Environmental repercussions of the tar sands

Topics: Athabasca Oil Sands, Oil sands, Petroleum Pages: 46 (13548 words) Published: October 20, 2014

Athabasca oil sands
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the bitumen deposit. For the corporation, see Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. Athabasca oil sands
Athabasca Oil Sands map.png
Country Canada
Region Northern Alberta
Offshore/onshore Onshore, mining
Coordinates 57.02°N 111.65°WCoordinates: 57.02°N 111.65°W Operators Syncrude, Suncor, CNRL, Shell, Total, Imperial Oil, Petro Canada, Devon, Husky, Statoil, Nexen Partners Chevron, Marathon, ConocoPhillips, BP, Oxy

Field history
Discovery 1848
Start of production 1967
Production
Current production of oil 1,300,000 barrels per day (~6.5×107 t/a)[1] Estimated oil in place 133,000 million barrels (~1.81×1010 t)[2] Producing formations McMurray, Clearwater, Grand Rapids

The Athabasca oil sands (also called the Athabasca tar sands or Alberta tar sands) are large deposits of bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil, located in northeastern Alberta, Canada – roughly centred on the boomtown of Fort McMurray. These oil sands, hosted in the McMurray Formation, consist of a mixture of crude bitumen (a semi-solid form of crude oil), silica sand, clay minerals, and water. The Athabasca deposit is the largest known reservoir of crude bitumen in the world and the largest of three major oil sands deposits in Alberta, along with the nearby Peace River and Cold Lake deposits.[3]

Together, these oil sand deposits lie under 141,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) of boreal forest and muskeg (peat bogs) and contain about 1.7 trillion barrels (270×109 m3) of bitumen in-place, comparable in magnitude to the world's total proven reserves of conventional petroleum. Although the former CEO of Shell Canada, Clive Mather, estimated Canada's reserves to be 2 trillion barrels (320 km3) or more, the International Energy Agency (IEA) lists Canada's reserves as being 178 billion barrels (2.83×1010 m3).[3]

With modern unconventional oil production technology, at least 10% of these deposits, or about 170 billion barrels (27×109 m3) were considered to be economically recoverable at 2006 prices, making Canada's total proven reserves the third largest in the world, after Saudi Arabia's and Venezuela's Orinoco tar sands.[4] Canada’s oil sands are found in three deposits –The Athabasca oil sands deposit is the largest of Canada's three oil sands. The two others are in the Peace River and Cold Lake areas in Alberta and part of Saskatchewan. By 2009, the two extraction methods used were in situ (Latin, meaning "in place") extraction, when the bitumen occurs deeper within the ground, (which will account for 80 percent of oil sands development) and surface or open-pit mining, when the bitumen is closer to the surface. Only 20 percent of bitumen can be extracted using open pit mining methods,[5] which involves large scale excavation of the land with huge hydraulic power shovels and 400-ton heavy hauler trucks. Surface mining leaves toxic tailings ponds. In contrast, in situ uses more specialized techniques such as Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). "Eighty per cent of the oil sands will be developed in situ which accounts for 97.5 per cent of the total surface area of the oil sands region in Alberta."[6] In 2006 the Athabasca deposit was the only large oil sands reservoir in the world which was suitable for large-scale surface mining, although most of it can only be produced using more recently developed in-situ technology.[4]

Contents

1 History
1.1 Early history
1.2 Recent history
2 Oil sands production
2.1 Transportation
3 Future production
4 Governance
5 Development
6 Bitumen extraction
6.1 Surface mining
6.2 Steam-assisted gravity drainage
7 Environmental impacts
7.1 Land
7.2 Water
7.3 Natural gas use and greenhouse gases
7.4 Animals
7.5 Tailings ponds
8 Population
9 Estimated oil reserves
10 Economics
11...


References: IHS CERA (May 18, 2009). "Oil Sands Move from the 'Fringe to Center ' of Energy Supply". RigZone. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
"Alberta 's Oil Sands 2006" (PDF). Government of Alberta. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
"What are Oil Sands?". CAPP. 2009.
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander (1970). "The Journals and Letters of Alexander Mackenzie". Edited by W. Kaye Lamb. Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, p. 129, ISBN 0-521-01034-9.
Hein, Francis J (2000). "Historical Overview of the Fort McMurray Area and Oil Sands Industry in Northeast Alberta" (PDF). Earth Sciences Report 2000-05. Alberta Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
"Oil Sands History". Unlocking the Potential of the Oil Sands. Syncrude. 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
Cameron, Agnes Deans (1909). The New North: Being Some Account of a Woman’s Journey through Canada to the Arctic. New York: Appleton.
"Cameron, Agnes Deans (1863-1912)". ABC Book World.
Mike Gismondi; Debra J. Davidson (September 2012). "Imagining the Tar Sands: 1880 -1967 and Beyond" (PDF). Imaginations (3-2). Edmonton, Alberta: Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta. pp. 68–102.
Dusseault, M.B. (June 2001). "Comparing Venezuelan and Canadian Heavy Oil and Tar Sands". Alberta Energy. Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
"Facts and Statistics". Alberta Energy. Alberta Government. 2008. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
http://www.capp.ca/aboutUs/mediaCentre/NewsReleases/Pages/2013-OilForecast.aspx
"Canada 's Oily Sands Yield Energy and Protests" article by Hillary Brenhouse in The New York Times October 11, 2010, accessed October 12, 2010.
"Oil sands bitumen to flow to West Coast by 2015: Enbridge" article by Shawn McCarthy in The Globe and Mail Apr. 29, 2010, updated Monday, May. 17, 2010, accessed October 12, 2010.
"Oil sands awash in excess pipeline capacity" article by Nathan VanderKlippe in The Globe and Mail Apr. 23, last updated Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2010, accessed October 12, 2010. This article contains an informative map of exiting and projected oil pipelines.
Jeffrey Jones (May 16, 2012). "C$2.6 bln for Eastern Access, C$600 mln for mainline". Reuters. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
Elisabeth Rosenthal (June 13, 2012). "Canada Seeks Alternatives to Transport Oil Reserves". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
"Oil sands & western Canadian conventional production, December 2008 interim update". Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. 2008-12-11. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
Franklin, Sonja; Gismatullin, Eduard (2007-12-05). "BP, Husky Energy agree to form oil-sands partnerships". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
Dutta, Ashok (2007-12-12). "ConocoPhillips aims high". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
Alberta, Employment, Immigration and Industry (December 2007). "Alberta Oil Sands Industry Update" (PDF). Government of Alberta. Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
Albian Sands Announces Operator Agreement News Release, November 18, 2008
Fort Hills Project page – Petro-Canada website
Opti sells 15 per cent stake of oilsands joint venture to Nexen for $735 million Yahoo Finance, Dec 17, 2008
Nexen Clinches Additional Long Lake Interest for $735MM – RigZone, Jan 27, 2008
Horizon project homepage
Devon Energy Obtains approval for Second Jackfish Oil Sands Production Project – Oilvoice.com, September 08, 2008
Synenco & Sinopec Enter Deal for Canadian Oil Sands Project RigZone – May 31, 2005
Synenco page regarding SinoCanada
Agreement to Buy Synenco Energy Inc. – Total strengthens position in Canadian Heavy Oil – Total E&P Canada News Release, April 28, 2008
Kearl proposed project site – Imperialoil.ca
BP Enters Canadian Oil Sands with Husky Energy – BP press release,December 5, 2007
Tucker project site
Chevron finishes Ells river drilling – Heavyoilinfo.com (by Schlumberger), March 30, 2007
Terre de Grace project page – Value Creation Inc website
Livingston, W. S. (March 1952). "A Note on the Nature of Federalism". Political Science Quarterly 67 (1): 81–95. doi:10.2307/2145299.
Cairns, R. D. (1992). "Natural Resources and Canadian Federalism: Decentralization, Recurring Conflict, and Resolution". The Journal of Federalism 22 (1): 55–70. doi:10.2307/3330233.
Chastko, P. (2004). Developing Alberta’s Oil Sands: From Karl Clark to Kyoto. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.
Taylor, A (2006). Thinking Like an Owner: Fact Sheet – Overhauling the royalty and tax treatment of Alberta’s oil sands. Drayton Valley, Alta: The Pembina Institute.
Council of Canadians (2007). Submission to the Alberta Royalty Review Panel presented by Lyn Gorman on behalf of the Council of Canadians. Ottawa: Council of Canadians.
Alberta Royalty Review Panel (18 Sep 2007). "Our Fair Share". Alberta Royalty Review Panel.
Crane, D (1982). Controlling Interest: The Canadian Gas and Oil Stakes. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited.
Vlavianos, N (Aug 2007). "The Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Oil Sands Development in Alberta: A Detailed Review and Analysis". Canadian Institute of Resources Law 21.
Government of Alberta (Dec 2005). "Terms of Reference – Oil Sands Consultation Group – Background". Government of Alberta.
Government of Alberta Alberta to establish arm 's-length environmental monitoring agency Retrieved (2012-10-21).
Pratt, Sheila (18 June 2013). "Critics want Alberta’s new energy regulator removed". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
"The Alberta Energy Regulator" (PDF). The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). 2013.
ERCB ST-98 (June 2009) pp. 2–2 to 2–7
Bjorkman, James
Nikiforuk, A. (2008). Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. Vancouver: Greystone Books. ISBN 978-1-55365-407-0.
"Canadian Oil Sands provides 2008 Budget". Canadian Oil Sands Trust. 2007. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
Gu G, Xu Z, Nandakumar K, Masliyah JH (2002). "Influence of water-soluble and water-insoluble natural surface active components on the stability of water-in-toluene-diluted bitumen emulsion". Fuel 81: 1859–1869. doi:10.1016/s0016-2361(02)00113-8.
R. J. Mikula, O. Omotoso, W. I. Friesen (2007). "Interpretation of Bitumen Recovery Data from Batch Extraction Tests". Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 85 (5): 765–772. doi:10.1002/cjce.5450850522.
"Dr. Roger M. Butler". Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame. 2012.
C.V. Deutsch; J.A. McLennan (2005). "Guide to SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) Reservoir Characterization Using Geostatistics" (PDF). Centre for Computational Geostatistics. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved December 2008.
Jyotsna Sharma, Ian Gates (August 2011). "Convection at the edge of a steam-assisted-gravity-drainage steam chamber". SPE Journal (Society of Petroleum Engineers). doi:10.2118/142432-PA.
"Questions and Answers". Canada 's Oil Sands—Opportunities and Challenges to 2015: An Update. National Energy Board of Canada. 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
"Alberta 's tar sands are soaking up too much water". The Globe and Mail (Dogwood Initiative). 2006-07-05.
"Time for Ottawa to stop tiptoeing around Alberta oilsands sensibilities". Oil Week. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-02-16. (industry publication)
"Alberta Energy: Facts and Statistics"
"Syncrude Land Reclamation". Syncrude Canada. 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
"Reclamation illusions in oil sands country". Parkland Institute. 2008. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Tar Sands
  • Essay on Tar Sands
  • Essay about Tar Sands
  • Tar Sands Essay
  • Tar Sands of Alberta Essay
  • Alberta Tar Sands Sustainability Report Essay
  • Tar Sands Essay
  • Alberta Tar Sands Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free