Assessment of the scale of potential indirect emissions due to higher oil use

The inclusion of indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions in the life-cycle assessment of biofuels in several biofuel policies has led to increased attention to the question of whether there are similar, behavior-induced emissions sources that could, or should, be added when assessing the life-cycle carbon intensity (CI) of oil production. This study assesses a set of potential sources of indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including: Induced land development; Military involvement; Carbon intensity of marginal oil; Accidents (including oil spills and oil fires); Co-products and the carbon intensity of refining; and, Price effects. The analysis shows that for several of the indirect effects studied, the magnitude and in some cases even the sign of their emissions is uncertain. Some effects, such as shifts in the carbon intensity of the marginal oil consumed, were potentially attributable to biofuels as well as crude oil.