Oil Well Drilling

Oil Well Drilling

Oil well drilling has been the main means of producing oil ever since Colonel Drake drilled that first well in 1859, which signaled the start of the American petroleum industry.
Drilling techniques and equipment have changed throughout the decades from cable tools to rotary-based ones, from straight holes to sidetrack and GPS-based directional drilling, and from “guess-timates” and “feel” to computer-based accuracy.

The biggest improvement in oil well drilling, however, has been in the preparations prior to ever breaking ground.

The drilling of a well, especially a “wildcat” (see oil exploration discussion), is a milestone event, involving practically every sub-discipline of the oil business, and signifies the start of direct field investigation.

For the oil exploration and production company, the drilling of the well represents final exploration sunk costs prior to the possibility of recovering those costs through well production revenues. For the petroleum geologist and the reservoir engineer, the drilling of the well represents the final confirmation of the interpretation of numerous strands of indirect evidence of oil’s presence. For the production and facilities engineers, it represents the soon to be realized asset requiring sub-surface and surface management and equipment to maximize production (see oil production discussion). And, for the drilling engineer, well, it is time to earn their pay!

Through experience and communications with geologists, reservoir engineers, production engineers, and facilities engineers – the technical team – the drilling engineer develops a plan for reaching the targeted formation at the bottomhole location identified, from the surface location specified – at the cost authorized.

Before ever setting up on the drilling location, the drilling engineer has gained all of the necessary approvals to drill from company and regulatory authorities (click here for regulatory contact information). The appropriate hole dimensions, the wireline testing procedures, the well casing program, and the cement volumes are all known upfront (see well capacity tables).

The drilling engineer has already scheduled an oil well drilling rig, alerted a wireline and cementing service company, and ordered necessary drilling fluids, tanks, pipe and safety equipment (including blowout prevention equipment; Click here to view oil field service company contacts ).

Operations normally proceed on a 24 hours per day basis and depending on methods, depths, and rock types encountered, can last anywhere from a few days to several months.

History has shown that rarely do operations proceed in a “normal” fashion. Each well is its own story. It is quite normal to encounter hard rock zones, and experience sand control problems, as well as for minor equipment breakdowns to occur – right next to a well which didn’t experience half of the problems! Drill bits wear out, wrong auxiliary equipment is delivered, and various other events happen that slow progress, raise corporate anxieties, and compromise schedules.

Due to all of the problems, which can and do happen on site, oil companies have increasingly focused on safe operations. This is something everyone can control.

Most oil well drilling operations are actually completed by drilling service companies, with oil company drilling engineers supervising. Oil companies are using their natural leverage by insisting on safe operations by contractors, which minimize employee “accidents” and environmental impacts, and maximize accountability. Drilling service companies with poor safety records are not kept for long.

Drilling Operations

Operations proceed in accordance with terms of a permit issued by the regulatory agency with jurisdiction. Normally, a drilling location is graded, a conductor pipe is set to support subsequent casing strings, blowout control equipment is installed and tested for well safety, the drilling rig and auxiliary equipment is moved in and set up, and drilling operations are underway.

Contemporary drilling operations consist of downhole tools (drill bits, reamers, shock absorbers, etc.), drill string components (drill collars, drillpipe, kelly, etc.), suspension equipment (rotary swivel, hook, blocks, and wire rope), supporting structures (derrick), rotary drive mechanism (rotary table, turbodrill, dynadrill), hoisting equipment (drawworks, auxiliary brakes, cathead, etc.), transmission systems (mechanical transmission, clutch, belts, and chains), prime movers (diesel, turbo-electric), hydraulic circulating system (slush pump, high pressure surface equipment, drill string, shale shaker, desander, degasser, mud tanks/mixers), and rig floor and wellhead accessories/tools (cat lines, elevators, rotary slips, power slip, safety clamps, power tongs, rig instrumentation, blowout prevention equipment, etc.) (look at a picture of a drilling rig).

Although each area is vitally important to safe and efficient drilling operations, the drill string including the downhole tools is the most important area; being at the point of impact, transmitting surface derived energy into bottom-hole torque and hole digging.

The drill string/subsurface assembly is composed primarily of a swivel, a kelly, drillpipe, a drill collar, and a bit. The swivel connects the rotating drill string to the drilling rig support system. It suspends the drill string, permits free rotation and serves as the means for drilling fluid circulation. Drilling fluid is circulated through the drill pipe and bit to cool the bit and assist in cuttings removal. The drilling fluid also serves to coat the open-hole to prevent cave-ins and prevent any reservoir fluids (oil, gas and water) encountered from rushing in.

The swivel connects to the kelly, which is usually either a square or hexagonal-sided pipe of about 43 feet long, that transmits the torque from the rotary table on the rig floor to the drill string causing the bit to turn and make hole. Drill pipe sections are connected to the kelly one at a time allowing the bit to work deeper and deeper in the hole.

The drill collar is a heavy-walled pipe which connects the drill bit to the drillpipe. Its weight puts pressure on the bit to keep it working at the bottom of the hole.

The drill bit is the primary downhole tool, cutting up formation as it rotates. Diamond bits are used for hard formations. However, tri-coned steel-teethed bits are most commonly used today.

Sometimes, geologists inspect the cuttings that are circulated to surface to identify and confirm the formation that is currently being drilled.

At various and defined intervals, the well may be logged by wireline service companies. Why is this done? Well logging tells the industry experts the formations they are in, the fluids present within the formation (including oil!) and the quality of the cement job. In some drilling operations, wells are logged as they are being drilled using sophisticated tools which continuously transmit vital downhole information to surface without having to cease hole-making.

Metal pipe called surface casing is inserted into the well once the drillpipe is removed, and is cemented to the earth by cementing service companies. Cement is pumped and circulated within the well to permanently affix the pipe to the earth. This provides support, and limits communication between the surface and the subsurface to just that space inside of the pipe.

Subsequent drilling punctures the bottom of the recently placed cement sheath and continues down to the objective depth. To drill deeper, the rig crew performs the seemingly routine act of ceasing rotary table rotation and mud circulation, lifting the drill string, setting it on slips at the rig floor, breaking the joint between the kelly and the topmost drillpipe with tongs, screwing on an additional length of drillpipe at the kelly, lifting the string again, removing the slips, lowering the string downhole, and reestablishing mud circulation and rotary table rotation.

Intermediate casing might be run in hole and cemented, too, depending on well design criteria and formation characteristics. When the total depth is reached a final cement job is conducted to either plug the well back up because no significant hydrocarbon was found, or to secure the production casing string in place for future completion and production.

The drilling contractor rigs down and moves off of the drilling location and heads on to the next assignment.

Source Of Oil

Source of Oil

Well, silly, it comes from oil wells, of course! Sorry, that was just too easy to pass up (and in some respects the best answer out there)! Really now, where does oil come from?
The truth is, no one is completely certain how oil originated, migrated and accumulated.

Prevailing wisdom, based on over a hundred years of production history, has it that crude oil was formed from layers of dead organisms lying on the sea floor for millions of years. Over time, sand, clay, and limestone layers covered the rich organic sediments, which are typically fine-grained shales, choking out oxygen and allowing bacteria to break down the organisms.

As the organic-rich sediment was covered with more and more layers of earth, the weight of the overburden caused pressure and heat to transform the organic material into one of the various phases of hydrocarbon (natural gas, crude oil, or bitumen – see oil definition discussion). Scientists call this organic-rich sediment layer the source rock, as it is where oil is created.

It is estimated that it took millions of years to convert the organic matter into the quantities of hydrocarbon produced in the oil fields of today (see oil accumulation, and oil location discussions). As a result, oil is considered a finite resource. As the oil fields around the world are identified, and oil increasingly produced, the earth’s oil generating machine cannot keep pace, and the world’s overall oil balance declines.

Another novel theory for oil’s origin suggests that it is an inorganic product originating deep in the earth, between the mantle and the crust. Miles below the earth’s surface, it is theorized, the interaction of a now mobile, inorganic methane and high temperature pockets takes place and results in the condensing of crude oil.

An intriguing aspect of this theory is that oil is constantly being generated in numerous places around the world, and at rates that can continue to sustain our current way of life. So now, according to some, oil is not a limited resource after all.

It should be noted that this inorganic theory is held by a minority of industry professionals. The oil discoveries and development plans throughout the world have been based on the organic theory of hydrocarbon origination and a declining inventory. Seems to me like conventional wisdom wins the day.

So, where does crude oil come from? You decide and let me know!

Oil Exploration

Oil Exploration

It all begins with oil exploration…
Petroleum geologists and engineers have established that oil, when trapped, collects into underground pools called reservoirs. It is from these reservoirs that oil is produced. So, all these geologists have to do is find the oil reservoirs and sit back and watch the oil production flow! Couldn’t be easier right? Well, not exactly.

It is said that the best place to find oil is in an oilfield. This is true, without question. But, what do you do when there is no defined oilfield, and there are no nearby wells? It sounds quite simplistic but, think about it, every major oilfield must have begun with the drilling of the field’s first well.

How did they know where to drill the well, and how did they convince their bosses that drilling that well was worth the expensive research and drilling costs? Doesn’t sound so easy now, eh?

If you’re thinking there’s some risk to all of this, well there definitely is tremendous risk!

The industry calls these wells miles away from known production, wildcats. Depending on the results of their attempts at finding hydrocarbon, the wells are known as discovery wells or dry holes.

If the discovery well shows hydrocarbon, other development wells are drilled to confirm the find. If nothing is found, well, the operator will simply abandon the well and move on to other prospects and plays.

Through the utilization of a variety of high and low-tech tools and methodologies, today’s producing reservoirs were discovered.

The presence of oil seeps and pits at surface is a strong indication that oil may be present underground. If a trapping mechanism exists below, one may have found a reservoir.

The surface exposure (outcropping) of known source and reservoir rock suggests the right conditions for oil generation and storage may be present. If a trap of some kind were detected, it is possible that a reservoir could be discovered.

So, how do geologists detect reservoirs miles below the surface of the earth?

The only direct way of confirming oil’s presence is to drill a well.

But, drilling a well is an expensive proposition. Most wells cost in excess of $100,000 to drill, and many cost over $1,000,000. These costs typically cover the drilling rig alone, and don’t consider the costs of necessary supporting equipment and supplies. For example, costs for

PDC (polycrystalline diamond compact) drill bits , used to cut into the earth, alone can be in the thousands of dollars.

Given that the success of finding commercially producible-sized hydrocarbon reservoirs is approximately 1 in 10 chances, oil companies – out of sheer necessity – seek to minimize the cost of failed wildcats by exhausting all reasonable indirect methods of locating hydrocarbons first.

Seismic surveys, using a variety of sonic wave producing guns and extra-sensitive listening devices, allow geophysicists to obtain profiles (cross-sections) of subsurface rock at great depths. If a trap of some sort can be deduced from the sub-surface reflections, there is a chance that oil or gas can be found.

Gravitational and magnetic surveys are flown by aircraft over areas on land and sea to identify the geophysical properties which might suggest the presence of hydrocarbon bearing traps.

Ultimately, though, it is only by drilling the well that the indirect observations will be confirmed.

Crude Oil Price

Crude Oil Price

To understand the importance of the crude oil price per barrell, one needs to consider its relationship with oil’s products…
One month, the cost of regular-grade gasoline is $2 per gallon, the next month it is over $3! Diesel fuel prices are less than gasoline one day, and gasoline is cheaper the next day! Electricity rates, generated from natural gas combustion, are stable all winter, but you can’t afford to heat your home with heating oil because of higher prices (click to see current oil prices) . What’s the deal?

The deal is, hydrocarbon (crude oil and natural gas) is a global commodity. Its refined products are the backbone of business and industry around the globe.

Supply and demand principles apply to oil produced in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, North America and everywhere else – regardless of whether a society embraces socialist or democratic doctrines.

International demand for oil has risen. Consequently, excess capacity is lean. Supply hiccups due to production/shipping/refining bottlenecks and revolutions and rumors of war, can and do cause oil and gas prices to spike. In one violent act, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on operations, critically damaging infrastructure on a regional level, and preventing crude deliveries.

High oil prices cause a ripple effect on downstream, refined products, and global financial markets which recognize its importance.

But, operational constraints, acts of God, and malfunctions are not the only cause of oil price spikes. Oil producing governments and cartels, like OPEC, have artificially curtailed production supply in the past to affect oil prices in their favor.

The public has often accused independent oil companies, oil speculators, and refineries of underhanded dealings too, reducing supply to artificially inflate prices. This is an easy assumption to make when oil companies report record profits during times of limited supply. However, what is not often discussed is the role federal and local governments play in pricing and market requirements.

Crude oil is often refined in localities near their intended market. This is because local agencies have established their own standards for gasoline and other refined products in response to federal mandates and requirements. Reformulated gas, MTBE additives, ethanol use, and minimum Reid Vapor Pressures (RVP) requirements, amongst others add to local complexities.

What are acceptable characteristics and contents for gasoline in Chicago, Illinois may not be acceptable in San Francisco, California. Folks in New England often count on heating oil to heat their homes in winter, while the residents of southwestern United States typically use electricity and natural gas for the same purpose.

This variation in local market requirements can often lead to price spikes when problems arise, which can originate anywhere in the process, from an oil field to a refinery – some scheduled, and some not.

Oil companies, both independent and country-run, are in the business to make profits for themselves and their shareholders. As a result, the costs of exploring, developing, producing, refining and transporting the oil in its raw state to its ultimate refined output is included in the cost of each gallon of gasoline or other such product sold.

In addition, governments can and do levy taxes on oil products, increasing the burden on the individual and corporate consumer.

So, how does oil pricing work?

Crude oil’s value is based on its refined use. The primary use dictated by current global demand is for fuels like gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and jet fuel to run the equipment that support our ways of life. The various characteristics/properties of crude from around the world – referred to euphemistically in industry jargon as light, sweet, intermediate, sour, heavy, etc. – contain differing amounts of the various hydrocarbons and impurities. Their locations around the globe also speak to the costs of getting the oil to local refineries and markets – thereby establishing their relative value for the products in demand.

So, with all the different combinations of crude, how does anyone keep the relative ratings straight? Is Kern River crude more valuable than Nigeria’s Bonny Light? Well, that depends on the end product that is desired, where it is to be refined, and…the market price (see current prices). To ease comparisons, the two predominant crude oil exchanges: The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and The International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), based in London, England, have established benchmark crudes from which other crudes are compared. In New York, the benchmark is West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, while in London it is the North Sea’s Brent crude.

The price of crude oil for immediate delivery (spot price) is set by the transactions that occur at the exchanges (essentially at NYMEX and IPE) throughout the day. The transactions are made based on the sellers’ and purchasers’ assessments of supply and demand.

Kern River crude’s value comparison with WTI or Brent and likewise, Nigeria’s comparison with WTI or Brent allows a buyer to purchase the best valued crude. Along with the benchmark, the benchmark crude oil’s delivery terms are also specified with the exchanges. For example, the spot price for WTI is in Cushing, Oklahoma; for natural gas, it is at Henry’s Hub in Erath, Louisiana; and for gasoline and heating oil it is at New York Harbor.

Oil Location

Oil Location

Oil is found in underground pools of oil called reservoirs. This oil location is not what one might typically expect when considering the term “pool”. It is impossible to go swimming in these pools! Industry experts use the term “pool” to define accumulations of hydrocarbon in zones of subsurface rock. (see oil accumulation). What? How can oil reside in rock?
Well, if you were to zoom in on a chunk of rock, let’s say a sandstone (down to about 0.000001 meters!), you would see thousands of little flecks of stone stuck together with spaces in between them. These spaces are called pores and the term porosity refers to the percentage of pore space to little stones over a given area.

It is within these pore spaces that oil, gas and water reside.

The rock containing the hydrocarbon is called the reservoir rock, and can be a variety of rock types, but is typically a sandstone or limestone. This is due to the relatively high porosities these rock types possess. High quality sandstone reservoirs can have porosities in excess of 25%.

High porosities usually mean higher reserves potential.

Another term used to describe the quality of a reservoir is permeability. Permeability is the measure of the connectivity of the pore spaces to each other. If the pore spaces were not connected to each other, oil would not be able to flow, regardless of whether or not there was good porosity.

Industry experts experience great difficulty (i.e., expense) producing poor permeability reservoirs.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It’s clean and sustainable. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth’s surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma.
Almost everywhere, the shallow ground or upper 10 feet of the Earth’s surface maintains a nearly constant temperature between 50° and 60°F (10° and 16°C). Geothermal heat pumps can tap into this resource to heat and cool buildings. A geothermal heat pump system consists of a heat pump, an air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger-a system of pipes buried in the shallow ground near the building. In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to provide a free source of hot water.
The Earth’s heat-called geothermal energy-escapes as steam at a hot springs in Nevada. Credit: Sierra Pacific
In the United States, most geothermal reservoirs of hot water are located in the western states, Alaska, and Hawaii. Wells can be drilled into underground reservoirs for the generation of electricity. Some geothermal power plants use the steam from a reservoir to power a turbine/generator, while others use the hot water to boil a working fluid that vaporizes and then turns a turbine. Hot water near the surface of Earth can be used directly for heat. Direct-use applications include heating buildings, growing plants in greenhouses, drying crops, heating water at fish farms, and several industrial processes such as pasteurizing milk.
Hot dry rock resources occur at depths of 3 to 5 miles everywhere beneath the Earth’s surface and at lesser depths in certain areas. Access to these resources involves injecting cold water down one well, circulating it through hot fractured rock, and drawing off the heated water from another well. Currently, there are no commercial applications of this technology. Existing technology also does not yet allow recovery of heat directly from magma, the very deep and most powerful resource of geothermal energy.
Many technologies have been developed to take advantage of geothermal energy – the heat from the earth. NREL performs research to develop and advance technologies for the following geothermal applications:
Geothermal Electricity Production
Generating electricity from the earth’s heat. [learn more]
Geothermal Direct Use
Producing heat directly from hot water within the earth. [learn more]
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Using the shallow ground to heat and cool buildings. [learn more]

Geothermal Capacity Growth

By Herman K. Trabish
More than 128 megawatts of geothermal capacity came on-line in the U.S. in 2012, the second largest annual capacity addition since 2005.
By comparison, the U.S. will install more than three gigawatts of solar this year, and the U.S. wind industry may hit 12 gigawatts. That’s why a developer recently called U.S. geothermal “sort of nichey.”
Competition from historically low natural gas prices was, as one developer put it, “the threat” in 2012. But geothermal leaders expect gas price volatility to end its own threat. Geothermal’s bigger challenge might come from utility-scale solar and wind. Those resources win the majority of utility contracts, though geothermal offers the same long-term price certainty.
In any case, here are the high points of the U.S. geothermal year.
Top Twelve Geothermal Projects
One: Hydroshearing at AltaRockEnergy’s Newberry Crater project in Oregon appeared to be successful. Microseismic events were recorded, indicating hot rock at 500 meters had been fracked with high pressure cold water. Hydroshearing, AltaRockEnergy hopes, will allow control of the seismic activity caused by Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) fracking. If it proves safety, geothermal would no longer be restricted to conventional hydrothermal wells but could produce anywhere there are hot rocks and water.
Two: U.S. Geothermal Project of the Year award winner Hudson Ranch I was the first plant to go on-line in California’s Salton Sea area in twenty years. Th 49.9-megawatt EnergySource project brought the area’s installed capacity to almost 330 megawatts and renewed interest in its economically recoverable 1,400 megawatt to 2,000 megawatt potential, especially because of the nearby, newly built Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.
Three: Chevron (CVX), a silent partner in Hudson Ranch I, announced it would return to active development in the U.S. market and is looking for projects of ten megawatts or more.
Four: Phase one of Ball State University’s $45 million ground-source heat pump (GHP) system went active in 2012. When complete, the system will heat and cool the 5.5 million square feet of Ball State’s 47 buildings, eliminating coal-fired boilers and saving the university $2 million per year.
(Click to enlarge)
Five: Connected to Hudson Ranch I is startup SIMBOL’s demonstration facility for pre-reinjection extraction of precious metals from geothermal brine. SIMBOL’s harvest of a grade of lithium currently available in few other places offers a valuable revenue stream because of lithium’s value in the rapidly expanding electric car battery market.
Six: Geothermal systems are natural sources of greenhouse gas emissions, a 2012 study from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) reported as California’s emissions trading market opened, but they contain little carbon dioxide, minute amounts of methane, and little or no nitrogen oxide.
Seven: Utah Geological Survey testing discovered a new type of high-temperature energy reservoir in the Utah-Arizona-Nevada Black Rock desert basin that showed a potential equivalent to California’s Geysers, the Calpine Corp. (CPN) fields that produce a third of the world’s geothermal energy.
Eight: The DOE-funded Geothermal Technologies Program offered $1 million awards to each proposal promising to “reduce the levelized cost of electricity from new hydrothermal development to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour by 2020 and Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour by 2030.”
(Click to enlarge)
Analysts predict the 2012 geothermal marketplace will approach $13 billion. As of May 2012, approximately 11,224 megawatts of installed geothermal power capacity was on-line globally.
According to Ormat Technologies (ORA) CEO Dita Bronicki, the major international geothermal markets are still Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania in Africa, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean Islands, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in Central America, Argentina, Chile, and Peru in South America, and Germany, Canada and Turkey.
Nine: In Nicaragua, RAM Power (RAMPF.PK) went on-line in phase one of its San Jacinto-Tizate flash steam plant. Phase two may also be in operation by the end of 2012. The site could ultimately produce 270 megawatts for twenty years.
Ten: The U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association launched the two-year, $1.5 million East Africa Geothermal Partnership (EAGP) to help put U.S. geothermal to work developing East Africa’s estimated 10,000 to 15,000 megawatts of potential, and German development agency KfW launched the $67 million East African Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility, an exploration partnership with the African Union Commission.
Eleven: Japan’s drive to replace its nuclear industry with renewables got boosts, according to the Geothermal Resources Council’s Ian Crawford, when the government approved geothermal exploration in national parks, expected to open 1,000 megawatts of the nation’s 23,000 megawatt potential, and when recreational hot springs owners acknowledged that geothermal, using binary technology that transfers the source water heat to a pressurized working fluid and reinjects the cooled water, does not threaten vital water resources.
Twelve: To reduce dependence on imported natural gas, Western Europe moved toward geothermal energy for heating. A U.K.-Iceland MOU would initiate the building of a sub-North Sea cable, the longest in the world, to deliver Icelandic geothermal resources. Germany, the Netherlands and France also initiated efforts in 2012 to increase use of geothermal heating.


UN Push To Access Energy

Push to include access to energy in UN development goals
Ankur Paliwal
Issue Date:
Speakers at a consultative meeting in Delhi call for finding sustainable and affordable technological solutions for making energy accessible to all in developing countries
To push for the inclusion of energy access as one of the goals in the next Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), financial institutions and non-governmental organisations held a consultation on the sidelines of the ongoing Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) in New Delhi. The current MDGs are expiring in 2015 and will be renamed as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Energy access is not a part of the current MDGs. The three day DSDS ends today.
This was the first meeting to gather support for including energy access in SDGs. The consultation on the theme ‘Post 2015 Development Agenda and the Energy Future We Want For All’ was facilitated by the United Nations (UN). “We will continue these deliberations in the coming months with NGOs and development agencies across the world to gather enough voices before the final meeting in Oslo in April to have our declaration ready,” said Minoru Takada, senior policy advisor in energy to the secretary general of UN.
The declaration will then be presented to UN in September this year for countries to debate. “It is an important agenda because the last time energy access was taken off the list of MDGs,” said Jyoti Shukla, senior manager (sustainable development) with the World Bank. “It was the nexus of developed countries like the US with oil industry, and growing economies including India and China which opposed inclusion of energy access in MDGs. They said that market forces will take care of it. They are still reluctant,” said a panelist who requested anonymity. That is why it is crucial to build a strong case for inclusion of energy access when goals are set for SDGs post 2015,” he added.
Speakers at the session stressed on the need for finding sustainable technological and affordable solutions to make energy access a success story in developing countries. “The problem with renewable technologies is its high cost and that it is not available on demand in rural areas,” said Shukla. It is still a challenge to put up a small power plant in a village and make it economically sustainable, said Kirit S Parikh, chairperson of Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth, Planning Commission.  Besides advocating the need for finding affordable clean energy solutions for off-grid areas, Parikh also stressed on having clean cooking gas as one of the solutions for energy access. “Elimination of indoor pollution from fuel wood burning for cooking by 2020 could be an important SDG,” said Parikh.
Panelists also underlined the need of redefining energy access. “It needs to be looked at holistically.  It is not just about lighting homes. It is interlinked with water and agriculture sustainability,” said R K Pachauri, director general, of Delhi based non-profit The Energy and Resources Institute.  We need to build a convincing case and join hands so that energy access does not fall off the SDGs agenda this time, he added.
Source URL: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/push-include-access-energy-un-development-goals