Abstract

This paper presents several trial calculations on supply and demand forecast of the unconventional hydrocarbons (UHC) under the control of CO2 emission using the Ultra-Long Term Supply/Demand Balance Model1. We performed five cases of variation on the basis of BAU (bussiness as usual) case. As a result, the substantial production of UHC would begin around the year of 2030, and the production cost should jump up to about 1.5~2 times of the present conventional gas cost toward 2100. Most of the under-developing countries will be fully developed to increase their energy consumption. Thus, transfer of technologies to under-developing countries shall become important and it may be not enough for reducing CO2 emission to expand natural gas consumption only. Therefore, a combination of various measures, in another words, best-mix formula of primary energy supply is essential. Especially, the promotion of energy conservation and the utilization of renewable energies would be more effective measure for CO2 reduction as well as controlling the UHC production cost.

1. Introduction

In terms of the proportion, fossil energy consumption currently accounts for around 88% of the world total primary energy, consisting of oil 40%, coal 26%, and natural gas 22%. As being generally known, the present industry and economy have been built up using the fossil energy, principally oil depending system. However, the R/P ratio, namely the number of years calculated the reserves divided by the production, as of 1999 end is 41 years for oil, 62 years for gas2. Sooner or later, either oil or gas production starts declining in the 21st.century, and one of the resolutions of energy demand/supply problem should be the UHC supply potential.

As we know, from the viewpoint of technology and economy, it is easier to introduce UHC than immature renewable energies, such as photovoltaic generation, hydrogen energy, methanol, and so on. However, UHC could not improve the situation any more against the global earth warming problem.

In this study, we focused on UHC, then first we aggregated the present resource status and production cost data. Secondly, we conducted some trial calculations using Ultra-Long Term Supply/Demand Balance Model1. The results were compared with respect to various scenario cases. Study reports by IIASA and WEC3 are well reputed for the ultra-long term model, but UHC is not accounted in their results. So, we focused on the UHC's possible availability, the production cost, and the resulting reduction of CO2 emission.

2. The Resource and The Economic Situation of UHC in the World

The UHC production is available at the specific regions in the world because of its high production cost. However, the oiriginally in-place resources are enormous and the recovery technology is still under developing.

2.1 Unconventional Oil

Unconventional oil is famous for Orinoco tar in Venezuela, so-called Heavy Oil, the density of which is under API 20 degrees (0.934 gr/cm3) and its viscosity ranging from 100 to 10,000cp, and for Canadian oil sand, so-called Bitumen, the density of which is hevier than API 10 degrees (1.00 gr/cm3) and its viscosity is more than 10,000cp. The resources in place of unconventional oils is reported about 2,871 billion bbl consisting of Bitumen 1,615 billion bbl and Heavy oil 1,255 billion bbl4, about 90 % of which is depositted in Canada and Venezuela. It is noted that this quantity is almost the similar size to the ultimately recoverable quantitiy of conventional oil, which is evaluated to be between 3,012 billion bbl from USGS 2000 Assessment as the optimistic side and 1,800 billion bbl from C.J.Campbell 1996 as the pessimistic side.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.