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domingo, 9 de noviembre de 2014

Are the shale oil and shale gas two bubbles?

EROI (Energy Return on Investment) = Eo / EINV

Eo: energy obtained from a well of shale oil or shale gas
EINV: energy invested to get Eo

MVEO (Monetary Value of Energy Obtained) = KoxEo
MCEI (Monetary Cost of Energy Inverted) = Ki x EINV

Ko: Price per unit of energy obtained
Ki: Cost per unit of energy invested

G (gain from investment) = MVEO / MCEI = (Ko / Ki) x EROI

If Ko = Ki, would get a G>> 1 if EROI>> 1.

This is a solid profit because it means investing little energy for getting a lot of energy.

But if the EROI is equal to 1, or less, it would be necessary that Ko>>Ki to be profitable.

This is a speculative gain, because it is based on selling energy at a higher price than the actual price.
That is what happens with non-conventional hydrocarbons. Hence, when the sales' price falls, the numbers do not show a good picture.

Unconventional hydrocarbons give us poor energy. That poor energy needed to make profit, stealing from the user, making you pay a price for energy that is greater than the actual price. If oil prices are inflated, investors in non-conventional energy earn money. When they are not, they lose money: ¡It's a bubble!
Subsidies on the invested energy and inflated sales prices are the necessary conditions for this poor energy to be "successfully" exploited.

The big oil companies are well aware of these numbers, and if they are not in Vaca Muerta like flies to fresh, is for that reason. And the boom in unconventional US is a lie orchestrated by the usual suspects: Wall Street Boys.

They say that a Ko> 100USD / barrel is necessary for the oil shale to be profitable. But what they do not say is that they also need to have Ki <<Ko = 100USD.

If the EROI was high, they would not need this artificially created scenario for ensuring profit.

If in addition to this argument, purely energetic, we add the environmental argument, based on the CH4 emitted to the atmosphere during the process and the CO2 released by burning these hydrocarbons, I think we can conclude that this energy is not only poor, it's also harmful.

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