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Title: Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity

Abstract

The surface land use of fossil fuel acquisition and utilization has not been well characterized, inhibiting consistent comparisons of different electricity generation technologies. We present a method for robust estimation of the life cycle land use of electricity generated from natural gas through a case study that includes inventories of infrastructure, satellite imagery and well-level production. Approximately 500 sites in the Barnett Shale of Texas were sampled across five life cycle stages (production, gathering, processing, transmission and power generation). Total land use (0.62 m 2 MWh -1, 95% confidence intervals +/-0.01 m 2 MWh -1) was dominated by midstream infrastructure, particularly pipelines (74%). These results were sensitive to power plant heat rate (85-190% of the base case), facility lifetime (89-169%), number of wells per site (16-100%), well lifetime (92-154%) and pipeline right of way (58-142%). When replicated for other gas-producing regions and different fuels, our approach offers a route to enable empirically grounded comparisons of the land footprint of energy choices.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [2];  [2];  [3]
  1. Johns Hopkins Univ., Washington, DC (United States). School of Advanced International Studies; Univ. of Calgary, AB (Canada)
  2. Joint Inst. for Strategic Energy Analysis, Golden, CO (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Strategic Energy Analysis Center
  3. Univ. of Calgary, AB (Canada)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
OSTI Identifier:
1398873
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-66274
Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; life cycle assessment; land-use; estimated ultimate recovery; shale gas

Citation Formats

Jordaan, Sarah M., Heath, Garvin A., Macknick, Jordan, Bush, Brian W., Mohammadi, Ehsan, Ben-Horin, Dan, Urrea, Victoria, and Marceau, Danielle. Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0004-0.
Jordaan, Sarah M., Heath, Garvin A., Macknick, Jordan, Bush, Brian W., Mohammadi, Ehsan, Ben-Horin, Dan, Urrea, Victoria, & Marceau, Danielle. Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity. United States. doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0004-0.
Jordaan, Sarah M., Heath, Garvin A., Macknick, Jordan, Bush, Brian W., Mohammadi, Ehsan, Ben-Horin, Dan, Urrea, Victoria, and Marceau, Danielle. Mon . "Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity". United States. doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0004-0. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1398873.
@article{osti_1398873,
title = {Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity},
author = {Jordaan, Sarah M. and Heath, Garvin A. and Macknick, Jordan and Bush, Brian W. and Mohammadi, Ehsan and Ben-Horin, Dan and Urrea, Victoria and Marceau, Danielle},
abstractNote = {The surface land use of fossil fuel acquisition and utilization has not been well characterized, inhibiting consistent comparisons of different electricity generation technologies. We present a method for robust estimation of the life cycle land use of electricity generated from natural gas through a case study that includes inventories of infrastructure, satellite imagery and well-level production. Approximately 500 sites in the Barnett Shale of Texas were sampled across five life cycle stages (production, gathering, processing, transmission and power generation). Total land use (0.62 m2 MWh-1, 95% confidence intervals +/-0.01 m2 MWh-1) was dominated by midstream infrastructure, particularly pipelines (74%). These results were sensitive to power plant heat rate (85-190% of the base case), facility lifetime (89-169%), number of wells per site (16-100%), well lifetime (92-154%) and pipeline right of way (58-142%). When replicated for other gas-producing regions and different fuels, our approach offers a route to enable empirically grounded comparisons of the land footprint of energy choices.},
doi = {10.1038/s41560-017-0004-0},
journal = {Nature Energy},
number = 10,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

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