Life Cycle Analysis

Petroleum

The petroleum supply chain includes crude oil extraction and transport; refining; and consumption of gasoline, diesel, and other refinery products. A petroleum refinery is a complex system that separates crude oil into light and heavy fractions and transforms it into liquid fuels and petrochemical feedstocks.


Developing an Approach for the Life Cycle Analysis of Conventional Petroleum Fuels: Outlook to 2040 – Crude Extraction and Transport
This presentation, given at the LCA XIV Conference, starts with the original NETL baseline, which is consistent with other published values for conventional fuel production in the U.S, and updates it to determine the life cycle GHG footprint of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel over time to 2040. The results of this analysis encompass a cradle-to-grave inventory of GHG emissions by utilizing updated models to account for changes to crude extraction, transport and refining.
Authors: Greg Cooney, Joe Marriott, Timothy J. Skone, P.E.
Date: December, 2014

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The Challenge of Co-product Management for Large-scale Energy Systems—Power, Fuel and CO2
Applying traditional co-product management methods such as physical allocation and system expansion in conventional ways can lead to large study uncertainty in life cycle analysis (LCA) of large scale energy systems. The National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL) LCA model of Carbon dioxide-Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR) is a cradle-to-grave model that accounts for the greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental burdens from a system which connects the power sector to the liquid fuels sector. The model leverages existing NETL life cycle data to account for environmental burdens upstream and downstream from the CO2-EOR site, including alternative sources of CO2, petroleum refining, and gasoline or diesel combustion. The use of advanced power plants with carbon capture as a source of CO2 results in the co-production of electricity and transportation fuels (gasoline or diesel). Co-product allocation can be avoided by expanding the system to include displacement of other routes to electricity generation, but conjecture about the expanded system leads to wide uncertainty. If energy is used as a basis for co-product allocation between electricity and liquid fuel (diesel or gasoline), the differences between the useful energy in the energy products hinders comparability. Partitioning a portion of the system, in this case the power plant, to perform more accurate energy allocation is a third approach, and is possible when detailed plant schematics allow disaggregation of integrated processes.
Authors: Tim Skone
Date: October, 2013

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A Parameterized Life Cycle Analysis of Crude from CO₂-Enhanced Oil Recovery
Carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) is a tertiary oil extraction technology used after primary and secondary techniques have been used at an oil field. CO2-EOR operators use alternating injection schemes of CO2 and water to reduce the viscosity of crude oil, allowing recovery of a resource that would be otherwise unrecoverable. The primary objective of CO2-EOR is to produce additional crude oil from a mature oil field, but CO2-EOR also sequesters CO2. The National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL) life cycle analysis (LCA) model of CO2-EOR is a cradle-to-grave model that accounts for the greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental burdens from CO2-EOR systems. A process-based approach uses parameters that allow comparisons of different operating conditions and characterization of uncertainty. The model leverages existing NETL life cycle data to account for environmental burdens upstream and downstream from the CO2-EOR site, including natural dome and several anthropogenic sources of CO2, petroleum refining, and combustion of finished petroleum products such as gasoline or diesel.
Authors: Tim Skone, Joe Marriot
Date: October, 2013

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The Carbon Footprint of Carbon Dioxide
This presentation examines the carbon footprint of obtaining carbon dioxide. While post-combustion capture at power plants may represent the best near-term opportunity for CO2 capture, there are other sources of CO2 in nature and industry. This analysis accounts for the environmental burdens of CO2 from three alternative sources: natural CO2 domes, natural gas processing plants, and ammonia production plants. This analysis uses a life cycle analysis (LCA) approach for developing data and modeling CO2 systems. The energy and material flows for key processes in the CO2 supply chain were calculated. These processes were then compiled in a model that scaled the flows between processes to arrive at an inventory of environmental burdens on a common basis.
Authors: Tim Skone, Robert James
Date: October, 2013

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Gate-to-Grave Life Cycle Analysis Model of Saline Aquifer Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide
A gate-to-grave life cycle analysis (LCA) model was created to quantify the environmental impacts of the various processes associated with saline aquifer sequestration. The following unit processes are accounted for in this analysis: site preparation, well construction, carbon dioxide sequestration operations, site monitoring, brine management, well closure, and land use. This analysis used an LCA approach for developing data, and modeling saline aquifer sequestration. The energy and material flows for key processes within the gate-to-grave boundaries of the saline aquifer were calculated. These processes were then compiled in a model that scaled the flows between processes to arrive at an inventory of environmental burdens on a common basis (e.g., 1 tonne of carbon dioxide sequestered). 
Authors: Tim Skone, Robert James, Greg Cooney, Matt Jamieson, James Littlefield, Joe Marriott
Date: September, 2013

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Gate-to-Gate Life Cycle Inventory and Model of CO₂-Enhanced Oil Recovery
A gate-to-gate life cycle analysis (LCA) model was created to quantify the environmental impacts of the various processes associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The following unit processes are accounted for in this analysis: injection and recovery, bulk separation and storage, gas separation, supporting processes, and land use. This analysis used an LCA approach for developing data, and EOR and gas processing. The energy and material flows for key processes within the gate-to-gate boundaries of the EOR site were calculated. These processes were then compiled in a model that scaled the flows between processes to arrive at an inventory of environmental burdens on a common basis (e.g., 1 barrel of crude produced via EOR). 
Authors: Tim Skone, Robert James, Greg Cooney, Matt Jamieson, James Littlefield, Joe Marriott
Date: September, 2013

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Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Analysis Model for Alternative Sources of Carbon Dioxide
While post-combustion capture at power plants may represent the best near-term opportunity for CO2 capture, there are other sources of CO2 in nature and industry. This analysis accounts for the environmental burdens of CO2 from three alternative sources: natural CO2 domes, natural gas processing plants, and ammonia production plants. This analysis uses a life cycle analysis (LCA) approach for developing data, and modeling CO2 systems. The energy and material flows for key processes in the CO2 supply chain were calculated. These processes were then compiled in a model that scaled the flows between processes to arrive at an inventory of environmental burdens on a common basis (e.g., 1 kilogram of CO2 ready for compression and pipeline transport). 
Authors: James Littlefield, Greg Cooney, Matt Jamieson, Greg Schivley, Joe Marriott
Date: September, 2013

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A Comparative Assessment of CO2 Sequestration through Enhanced Oil Recovery and Saline Aquifer Sequestration
A comparative assessment of CO2 sequestration through enhanced oil recovery and saline aquifer sequestration.
Authors: Tim Skone, Robert Dilmore
Date: July, 2013

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An Assessment of Gate-to-Gate Environmental Life Cycle Performance of Water-Alternating-Gas CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery in the Permian Basin
CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) stimulates oil production while storing a portion of the injected CO2. Life cycle assessment was performed for three CO2-EOR scenarios to estimate the "gate-to-gate" greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with water-alternating-gas injection in a typical Permian Basin reservoir. Current CO2-EOR "best practices" generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 71 kg CO2 equivalents (CO2E) per barrel of oil extracted - approximately three times greater than GHG emissions for the average barrel of domestic oil extracted in 2005.
Authors: Robert Dilmore
Date: September, 2010

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NETL Petroleum-Based Fuels Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis 2005 Baseline Model
This is a life cycle greenhouse gas model of petroleum fuels. It is representative of U.S. refinery operations using a mix of domestic and imported crude oil. Refinery energy and emissions are allocated to individual refinery products using the volumetric throughput and hydrogen consumption of key unit operations within a petroleum refinery. Results are calculated in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per million Btu (MMBtu) of fuel consumed.
Authors: Chris Nichols
Date: November, 2009

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Balancing Climate Change, Energy Security, and Economic Sustainability: A Life Cycle Comparison of Diesel Fuel from Crude Oil and Domestic Coal and Biomass Resources
Brief 4-page summary of the near-term benefits of co-gasifying U.S. coal and biomass resources to produce FT diesel; a domestic transportation fuel. The paper summarizes the climate change, energy security, and economic benefits when compared to conventional diesel fuel production from domestic and imported crude oil.
Authors: Chris Nichols, Tim Skone, Kristin Gerdes, Tom Tarka, John Wimer
Date: April, 2009

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An Evaluation of the Extraction, Transport, and Refining of Imported Crude Oils and the Impact on Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has analyzed the full life cycle greenhouse gas (greenhouse gas) emissions of transportation fuels derived from domestic crude oil and crude oil imported from specific countries. This analysis reveals that producing diesel fuel from imported crude oil results in well-to-tank greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are, on average, 59 percent higher than diesel from domestic crude oil (21.4 vs. 13.5 kg CO2e per million Btu on a lower heating value basis). (Results are also presented for gasoline and jet fuel.) Differences among crude oil extraction practices have the greatest affect on the well-to-tank GHG emissions; there is less variation among the results of different scenarios due to refining and transport requirements.
Authors: Chris Nichols, Tim Skone, Kristin Gerdes
Date: March, 2009

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Development of Baseline Data and Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Petroleum-Based Fuels: Report and Model
This analysis shows results from NETL's life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) model of petroleum-based fuels. It is representative of U.S. refinery operations using a mix of domestic and imported crude oil. Results are expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per million Btu (MMBtu) of fuel consumed. The total well-to-wheel GHG emissions from gasoline 96.3, 95.0, and 92.9 kg CO2e/MMBtu for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, respectively.
Authors: Chris Nichols, Tim Skone, Kristin Gerdes
Date: November, 2008

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