[Ok-sus] Energy returned on energy invested for oil production

Bob Waldrop bwaldrop1952 at att.net
Tue Nov 6 19:26:10 CST 2012


Attached is a PDF of a scientific study, sent here with permission of 
one of the authors, on the present status of the Energy Returned on 
Energy Invested for petroleum production. The news is not good. 
Basically, it works out  thusly:

For the energy contained in every 100 barrels of oil pumped out of the  
ground. . .

10% of the energy is used to extract the oil.
27% is used to refine the oil into usable products.
42.5% is used to construct and maintain the transportation 
infrastructure necessary to move the oil around, and to actually move 
the oil around to where it needs to go.

So only 20.5% of the original energy value of the 100 barrels of oil is 
available for use at the end consumer stage.

But wait. . . there's more! And it's still not good news.

In a discussion elsewhere about this report, it was noted that most of 
that 20.5% ends up as fuel, and most of the energy in transportation 
fuels is actually wasted as heat. The figure was given as 20% efficiency 
for the internal combustion engine, which means that only FOUR PERCENT 
of the original energy of the 100 barrels of fuel actually is used to 
move a vehicle.

And what does the weight of a vehicle consist of? Mostly steel, rubber, 
plastic, etc., the weight of the fuel itself. Less than 10% of the 
weight moved by a typical vehicle is an actual human body.

So ultimately, the way we presently do things. NINETY-NINE POINT SIX 
PERCENT of the original energy endowment of that 100 barrels of oil is
either consumer in its production or frittered away as heat or used to 
move steel, plastic, etc. ONLY FOUR TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT is actually
used to move people around.

These are not fake figures, the study uploaded to the files section is 
an impeccable scientific study that "shows its work" as to how they 
develop their figures and the rest is simply, assuming the figured of 
20% efficiency for an internal combustion engine is correct.


Bob Waldrop, Okie City

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