energy, Tinker said, and will feature a panel of speakers with varying
perspectives but broad knowledge on various topics facing the energy
as the keynote speaker, C. Michael Smith, assistant secretary
of fossil energy with the Department of Energy, who will discuss
U.S. fossil energy policy for the 21st century, according to Tinker.
the panel will be:
Fisher, director of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the
University of Texas at Austin, who will discuss decarbonization,
the concept of moving from solid fuels to liquid fuels to natural
gas and eventually to hydrogen (see related story).
Farnsworth, vice president of worldwide exploration for BP,
who will talk about balancing energy and the environment globally
in the 21st century.
Riese, with BP, representing the recently released National
Petroleum Council report to the secretary of energy.
Friedman, with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Susan Hovorka,
a BEG research scientist, will discuss carbon sequestration as
it relates to enhanced recovery potential, and how to capture,
move and store carbon dioxide. They will focus primarily on geologic
Kuuskraa, president of Advanced Resources International, will
give a summary of a National Research Council workshop held last
spring on the future of natural gas supply, demand and technology.
- In addition, a senior
ExxonMobil official has been invited to participate in the forum
Reports, Official Problems
Riese served on the committee charged with assessing North American
resources for the NPC report, which had its origin in March 2002,
when Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham asked for an analysis of the
U.S. gas market in terms of supply, demand, distribution and consumption
also sought policy recommendations that could assure natural gas
supplies and mitigate market volatility.
was released last September, and Riese, who was involved in the
supply aspect of the study, said there are several highlights that
are of interest to the industry.
there is a huge resource base in North America, but the size of
accumulations are getting smaller -- it is highly unlikely we will
find many more billion barrel of oil equivalent fields," he said.
in spite of that resource abundance, we will not be able to meet
our domestic natural gas demands with indigenous supplies," he said.
"Gas will have to come in from other places."
that the study uncovered some concerns with the traditional resource
assessments. For example, fundamental assumptions about the log
normality of resource endowment curves warrant further study; the
largest fields in a play type may not always define the points from
which the endowment should be projected, but may instead represent
truncations of the upper limits for resource endowments need to
be scrupulously observed.
Riese had with the NPC research process is the need to start virtually
from scratch on each new study.
process is wonderful in that it brings together representatives
from scores of companies and agencies, but the work is all volunteer
and often under great duress for people juggling many projects and
the work is not always preserved," he said.
the group did two things from the supply side that were uncommon:
recommended and used multiple models.
made considerable effort to preserve the work that we did so it
can be maintained by the government agencies and be a starting
point for the next study group, " who can then build a more robust
picture than might otherwise be possible," he said.
have liked the study to address projections on the cost of gas,
which is important to many groups," he added. "The study only gave
a huge range of possible prices from $3 to $7 out through 2025,
with no discrete line plotted through the range. I feel we really
didn't give the ultimate consumer as much information as we could
have concerning future gas prices."
said, some of the revisions in resource numbers did not make it
into the calculations for the published report.
shortcoming was that we were asked to focus only on the United States,
but by 2025 as much as 10 to 12 percent of our gas supply will come
from LNG," he said. "The report would have been conspicuously stronger
if it had been able to consider world gas markets.
that would have been too much of an undertaking to be feasible."
another issue that is not fully addressed in the study, but will
likely impact natural gas supply in the coming decades, is the impact
of LNG imports on exploration in the United States.
we can land LNG in this country for $3.50 to $4 per MCF, it will
certainly suppress development of some North American resources,"
he said. "That has a ripple affect through the rest of the economy.
We did not have the time to pursue those issues in this report,
and may not have been able to pursue them adequately due to our
limited understanding of overseas markets."
Susan Hovorka noted a growing U.S. and international concern is
the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere -- and she said
the industry can either ignore the problem or look for solutions.
subsurface reservoir community, have the expertise to solve this
problem," she said. "The tools are in our kit, the skills are in
our skill set and, in fact, there are economic opportunities for
carbon sequestration at many scales that are not incompatible with
our traditional way of doing business."
she suggested, sequestration can be linked to enhanced oil recovery.
know about the performance of two phase fluids in the subsurface
significantly addresses the environmental community's concern of
whether the CO2 will stay down once injected," Hovorka
said. The answer is straight up, two-phase flow in the subsurface.
a tremendous amount about carbon sequestration," she said, "and
we need to communicate to people our expertise. We can do environmental
work with energy expertise and an energy perspective."
three environments are mentioned for CO2 re-injection:
it on to other organics, such as coal.
it into high volume, high permeability formations below, hydrologically
isolated from fresh water.
the CO2 in enhanced oil recovery for pressure maintenance
and for miscible floods.
industry has been using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery
for years, but it has never been important to document what the
ultimate fate of the CO2 that is not cycled out is in
these applications," she said. "That is one area we do need to address
so we can insure that CO2 is not being released to the
atmosphere at unacceptably high rates.
once those types of issues are solved, we feel there is an economic
opportunity in the United States and elsewhere around the world
to use CO2 in many other oil fields -- not just West
Texas and a few other locations where it is being injected today,"
potentially be a whole network of pipelines to transport as much
CO2 as possible and put it to beneficial use," she said.
"It won't be free, because there is a cost for transportation and
compression to get it back in the ground -- but if we want the energy
from fossil fuels and we don't want to pay the environmental costs
of CO2 build up in the atmosphere, then we have to look
at ways to deal with the CO2."
pointed out that carbon sequestration is " important on a global
can export successful technologies that allow a much more closed
loop in energy than we have experienced in the past," she added.
times people used surface water for virtually all their needs,"
she said. " But as industrialization occurred the impact of that
was unacceptable, and today we don't use surface water in the same
way. The stream goes by the factory untouched.
are using the atmosphere much like we used to treat our streams,"
she continued. "Carbon sequestration offers a new method to change
industry has a significant piece of the expertise to develop this
new technology, and we need to stand up and be heard."