Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bubbling leaks at CNRL's Primrose CSS project cast shadow over company and industry

Bitumen seep at Primrose. Picture stolen from the Edmonton Journal.
Since at least May, CNRL's Primrose Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS, or "Huff and Puff") project has been leaking bitumen to the surface near Cold Lake and Bonnyville. In total an estimated 6,600 barrels have leaked. The company has stopped steaming that part of the reservoir (under orders from the Alberta Energy Regulator, or AER) and the leak rate is now reportedly under 20 barrels per day and declining daily. It could continue leaking (at lower and lower rates) for months or even years. At the moment Primrose is CNRL's only producing in-situ oil sands project, although a number of others are in various stages of development.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The trouble with MEGALOADS

A megaload on its way to Kerl. Picture stolen from
Athabasca says it will continue moving "megaloads" through Idaho to get the facilities at its Hangingstone SAGD project up and running. Specifically they're trying to move in big evaporators which opposition groups, including the Nez Perce tribe, say clog up roads and ruin scenery. Oil sands operators like using big modules because they mean less fabrication on site, which has helped make the oil sands notorious for cost overruns.