Homepage Forums Economic Forums Focus Fusion effect on the "Economic Limit" of depleted Oil Wells.

This topic contains 42 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Brian H 7 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #6604

    dennisp
    Member

    With cheap enough power, it should be reasonably economical to make liquid fuels from CO2 in the atmosphere.

    If the human race can’t be bothered to go carbon neutral even after inventing cheap aneutronic fusion, we should all just shoot ourselves in our heads and get it over with.

    #6613

    vansig
    Member

    At current energy prices, it is considered uneconomical to recover CO2 for sequestration by making dry ice, due to the expense of compression and refrigeration.
    “At temperature of 197.5 K (-78.5°C), the vapor pressure of solid carbon dioxide is 1 atm (760 torr). At this pressure, the liquid phase is not stable, the solid simply sublimates.” — http://science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/c123/phasesdgm.html

    So, what you’ll want to do, then, is to use cheap electricity to bring down the price of CO2.
    Then, sequester as much carbon as you like, via biomass. Carbon recovery by photosynthesis dramatically increases when plants are fed a rich supply of nutrients including high CO2 concentration.

    However, this bio-recovery process will probably appear, first, via pumping the effluent from coal plants directly to algae tanks.

    #6616

    JimmyT
    Participant

    vansig wrote: At current energy prices, it is considered uneconomical to recover CO2 for sequestration by making dry ice, due to the expense of compression and refrigeration.
    “At temperature of 197.5 K (-78.5°C), the vapor pressure of solid carbon dioxide is 1 atm (760 torr). At this pressure, the liquid phase is not stable, the solid simply sublimates.” — http://science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/c123/phasesdgm.html

    So, what you’ll want to do, then, is to use cheap electricity to bring down the price of CO2.
    Then, sequester as much carbon as you like, via biomass. Carbon recovery by photosynthesis dramatically increases when plants are fed a rich supply of nutrients including high CO2 concentration.

    However, this bio-recovery process will probably appear, first, via pumping the effluent from coal plants directly to algae tanks.

    Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler and cheaper just to shut down the coal powered plant and use fusion to generate the electricity from the start?

    #6617

    JimmyT
    Participant

    Brian H wrote:

    However, the prices would start to drop immediately once FF viability was confirmed. Almost all purchasing is done on a future anticipated demand and supply basis — traders and refiners best guesses.

    I’d expect a very short ‘gasp’ in securities prices, but the real action would be in the one to ten year energy sector futures prices. This would be your barometer for when to short the fossil fuels.
    Indeed, but those markets would immediately begin to reflect revised expectations; in fact, they ARE purely and simply expectations.

    Speaking of markets, I wish someone with more resources than I would fire up the Intrade action by putting a buy or sell bid up!

    If I were an oil producing country I would not currently be that enthusiastic about pumping my oil reserves as quickly as possible. Oil is going to go up in price right? Five years from now it will be worth even more than it is now.

    But along comes fusion, and all of the sudden the realization that oil is not going up in price, but down. I’d start pumping my reserves as rapidly as possible. That in itself will bring down prices.

    #6626

    Brian H
    Member

    Leave the damn CO2 alone. In case you hadn’t noticed, every protein and fat etc. in your body and the plants you eat directly or indirectly was constructed from CO2 from the atmosphere. It’s food, not pollution, notwithstanding the EPA and the Greenologist idiots.

    #6631
    Breakable
    Breakable
    Keymaster

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Toxicity
    While the current levels are pretty far from 1%, I would wonder about long term effects, because they were probably not studied yet.

    #6634

    vansig
    Member

    I doubt we’ll ever be looking at a shortage of carbon, on this planet.

    Returning to the original topic, the referenced formula uses the term LOE, as “the lease operating expenses in dollars per well per month”. Cheap energy, increased equipment reliability, and greater automation will each reduce this, in the long term.

    Some Alberta tar sands producers are already looking at the use of nuclear thermal reactors to help them extract oil more cleanly and completely.

    But cheap energy will also increase the competitive advantage of virtually every recycling process.

    Eventually, as fossil fuel resources are depleted, it will become cheaper to burn waste, capture the gases, pump them through algae tanks, and use sunlight to make bio-diesel. Cheap electricity comes into this equation, but it isn’t the lion’s share of costs.

    So the question on my mind, is: at what price per barrel of oil will this make economic sense?

    #6637

    Brian H
    Member

    vansig wrote: I doubt we’ll ever be looking at a shortage of carbon, on this planet.

    We’re in a CO2 famine, with levels near the all-time geological low. Raising levels, if only it were possible, to 1,000 ppm or so would have a wonderful effect on many levels of plant and agricultural productivity.

    That’s 0.1% of the atmosphere, btw.

    #6642

    Phil’s Dad
    Member

    Due to the health risks associated with carbon dioxide exposure, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that average exposure for healthy adults during an eight-hour work day should not exceed 5,000 ppm (0.5%).

    So we shouldn’t go above levels not seen since the Ordovician Ice Age 450million years ago – well over a dozen times what they are now. Don’t panic!

    #6645
    Breakable
    Breakable
    Keymaster

    Somehow i have a bad feeling about going back into Cambrian era:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png
    Probably a lot of factors were different back then, like the sun being younger and smaller

    More recent data shows that we are in a peek of co2:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

    #6652

    Brian H
    Member

    Breakable wrote: Somehow i have a bad feeling about going back into Cambrian era:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png
    Probably a lot of factors were different back then, like the sun being younger and smaller

    More recent data shows that we are in a peek of co2:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

    I assume you mean “peak”, not “peek”.

    1) The time period you select is a dot at the tail end of the geological scale measured in ’00s of millions of years. Most of that time was spent with numbers in the ‘000s of ppm.
    2) The ice core data has been subject to considerable re-evaluation and doubt recently, as it appears that the cold water film in the pressurized air bubbles has been responsible for dissolving and leaching out about 20% of the CO2 in them.
    3) The Cold Sun Paradox has been resolved much more elegantly recently with water vapor/high cloud models, with no reference to CO2.
    4) The more CO2 the better. Bring it on!

    #6654

    vansig
    Member

    Brian H wrote:

    I doubt we’ll ever be looking at a shortage of carbon, on this planet.

    We’re in a CO2 famine, with levels near the all-time geological low.

    I must be rich, then. I convinced my neighbour to compost last year’s leaves from her red maple tree, and we now have 4.5 m³ of dense compost, for planting, this year. That’s several times the amount that could come from food wastes for a typical family.

    #6656

    vansig
    Member

    vansig wrote:
    But cheap energy will also increase the competitive advantage of virtually every recycling process.

    Eventually, as fossil fuel resources are depleted, it will become cheaper to burn waste, capture the gases, pump them through algae tanks, and use sunlight to make bio-diesel. Cheap electricity comes into this equation, but it isn’t the lion’s share of costs.

    So the question on my mind, is: at what price per barrel of oil will this make economic sense?

    For soy-based bio-diesel, this price point is somewhere between $50 .. 70 / barrel.
    http://faircompanies.com/news/view/the-importance-biodiesel/

    Note, though, that subsidized bio-fuels have been heavily criticized for absurd practices like rain-forest destruction, costly farming, and pushing up food prices.

    “The cost of soybean oil needed to produce a gallon of biodiesel averages $3 [..misprint omitted..], where only $1.82 worth of crude oil is necessary to produce an equivalent gallon of fuel, according to Energy Information Administration statistics.”
    http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news/illinois_biodiesel_industry_hurt_mired_tax_legislation

    As bio-fuels become economically viable, demand for fossil oils will soften, thereby extending life time of wells.

    #6659

    Phil’s Dad
    Member

    vansig wrote:
    As bio-fuels become economically viable, demand for fossil oils will soften, thereby extending life time of wells.

    At present bio-fuels are only economically viable because fossil oils are so expensive. If demand softens as you predict then prices will drop and bio-fuels will become less attractive. Chicken and egg.

    #6663
    Breakable
    Breakable
    Keymaster

    Brian H wrote:

    Somehow i have a bad feeling about going back into Cambrian era:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png
    Probably a lot of factors were different back then, like the sun being younger and smaller

    More recent data shows that we are in a peek of co2:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

    I assume you mean “peak”, not “peek”.

    1) The time period you select is a dot at the tail end of the geological scale measured in ’00s of millions of years. Most of that time was spent with numbers in the ‘000s of ppm.
    2) The ice core data has been subject to considerable re-evaluation and doubt recently, as it appears that the cold water film in the pressurized air bubbles has been responsible for dissolving and leaching out about 20% of the CO2 in them.
    3) The Cold Sun Paradox has been resolved much more elegantly recently with water vapor/high cloud models, with no reference to CO2.
    4) The more CO2 the better. Bring it on!
    1)The question is not what it is in the lifetime of the planet, but what it is in the lifetime of humans. The second chart is more relative to that, unless you want dinosaurs back.
    2)Until this effect has been verified, peer-reviewed, and the data adjusted it is not very important. Yes, the data could be transformed, but there is no way you can transform the second chart so we would be at a non-peek without proposing a natural phenomenon that reproduces our current consumption of fossil fuels. Previous civilizations anyone?
    3)I am not a scientist, but it looks strange to me for water vapor to protect water from becoming ice and ignore any other forcing’s. Why would water vapor in this situation not produce so much vapor that all other water would vaporize?
    4)If you cant do photosynthesis – probably not.

    PS:A nice alternative to Wikipedia http://www.conservapedia.com/Examples_of_Bias_in_Wikipedia

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