Recent Submissions

  • Comparative analysis of selected African natural gas markets and related policies

    Ayaburi, John; Sharma, Shashwat; Gosnell, Greer K.; Bazilian, Morgan D.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-04-05)
    The discovery of natural gas resources across the African continent has inspired debate on how such resources should be developed and best utilized. In several African countries, the discovery of commercial quantities of natural gas reserves has led governments to explore a number of strategies, investments, and policy directions. Two contrasting cases are that of Nigeria, which has pursued policies promoting domestic natural gas consumption and export, and Ghana, which has focused on encouraging sectoral-level domestic consumption. These divergent approaches have had immensely different impacts on the sector. This paper uses a case study methodology to identify and assess existing national approaches toward governance and market development. We consider the complex landscape for natural gas in Nigeria, Egypt, and Ghana. The results provide a comparative framework to aid understanding of natural gas development globally. We conclude by highlighting areas of further work.
  • In search of a trusted messenger

    Crompton, James; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-02-25)
    The world's 7.5 billion people need a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible. The good news is that several vaccines have been developed in record time, building on long-standing medical research. The vaccine rollouts have started and are picking up momentum. But surveys of Americans suggest that not all of us are ready for the jab.
  • Modeling earthquake rupture propagation based on calculation of energy components

    Khademian, Zoheir; Nakagawa, Masami; Ozbay, Ugur; Colorado School of Mines. Department of Mining Engineering (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes Library, 2018)
    This paper presents a numerical methodology that can simulate rupture (unstable or seismic slip) and aseismic slip along a fault and estimate seismic energy radiated if conditions for instability emerge. The methodology is developed in the Universal Distinct Element Code (UDEC) using its explicit time-stepping scheme. Evaluation of rupture energetics is first demonstrated by a direct shear test that simulates some unbound fraction of a fault with slip-weakening behaviors. This same approach is extended to model rupture along a shallow, strike-slip, fault that is constrained by surrounding elastic rockmass. The model mesh geometry and loading conditions are calibrated by simulating idealized fault activation and then checking the calculated rupture area, slip (cumulative displacement discontinuity), seismic moment, and radiated seismic energy against available analytic solutions. Loading the idealized fault by non-uniformly distributed single couples and mesh geometry that follows the 1:40 ratio of the mesh size to rupture length are found to generate results within 5% error of the analytical solutions. As an example of the methodology application, relationships between rock rigidity (shear modulus), slip-weakening behavior, rupture length, slip, seismic moment, and radiated seismic energy are then discussed through a set of parametric studies. Globally recorded variations between seismic energy and the seismic moment for shallow strike-slip earthquakes are also used to verify seismic energy calculations in each case of parametric studies. Results show that the developed methodology and modeling approach provide a useful platform for mechanistically studying earthquake physics.
  • Synergies between carbon capture, utilization and sequestration and geothermal power in sedimentary basins

    Littlefield, Anna; Stautberg, Eric; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2022-06-06)
    To achieve a rapid and effective energy transition, society will need to widely deploy both existing and emerging technologies and tools. Mitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining the world's growing demands for energy will require these to deployed at great pace and scale. Natural synergies exist between two such technologies: carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) projects and geothermal power generation from hot sedimentary aquifers. The overlapping technical and operational components of these projects underline an opportunity for cost savings and accelerated deployment. Both technologies also share many of the skills, investments, and project cycles from existing oil and gas operations—making them ripe for transitions.
  • Challenges in accurately tracking copper trade flows

    Krause, Zach; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2022-06-09)
    Copper is among the most heavily traded commodities world-wide. The trade volume of copper in combination with the environmental impact of the mining industry has drawn increased attention to the processing and trade of copper and other primary metals. Moreover, copper is a metal that is essential to the energy transition as a component of renewable technologies. To prevent further climate related change, it is important to understand the movement of copper around the globe. This body of research and the existing literature demonstrate that copper trade flows range in complexity from regional partnerships to global regimes. The broad range of complexity contributes to many different narratives that describe the flow of copper ore and concentrate, which further complicates explaining the link between trade flows and environmental impacts.
  • Integrating technology and incentives to reduce methane emissions

    Agerton, Mark; Gilbert, Ben; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-03-16)
    Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ben Gilbert and UC Davis economist Mark Agerton discuss economic considerations with using remote sensing in methane emissions policy. A two-tiered monitoring system like the recently proposed Methane Emissions Reduction Act is a powerful tool to achieve emissions reductions. However, there are important considerations in how to design such a system. A two-tiered system could facilitate emissions pricing and responsible gas markets, reward innovative producers, and fund programs for further climate change mitigation while easing the impact of the energy transition on oil and gas communities.
  • The shrinking path forward for U.S. oilfield services

    Handler, Bradley P.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2020-03-31)
    The recent oil price collapse is setting the stage for yet another steep decline in revenue and profit for the U.S. Oilfield Services (OFS) sector. As challenging as it will be for U.S. OFS companies to weather this storm, it represents just another blow to a sector already beleaguered by its and its customers' inability to deliver adequate financial returns and longer-term demand uncertainty given climate change (decarbonization) concerns. All of these threaten to shrink and transform OFS in the years to come.
  • Sustainable flood prediction and mitigation

    Plink-Björklund, Piret; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2018-10)
    Floods pose a major impact on society by loss of life, livelihood, infrastructure, agricultural lands, and water quality. Many floods are driven by meteorological events and thus linked to hydroclimatic conditions, such as rainfall distribution and intensity. Consequences of extreme weather events are intensified due to population growth, economic growth, urbanization and landscape disturbance. Extreme weather also appears to be growing more frequent across the United States and globally, and it follows that frequency, severity and duration of hydro-meteorological hazards will also increase. Thus, it is more essential than ever that we have the capability to deliver effective flood prediction and mitigation strategies.
  • A new view of human activities from space

    Elvidge, Christopher; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2018-06)
    The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of the key instruments onboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft, which was successfully launched on October 28, 2011. The VIIRS nadir door was opened on November 21, 2011, which enables a new generation of operational moderate resolution-imaging capabilities following the legacy of the AVHRR on NOAA and MODIS on Terra and Aqua satellites. The VIIRS empowers operational environmental monitoring and numerical weather forecasting, with 22 imaging and radiometric bands covering wavelengths from 0.41 to 12.5 microns, providing the sensor data records for more than twenty environmental data records including clouds, sea surface temperature, ocean color, polar wind, vegetation fraction, aerosol, fire, snow and ice, vegetation, and other applications.
  • Leaning in: moving ahead of regulations for natural gas emissions

    Bazilian, Morgan D.; Crompton, James; Lee, Jordy M.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2020-03-19)
    The natural gas industry is facing a number of headwinds. These challenges include decarbonization, electrification, and digitization. More recent pressure stems from low and volatile prices, supply gluts, heavy debt loads, and a nascent oil "war".
  • Proposing a just transition rating system

    Handler, Bradley P.; Bazilian, Morgan D.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2020-07-16)
    Energy transitions threaten to leave communities struggling with facility closures, job losses, and reductions in tax revenues. Many of these communities will seek to reinvigorate--or even reinvent--themselves through investment and programs to spur job and business creation. Although some communities may have "rainy day" funds available for this investment (although legislatures have to be persuaded to use such funds for this purpose), many do not. As such, some municipalities (or other local government formations) will likely have to turn to public debt markets.
  • Crisis breeds change: COVID and heatwaves spur citizens to environmental action

    Gosnell, Greer K.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2020-08-21)
    As a behavioral economist having researched environmental behaviors for over a decade, I was struck when I read that the "how to live a sustainable lifestyle" search on Google skyrocketed to 5000% its 2019 level weeks after the COVID lockdowns took hold. Crisis--along with a stark break in routine--appeared to refocus people's attention on their everyday actions, and a bigger picture.
  • Country spotlight: gas flaring in India

    Srivastava, Utkarsh; Gosnell, Greer K.; Bazilian, Morgan D.; Elvidge, Christopher; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2020-09-03)
    India is the fourth largest refiner of oil (behind the US, Russia, and China), and the third largest importer of crude oil and LNG (behind China and the US), though is outranked by 24 other countries on oil production, with declining trends. China and India have been the most important drivers of crude oil demand globally since 2012. About 71% of oil production in India is attributable to the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC).
  • Are we running out of natural gas storage?

    Gosnell, Greer K.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2020-09-23)
    Even though the US burned the most natural gas for electricity in its history this summer, current month-to-month natural gas price spreads suggest we may be running low on natural gas storage.
  • Initial findings from continuous monitoring of oil and gas operations

    Daniels, William; Crompton, James; Hammerling, Dorit; Bazilian, Morgan D.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-01-13)
    Through the wide deployment of air quality monitoring technology, we can better address greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry. There is considerable public pressure, industry engagement, and government regulation surrounding the push for more sophisticated and transparent monitoring. While much focus has been given to the technological development of monitoring devices and the use of airplane and LDAR resources, less focus has been given to the data acquisition, management, and analysis from these monitoring technologies. This paper presents an exploratory analysis of continuous monitoring data from two oil and gas sites in Colorado. Specifically, we highlight initial results from ongoing research into three areas: trend isolation for better use of continuous monitoring data in predictive models, anonymized metrics for presentation in a public facing dashboard, and source localization using meteorological data. The paper demonstrates some of the capabilities (as well as the challenges) of using continuous monitoring data in addressing greenhouse gas emissions and provides areas for further research.
  • Exploring carbon retirement portfolios

    Handler, Bradley P.; Bazilian, Morgan D.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-07-30)
    New financial instruments are being designed and brought into the fight against climate change. One such potential instrument is a Carbon Retirement Portfolio (CRP), a collection of carbon-emitting assets, including oil & gas (O&G) producing wells and coal-fired power plants (coal plants). A CRP would buy these assets with the commitment to retire them more quickly than their business-as-usual case. Thus, CRPs can be a vehicle to accelerate a country or region's reduction of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Behavior change essential to net-zero emissions, says IEA. Here are 2 ways it can go further

    Gosnell, Greer K.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-05-20)
    Behavior change has long been a touchy subject when it comes to climate change mitigation. While many of us--myself included--have argued for broader and more rigorous research to enlist individuals in the necessary global transitions, some have argued that a neoliberal focus on individual responsibility is harming (or at least not helping) global climate efforts by distracting us from the real culprits--i.e. fossil fuel interests and policymakers.
  • Lights of a city under siege: disruption to Kandahar airport lights increases as the Taliban entered the city

    Bowser, Brooke; Elvidge, Christopher; Bazilian, Morgan D.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-08-25)
    As U.S. troops began their withdrawal from a 20-year conflict in Afghanistan, the Taliban were steadily gaining more ground in rural regions of the country. Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan and the capital of the southern Kandahar Province, was a strategic advancement in the Taliban's eventual seizure of the nation's capital, Kabul. Kandahar also has historical significance as the location of the Taliban's rise to prominence in the 1990s.
  • Consolidating U.S. oil and gas extraction briefing

    Handler, Bradley P.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2021-09-09)
    As U.S. public oil and natural gas (O&G) companies continue to try to win back investors by spending less of their cash flow, the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) marked a surge in these companies also turning to acquisitions to position themselves for longer term efficient production. The implications of industry consolidation for spending and employment can be unclear. However, the recent wave of acquisitions does include companies that were operating with cash constraints, lending to a bias that the mergers foster more oilfield activity and employment all else being equal (albeit partially offset by layoffs in corporate and regional offices) because the acquirors have more financial resources.
  • Does oil production affect government effectiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa?

    Freeman, Baba; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryPayne Institute for Public Policy, 2022-01-31)
    The "resource curse" describes a phenomenon whereby countries with access to substantial revenue from oil and gas experience slow economic growth, inflation, low investment, high debt, and adverse currency exchange rates. Some researchers have however disputed the veracity of this phenomenon, noting that where there are mature state institutions, democratic governance, and accountable civil service, oil revenue has not led to a resource curse.

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