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Millington D.,Alberta Energy Research Institute
Geopolitics of Energy | Year: 2013

The skilled labor shortage remains a significant concern, but new oil sands projects will not come online due to pipeline constraints regardless of whether or not there are enough skilled personnel to work on these projects. Hence, when the US government rejected TransCanada's Keystone XL project, originally intended as a 700,000-900,000 barrels per day (BPD) line to carry mainly oil sands streams from Hardisty, Alberta to the Gulf Coast via Cushing Oklahoma, it was a major impediment for the industry and provincial economy; it has become a focal point of the political and environmental pro- and anti-oil sands debate in the US. Given current constraints and opposition to expansion of existing pipeline capacity and new pipeline developments, companies have been proactive at exploring other transport options such as rail. It seems that producers have come full circle, returning to shipping crude in rail cars as had been done in the industry's early days.

Zhang Y.Y.,Alberta Energy Research Institute | Sun Z.D.,China University of Petroleum - Beijing | Han J.F.,Petrochina | Wang H.Y.,China University of Petroleum - Beijing | Fan C.Y.,China University of Petroleum - Beijing
Geofluids | Year: 2015

The storage spaces within deeply buried Ordovician paleokarst reservoirs in the Tarim Basin are mostly secondary and characterized by strong heterogeneity and some degree of anisotropy. The types of fluids that fill the spaces within these reservoirs are of great importance for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. However, fluid identification from seismic data is often controversial in this area because the seismic velocity for this particular reservoir could be significantly influenced by many factors, including pore shapes, porosity, fluid types, and mineral contents. In this study, we employ the differential effective medium-Gassmann rock physics model to interpret and discuss the characteristics of conventional karstic carbonate reservoirs in the Tarim Basin that are filled with different fluids (oil, gas, and water) using logging data and thus objectively build corresponding fluid identification criteria. These criteria are subsequently evaluated by amplitude versus offset (AVO) forward analysis based on typical logging data and further applied to ascertain the reservoir fluid types in two different areas in the Tarim Basin based on prestack inversion results. For conventional carbonate reservoirs, gas can be distinguished from heavy oil and water, but heavy oil and water are broadly similar on seismic data. For condensate carbonate reservoirs, water can be differentiated from light oil (i.e., condensates) and gas, but light oil and gas demonstrate substantial similarities in terms of their seismic responses. The predicted fluid results are in good agreement with the results of drilling and oil testing. In particular, modeling the seismically resolvable reservoirs in the carbonate strata in the Tarim Basin, which have needle- and sphere-shaped storage spaces (pore aspect ratio > 0.3) and clay content that is lower than 5%, indicates that fluid properties could be properly evaluated if the porosity is larger than 5% for conventional carbonate reservoirs and >7% for condensate carbonate reservoirs. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Honarvar A.,Alberta Energy Research Institute
Computational Economics | Year: 2010

An Engle-Granger two-step procedure is commonly used to estimate cointegrating vectors and consequently asymmetric error-correction models. This study uses Monte Carlo methods and demonstrates that the Engle-Granger two-step method leads to biased estimates of asymmetric parameters and in some cases suggests symmetry in the asymmetric data generating process (DGP). The single equation error correction models (SEECM) based on ordinary least squares (OLS) and nonlinear least squares (NLS) are employed for simultaneous estimation of the cointegrating vector and the ECM. The SEECMs perform better than Engle-Granger two-step procedures in estimating the asymmetry and making inferences on its existence in various DGPs. We show that SEECM estimations are less biased and inferences are less likely to be misleading compared to the Engle-Granger two-step procedure. Unlike the asymmetric specifications based on Engle-Granger two-step approach, the asymmetric SEECMs do not refute the possibility of long-run asymmetry by allowing different cointegrating vectors for positive and negative regimes. Examining the model with real data also supports the Monte Carlo results. While the conventional approaches imply symmetry, the proposed asymmetric SEECM, which has been embedded in a Threshold Autoregressive model, uncovers asymmetry at the presence of different cointegrating vectors for positive and negative regimes. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Akbilgic O.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Akbilgic O.,University of Calgary | Doluweera G.,University of Calgary | Doluweera G.,Alberta Energy Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Applied Energy | Year: 2015

The estimated cost of reducing carbon emissions through the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in power systems vary by a factor of five or more across studies published over the past 8 years. The objective of this paper is to understand the contribution of techno-economic variables and modeling assumptions to explain the large variability in the published international literature on cost of avoided CO2 (CACO2) using statistical methods. We carry out a meta-analysis of the variations in reported CACO2 for coal and natural gas power plants with CCS. We use regression and correlation analysis to explain the variation in reported CACO2. The regression models built in our analysis have strong predictive power (R2 > 0.90) for all power plant types. We find that the parameters that have high variability and large influence on the value of CACO2 estimated are levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) penalty, capital cost of CCS, and efficiency penalty. In addition, the selection of baseline technologies and more attention and transparency around the calculation of capital costs will reduce the variability across studies to better reflect technology uncertainty and improve comparability across studies. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Walden T.,Alberta Energy Research Institute
Geopolitics of Energy | Year: 2012

The Paul Scherrer Institut has done an analysis for the period 1970-2008 of the comparative risks associated with the natural gas, oil, and other energy supply chains, with only partial results for LPG and none specific to LNG. There is persuasive expert opinion that LPG import terminals deserve greater scrutiny for public safety hazards than would an equivalent-sized LNG terminal. On the other hand, the safety requirements for LPG marine terminals are minimal. LNG as a potential target has not, however, escaped the attention of terrorist and counter-terrorist organizations. The LNG tanker industry is very proud of having logged over 100 million miles without a shipboard death, although there have been several fatal accidents at NGL facilities. Usually the fuel in the undamaged tank expands with rising temperature and releases pressure through a safety vent.

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