Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) shapes our lives. ERoEI says it takes energy — mining, drilling, refining, transporting — to make energy.
“The EROI for oil in the U.S. during the heydays of oil development in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana in the 1930s was about 100 returned for one invested ... declining to about 20:1 in the first half decade of the 2000s.” (http://netenergy.theoildrum.com/node/6318?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theoildrum+%28The+O...).
The shale oil ERoEI is around 1 to 5; this is the minimum needed to maintain life as we know it. However, the decline rate of an individual well in the region is very high, and thus the industry has to continue to drill wells at a rapid rate, just to replace the decline.
“From “Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll: “Red Queen, ‘It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.’ “
Currently the estimated break-even price for the “average” well in the Bakken formation in North Dakota is $80-$90/Bbl. In plain language this means that currently the commercial profitability for new wells is barely positive.
The “average” well now yields around 85,000 Bbls during the first 12 months of production and then experiences a year over year decline of 40 percent (+/-) 2 percent (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9748).
Easily accessible oil peaked in 2005. We now are finding only the hardest to retrieve and lowest ERoEI in the oceans, the Arctic, in shale, in tar sands. It endangers the environment now and for your grandchildren’s future.
We will do anything and everything to maintain our present personal level of energy use and the comfort it affords us. We will do anything and everything to the earth, to other people and even to ourselves to continue on this path.
The proof of this assertion is simple; we are doing it (http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2011/02/curmudgeon-report.html).