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Sustainability 2011, 3(10), 2009-2026; doi:10.3390/su3102009
Article

Ultra-Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas: Energy Return on Financial Investment and a Preliminary Assessment of Energy Return on Energy Investment

1,2,*  and 1
Received: 9 July 2011; in revised form: 3 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 August 2011 / Published: 21 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Studies in EROI (Energy Return on Investment))
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Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to calculate the energy return on financial investment (EROFI) of oil and gas production in the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in 2009 and for the estimated oil reserves of the Macondo Prospect (Mississippi Canyon Block 252). We also calculated a preliminary Energy Return on Investment (EROI) based on published energy intensity ratios including a sensitivity analysis using a range of energy intensity ratios (7 MJ/$, 12 MJ/$, and 18 MJ/$). The EROFI for ultra-deepwater oil and gas at the well-head, ranged from 0.019 to 0.022 barrels (BOE), or roughly 0.85 gallons, per dollar. Our estimates of EROI for 2009 ultra-deepwater oil and natural gas at the well-head ranged from 7–22:1. The independently-derived EROFI of the Macondo Prospect oil reserves ranged from 0.012 to 0.0071 barrels per dollar (i.e., $84 to $140 to produce a barrel) and EROI ranged from 4–16:1, related to the energy intensity ratio used to quantify costs. We believe that the lower end of these EROI ranges (i.e., 4 to 7:1) is more accurate since these values were derived using energy intensities averaged across the entire domestic oil and gas industry. Time series of the financial and preliminary EROI estimates found in this study suggest that the extraction costs of ultra-deepwater energy reserves in the GoM come at increasing energetic and economic cost to society.
Keywords: Gulf of Mexico; net energy; Deepwater Horizon; Macondo; oil spill Gulf of Mexico; net energy; Deepwater Horizon; Macondo; oil spill
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moerschbaecher, M.; Day Jr., J.W. Ultra-Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas: Energy Return on Financial Investment and a Preliminary Assessment of Energy Return on Energy Investment. Sustainability 2011, 3, 2009-2026.

AMA Style

Moerschbaecher M, Day Jr. JW. Ultra-Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas: Energy Return on Financial Investment and a Preliminary Assessment of Energy Return on Energy Investment. Sustainability. 2011; 3(10):2009-2026.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moerschbaecher, Matthew; Day Jr., John W. 2011. "Ultra-Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas: Energy Return on Financial Investment and a Preliminary Assessment of Energy Return on Energy Investment." Sustainability 3, no. 10: 2009-2026.


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