Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Imperial says Kearl emissions will be the same as North American average

Comparison of different sources of oil.
Stolen from the Globe and Mail, as I'm wont to do.

In what seems to be pretty significant throw-down (is that a thing?), Imperial predicts that the emissions from Kearl will be the same as the average for North America, and well below the amount from heavy oil sources in places like Venezuela and California, or light oil where they flare a lot of gas, like Nigeria. See chart, they predict they'll be almost 40% less than middle east heavy oil at 103.6 kg of CO2 per barrel of refined product (?).

Native businesses in the oil sands

Dave Tuccaro. Picture stolen from the Globe and Mail.
Here's an interesting article in the Globe and Mail talking about First Nation companies operating in the oil sands. They talk about how much the economic prospects of tribes in northern Alberta have improved through the oil sands industry. I learned that Dave Tuccaro is probably Canada's richest Native, having a net worth of about $125 million. He claims that Native owned companies now pull in over a billion dollars a year from oil sands activity.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Bird shooing research

Picture blatantly stolen from the St. Albert Gazette
Here's an article about a U of A project to study the best ways to stop birds landing on tailings ponds. This became a well known issue, of course, when a bunch of ducks landed and died on a Syncrude tailings pond in 2008.

The mines now apparently use big cannons to scare birds off when they come near the ponds. This project appears to be looking for ways to better autonomously detect the birds with radar, cameras and so on, presumably to avoid adding jobs like "bird watcher" to industry payrolls.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

TransCanada to make its first oil sands pipeline

TransCanada has been selected to built a 90 km oil sands pipeline between the Fort Hills Mine and the Voyageur Upgrader. Fort Hills is a 60-20-20 joint venture between Suncor, Total and Teck Resources. Voyageur is a 50-50 joint venture between Total and Suncor.

The "Northern Courier" pipeline is expected to cost $660 million and carry 190,000 barrels per day. They have a "tentative target" start date of mid-2013, but it sounds like that's going to be pushed back. It's been a big few weeks for TransCanada, which also received approval for the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline from the US government recently. I'm surprised to learn that they do not have any operating oil sands pipelines at the moment.

John Hoeven, US Senator, to visit oil sands

US Senator and former governor of North Dakoda John Hoeven is set to visit Fort McMurray and the oil sands tomorrow, Tuesday. He's a Republican politician seen as a supporter of the oil sands and the Canadian oil industry in general.