Does it take a lot of energy to refine the oil that we take out of the ground?



  1. jw
    0 Votes

    The amount of energy needed to extract and refine crude oil depends on the source. For conventional oil in a relatively shallow well the energy return on investment (EROI, calculated as energy gained/energy used) can be as high as 40/1; crude oil extracted from oil shales is very inefficient, having a EROI barely above 1, meaning the energy gains are very low when compared to expenditures.

  2. 0 Votes

    20 is the typical value one sees for EROI for conventional oil, as borne out by the nice chart jw provided.  To add a couple other values, the EROI for ethanol is usually determined to be about 1 (meaning it costs as much in energy in as you get out) to 1.5; tar sands are usually given as 1 to 4 depending on the nature of the mining and processing and the original material.

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