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Thread: Why nobody cares about future oil shortages?

  1. #1 Why nobody cares about future oil shortages? 
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    By most realistic prognosises after 2030 oil production will decline and world will experience severe oil shortages.http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news...il-crunch-2030
    Oil prices may grow few times.Why nobody cares and
    do not create infrastructere, which would be able to replace oil, such as synthetic gasoline factories, coal liquification, biodiesel from algae production etc.?
    If oil shortages could come in 20 years, they barely have time to build sufficient quantity of syngas plants.Why nobody is doing it right now?


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  3. #2  
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    Why nobody is doing it right now?
    Syngas plants producing synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas are horrendously expensive to build and have not achieved their expected efficiencies. Those are two reasons there are not many being built. They also are not a so-called "green" technology since CO2 is emitted as a by product of synfuel production. When coal is used instead of natural gas the CO2 pollution is even worse.

    As for other alternative technologies, I believe you are right - there will be a period when we can't afford oil or coal and there will be insufficient non-fossil fuel and power.


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    Syngas plants producing synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas are horrendously expensive
    So how much more they are expensive to build than oil refineries?
    There is some statements that liquified coal may be as cheap as 35-40$ a barrel.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthet..._United_States
    I could imagine what kind of economic turmoil is awaiting for U.S. if motor fuel will become scarse.There were fuel shortages in 1973 and look what happened!
    I think that liquid coal may be not very cheap but currently it`s only one alternative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    Syngas plants producing synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas are horrendously expensive
    So how much more they are expensive to build than oil refineries?
    Having worked on an study for a CTL plant for a major oil company I can only say that the project was abandoned due to the economics not working out.
    There is some statements that liquified coal may be as cheap as 35-40$ a barrel.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthet..._United_States
    The referenced report is dated 2004 so it may not be valid today. Also note that coal is cheap because it receives huge federal and state subsidies. It also has a large environmental impact even before it is burned. Our coal reserves are not inexhaustible and there are some reports that claim we are close to "peak coal" (I have no idea if this is correct). CTL plants need to be built reasonably close to a coal source, and in a location where CCS is feasible.

    I could imagine what kind of economic turmoil is awaiting for U.S. if motor fuel will become scarse.There were fuel shortages in 1973 and look what happened!
    I think that liquid coal may be not very cheap but currently it`s only one alternative.
    I'm not disagreeing with you but the reality is that the corporations that will develop our energy projects look at the short term return on investment, not the long term good of the country. CTL may become viable when oil prices pass a certain level and stay there long enough to convince investors that it's worth the risk. Then it will take seven years to build a CTL plant.
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    the reality is that the corporations that will develop our energy projects look at the short term return on investment, not the long term good of the country
    I feel that it will lead to another major disaster.Although I wonder how Germans back in post World War I Germany managed to produce so much synthetic gasoline.But if CTL are such expensive what about natural gas and propane as a motor fuel?
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  7. #6  
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    Maybe oil will end up working out just the same way the lumber industry has gone. Once it became apparent that the forests were not inexhaustible, we started passing laws that required the lumber companies to replant, and now the industry spends most of its time harvesting previous replantings.


    With oil, bio-fuel would be the corresponding option to what replanting does in the lumber world. The trouble is, of course, that biofuel takes up an awful lot of farmland, and people still have to eat. It's just one of many reasons why the World economy would be so much easier to run if we simply had a smaller World population.
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    Syngas plants producing synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas are horrendously expensive
    Why is it so?What is greates expense of CTL plants?
    Maybe it`s cheaper produce methane from coal and use it as motor fuel?
    Production of methane from coal requires less cycles than gasoline right?
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  9. #8  
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    Syngas plants producing synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas are horrendously expensive
    Why is it so?What is greates expense of CTL plants?
    Maybe it`s cheaper produce methane from coal and use it as motor fuel?
    Production of methane from coal requires less cycles than gasoline right?
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  10. #9  
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    When there are large reserves of stranded gas, i.e. natural gas production that is located far from the markets, there are basically three options: 1) burn it off in giant flares so the oil that is associated with the gas can be produced without the hassle of having to deal with the gas. 2) Compress and refrigerate the gas and ship it to markets in LNG tankers, and 3) Convert the gas to liquid fuels by chemical means, which is GTL.

    Number 1) is becoming unacceptable for multiple reasons.
    Number 2) is widely used, but requires large portside unloading facilities such as in Long Beach California, that carry some risk of explosion. There is also some concern about terrorist attacks on tankers or port facilities which could be regarded as "soft" targets.
    Number 3) was seen as the answer to the problems of 1) and 2), since the product is liquid fuel such as diesel, that doesn't require refrigeration or compression for transport to distant markets. But to compete it had to have very large reactors for the Fischer Tropsch conversion and these reactors can only be manufactured by a few fabrication shops, in Korea, Germany, Italy and maybe one shop in North America. Transportation costs to the final location are huge in addition to the cost of the reactor itself and all the ancillary equipment. The world leader in CTL and GTL technology is Sasol, which developed the technology during the apartheid years. Their Oryx project in Qatar took two years of troubleshooting and modification to come "almost" up to design capacity. No doubt with that experience Sasol will be able to inprove the design and perhaps lower the cost for future projects, but most other oil companies have been scared off by the Oryx experience.

    CTL has similar issues, plus the problem of disposing of the CO2 produced as a waste product of the process.

    An alternative way to use coal cleanly is described in this link:

    http://www.energy.gov/9309.htm

    This will be the second attempt at Futuregen. The first was abandoned due to cost overruns. It's hard to separate the technology from the politics. We'll just have to wait and see how version 2 turns out.
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  11. #10  
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    The thing that drives oil dependence is just the fact it's a few cents or dollars cheaper per gallon than stuff like shale. However, it's a gap that's too big to bridge with subsidies, and if we used an oil tax to bring oil's price up to match, then a lot of people wouldn't be able to afford it.

    I wouldn't worry so much about the USA economy on this issue. I'd worry about the Middle East's economy. They're going to take the biggest hit when this is all over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    Syngas plants producing synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas are horrendously expensive
    Why is it so?What is greates expense of CTL plants?
    Maybe it`s cheaper produce methane from coal and use it as motor fuel?
    Production of methane from coal requires less cycles than gasoline right?
    So, is methane a viable fuel? Power plants can be built around pretty much any fuel type, and I know I've seen a methane powered forklift at a construction site once. Are methane powered automobiles a feasible possibility?

    How are the transportation costs?
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  12. #11  
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    I wouldn't worry so much about the USA economy on this issue. I'd worry about the Middle East's economy.
    Quite possible, but not necessary.Population of oil producing Middle Eastern countries is still not to huge and most of common people are not always seeing any money from oil sales.Most of those money return to the Western luxury good producers and
    stay on Western bank accounts.But what will do all those car owners in the World isn`t clear enough.
    The thing that drives oil dependence is just the fact it's a few cents or dollars cheaper per gallon than stuff like shale.
    As I know shale oil production is calculated to be even more expansive and more environmentally poluting than coal liquification.I think it`s possibly due to amount of matter that have to be reprocessed.So there is no sense in shale oil until there is no coal.
    Are methane powered automobiles a feasible possibility?
    Currently they already widely used in the world.Especially in such countries as Australia and Argentina.The greates problem is safety issues.Natural gas is explosive.
    There is quite interesting technology which calls Adsorbed Natural Gas storage (ANG).
    It allows to store the same amount of gas at lower pressure or bigger amount at the same pressure.Also as I could understand this is not flamable and nonexplosive.
    I think drivers will need to have ability mechanicaly replace such ANG storages at gas stations.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, is methane a viable fuel? Power plants can be built around pretty much any fuel type, and I know I've seen a methane powered forklift at a construction site once. Are methane powered automobiles a feasible possibility?

    How are the transportation costs?
    Methane aka natural gas powers lots of power plants. In Colorado we are gradually repowering power stations from coal to natural gas. It's also used in motor vehicles. I think UPS or one of the package delivery firms powers their vans with it. So does our water company. There's a mall shuttle bus downtown that's a natural gas hybrid. I've never heard of a NG powered vehicle exploding but some of our hybrid buses did catch on fire. I think it turned out to be a wiring problem igniting hydrogen from the batteries that was confined under the bus.

    As I know shale oil production is calculated to be even more expansive and more environmentally poluting than coal liquification.I think it`s possibly due to amount of matter that have to be reprocessed.So there is no sense in shale oil until there is no coal.
    Shale oil extraction uses gobs of water and natural gas. Shell wants to build a power station in western Colorado just to power their heating elements to melt the oil out of the shale. The power station needs cooling water, which anyone in western Colorado knows is in short supply already. It makes no sense in the long term.
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  14. #13  
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    But to compete it had to have very large reactors for the Fischer Tropsch conversion and these reactors can only be manufactured by a few fabrication shops, in Korea, Germany, Italy and maybe one shop in North America.
    I think it may not be a long term problem if U.S. will put production of such reactors on mass scale.Rather it will be immense short term infrastructure spending.Syngas plants should be built near coal deposits and syngas could be transported by pipes to destination points.
    What do you think about possibility to use Fischer Tropsch plants in conjunction with power plants?I mean to use waste heat to generate electricity?
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