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Characterisation Method Information
Characterisation Method Name:
Fossil fuels extraction impact on resource damage
Version:
2000
Date Completed:
2000
Principal Method Name:
ECO-indicator: surplus energy
Method Description:
Surplus energy for fossil fuels With the descriptions of the typical characteristics of the fossil resources in the resource analysis and with the data on the increased extraction energy for non-conventional resources, we can begin to construct the model for the surplus energy. However, in the case of fossil fuels we need to discuss two specific problems:

1) The discontinuous or stepwise character of the quality decrease for fossil resources
2) The possibility of substitution between fossil resources

In the case of minerals, we could assume that the decrease of mineral resource concentrations is almost a straight and continuous line. In the case of oil and gas extraction, we are faced with the problem that the extraction will cause rather abrupt steps in the resource quality, when the marginal production of oil and gas switches from conventional to unconventional resources.

In an annexe to his earlier report [Müller-Wenk 1999] calculated surplus energy for minerals at a time when the extraction has reached a quantity equal to 5 times the historical extraction before 1990 (5Q).
For fossil fuels he demonstrates that at a similar point (5Q0, there will be no gas and oil, but only coal, shale and tar sands.
In mineral resource analysis we did not take substitution between resources into account, as we stated that the possibilities for substitution are dependent on future changes in demand and technology development. In the case of fossil fuels the possibility for substitution are much more logical to assume,
as all the fossil fuels share the same essential property, that is that they supply energy. It is even possible to produce an oil replacement from coal. This is in contrast with the case of minerals: we
cannot say that mercury and iron have the same essential properties. Again we have two alternatives here:
a) We assume full substitution, and argue that the future energy mix will be a combination of oil and shale, possibly including the need to convert some coal to a liquid oil replacement for transport equipment. As a result we will calculate a single score for surplus energy, per MJ of
fossil energy, independent of the source of energy.
b) We do not assume full substitution, and assume unconventional gas and oil or shale will replace conventional gas and oil, while coal will basically be extracted as it is now. As a result the extraction of coal will be seen as having a low surplus energy, while the extraction of oil and gas will get a high surplus energy score 30 .
In case we assume full substitution, we are faced with the problem that we will have to assume a future fuel mix, as without such a mix, it is not possible to calculate the future surplus energy.
Müller-Wenk argues that it is fair to assume that, in the case of substitution, about 50% of the fuel will be a liquid, as such fuels are easy to handle and transport. He also shows that coal liquefaction is very energy intensive; about 50% of the energy produced is lost. He therefore argues that it is not likely that in a future energy mix coal will be converted on a large scale 31 . As a result, coal will have a share of less than 50%. Therefore he proposes to assume an energy mix of 50% shale, and 50% coal. He also assumes that coal mining will be mainly practised in a mode that has the same approximate energy requirements as underground mining of hard coal or mining of lignite. Müller-Wenk does not include the foreseen increase of alternative energy sources within this future energy mix.

In this method, fossil fuels are distinguished by the energy contents.

natural gas ETH contents 35 MJ / m3;
crude oil IDEMAT contents 42.7 MJ / kg;
coal ETH contents 18 MJ / kg;
natural gas (feedstock) contents 35 MJ / m3;
crude oil (feedstock) contents 41 MJ / kg;
crude oil ETH contents 42.6 MJ / kg;
natural gas (vol) contents 36.6 MJ / m3;
coal contents 29.3 MJ / kg;
crude oil contents 41 MJ / kg;
natural gas contents 30.3 MJ / kg;
oil contents 42 MJ / kg;
crude gas contents 28 MJ / kg.

Literature Reference:
1. [Müller-Wenk 1999] Müller-Wenk R.; Annex 3: An approximative calculation of the surplus energy requirement for fossil fuel resources to be used in future, annexe to [Müller WenkMüller-Wenk 1998-1], available at http://www.iwoe.unisg.ch/service -> discussion papers -> nr. 57
Methodological Range:
Geographical range is Europe Data are based on hierarchist perspective
Notes:

Existing Characterisation Factors of Fossil fuels extraction impact on resource damage
Characterisation Parameter Category Indicator Impact Indication Principle Aspect Substance Quantity Unit Notes
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Coal 3.00E-05 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Coal ETH 1.84E-05 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Crude oil 7.02E-04 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Crude oil (feedstock) 7.02E-04 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Crude oil (resource) 7.02E-04 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Crude oil ETH 1.71E-05 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Crude oil IDEMAT 7.29E-04 MJ/kg
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Energy from coal 1.02E-06 MJ/MJ
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Energy from natural gas 1.782E-05 MJ/MJ
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Energy from oil 1.71E-05 MJ/MJ
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Hard coal (resource) 1.02E-06 MJ/MJ
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Natural gas 5.41E-04 MJ/m3
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Natural gas (feedstock) 6.24E-04 MJ/m3
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Natural gas (resource) 1.78E-05 MJ/MJ
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Natural gas (vol) 6.53E-04 MJ/m3
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Natural gas ETH 6.24E-04 MJ/m3
CFactor Resource damage ECO-indicator/1999
Type = Natural resource
Direction = Input
Media = *
Geography = *
Oil 7.19E-04 MJ/kg