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The EROI of Conventional Canadian Natural Gas Production

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  • Jon Freise

    ()
    (Principal Engineer, 3501 Cedar Ave So, Minneapolis, MN 55407, USA)

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    Abstract

    Canada was the world’s third largest natural gas producer in 2008, with 98% of its gas being produced by conventional, tight gas, and coal bed methane wells in Western Canada. Natural gas production in Western Canada peaked in 2001 and remained nearly flat until 2006 despite more than quadrupling the drilling rate. Canada seems to be one of many counter examples to the idea that oil and gas production can rise with sufficient investment. This study calculated the Energy Return on Energy Invested and Net Energy of conventional natural gas and oil production in Western Canada by a variety of methods to explore the energy dynamics of the peaking process. All these methods show a downward trend in EROI during the last decade. Natural gas EROI fell from 38:1 in 1993 to 15:1 at the peak of drilling in 2005. The drilling intensity for natural gas was so high that net energy delivered to society peaked in 2000–2002, while production did not peak until 2006. The industry consumed all the extra energy it delivered to maintain the high drilling effort. The inability of a region to increase net energy may be the best definition of peak production. This increase in energy consumption reduces the total energy provided to society and acts as a contracting pressure on the overall economy as the industry consumes greater quantities of labor, steel, concrete and fuel. It appears that energy production from conventional oil and gas in Western Canada has peaked and entered permanent decline.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/11/2080/pdf
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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/11/2080/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 2080-2104

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:11:p:2080-2104:d:14661

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: EROI; energy return on investment; net energy; Western Canada;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. David J. Murphy & Charles A.S. Hall & Michael Dale & Cutler Cleveland, 2011. "Order from Chaos: A Preliminary Protocol for Determining the EROI of Fuels," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(10), pages 1888-1907, October.
    2. Bullard, Clark W. & Herendeen, Robert A., 1975. "The energy cost of goods and services," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 268-278, December.
    3. Alan A. Carruth & Mark A. Hooker & Andrew J. Oswald, 1998. "Unemployment Equilibria And Input Prices: Theory And Evidence From The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 621-628, November.
    4. Cleveland, Cutler J., 2005. "Net energy from the extraction of oil and gas in the United States," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 769-782.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hiroaki Yaritani & Jun Matsushima, 2014. "Analysis of the Energy Balance of Shale Gas Development," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 2207-2227, April.
    2. Hall, Charles A.S. & Lambert, Jessica G. & Balogh, Stephen B., 2014. "EROI of different fuels and the implications for society," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 141-152.

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