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Taking Oil & Gas Analytics to a New Dimension
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Re: Energy in the Analytics
  • 10/29/2012 10:59:50 PM
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One area I would like to see more analytic research available to the public is Fracking and Tremors. Fracking Earthquakes: Injection Practice Linked to Scores of Tremors .  Especially since the U.S. is developing more fracking projects. So far these projects have caused earthquakes up to a 3.0 in magnitude.

Energy in the Analytics
  • 10/29/2012 12:10:43 PM
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Thank you for providing some interesting analytic insight into this field it is something we could all use in the current environment.

From an analytic perspective I have to agree that developing the model too early can be short sighted and not represent all the findings in the data. For something as complex as this area all the data is crucial to avoid an erroneous model that would cost us valuable time.

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/29/2012 8:18:53 AM
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I know that Iceland has quite the geothermal solution, but as you said in many cases it's expensive and the return is just too long for people to look at it as an alternative to gas for heating.  Outside of areas with good warm geothermal sources the technique changes a bit and gets even more complicated where it's really not all that different that your standard home AC/heating system so the trade off isn't worth the initial cost.

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/28/2012 7:34:53 PM
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I read an article some time ago about a geothermal solution to home heating.  Basically they jammed tubes full of water into the ground and back up.  The heat in the ground forced the water up and got the whole system moving.  The hot water then was used to heat the house.  They added a little solar system to bring the temperature up to comfortable.  Expensive, but the whole thing side stepped the nead for external sources.  i. e. no gas heat needed.

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/28/2012 11:26:36 AM
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..

Cordell writes


I guess it depends on how you define "low cost".  Fareed Zakaria argues that we're in for an oil boom and on top of that there's plenty of low cost fuel - coal, but it comes with costs other than extraction that we're not too happy to incur. 


 

Excellent points.  Currently, coal is a relatively abundant and financially lower-cost energy resource.

The energy industry needs to address several problems, and this would probably increase the extraction cost to some degree:

• Mining — Surface environmental damage (mainly through strip-mining) and water contamination needs to be remedied.

• GHG emissions — Greenhouse gas emissions are a huge problem, not to be dismissed as a mere "cosmetic" kind of problem.  Global warming is life-threatening, and is already beginning to disrupt societal and economic functioning.  Surely there can be found a techologicial solution to carbon capture and carbon sequestering.  How's about carbon recycling?

• Electrical production/distribution losses — This is relevant since the predominant energy use of coal is probably in electricity generation.  But much of the coal energy is wasted (ditto with solar) before it's even put into the transmission system.  To be sure, a lot of petroleum/gas energy is also wasted (I presented a professional paper comparing these various alternatives in ultimate transportation energy efficiency), but — especially with ultimately finite, unsustainable resources — much higher energy capture needs to be attained.

It's probably likely that coal seams will be found at ever-deeper and harder-to-access levels, thus more costly to extract.  Still, coal could keep our civilization going at a more or less comfortable level until (hopefully) fully sustainable energy technologies are perfected. Well, fingers crossed, anyway...

 

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/28/2012 8:21:57 AM
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@ Cordell

Surely the oil supply is not unlimited and every nation should work out alterate sources of energy or face an energy crisis. Nations that rely too much on import of oil are likely to face all kind of problems such as scarcity of oil supply, balance of trade deficits and manufacturing outages due to energy management techniques coming into play.

Time limitations and what else
  • 10/28/2012 8:18:30 AM
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I find this 'what else' approach to analytics interesting as the inability to account for all the factors involved in a particular output can mean that the data can lead to painful results when a project is implemented or a task is undertaken. However what may lead to analysts overlooking all the 'what else' factors is time limitation esp if they are overburdened with tasks or may be if the analysts lack the intellectual thinking required. An effective review can overcome such incompleteness.

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/28/2012 1:22:01 AM
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I guess it depends on how you define "low cost".  Fareed Zakaria argues that we're in for an oil boom and on top of that there's plenty of low cost fuel - coal, but it comes with costs other than extraction that we're not too happy to incur. 

You're on point thought that ultimiately none of this is sustainable into perpetuity.  The trouble is, few of us have such a long term perspective.  If we hear fracking will give us enough oil for 100 years we kind of figure we're okay. In a 100 years surely we'll have better technology right? Maybe, maybe not.  Ultimately there's not an unlimited supply.  We should be exploring sustainable alternatives.

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/28/2012 12:22:28 AM
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@Lyndon_Henry  Thank you for the detailed explanation of the nature of oil and gas exploration  -  I do not know much about the field, so I was surprised to learn of the issue of contaminated water that cannot be returned to the environment.   Very interest fact to understand when we vote on these kinds of projects.

And I agree Geothermal has promising potential, we should used those wells that are exhausted to promote such efforts, the point is, as you say we should be looking for alternatives and these alternatives are right under our nose.  Now to apply analytics to the issue to determine a host of things, most of the all ( probably ) the most efficient next step.

And it was also really interesting to learn we have exhausted all of the "low-cost access" to the readily available deposits out there.  But as I begin to understand this better, I can see how that is naturally the case.  ( Hind sight is 20/20  : ) 

This is a really interesting topic for me, have always found oil exploration fascinating in some way, so it is nice to learn from someone who has obviously been much closer to the issue. 

Thanks  Again, for helping me understand the state of our natural resources and our ability or inability to do something about it.

Re: Energy industry analytics
  • 10/27/2012 10:05:00 AM
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..

Louis writes


In the realm of natural resources analytics we might better be served by using analytics to find alternatives as opposed to trying to maximize an area that has already been exhausted for the most part.

Use this expertise to find the energy resources you mention...


 

Thanks for the thumbs-up.

Basically, what's pretty much been exhausted is low-cost access to readily available fluid petroleum resources.  There's lots more petroleum, but available as shale, tar sands, deep sea, etc. and far more expensive and difficult to extract. Nevertheless, it is ultimately non-sustainable, i.e., exhaustible, and mankind should seek alternative, sustainable sources of energy. Furthermore, petroleum has, in my opinion, higher and better uses — plastics, for example.

Another problem, both with non-liquid oil and with natural gas, is the need for abundant water resources in the extraction process.  Additional chemicals must be added to the water, permanently contaminating it (the chemicals cannot be fully removed).  But fresh water itself is increasingly a diminishing resource — leading to what I've characterized as a clash between the Oil & Gas Wars and the Water Wars (there are internal battles over each).  This impact on water resources seems to be ignored in most discussions of "Drill, Baby, Drill" issues, such as the current controversy over the proposed Canadian Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.  Similarly, the controversy over fracking for natural gas focuses more on the gas contamination of surrounding ground water rather than the vast amounts of chemically contaminated water necessary for the hydraulic fracturing process itself.

Besides solar (which still needs lots of technological development), one of my favorite alternative energy processes is geothermal.  I've been told that many conventional oil wells, nearing depletion, encounter steamy or ultra-hot water. The wells are simply sealed, but I'd wonder if these couldn't be converted into geothermal producers.  I'd also wonder if the energy industry wouldn't be wise to investigate this issue, identifying and tallying such wells across the industry. Surely analytics could be applied in some way to convert such sites to productive energy use...

 

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