A Review on the Geologic Occurrence, Development and Associated Environmental Problems of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Energy Resources


Authors : Kalu, E. O; Okeke O. C; Amadi, C. C; Akudike, J. C; Dozie, O. T; Sunday, E. U; Okonkwo, S. I

Volume/Issue : Volume 5 - 2020, Issue 8 - August

Google Scholar : http://bitly.ws/9nMw

Scribd : https://bit.ly/32iIpe3

DOI : 10.38124/IJISRT20AUG809

Unconventional hydrocarbon energy resources are non renewable energy resources whose major constituents are hydrogen and carbon. They have indistinct source rock- reservoir rocks-trap rocks characteristics/boundaries and unique exploitation technologies including mining and processing (surface and underground production using retorts for exploitation of oil shale and coking units for exploitation of bitumen; in-situ treatment and recovery (underground production using thermal treatment, chemical flooding and gas injection for exploitation of heavy oils in particular); and well production /underground production using vertical drilling, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Only well production technology is applicable to conventional hydrocarbon energy resources, that is petroleum and natural gas exploitation. There are five classes of unconventional hydrocarbon energy resources including: coal bed methane (CBM), oil shale, shale gas/shale oil, heavy oil/bitumen, and natural gas hydrates. Worldwide, the recoverable methane from coal bed methane resources is about 2625 tcf. Similarly, the recoverable billions of barrels of oil from shale oil, heavy oil and bitumen, resources worldwide are 28626,443 and 651, respectively. Over 90% of these, that is, shale oil, heavy oil and bitumen are found in USA Venezuela and Canada respectively. The environmental problems associated with development of unconventional hydrocarbon energy resources include: surface/groundwater pollution; water depletion; air pollution and hazards of solid wastes from oil shale and bitumen mining/ processing. However, energy produced from unconventional hydrocarbon energy resources are similar to those produced from other (conventional) energy resources and can be equally used for various purposes including industrial, residential, transportation and commercial.

Keywords : Unconventional, Energy Resources, Shale Gas, Oil Shale, Bitumen and Water Pollution

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