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 (?).

Imperial no doubt hopes to use this to combat arguments from environmentalists and regulators. I'm sure it will be brought up when discussing whether the US should greenlight Keystone XL. The only issue I see is that this isn't typical - this is the latest generation of mining projects, while the future of the industry appears to be in SAGD, which has about the same emissions as Middle East Heavy Oil (heavily dependent on project). Oh, and they've yet to demonstrate it's true, hopefully they will when it starts up later this year. Assuming it does start up this year as planned.

Kearl has been controversial because of its "alarming" cost projections, with Imperial management stating it would cost something on the order of $100,000 per barrel per day of capacity for Phase 1 of the project (110,000 barrels per day) and $81,000 per barrel per day for Phase 2 (235,000 barrels per day). Someone else piped in that at $85,000 per barrel per day of capacity, the project would need oil to be $110 per barrel oil (WTI?) to be economic.

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