# Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015

^{1}

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## Abstract

**:**

## 1. Introduction

## 2. Methods

#### 2.1. Energy Return on Investment

_{stnd}) was created. The EROI calculation of the COS in this paper is based on the EROI

_{stnd}. EROI

_{stnd}is defined as the ratio between energy output in the boundary of the well mouth (or at the mine) and direct plus indirect energy inputs and can be represented in the following equation:

_{o}represents the sum of energy outputs expressed in the same units, while E

_{d}and E

_{i}represent the total direct energy input and indirect energy input, respectively. In order to make the results of our paper more comparable with the results of many other EROI research, we choose the boundary of EROI

_{stnd}as our research boundary. Figure 1 shows the boundary of EROI analysis in this paper and illustrates the different procedures of mining oil sands extraction and in situ oil sands extraction.

_{i}) is challenging since this data is usually not available directly. Different methods have been tried to estimate E

_{i}[7,12,18]: Hu et al. and Kong et al. used “industrial energy intensity” published by the government to transfer monetary input to energy input, but the use of “industrial energy intensity” is crude and approximate, and the monetary input considered is not complete. Poisson and Hall used government issued energy intensity to convert value of products to energy input, however, the resulting energy input is the sum of direct energy input and indirect energy input and the indirect energy input cannot be separated from the total energy input transferred from the monetary value of products. In addition, by calculating both direct and indirect energy input using the energy intensity, Poisson and Hall’s calculation relies heavily on monetary value. Therefore, this paper uses the Environmental Input-Output (EIO) model, the method we consider most reasonable so far, to analyze indirect energy input of oil sands extraction in Canada.

#### 2.2. Environmental Input-Output (EIO) Model

## 3. Data Collection and Handling

#### 3.1. Energy Output of Oil Sands Extraction

^{3}, tons, and MWh, which are then transferred, based on thermal values of different kinds of energy output, into the unit of tera joule (TJ) using the transfer indicator given by the NEB (2015) of Canada [28].

#### 3.2. Energy Input of Oil Sands Extraction

## 4. Results

## 5. Discussion

#### 5.1. Comparison with EROI from Previous Research

#### 5.2. Comparison between EROI of Oil Sands and EROI of Other Energy Resources

_{production/processing}of US shale gas, another typical type of unconventional fossil energy resource, is estimated to be in the range of 13–23. These results show that the EROI of tight oil and the EROI of shale gas are in similar ranges, and that both of them are much higher than the EROI of COS and are even higher than the EROI of global oil and gas. It should be noted that there are large ranges for both tight oil EROI and shale gas EROI since real data regarding energy input and energy output of tight oil and shale gas extraction is not available, and current published research are based on simulated data, thus, the reliability of these results is questionable. Further research is needed to calculate accurate results for US tight oil and shale gas production.

## 6. Conclusions and Implications

## Supplementary Materials

## Acknowledgments

## Author Contributions

## Conflicts of Interest

## References

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**Figure 2.**Energy output and input of Canadian mining oil sands extraction. Note: In this figure, the stacked area figure represents energy output, while the stacked column figure represents energy input.

**Figure 3.**Energy output and input of Canadian in situ oil sands extraction. Note: In this figure, the stacked area figure represents energy output, while the stacked column figure represents energy input.

**Figure 4.**Standard Energy Return on Investment (EROI

_{stnd}) of Canadian mining oil sands and in situ oil sands.

**Figure 5.**Comparison among EROI

_{stnd}of Canadian oil sands (COS) (mining and in situ) from this paper and Energy Return on Investment (EROI) results from previous papers.

**Figure 6.**Comparison of EROI with other energy resources. Note: EROI of global oil and gas comes from [8]; EROI of Western Canadian conventional oil and gas comes from [9]; EROI of COS (mining) and COS (in situ) during 2009–2015 are the results of this paper; EROI of tight oil (Bakken crude oil) comes from [11]; EROI of US shale gas comes from [10].

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## Share and Cite

**MDPI and ACS Style**

Wang, K.; Vredenburg, H.; Wang, J.; Xiong, Y.; Feng, L.
Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015. *Energies* **2017**, *10*, 614.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en10050614

**AMA Style**

Wang K, Vredenburg H, Wang J, Xiong Y, Feng L.
Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015. *Energies*. 2017; 10(5):614.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en10050614

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Wang, Ke, Harrie Vredenburg, Jianliang Wang, Yi Xiong, and Lianyong Feng.
2017. "Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015" *Energies* 10, no. 5: 614.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en10050614