Proper Assessment of Shale Oil

by Catherine Parsekian

According to the results of a study done in China by Li et. al (2016), there is no method for measuring oil potential in shale reservoirs that includes both residual oil contents in the rocks as well as hydrocarbon expulsion and migration conditions. Li and his colleagues developed soon an index for determining oil potential. If the index is greater than zero, then some of the oil has migrated to external reservoirs which means that it has poor shale oil potential. Li et. al. argue that because current methods include absorbed, as well as free hydrocarbons, they are overvaluing the shale oil and not looking at oil that can readily be used. The method developed in this paper has multiple parameters and is a more comprehensive measurement since it takes into account oil saturation, free oil content, and shale oil expulsion. Continue reading

Proper Assessment of Shale Oil

by Catherine Parsekian

According to the results of a study done in China by Li et. al (2016), there is no method for measuring oil potential in shale reservoirs that includes both residual oil contents in the rocks as well as hydrocarbon expulsion and migration conditions. Li and his colleagues developed soon an index for determining oil potential. If the index is greater than zero, then some of the oil has migrated to external reservoirs which means that it has poor shale oil potential. Li et. al. argue that because current methods include absorbed, as well as free hydrocarbons, they are overvaluing the shale oil and not looking at oil that can readily be used. The method developed in this paper has multiple parameters and is a more comprehensive measurement since it takes into account oil saturation, free oil content, and shale oil expulsion. Continue reading

The Looming Threat of Climate Change on Peatlands

by Ethan Fukuto

In January 2017, Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds published new findings mapping 55,000 square miles of peatlands in the Cuvette Centrale depression in the Congo Basin of Central Africa. Lewis et al.’s findings chart the Cuvette Centrale as the largest peatlands in the tropics, containing around 30 percent of the worldwide total of carbon soil in tropical peatlands. Carbon-rich peat, perhaps best known as an ingredient in whisky production, is a soil formed by decomposing organic matter. Peatlands are found primarily in northern regions such as Canada and Europe, though tropical peatlands, such as the Cuvette Centrale, pose a greater risk to global climate issues. As these regions dry due to climate change and human land-use, their susceptibility to fires increases the risk of a massive output of carbon into the atmosphere. A 2006 study on soil carbon and climate change by Eric Davidson and Ivan Janssens called for a broadening of scope in the study of temperature sensitivity to include areas such as peatlands. Continue reading