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GREENWIRE Article: Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains

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  • Tim Jones
    Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains Mary O Driscoll, Greenwire
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 17, 2005
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      Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains
      <http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/Backissues/081705/081705gw.htm#1>
      Mary O'Driscoll, Greenwire senior reporter
      Wednesday, August 17, 2005
      Second of three parts.
      Posted by Tim
      AustinTex

      ATHABASCA OIL SANDS, Alberta -- Nobody said sucking 175 million
      barrels of oil out of sand was going to be easy or tidy.

      And it isn't. Environmental challenges posed by massive operations
      that strip-mine forests and extract bitumen embedded in sand beneath
      are proving as vast as Alberta's tar sands region, an area the size
      of Florida.

      Questions about environmental protections abound. Can companies limit
      greenhouse gases and other air emissions from their tar sands
      operations? Can they separate oil from sand without using large slugs
      of water from the Athabasca River and massive amounts of natural gas?
      And can they restore the ravaged landscape to something approximating
      natural conditions?

      Companies working here say they are making considerable strides in
      protecting the environment. They are eager to discuss their efforts
      to reduce air pollution and water use and boast of their post-mining
      restorations, including one where rolling hills support bison herds.

      "Environmental management is a huge growth area" for the tar sands
      companies, says Janet Annisely of Shell Oil Co., majority owner of
      the Albian Sands Inc. project here. Syncrude, which operates the
      world's largest tar sands production facility, for example, boasts of
      spending more than $30 million a year on science and technology and
      calls its 4,000 on-site employees "environmental managers."

      The view west from the top of the coker under construction at the
      Syncrude plant, with a view of one of the plant's tailings lakes.
      Photo by Mary O'Driscoll.

      But critics say the environmental work done so far has been highly
      experimental and that there is no definitive answer as to the
      long-term harm tar sands production is doing to northern Alberta.

      "They're operating on a hope and a prayer that it will work out in
      the future," said Dan Woynillowicz of the Pembina Institute for
      Appropriate Development, a Canadian think tank monitoring the
      environmental and economic effects of tar sands projects. "And
      ultimately, if there is a problem in the future, will they be willing
      to accept that they'll have to try to deal with it then?"

      The debate appears to hinge on whether the process can be done
      cleanly, or whether the tar sands should be mined and produced at all
      -- particularly given its enthusiastic backers' goal of tripling
      current production by 2015.

      "If you don't like mining on public land, you don't like this," said
      a staffer for a Western member of Congress who toured the Alberta tar
      sands region this month.

      And environmentalists do not like it. Not one bit.

      "When they talk about how well they're doing, it's in the context of
      the filthiest industry one can imagine," said Stephen Hazell of the
      Sierra Club of Canada. "I can't think of another industry that causes
      so much damage."

      Citing the greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, water
      use and other problems, Hazell added, "It all has to be put within
      that context. Yes, they're improving their performance, but what is
      the baseline they're starting from? You have to sort of go back to
      the 19th century to find parallels."

      Bitumen comes out, 'clean sand' goes back in

      Bitumen mining takes a heavy toll on the landscape, as giant shovels
      scrape and trucks the size of two-story houses haul away entire
      forests to get to the oil-rich sands and leave behind a barren
      moonscape. The smell of hydrocarbons hangs over the Albian Sands
      site, owned jointly by Shell Canada, ChevronTexaco and Western Oil
      Sands Inc., as each truck carries the equivalent of 200 barrels of
      oil to the start of the long process of becoming gasoline.

      Digging mines requires digging ditches to divert groundwater to
      off-site ponds. Extracting the oil from the sands and upgrading the
      bitumen for refining requires drawing water from the Athabasca River,
      mixing it with water recycled from earlier runs through the system,
      to separate oil from sand.

      Heat is critical to the process. It forces "clean" sand to expand.
      Small mountains of mined sand stretch along the highway leading north
      from Fort McMurray to the Albian Sands site.

      This "clean" sand is used to fill mined areas. It is then covered by
      topsoil, which was stripped away from the forest floor, and re-seeded
      with trees and shrubs. The companies call this reclamation.

      Syncrude, which has been mining tar sands since 1978 near Mildred
      Lake, just south of the Albian Sands site off Highway 63, says it
      "reclaims" about 741 acres a year at a cost of $10 million
      (Canadian). To date, the company says it has permanently reclaimed
      about 8,401 acres of land, planting more than 2.8 million trees and
      shrub seedlings. By 2010, the company plans to have reclaimed more
      than 17,000 acres.

      Syncrude's massive oil production facility is the largest single
      source of crude oil in Canada. It produces 13 percent of the
      country's annual oil requirements. Its Mildred Lake operation abuts a
      massive extraction and upgrade facility that is in the final stages
      of an $8 billion expansion that will add equipment the company says
      will help reduce stack emissions of sulfur by 60 percent from today's
      levels of 245 metric tons a day.

      Just south of Syncrude's plant is the company's first mining site. It
      is now reclaimed -- rolling hills of grass and trees that support a
      herd of buffalo. The site includes a pond used for mine tailings.

      Looking northwest, tailings ponds and reclaimed mine area southeast
      of the Syncrude plant. The land to the west of this site has been
      reclaimed to the point where it supports a herd of buffalo. Photo by
      Mary O'Driscoll.

      Across Highway 63 is what appears to be a massive tidal flat with
      wet, light-brown sand that Syncrude spokesman Allan Reich said is
      another mine site in the process of being reclaimed. Officials said
      that it would take 12 to 15 years to turn the site into rolling,
      grass-covered hills.

      "It's our obligation to return the land to its equivalent
      capability," Reich said. However, because the volume of the "clean"
      sand is larger than that of tar sand, he said, "At the end of the
      day, it will be more hilly than the day we came."

      The tailings ponds, some the size of lakes, include water from the
      mines as well as water that has not been recycled through the
      extraction and upgrading process. The plan is to let the tailings
      settle to the bottom, while the cleaner water rises to the top. The
      ponds would then be "capped" with fresh water that, eventually, would
      be able to support aquatic life. Syncrude officials say their
      research shows that can happen within two to three years of
      completion of the fine tailings deposition process.

      The company also is combining fine tails with gypsum and sand through
      the deposition process, causing the tailings to settle faster and
      enabling Syncrude to develop landscapes that support grass, trees and
      wetlands. Also, the company and the Canadian Oil Sands Network for
      Research and Development (CONRAD), are working on a "paste"
      technology that produces a soft clay out of the tailings that can be
      used immediately for reclamation into a finished landscape.

      Wildlife habitat at issue

      A key issue: How will tar sands' oil production affect habitat for
      endangered woodland caribou as well as the native black bears, moose
      and wolves?

      The in situ production of oil, which is used in some parts of the
      Athabasca area and pipes steam into the bitumen reserves so it can be
      pumped out, much like conventional drilling, poses a particular
      danger for the caribou, Woynillowicz said, because the process
      involves a network of pipes from one drill pad to another. Predatory
      wolves use the pipeline rights of way as highways that provide ready
      access to the caribou that do not like the noise and activity of the
      drilling. That, he said, is changing the predator-prey balance.

      Tailings ponds at mine sites provide a particular challenge to the
      companies, as they need to keep wildlife away from the poisonous
      water. Migratory birds are particularly difficult to shoo. At
      Syncrude, Reich said the company fires cannons at regular intervals
      to ward birds off the site, and also uses scarecrows -- unofficially
      dubbed "bitu-men" -- to keep them away.

      Shell's Annisley said her company's research shows that birds get
      accustomed to cannon fire, so instead the Albian Sands site uses what
      it calls "bird-avert" technology -- large mechanical peregrine
      falcons perched on "islands" in tailings lakes. The falcons are
      equipped with radar that senses when birds are near and make
      peregrine sounds and wave their wings to scare them off.

      While companies express confidence in their research and work to
      date, environmentalists are wary. The removal of the bitumen from the
      sands and the use of tailings as the base of the ponds and lakes
      means the chemistry underground will be very different from the
      region's normal state, raising questions about water flows and their
      effects on native plants and species, they say.

      "There's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions," Woynillowicz
      said. "At the end of the day, they're putting forth a confident face
      that their experiment is going to work. But this is a large-scale
      experimental gamble with the future of the Athabasca River watershed."

      Two barrels of water for every barrel of oil?

      Environmentalists cite further fears about potential damage being
      done by companies' large water withdrawals from the Athabasca River.

      Environmentalists contend that tar sands processing requires anywhere
      from four to six barrels of water for every barrel of oil. But
      Annisley said Shell uses two barrels of fresh river water for every
      barrel of oil. She also said the company recycles about 80 percent of
      the water it now uses and is looking to further reduce the amount of
      water consumed by the process.

      The Athabasca River rises from the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian
      Rockies and flows 956 miles north and east through mountains,
      prairies, forests and peat bogs into Lake Athabasca on the far
      northeast border between Alberta and Saskatchewan in Wood Buffalo
      National Park.

      There are no industry-wide figures for how much water the companies
      use, though Woynillowicz contends that at peak production, the sites
      will use 350 million cubic meters of water a year -- roughly the
      amount of water used by a city of 2 million.

      Shell, whose Albian Sands project came on line in 2003 and uses
      arguably the most advanced technologies for mining the oil sands,
      used 26.9 million cubic meters of fresh water that year. Improvements
      in the process meant the company used 22.2 million cubic meters of
      fresh water in 2004.

      At the Syncrude site, the company uses 4,000 cubic meters of water
      every hour, recycling more than 70 percent of it, according to
      company reports.

      Energy production that consumes a lot of energy

      The tar-sands process also uses huge and growing amounts of natural
      gas -- at a time of soaring gas prices and when gas resources in the
      Western Canada Sedimentary Basin are starting to decline. So efforts
      to ramp up tar-sand operations is raising concerns that the natural
      gas from the MacKenzie Delta in the Arctic region, which is slated to
      come to U.S. markets, instead could end up being used for tar sands
      production.

      Mining equipment, such as electric power shovels used to remove
      topsoil, which the companies call "overburden," and recover tar
      sands, need energy, as do the pipelines and facilities that mix water
      with the oil sands to extract the bitumen and the upgrading process
      that turns bitumen into higher-quality synthetic crude oil.

      All the processes use natural gas as a source of heat, as well as a
      source of hydrogen for the cracking and treating processes. The
      Albian Sands site, which only involves production and extraction,
      uses $15 million worth of natural gas a month, says Chief Operating
      Officer Chris Jones. The National Energy Board of Canada (NEB)
      estimates that the mining-extraction-upgrading process requires about
      500,000 cubic feet of gas for every barrel of bitumen.

      The in situ recovery process, which is more like traditional mining
      and is used in the Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions, are
      more energy-intensive and require even more gas use than the mining
      and extraction process. Here, companies use gas to make steam, which
      is injected into underground formations to force bitumen into
      producing wells. The NEB estimates that in situ generally takes 1
      million cubic feet of gas to produce a barrel of bitumen.

      The total projected requirements for use of natural gas with in situ
      recovery are anywhere from 1.2 billion cubic feet per day to 1.8 Bcf
      per day by 2015, according to the NEB report.

      Companies say they are working to reduce their energy use, through
      better use of equipment, improved technologies and use of
      cogeneration at mining sites, which allows them to sell power back to
      the grid.

      However, achieving those goals can be difficult: Syncrude did not
      meet its target for energy efficiency in 2004, according to company
      reports. Performance was 1.35 million British thermal units per
      barrel of oil produced vs. a target of 1.26 Btu. Contributing factors
      included higher-than-expected gas consumption at its Autora mine due
      to startup of a second production area, combined with
      lower-than-planned bitumen recovery and high energy consumption
      caused by unplanned outages of major production equipment.

      A major rift over global warming

      Air pollution is a major concern for environmentalists. Processing
      Alberta tar sands generates emissions of greenhouse gases, sulfur and
      particulate matter from all phases of the operations.

      Environmentalists say they are particularly worried that emissions
      from increased tar sands processing will prevent Canada from
      achieving its goals under the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty
      aimed at reducing industrial pollution linked to global warming.
      Nationwide, Canada is trying to reduce emissions by 45 megatonnes,
      and measures being considered for limiting emissions nationwide would
      make the tar sands companies responsible for about 12 percent of the
      nation's post-Kyoto greenhouse gases.

      The national government in Ottawa and the province of Alberta, whose
      leaders have opposed the Kyoto treaty since its inception, remain
      split on the greenhouse gas issue.

      The Canadian government last month unveiled its plan to meet Kyoto
      mandates through direct greenhouse gas emissions reduction, carbon
      credit trading and paying into a government-administered fund to
      encourage new carbon reduction technologies. This month the
      government issued guidelines for an energy credit system that will
      allow large greenhouse gas producers to buy and trade emissions
      credits while penalizing companies that produce excess pollution.

      The government pledged in the proposed rule to meet its Kyoto
      obligations beginning in 2008, while recognizing that broader
      economic transformation will be necessary to achieve GHG reduction
      targets set out by Kyoto for the post-2012 period.

      Alberta, however, has long been opposed to the Kyoto Protocol,
      calling it a flawed agreement with unrealistic and unworkable targets
      and timelines.

      "Canada should be investing in the Canadian economy and Canadian jobs
      -- strategic investments such as Alberta's Innovative Energy
      Technologies Program, which supports pilot and demonstration projects
      aimed at increasing recoveries from existing and new energy
      reserves," said Cathy Housdorff of the Alberta energy office.

      As individual companies work to reduce their energy intensity, they
      hope to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions as well.

      Syncrude says it has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
      by 2 percent per year, and projects a 23 percent reduction in CO2
      emissions per barrel of crude oil produced by 2010, though total
      emissions will rise because the company is significantly increasing
      its production and improving the quality of crude oil.

      The company also is working to reduce total emissions of sulfur
      dioxide by 60 percent per day from current levels of 245 metric tons
      per day, and even with adding extra production of 100,000 barrels per
      day this year, total SO2 emissions will fall by 15 percent, the
      company says. This is the result of a new flue gas desulfurization
      unit being added to the plant facility through the $8 billion
      expansion project. The new unit will virtually eliminate all SO2
      emissions from a new fluid coker, as well as from the tail gas of all
      Syncrude sulfur recovery plants.

      Shell's greenhouse gas emissions from its Albian Sands site were 3.4
      million metric tons in 2004, with plans to reduce those emissions to
      1,750 million metric tons by 2008, according to company documents.

      "Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands by
      50 percent of design by 2010," said Jones, the Albian Sands' chief
      operating officer. That level would put the oil from the Albian Sands
      site on par with or better gases produced by imported crude oil
      supplies.

      While efforts by individual companies are good, they are not going to
      help Canada meet the Kyoto goals, Sierra Club's Hazell said.

      "If these guys scale up their production," he said, "they could blow
      our targets just by virtue of the tar sands."

      <http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=032905>

      Go to <http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=032905>E&ETV to watch the March
      29 OnPoint featuring Alberta Premier Ralph Klein as he discusses the
      tar sands' oil potential and planned natural gas and oil pipelines
      from the Arctic.


      Want more stories like this every day? Sign up for a free trial and
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      Watch OnPoint every day to see interviews with key environment and
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      Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
      E&E DAILY -- GREENWIRE -- LAND LETTER -- E&ETV
      Phone: 202-628-6500
      Copyright 2005 <http://www.eenews.net>http://www.eenews.net
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    • mauk_mcamuk
      Now, just imagine replacing this huge, filthy, dirty expanse of horrible stuff with a few nuclear powerplants, small and tidy, with a field of windmills cited
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 18, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Now, just imagine replacing this huge, filthy, dirty expanse of
        horrible stuff with a few nuclear powerplants, small and tidy, with a
        field of windmills cited in every direction, and maybe a nice little
        lake formed by the hydropower dam.

        WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? Are the environmentalists insane? They should
        be embracing nuclear, hydro, and windmills like the savios they are,
        rather than mindlessly opposing EVERYTHING.

        Idiots, the lot of them.



        --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Tim Jones <deforest@a...>
        wrote:
        > Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains
        > <http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/Backissues/081705/081705gw.htm#1>
        > Mary O'Driscoll, Greenwire senior reporter
        > Wednesday, August 17, 2005
        > Second of three parts.
        > Posted by Tim
        > AustinTex
        >
        > ATHABASCA OIL SANDS, Alberta -- Nobody said sucking 175 million
        > barrels of oil out of sand was going to be easy or tidy.
        >
        > And it isn't. Environmental challenges posed by massive operations
        > that strip-mine forests and extract bitumen embedded in sand
        beneath
        > are proving as vast as Alberta's tar sands region, an area the size
        > of Florida.
        >
        > Questions about environmental protections abound. Can companies
        limit
        > greenhouse gases and other air emissions from their tar sands
        > operations? Can they separate oil from sand without using large
        slugs
        > of water from the Athabasca River and massive amounts of natural
        gas?
        > And can they restore the ravaged landscape to something
        approximating
        > natural conditions?
        >
        > Companies working here say they are making considerable strides in
        > protecting the environment. They are eager to discuss their efforts
        > to reduce air pollution and water use and boast of their post-
        mining
        > restorations, including one where rolling hills support bison herds.
        >
        > "Environmental management is a huge growth area" for the tar sands
        > companies, says Janet Annisely of Shell Oil Co., majority owner of
        > the Albian Sands Inc. project here. Syncrude, which operates the
        > world's largest tar sands production facility, for example, boasts
        of
        > spending more than $30 million a year on science and technology and
        > calls its 4,000 on-site employees "environmental managers."
        >
        > The view west from the top of the coker under construction at the
        > Syncrude plant, with a view of one of the plant's tailings lakes.
        > Photo by Mary O'Driscoll.
        >
        > But critics say the environmental work done so far has been highly
        > experimental and that there is no definitive answer as to the
        > long-term harm tar sands production is doing to northern Alberta.
        >
        > "They're operating on a hope and a prayer that it will work out in
        > the future," said Dan Woynillowicz of the Pembina Institute for
        > Appropriate Development, a Canadian think tank monitoring the
        > environmental and economic effects of tar sands projects. "And
        > ultimately, if there is a problem in the future, will they be
        willing
        > to accept that they'll have to try to deal with it then?"
        >
        > The debate appears to hinge on whether the process can be done
        > cleanly, or whether the tar sands should be mined and produced at
        all
        > -- particularly given its enthusiastic backers' goal of tripling
        > current production by 2015.
        >
        > "If you don't like mining on public land, you don't like this,"
        said
        > a staffer for a Western member of Congress who toured the Alberta
        tar
        > sands region this month.
        >
        > And environmentalists do not like it. Not one bit.
        >
        > "When they talk about how well they're doing, it's in the context
        of
        > the filthiest industry one can imagine," said Stephen Hazell of the
        > Sierra Club of Canada. "I can't think of another industry that
        causes
        > so much damage."
        >
        > Citing the greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, water
        > use and other problems, Hazell added, "It all has to be put within
        > that context. Yes, they're improving their performance, but what is
        > the baseline they're starting from? You have to sort of go back to
        > the 19th century to find parallels."
        >
        > Bitumen comes out, 'clean sand' goes back in
        >
        > Bitumen mining takes a heavy toll on the landscape, as giant
        shovels
        > scrape and trucks the size of two-story houses haul away entire
        > forests to get to the oil-rich sands and leave behind a barren
        > moonscape. The smell of hydrocarbons hangs over the Albian Sands
        > site, owned jointly by Shell Canada, ChevronTexaco and Western Oil
        > Sands Inc., as each truck carries the equivalent of 200 barrels of
        > oil to the start of the long process of becoming gasoline.
        >
        > Digging mines requires digging ditches to divert groundwater to
        > off-site ponds. Extracting the oil from the sands and upgrading the
        > bitumen for refining requires drawing water from the Athabasca
        River,
        > mixing it with water recycled from earlier runs through the system,
        > to separate oil from sand.
        >
        > Heat is critical to the process. It forces "clean" sand to expand.
        > Small mountains of mined sand stretch along the highway leading
        north
        > from Fort McMurray to the Albian Sands site.
        >
        > This "clean" sand is used to fill mined areas. It is then covered
        by
        > topsoil, which was stripped away from the forest floor, and re-
        seeded
        > with trees and shrubs. The companies call this reclamation.
        >
        > Syncrude, which has been mining tar sands since 1978 near Mildred
        > Lake, just south of the Albian Sands site off Highway 63, says it
        > "reclaims" about 741 acres a year at a cost of $10 million
        > (Canadian). To date, the company says it has permanently reclaimed
        > about 8,401 acres of land, planting more than 2.8 million trees and
        > shrub seedlings. By 2010, the company plans to have reclaimed more
        > than 17,000 acres.
        >
        > Syncrude's massive oil production facility is the largest single
        > source of crude oil in Canada. It produces 13 percent of the
        > country's annual oil requirements. Its Mildred Lake operation abuts
        a
        > massive extraction and upgrade facility that is in the final stages
        > of an $8 billion expansion that will add equipment the company says
        > will help reduce stack emissions of sulfur by 60 percent from
        today's
        > levels of 245 metric tons a day.
        >
        > Just south of Syncrude's plant is the company's first mining site.
        It
        > is now reclaimed -- rolling hills of grass and trees that support a
        > herd of buffalo. The site includes a pond used for mine tailings.
        >
        > Looking northwest, tailings ponds and reclaimed mine area southeast
        > of the Syncrude plant. The land to the west of this site has been
        > reclaimed to the point where it supports a herd of buffalo. Photo
        by
        > Mary O'Driscoll.
        >
        > Across Highway 63 is what appears to be a massive tidal flat with
        > wet, light-brown sand that Syncrude spokesman Allan Reich said is
        > another mine site in the process of being reclaimed. Officials said
        > that it would take 12 to 15 years to turn the site into rolling,
        > grass-covered hills.
        >
        > "It's our obligation to return the land to its equivalent
        > capability," Reich said. However, because the volume of the "clean"
        > sand is larger than that of tar sand, he said, "At the end of the
        > day, it will be more hilly than the day we came."
        >
        > The tailings ponds, some the size of lakes, include water from the
        > mines as well as water that has not been recycled through the
        > extraction and upgrading process. The plan is to let the tailings
        > settle to the bottom, while the cleaner water rises to the top. The
        > ponds would then be "capped" with fresh water that, eventually,
        would
        > be able to support aquatic life. Syncrude officials say their
        > research shows that can happen within two to three years of
        > completion of the fine tailings deposition process.
        >
        > The company also is combining fine tails with gypsum and sand
        through
        > the deposition process, causing the tailings to settle faster and
        > enabling Syncrude to develop landscapes that support grass, trees
        and
        > wetlands. Also, the company and the Canadian Oil Sands Network for
        > Research and Development (CONRAD), are working on a "paste"
        > technology that produces a soft clay out of the tailings that can
        be
        > used immediately for reclamation into a finished landscape.
        >
        > Wildlife habitat at issue
        >
        > A key issue: How will tar sands' oil production affect habitat for
        > endangered woodland caribou as well as the native black bears,
        moose
        > and wolves?
        >
        > The in situ production of oil, which is used in some parts of the
        > Athabasca area and pipes steam into the bitumen reserves so it can
        be
        > pumped out, much like conventional drilling, poses a particular
        > danger for the caribou, Woynillowicz said, because the process
        > involves a network of pipes from one drill pad to another.
        Predatory
        > wolves use the pipeline rights of way as highways that provide
        ready
        > access to the caribou that do not like the noise and activity of
        the
        > drilling. That, he said, is changing the predator-prey balance.
        >
        > Tailings ponds at mine sites provide a particular challenge to the
        > companies, as they need to keep wildlife away from the poisonous
        > water. Migratory birds are particularly difficult to shoo. At
        > Syncrude, Reich said the company fires cannons at regular intervals
        > to ward birds off the site, and also uses scarecrows --
        unofficially
        > dubbed "bitu-men" -- to keep them away.
        >
        > Shell's Annisley said her company's research shows that birds get
        > accustomed to cannon fire, so instead the Albian Sands site uses
        what
        > it calls "bird-avert" technology -- large mechanical peregrine
        > falcons perched on "islands" in tailings lakes. The falcons are
        > equipped with radar that senses when birds are near and make
        > peregrine sounds and wave their wings to scare them off.
        >
        > While companies express confidence in their research and work to
        > date, environmentalists are wary. The removal of the bitumen from
        the
        > sands and the use of tailings as the base of the ponds and lakes
        > means the chemistry underground will be very different from the
        > region's normal state, raising questions about water flows and
        their
        > effects on native plants and species, they say.
        >
        > "There's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions," Woynillowicz
        > said. "At the end of the day, they're putting forth a confident
        face
        > that their experiment is going to work. But this is a large-scale
        > experimental gamble with the future of the Athabasca River
        watershed."
        >
        > Two barrels of water for every barrel of oil?
        >
        > Environmentalists cite further fears about potential damage being
        > done by companies' large water withdrawals from the Athabasca River.
        >
        > Environmentalists contend that tar sands processing requires
        anywhere
        > from four to six barrels of water for every barrel of oil. But
        > Annisley said Shell uses two barrels of fresh river water for every
        > barrel of oil. She also said the company recycles about 80 percent
        of
        > the water it now uses and is looking to further reduce the amount
        of
        > water consumed by the process.
        >
        > The Athabasca River rises from the Columbia Icefield in the
        Canadian
        > Rockies and flows 956 miles north and east through mountains,
        > prairies, forests and peat bogs into Lake Athabasca on the far
        > northeast border between Alberta and Saskatchewan in Wood Buffalo
        > National Park.
        >
        > There are no industry-wide figures for how much water the companies
        > use, though Woynillowicz contends that at peak production, the
        sites
        > will use 350 million cubic meters of water a year -- roughly the
        > amount of water used by a city of 2 million.
        >
        > Shell, whose Albian Sands project came on line in 2003 and uses
        > arguably the most advanced technologies for mining the oil sands,
        > used 26.9 million cubic meters of fresh water that year.
        Improvements
        > in the process meant the company used 22.2 million cubic meters of
        > fresh water in 2004.
        >
        > At the Syncrude site, the company uses 4,000 cubic meters of water
        > every hour, recycling more than 70 percent of it, according to
        > company reports.
        >
        > Energy production that consumes a lot of energy
        >
        > The tar-sands process also uses huge and growing amounts of natural
        > gas -- at a time of soaring gas prices and when gas resources in
        the
        > Western Canada Sedimentary Basin are starting to decline. So
        efforts
        > to ramp up tar-sand operations is raising concerns that the natural
        > gas from the MacKenzie Delta in the Arctic region, which is slated
        to
        > come to U.S. markets, instead could end up being used for tar sands
        > production.
        >
        > Mining equipment, such as electric power shovels used to remove
        > topsoil, which the companies call "overburden," and recover tar
        > sands, need energy, as do the pipelines and facilities that mix
        water
        > with the oil sands to extract the bitumen and the upgrading process
        > that turns bitumen into higher-quality synthetic crude oil.
        >
        > All the processes use natural gas as a source of heat, as well as a
        > source of hydrogen for the cracking and treating processes. The
        > Albian Sands site, which only involves production and extraction,
        > uses $15 million worth of natural gas a month, says Chief Operating
        > Officer Chris Jones. The National Energy Board of Canada (NEB)
        > estimates that the mining-extraction-upgrading process requires
        about
        > 500,000 cubic feet of gas for every barrel of bitumen.
        >
        > The in situ recovery process, which is more like traditional mining
        > and is used in the Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions, are
        > more energy-intensive and require even more gas use than the mining
        > and extraction process. Here, companies use gas to make steam,
        which
        > is injected into underground formations to force bitumen into
        > producing wells. The NEB estimates that in situ generally takes 1
        > million cubic feet of gas to produce a barrel of bitumen.
        >
        > The total projected requirements for use of natural gas with in
        situ
        > recovery are anywhere from 1.2 billion cubic feet per day to 1.8
        Bcf
        > per day by 2015, according to the NEB report.
        >
        > Companies say they are working to reduce their energy use, through
        > better use of equipment, improved technologies and use of
        > cogeneration at mining sites, which allows them to sell power back
        to
        > the grid.
        >
        > However, achieving those goals can be difficult: Syncrude did not
        > meet its target for energy efficiency in 2004, according to company
        > reports. Performance was 1.35 million British thermal units per
        > barrel of oil produced vs. a target of 1.26 Btu. Contributing
        factors
        > included higher-than-expected gas consumption at its Autora mine
        due
        > to startup of a second production area, combined with
        > lower-than-planned bitumen recovery and high energy consumption
        > caused by unplanned outages of major production equipment.
        >
        > A major rift over global warming
        >
        > Air pollution is a major concern for environmentalists. Processing
        > Alberta tar sands generates emissions of greenhouse gases, sulfur
        and
        > particulate matter from all phases of the operations.
        >
        > Environmentalists say they are particularly worried that emissions
        > from increased tar sands processing will prevent Canada from
        > achieving its goals under the Kyoto Protocol, an international
        treaty
        > aimed at reducing industrial pollution linked to global warming.
        > Nationwide, Canada is trying to reduce emissions by 45 megatonnes,
        > and measures being considered for limiting emissions nationwide
        would
        > make the tar sands companies responsible for about 12 percent of
        the
        > nation's post-Kyoto greenhouse gases.
        >
        > The national government in Ottawa and the province of Alberta,
        whose
        > leaders have opposed the Kyoto treaty since its inception, remain
        > split on the greenhouse gas issue.
        >
        > The Canadian government last month unveiled its plan to meet Kyoto
        > mandates through direct greenhouse gas emissions reduction, carbon
        > credit trading and paying into a government-administered fund to
        > encourage new carbon reduction technologies. This month the
        > government issued guidelines for an energy credit system that will
        > allow large greenhouse gas producers to buy and trade emissions
        > credits while penalizing companies that produce excess pollution.
        >
        > The government pledged in the proposed rule to meet its Kyoto
        > obligations beginning in 2008, while recognizing that broader
        > economic transformation will be necessary to achieve GHG reduction
        > targets set out by Kyoto for the post-2012 period.
        >
        > Alberta, however, has long been opposed to the Kyoto Protocol,
        > calling it a flawed agreement with unrealistic and unworkable
        targets
        > and timelines.
        >
        > "Canada should be investing in the Canadian economy and Canadian
        jobs
        > -- strategic investments such as Alberta's Innovative Energy
        > Technologies Program, which supports pilot and demonstration
        projects
        > aimed at increasing recoveries from existing and new energy
        > reserves," said Cathy Housdorff of the Alberta energy office.
        >
        > As individual companies work to reduce their energy intensity, they
        > hope to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions as well.
        >
        > Syncrude says it has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
        > by 2 percent per year, and projects a 23 percent reduction in CO2
        > emissions per barrel of crude oil produced by 2010, though total
        > emissions will rise because the company is significantly increasing
        > its production and improving the quality of crude oil.
        >
        > The company also is working to reduce total emissions of sulfur
        > dioxide by 60 percent per day from current levels of 245 metric
        tons
        > per day, and even with adding extra production of 100,000 barrels
        per
        > day this year, total SO2 emissions will fall by 15 percent, the
        > company says. This is the result of a new flue gas desulfurization
        > unit being added to the plant facility through the $8 billion
        > expansion project. The new unit will virtually eliminate all SO2
        > emissions from a new fluid coker, as well as from the tail gas of
        all
        > Syncrude sulfur recovery plants.
        >
        > Shell's greenhouse gas emissions from its Albian Sands site were
        3.4
        > million metric tons in 2004, with plans to reduce those emissions
        to
        > 1,750 million metric tons by 2008, according to company documents.
        >
        > "Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands
        by
        > 50 percent of design by 2010," said Jones, the Albian Sands' chief
        > operating officer. That level would put the oil from the Albian
        Sands
        > site on par with or better gases produced by imported crude oil
        > supplies.
        >
        > While efforts by individual companies are good, they are not going
        to
        > help Canada meet the Kyoto goals, Sierra Club's Hazell said.
        >
        > "If these guys scale up their production," he said, "they could
        blow
        > our targets just by virtue of the tar sands."
        >
        > <http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=032905>
        >
        > Go to <http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=032905>E&ETV to watch the
        March
        > 29 OnPoint featuring Alberta Premier Ralph Klein as he discusses
        the
        > tar sands' oil potential and planned natural gas and oil pipelines
        > from the Arctic.
        >
        >
        > Want more stories like this every day? Sign up for a free trial and
        > get the best environmental and energy policy coverage available. Go
        > to <http://www.eenews.net/subscriptioninfo/trialform.html
        >
        > Watch OnPoint every day to see interviews with key environment and
        > energy policy makers. Go to <http://www.eande.tv>
        >
        >
        > Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
        > E&E DAILY -- GREENWIRE -- LAND LETTER -- E&ETV
        > Phone: 202-628-6500
        > Copyright 2005 <http://www.eenews.net>http://www.eenews.net
        > --
        > <http://www.groundtruthinvestigations.com/>
      • Tim Jones
        Ahhh... fan mail from Mauk! ... Seems to me the enviros are pointing out the problems. ... Or would that be out of the frying pan into the fire? ... Now, now
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 18, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Ahhh... fan mail from Mauk!

          At 9:30 PM +0000 8/18/05, mauk_mcamuk wrote:
          >Now, just imagine replacing this huge, filthy, dirty expanse of
          >horrible stuff with a few nuclear powerplants, small and tidy, with a
          >field of windmills cited in every direction, and maybe a nice little
          >lake formed by the hydropower dam.
          >
          >WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? Are the environmentalists insane?

          Seems to me the enviros are pointing out the problems.

          >They should
          >be embracing nuclear, hydro, and windmills like the savios they are,
          >rather than mindlessly opposing EVERYTHING.

          Or would that be out of the frying pan into the fire?

          >
          >Idiots, the lot of them.

          Now, now Mr. Mauk, calm down, take a deep breath and try not to
          pound on your keyboard.

          A few prominent environmentalists have advocated nuclear power as
          an answer to global warming. There is a serious dialectic between the
          pros and cons regarding this dangerous way to produce power. The
          US is putting $13 B on nukes with the energy bill. There's nobody
          in the street about it, yet. What are you crying about?

          But here's what it may be. A whole lot of folks who consider themselves
          friends of the environment are against nukes because of the nuclear waste
          disposal problem - real or imagined. You can't say that transportation of
          these substances isn't fraught with potential catastrophes. Nor long term
          storage, especially when so many subterfuges are uncovered, as well as
          acts of negligence. Not to mention the threat of terrorism.

          It's hard for mainstream enviros to just turn around and say"oh, never mind"
          after the lessons of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. People depend on
          enviros to hold the line against the environmental depredations of industry.
          And I think a lot of resistance to nukes remains to inspire more emphasis
          on innovation to create cleaner ways to produce energy.

          If you'll note... <http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/> is an environmental
          news network of highly respected reporters reporting on all aspects of
          of environmental and energy policy. This in part is how you know what
          you know about Alberta oil sand.

          I don't post on nukes much because it's just turned into your fan-mail
          or being pounded into web-kill for venturing contrary opinions.

          That said I find radiation hormesis intriguing. I'd like to know what the
          dividing lines between beneficial and harmful exposures are... and how
          nuclear waste management can be viewed in that context. ...without
          being sold a pig in a poke.

          An Introduction to Radiation Hormesis
          <http://www.angelfire.com/mo/radioadaptive/inthorm.html>

          But more hydropower derived from damming wild rivers just perfectly
          sucks. And nukes may be just another dead end, In a more and more
          politically volatile world they're certainly a questionable option. Why
          is the US so uptight about Iran? I think nuclear proliferation should
          be avoided, as in turned around.

          Jay Hanson says nuclear war is inevitable. Are you saying everyone
          will enjoy radiation hormesis after someone's bombed their nuke?

          Tim
          AustinTex

          >
          >
          >
          >--- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Tim Jones <deforest@a...>
          >wrote:
          >> Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains
          > > <http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/Backissues/081705/081705gw.htm#1>
          >> Mary O'Driscoll, Greenwire senior reporter
          >> Wednesday, August 17, 2005
          >> Second of three parts.
          >> Posted by Tim
          >> AustinTex
          >>
          >> ATHABASCA OIL SANDS, Alberta -- Nobody said sucking 175 million
          >> barrels of oil out of sand was going to be easy or tidy.
          >>
          >> And it isn't. Environmental challenges posed by massive operations
          >> that strip-mine forests and extract bitumen embedded in sand
          >beneath
          >> are proving as vast as Alberta's tar sands region, an area the size
          >> of Florida.
          >>
          >> Questions about environmental protections abound. Can companies
          >limit
          >> greenhouse gases and other air emissions from their tar sands
          >> operations? Can they separate oil from sand without using large
          >slugs
          >> of water from the Athabasca River and massive amounts of natural
          >gas?
          >> And can they restore the ravaged landscape to something
          >approximating
          >> natural conditions?
          >>
          >> Companies working here say they are making considerable strides in
          >> protecting the environment. They are eager to discuss their efforts
          >> to reduce air pollution and water use and boast of their post-
          >mining
          >> restorations, including one where rolling hills support bison herds.
          >>
          >> "Environmental management is a huge growth area" for the tar sands
          >> companies, says Janet Annisely of Shell Oil Co., majority owner of
          >> the Albian Sands Inc. project here. Syncrude, which operates the
          >> world's largest tar sands production facility, for example, boasts
          >of
          >> spending more than $30 million a year on science and technology and
          >> calls its 4,000 on-site employees "environmental managers."
          >>
          >> The view west from the top of the coker under construction at the
          >> Syncrude plant, with a view of one of the plant's tailings lakes.
          >> Photo by Mary O'Driscoll.
          >>
          >> But critics say the environmental work done so far has been highly
          >> experimental and that there is no definitive answer as to the
          >> long-term harm tar sands production is doing to northern Alberta.
          >>
          >> "They're operating on a hope and a prayer that it will work out in
          >> the future," said Dan Woynillowicz of the Pembina Institute for
          >> Appropriate Development, a Canadian think tank monitoring the
          >> environmental and economic effects of tar sands projects. "And
          >> ultimately, if there is a problem in the future, will they be
          >willing
          >> to accept that they'll have to try to deal with it then?"
          > >
          >> The debate appears to hinge on whether the process can be done
          >> cleanly, or whether the tar sands should be mined and produced at
          >all
          >> -- particularly given its enthusiastic backers' goal of tripling
          >> current production by 2015.
          >>
          >> "If you don't like mining on public land, you don't like this,"
          >said
          >> a staffer for a Western member of Congress who toured the Alberta
          >tar
          >> sands region this month.
          >>
          >> And environmentalists do not like it. Not one bit.
          >>
          >> "When they talk about how well they're doing, it's in the context
          >of
          >> the filthiest industry one can imagine," said Stephen Hazell of the
          >> Sierra Club of Canada. "I can't think of another industry that
          >causes
          >> so much damage."
          >>
          >> Citing the greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, water
          >> use and other problems, Hazell added, "It all has to be put within
          >> that context. Yes, they're improving their performance, but what is
          >> the baseline they're starting from? You have to sort of go back to
          >> the 19th century to find parallels."
          >>
          >> Bitumen comes out, 'clean sand' goes back in
          >>
          >> Bitumen mining takes a heavy toll on the landscape, as giant
          >shovels
          >> scrape and trucks the size of two-story houses haul away entire
          >> forests to get to the oil-rich sands and leave behind a barren
          >> moonscape. The smell of hydrocarbons hangs over the Albian Sands
          >> site, owned jointly by Shell Canada, ChevronTexaco and Western Oil
          >> Sands Inc., as each truck carries the equivalent of 200 barrels of
          >> oil to the start of the long process of becoming gasoline.
          >>
          >> Digging mines requires digging ditches to divert groundwater to
          >> off-site ponds. Extracting the oil from the sands and upgrading the
          >> bitumen for refining requires drawing water from the Athabasca
          >River,
          >> mixing it with water recycled from earlier runs through the system,
          >> to separate oil from sand.
          >>
          >> Heat is critical to the process. It forces "clean" sand to expand.
          >> Small mountains of mined sand stretch along the highway leading
          >north
          >> from Fort McMurray to the Albian Sands site.
          >>
          >> This "clean" sand is used to fill mined areas. It is then covered
          >by
          >> topsoil, which was stripped away from the forest floor, and re-
          >seeded
          >> with trees and shrubs. The companies call this reclamation.
          >>
          >> Syncrude, which has been mining tar sands since 1978 near Mildred
          >> Lake, just south of the Albian Sands site off Highway 63, says it
          >> "reclaims" about 741 acres a year at a cost of $10 million
          >> (Canadian). To date, the company says it has permanently reclaimed
          > > about 8,401 acres of land, planting more than 2.8 million trees and
          >> shrub seedlings. By 2010, the company plans to have reclaimed more
          >> than 17,000 acres.
          >>
          >> Syncrude's massive oil production facility is the largest single
          >> source of crude oil in Canada. It produces 13 percent of the
          >> country's annual oil requirements. Its Mildred Lake operation abuts
          >a
          >> massive extraction and upgrade facility that is in the final stages
          >> of an $8 billion expansion that will add equipment the company says
          >> will help reduce stack emissions of sulfur by 60 percent from
          >today's
          >> levels of 245 metric tons a day.
          >>
          >> Just south of Syncrude's plant is the company's first mining site.
          >It
          >> is now reclaimed -- rolling hills of grass and trees that support a
          >> herd of buffalo. The site includes a pond used for mine tailings.
          >>
          >> Looking northwest, tailings ponds and reclaimed mine area southeast
          >> of the Syncrude plant. The land to the west of this site has been
          >> reclaimed to the point where it supports a herd of buffalo. Photo
          >by
          >> Mary O'Driscoll.
          >>
          >> Across Highway 63 is what appears to be a massive tidal flat with
          >> wet, light-brown sand that Syncrude spokesman Allan Reich said is
          >> another mine site in the process of being reclaimed. Officials said
          >> that it would take 12 to 15 years to turn the site into rolling,
          >> grass-covered hills.
          >>
          >> "It's our obligation to return the land to its equivalent
          >> capability," Reich said. However, because the volume of the "clean"
          >> sand is larger than that of tar sand, he said, "At the end of the
          > > day, it will be more hilly than the day we came."
          >>
          >> The tailings ponds, some the size of lakes, include water from the
          >> mines as well as water that has not been recycled through the
          >> extraction and upgrading process. The plan is to let the tailings
          >> settle to the bottom, while the cleaner water rises to the top. The
          >> ponds would then be "capped" with fresh water that, eventually,
          >would
          >> be able to support aquatic life. Syncrude officials say their
          >> research shows that can happen within two to three years of
          >> completion of the fine tailings deposition process.
          >>
          >> The company also is combining fine tails with gypsum and sand
          >through
          >> the deposition process, causing the tailings to settle faster and
          >> enabling Syncrude to develop landscapes that support grass, trees
          >and
          >> wetlands. Also, the company and the Canadian Oil Sands Network for
          >> Research and Development (CONRAD), are working on a "paste"
          >> technology that produces a soft clay out of the tailings that can
          >be
          >> used immediately for reclamation into a finished landscape.
          >>
          >> Wildlife habitat at issue
          >>
          >> A key issue: How will tar sands' oil production affect habitat for
          >> endangered woodland caribou as well as the native black bears,
          >moose
          >> and wolves?
          >>
          >> The in situ production of oil, which is used in some parts of the
          >> Athabasca area and pipes steam into the bitumen reserves so it can
          >be
          >> pumped out, much like conventional drilling, poses a particular
          >> danger for the caribou, Woynillowicz said, because the process
          >> involves a network of pipes from one drill pad to another.
          >Predatory
          >> wolves use the pipeline rights of way as highways that provide
          >ready
          >> access to the caribou that do not like the noise and activity of
          >the
          >> drilling. That, he said, is changing the predator-prey balance.
          >>
          >> Tailings ponds at mine sites provide a particular challenge to the
          >> companies, as they need to keep wildlife away from the poisonous
          >> water. Migratory birds are particularly difficult to shoo. At
          >> Syncrude, Reich said the company fires cannons at regular intervals
          >> to ward birds off the site, and also uses scarecrows --
          >unofficially
          >> dubbed "bitu-men" -- to keep them away.
          >>
          >> Shell's Annisley said her company's research shows that birds get
          >> accustomed to cannon fire, so instead the Albian Sands site uses
          >what
          >> it calls "bird-avert" technology -- large mechanical peregrine
          >> falcons perched on "islands" in tailings lakes. The falcons are
          >> equipped with radar that senses when birds are near and make
          >> peregrine sounds and wave their wings to scare them off.
          > >
          >> While companies express confidence in their research and work to
          >> date, environmentalists are wary. The removal of the bitumen from
          >the
          >> sands and the use of tailings as the base of the ponds and lakes
          >> means the chemistry underground will be very different from the
          >> region's normal state, raising questions about water flows and
          >their
          >> effects on native plants and species, they say.
          >>
          >> "There's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions," Woynillowicz
          >> said. "At the end of the day, they're putting forth a confident
          >face
          >> that their experiment is going to work. But this is a large-scale
          >> experimental gamble with the future of the Athabasca River
          >watershed."
          >>
          >> Two barrels of water for every barrel of oil?
          >>
          >> Environmentalists cite further fears about potential damage being
          >> done by companies' large water withdrawals from the Athabasca River.
          >>
          >> Environmentalists contend that tar sands processing requires
          >anywhere
          >> from four to six barrels of water for every barrel of oil. But
          >> Annisley said Shell uses two barrels of fresh river water for every
          >> barrel of oil. She also said the company recycles about 80 percent
          >of
          >> the water it now uses and is looking to further reduce the amount
          >of
          >> water consumed by the process.
          >>
          >> The Athabasca River rises from the Columbia Icefield in the
          >Canadian
          >> Rockies and flows 956 miles north and east through mountains,
          >> prairies, forests and peat bogs into Lake Athabasca on the far
          > > northeast border between Alberta and Saskatchewan in Wood Buffalo
          >> National Park.
          >>
          >> There are no industry-wide figures for how much water the companies
          >> use, though Woynillowicz contends that at peak production, the
          >sites
          >> will use 350 million cubic meters of water a year -- roughly the
          >> amount of water used by a city of 2 million.
          >>
          >> Shell, whose Albian Sands project came on line in 2003 and uses
          >> arguably the most advanced technologies for mining the oil sands,
          >> used 26.9 million cubic meters of fresh water that year.
          >Improvements
          >> in the process meant the company used 22.2 million cubic meters of
          >> fresh water in 2004.
          >>
          >> At the Syncrude site, the company uses 4,000 cubic meters of water
          >> every hour, recycling more than 70 percent of it, according to
          >> company reports.
          >>
          >> Energy production that consumes a lot of energy
          >>
          >> The tar-sands process also uses huge and growing amounts of natural
          >> gas -- at a time of soaring gas prices and when gas resources in
          >the
          >> Western Canada Sedimentary Basin are starting to decline. So
          >efforts
          >> to ramp up tar-sand operations is raising concerns that the natural
          >> gas from the MacKenzie Delta in the Arctic region, which is slated
          >to
          >> come to U.S. markets, instead could end up being used for tar sands
          >> production.
          >>
          >> Mining equipment, such as electric power shovels used to remove
          >> topsoil, which the companies call "overburden," and recover tar
          >> sands, need energy, as do the pipelines and facilities that mix
          >water
          >> with the oil sands to extract the bitumen and the upgrading process
          >> that turns bitumen into higher-quality synthetic crude oil.
          >>
          >> All the processes use natural gas as a source of heat, as well as a
          >> source of hydrogen for the cracking and treating processes. The
          >> Albian Sands site, which only involves production and extraction,
          >> uses $15 million worth of natural gas a month, says Chief Operating
          >> Officer Chris Jones. The National Energy Board of Canada (NEB)
          >> estimates that the mining-extraction-upgrading process requires
          >about
          >> 500,000 cubic feet of gas for every barrel of bitumen.
          >>
          >> The in situ recovery process, which is more like traditional mining
          >> and is used in the Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions, are
          >> more energy-intensive and require even more gas use than the mining
          >> and extraction process. Here, companies use gas to make steam,
          >which
          >> is injected into underground formations to force bitumen into
          >> producing wells. The NEB estimates that in situ generally takes 1
          >> million cubic feet of gas to produce a barrel of bitumen.
          >>
          >> The total projected requirements for use of natural gas with in
          >situ
          > > recovery are anywhere from 1.2 billion cubic feet per day to 1.8
          >Bcf
          >> per day by 2015, according to the NEB report.
          >>
          >> Companies say they are working to reduce their energy use, through
          >> better use of equipment, improved technologies and use of
          >> cogeneration at mining sites, which allows them to sell power back
          >to
          >> the grid.
          >>
          >> However, achieving those goals can be difficult: Syncrude did not
          >> meet its target for energy efficiency in 2004, according to company
          >> reports. Performance was 1.35 million British thermal units per
          >> barrel of oil produced vs. a target of 1.26 Btu. Contributing
          >factors
          >> included higher-than-expected gas consumption at its Autora mine
          >due
          >> to startup of a second production area, combined with
          >> lower-than-planned bitumen recovery and high energy consumption
          >> caused by unplanned outages of major production equipment.
          >>
          >> A major rift over global warming
          >>
          >> Air pollution is a major concern for environmentalists. Processing
          >> Alberta tar sands generates emissions of greenhouse gases, sulfur
          >and
          >> particulate matter from all phases of the operations.
          >>
          >> Environmentalists say they are particularly worried that emissions
          >> from increased tar sands processing will prevent Canada from
          >> achieving its goals under the Kyoto Protocol, an international
          >treaty
          >> aimed at reducing industrial pollution linked to global warming.
          > > Nationwide, Canada is trying to reduce emissions by 45 megatonnes,
          >> and measures being considered for limiting emissions nationwide
          >would
          >> make the tar sands companies responsible for about 12 percent of
          >the
          >> nation's post-Kyoto greenhouse gases.
          >>
          >> The national government in Ottawa and the province of Alberta,
          >whose
          >> leaders have opposed the Kyoto treaty since its inception, remain
          >> split on the greenhouse gas issue.
          >>
          >> The Canadian government last month unveiled its plan to meet Kyoto
          >> mandates through direct greenhouse gas emissions reduction, carbon
          >> credit trading and paying into a government-administered fund to
          >> encourage new carbon reduction technologies. This month the
          >> government issued guidelines for an energy credit system that will
          >> allow large greenhouse gas producers to buy and trade emissions
          >> credits while penalizing companies that produce excess pollution.
          >>
          >> The government pledged in the proposed rule to meet its Kyoto
          >> obligations beginning in 2008, while recognizing that broader
          >> economic transformation will be necessary to achieve GHG reduction
          >> targets set out by Kyoto for the post-2012 period.
          >>
          >> Alberta, however, has long been opposed to the Kyoto Protocol,
          >> calling it a flawed agreement with unrealistic and unworkable
          >targets
          >> and timelines.
          >>
          >> "Canada should be investing in the Canadian economy and Canadian
          >jobs
          >> -- strategic investments such as Alberta's Innovative Energy
          >> Technologies Program, which supports pilot and demonstration
          >projects
          >> aimed at increasing recoveries from existing and new energy
          >> reserves," said Cathy Housdorff of the Alberta energy office.
          >>
          >> As individual companies work to reduce their energy intensity, they
          >> hope to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions as well.
          >>
          >> Syncrude says it has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
          >> by 2 percent per year, and projects a 23 percent reduction in CO2
          >> emissions per barrel of crude oil produced by 2010, though total
          >> emissions will rise because the company is significantly increasing
          >> its production and improving the quality of crude oil.
          >>
          >> The company also is working to reduce total emissions of sulfur
          >> dioxide by 60 percent per day from current levels of 245 metric
          >tons
          >> per day, and even with adding extra production of 100,000 barrels
          >per
          >> day this year, total SO2 emissions will fall by 15 percent, the
          >> company says. This is the result of a new flue gas desulfurization
          >> unit being added to the plant facility through the $8 billion
          >> expansion project. The new unit will virtually eliminate all SO2
          >> emissions from a new fluid coker, as well as from the tail gas of
          >all
          >> Syncrude sulfur recovery plants.
          >>
          >> Shell's greenhouse gas emissions from its Albian Sands site were
          >3.4
          >> million metric tons in 2004, with plans to reduce those emissions
          >to
          >> 1,750 million metric tons by 2008, according to company documents.
          >>
          >> "Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands
          >by
          >> 50 percent of design by 2010," said Jones, the Albian Sands' chief
          >> operating officer. That level would put the oil from the Albian
          >Sands
          >> site on par with or better gases produced by imported crude oil
          >> supplies.
          >>
          >> While efforts by individual companies are good, they are not going
          >to
          >> help Canada meet the Kyoto goals, Sierra Club's Hazell said.
          >>
          >> "If these guys scale up their production," he said, "they could
          >blow
          >> our targets just by virtue of the tar sands."
          >>
          >> <http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=032905>
          >>
          >> Go to <http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=032905>E&ETV to watch the
          >March
          >> 29 OnPoint featuring Alberta Premier Ralph Klein as he discusses
          >the
          >> tar sands' oil potential and planned natural gas and oil pipelines
          >> from the Arctic.
          >>
          >>
          >> Want more stories like this every day? Sign up for a free trial and
          >> get the best environmental and energy policy coverage available. Go
          >> to <http://www.eenews.net/subscriptioninfo/trialform.html
          >>
          >> Watch OnPoint every day to see interviews with key environment and
          >> energy policy makers. Go to <http://www.eande.tv>
          > >
          >>
          >> Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
          >> E&E DAILY -- GREENWIRE -- LAND LETTER -- E&ETV
          >> Phone: 202-628-6500
          >> Copyright 2005 <http://www.eenews.net>http://www.eenews.net
          >> --
          >> <http://www.groundtruthinvestigations.com/>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Your message didn't show up on the list? Complaints or compliments?
          >Drop me (Tom Robertson) a note at t1r@...
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >


          --
          <http://www.groundtruthinvestigations.com/>
        • Richard
          finally mauk you ask one valid question in the herculian posts i have read from you,,, why r we doing this? what a great question....let s see at maximum
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 19, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            finally mauk you ask one valid question in the herculian posts i have read from you,,,"why r we doing this?" what a great question....let's see at maximum production the athabasca tar sands would produce approximately 3 to 5 million barrels per day IN TEN TO 15 YEARS when global demand is upwards of 90 to 100 million bpd. hmmmmm....seems like a mighty small percentage to throw on the market...and why are we doing this? oh that's right we will by then be producing 3 to 5 million bpd from anwr...geeze that makes a whopping 10 million bpd or 10% of projected demand (on the high side of course)....wow....and why are we doing this? what a great question mauk!!

            richard in az where pvngs trys to keep up with our insanely insatible electricity demand.

            mauk_mcamuk <mauk2@...> wrote:

            Now, just imagine replacing this huge, filthy, dirty expanse of
            horrible stuff with a few nuclear powerplants, small and tidy, with a
            field of windmills cited in every direction, and maybe a nice little
            lake formed by the hydropower dam.

            WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? Are the environmentalists insane? They should
            be embracing nuclear, hydro, and windmills like the savios they are,
            rather than mindlessly opposing EVERYTHING.

            Idiots, the lot of them.



            --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Tim Jones
            wrote:
            > Tar sand companies try balancing oil gains, environmental pains
            >
            > Mary O'Driscoll, Greenwire senior reporter
            > Wednesday, August 17, 2005
            > Second of three parts.
            > Posted by Tim
            > AustinTex
            >
            > ATHABASCA OIL SANDS, Alberta -- Nobody said sucking 175 million
            > barrels of oil out of sand was going to be easy or tidy.
            >
            > And it isn't. Environmental challenges posed by massive operations
            > that strip-mine forests and extract bitumen embedded in sand
            beneath
            > are proving as vast as Alberta's tar sands region, an area the size
            > of Florida.
            >
            > Questions about environmental protections abound. Can companies
            limit
            > greenhouse gases and other air emissions from their tar sands
            > operations? Can they separate oil from sand without using large
            slugs
            > of water from the Athabasca River and massive amounts of natural
            gas?
            > And can they restore the ravaged landscape to something
            approximating
            > natural conditions?
            >
            > Companies working here say they are making considerable strides in
            > protecting the environment. They are eager to discuss their efforts
            > to reduce air pollution and water use and boast of their post-
            mining
            > restorations, including one where rolling hills support bison herds.
            >
            > "Environmental management is a huge growth area" for the tar sands
            > companies, says Janet Annisely of Shell Oil Co., majority owner of
            > the Albian Sands Inc. project here. Syncrude, which operates the
            > world's largest tar sands production facility, for example, boasts
            of
            > spending more than $30 million a year on science and technology and
            > calls its 4,000 on-site employees "environmental managers."
            >
            > The view west from the top of the coker under construction at the
            > Syncrude plant, with a view of one of the plant's tailings lakes.
            > Photo by Mary O'Driscoll.
            >
            > But critics say the environmental work done so far has been highly
            > experimental and that there is no definitive answer as to the
            > long-term harm tar sands production is doing to northern Alberta.
            >
            > "They're operating on a hope and a prayer that it will work out in
            > the future," said Dan Woynillowicz of the Pembina Institute for
            > Appropriate Development, a Canadian think tank monitoring the
            > environmental and economic effects of tar sands projects. "And
            > ultimately, if there is a problem in the future, will they be
            willing
            > to accept that they'll have to try to deal with it then?"
            >
            > The debate appears to hinge on whether the process can be done
            > cleanly, or whether the tar sands should be mined and produced at
            all
            > -- particularly given its enthusiastic backers' goal of tripling
            > current production by 2015.
            >
            > "If you don't like mining on public land, you don't like this,"
            said
            > a staffer for a Western member of Congress who toured the Alberta
            tar
            > sands region this month.
            >
            > And environmentalists do not like it. Not one bit.
            >
            > "When they talk about how well they're doing, it's in the context
            of
            > the filthiest industry one can imagine," said Stephen Hazell of the
            > Sierra Club of Canada. "I can't think of another industry that
            causes
            > so much damage."
            >
            > Citing the greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, water
            > use and other problems, Hazell added, "It all has to be put within
            > that context. Yes, they're improving their performance, but what is
            > the baseline they're starting from? You have to sort of go back to
            > the 19th century to find parallels."
            >
            > Bitumen comes out, 'clean sand' goes back in
            >
            > Bitumen mining takes a heavy toll on the landscape, as giant
            shovels
            > scrape and trucks the size of two-story houses haul away entire
            > forests to get to the oil-rich sands and leave behind a barren
            > moonscape. The smell of hydrocarbons hangs over the Albian Sands
            > site, owned jointly by Shell Canada, ChevronTexaco and Western Oil
            > Sands Inc., as each truck carries the equivalent of 200 barrels of
            > oil to the start of the long process of becoming gasoline.
            >
            > Digging mines requires digging ditches to divert groundwater to
            > off-site ponds. Extracting the oil from the sands and upgrading the
            > bitumen for refining requires drawing water from the Athabasca
            River,
            > mixing it with water recycled from earlier runs through the system,
            > to separate oil from sand.
            >
            > Heat is critical to the process. It forces "clean" sand to expand.
            > Small mountains of mined sand stretch along the highway leading
            north
            > from Fort McMurray to the Albian Sands site.
            >
            > This "clean" sand is used to fill mined areas. It is then covered
            by
            > topsoil, which was stripped away from the forest floor, and re-
            seeded
            > with trees and shrubs. The companies call this reclamation.
            >
            > Syncrude, which has been mining tar sands since 1978 near Mildred
            > Lake, just south of the Albian Sands site off Highway 63, says it
            > "reclaims" about 741 acres a year at a cost of $10 million
            > (Canadian). To date, the company says it has permanently reclaimed
            > about 8,401 acres of land, planting more than 2.8 million trees and
            > shrub seedlings. By 2010, the company plans to have reclaimed more
            > than 17,000 acres.
            >
            > Syncrude's massive oil production facility is the largest single
            > source of crude oil in Canada. It produces 13 percent of the
            > country's annual oil requirements. Its Mildred Lake operation abuts
            a
            > massive extraction and upgrade facility that is in the final stages
            > of an $8 billion expansion that will add equipment the company says
            > will help reduce stack emissions of sulfur by 60 percent from
            today's
            > levels of 245 metric tons a day.
            >
            > Just south of Syncrude's plant is the company's first mining site.
            It
            > is now reclaimed -- rolling hills of grass and trees that support a
            > herd of buffalo. The site includes a pond used for mine tailings.
            >
            > Looking northwest, tailings ponds and reclaimed mine area southeast
            > of the Syncrude plant. The land to the west of this site has been
            > reclaimed to the point where it supports a herd of buffalo. Photo
            by
            > Mary O'Driscoll.
            >
            > Across Highway 63 is what appears to be a massive tidal flat with
            > wet, light-brown sand that Syncrude spokesman Allan Reich said is
            > another mine site in the process of being reclaimed. Officials said
            > that it would take 12 to 15 years to turn the site into rolling,
            > grass-covered hills.
            >
            > "It's our obligation to return the land to its equivalent
            > capability," Reich said. However, because the volume of the "clean"
            > sand is larger than that of tar sand, he said, "At the end of the
            > day, it will be more hilly than the day we came."
            >
            > The tailings ponds, some the size of lakes, include water from the
            > mines as well as water that has not been recycled through the
            > extraction and upgrading process. The plan is to let the tailings
            > settle to the bottom, while the cleaner water rises to the top. The
            > ponds would then be "capped" with fresh water that, eventually,
            would
            > be able to support aquatic life. Syncrude officials say their
            > research shows that can happen within two to three years of
            > completion of the fine tailings deposition process.
            >
            > The company also is combining fine tails with gypsum and sand
            through
            > the deposition process, causing the tailings to settle faster and
            > enabling Syncrude to develop landscapes that support grass, trees
            and
            > wetlands. Also, the company and the Canadian Oil Sands Network for
            > Research and Development (CONRAD), are working on a "paste"
            > technology that produces a soft clay out of the tailings that can
            be
            > used immediately for reclamation into a finished landscape.
            >
            > Wildlife habitat at issue
            >
            > A key issue: How will tar sands' oil production affect habitat for
            > endangered woodland caribou as well as the native black bears,
            moose
            > and wolves?
            >
            > The in situ production of oil, which is used in some parts of the
            > Athabasca area and pipes steam into the bitumen reserves so it can
            be
            > pumped out, much like conventional drilling, poses a particular
            > danger for the caribou, Woynillowicz said, because the process
            > involves a network of pipes from one drill pad to another.
            Predatory
            > wolves use the pipeline rights of way as highways that provide
            ready
            > access to the caribou that do not like the noise and activity of
            the
            > drilling. That, he said, is changing the predator-prey balance.
            >
            > Tailings ponds at mine sites provide a particular challenge to the
            > companies, as they need to keep wildlife away from the poisonous
            > water. Migratory birds are particularly difficult to shoo. At
            > Syncrude, Reich said the company fires cannons at regular intervals
            > to ward birds off the site, and also uses scarecrows --
            unofficially
            > dubbed "bitu-men" -- to keep them away.
            >
            > Shell's Annisley said her company's research shows that birds get
            > accustomed to cannon fire, so instead the Albian Sands site uses
            what
            > it calls "bird-avert" technology -- large mechanical peregrine
            > falcons perched on "islands" in tailings lakes. The falcons are
            > equipped with radar that senses when birds are near and make
            > peregrine sounds and wave their wings to scare them off.
            >
            > While companies express confidence in their research and work to
            > date, environmentalists are wary. The removal of the bitumen from
            the
            > sands and the use of tailings as the base of the ponds and lakes
            > means the chemistry underground will be very different from the
            > region's normal state, raising questions about water flows and
            their
            > effects on native plants and species, they say.
            >
            > "There's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions," Woynillowicz
            > said. "At the end of the day, they're putting forth a confident
            face
            > that their experiment is going to work. But this is a large-scale
            > experimental gamble with the future of the Athabasca River
            watershed."
            >
            > Two barrels of water for every barrel of oil?
            >
            > Environmentalists cite further fears about potential damage being
            > done by companies' large water withdrawals from the Athabasca River.
            >
            > Environmentalists contend that tar sands processing requires
            anywhere
            > from four to six barrels of water for every barrel of oil. But
            > Annisley said Shell uses two barrels of fresh river water for every
            > barrel of oil. She also said the company recycles about 80 percent
            of
            > the water it now uses and is looking to further reduce the amount
            of
            > water consumed by the process.
            >
            > The Athabasca River rises from the Columbia Icefield in the
            Canadian
            > Rockies and flows 956 miles north and east through mountains,
            > prairies, forests and peat bogs into Lake Athabasca on the far
            > northeast border between Alberta and Saskatchewan in Wood Buffalo
            > National Park.
            >
            > There are no industry-wide figures for how much water the companies
            > use, though Woynillowicz contends that at peak production, the
            sites
            > will use 350 million cubic meters of water a year -- roughly the
            > amount of water used by a city of 2 million.
            >
            > Shell, whose Albian Sands project came on line in 2003 and uses
            > arguably the most advanced technologies for mining the oil sands,
            > used 26.9 million cubic meters of fresh water that year.
            Improvements
            > in the process meant the company used 22.2 million cubic meters of
            > fresh water in 2004.
            >
            > At the Syncrude site, the company uses 4,000 cubic meters of water
            > every hour, recycling more than 70 percent of it, according to
            > company reports.
            >
            > Energy production that consumes a lot of energy
            >
            > The tar-sands process also uses huge and growing amounts of natural
            > gas -- at a time of soaring gas prices and when gas resources in
            the
            > Western Canada Sedimentary Basin are starting to decline. So
            efforts
            > to ramp up tar-sand operations is raising concerns that the natural
            > gas from the MacKenzie Delta in the Arctic region, which is slated
            to
            > come to U.S. markets, instead could end up being used for tar sands
            > production.
            >
            > Mining equipment, such as electric power shovels used to remove
            > topsoil, which the companies call "overburden," and recover tar
            > sands, need energy, as do the pipelines and facilities that mix
            water
            > with the oil sands to extract the bitumen and the upgrading process
            > that turns bitumen into higher-quality synthetic crude oil.
            >
            > All the processes use natural gas as a source of heat, as well as a
            > source of hydrogen for the cracking and treating processes. The
            > Albian Sands site, which only involves production and extraction,
            > uses $15 million worth of natural gas a month, says Chief Operating
            > Officer Chris Jones. The National Energy Board of Canada (NEB)
            > estimates that the mining-extraction-upgrading process requires
            about
            > 500,000 cubic feet of gas for every barrel of bitumen.
            >
            > The in situ recovery process, which is more like traditional mining
            > and is used in the Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions, are
            > more energy-intensive and require even more gas use than the mining
            > and extraction process. Here, companies use gas to make steam,
            which
            > is injected into underground formations to force bitumen into
            > producing wells. The NEB estimates that in situ generally takes 1
            > million cubic feet of gas to produce a barrel of bitumen.
            >
            > The total projected requirements for use of natural gas with in
            situ
            > recovery are anywhere from 1.2 billion cubic feet per day to 1.8
            Bcf
            > per day by 2015, according to the NEB report.
            >
            > Companies say they are working to reduce their energy use, through
            > better use of equipment, improved technologies and use of
            > cogeneration at mining sites, which allows them to sell power back
            to
            > the grid.
            >
            > However, achieving those goals can be difficult: Syncrude did not
            > meet its target for energy efficiency in 2004, according to company
            > reports. Performance was 1.35 million British thermal units per
            > barrel of oil produced vs. a target of 1.26 Btu. Contributing
            factors
            > included higher-than-expected gas consumption at its Autora mine
            due
            > to startup of a second production area, combined with
            > lower-than-planned bitumen recovery and high energy consumption
            > caused by unplanned outages of major production equipment.
            >
            > A major rift over global warming
            >
            > Air pollution is a major concern for environmentalists. Processing
            > Alberta tar sands generates emissions of greenhouse gases, sulfur
            and
            > particulate matter from all phases of the operations.
            >
            > Environmentalists say they are particularly worried that emissions
            > from increased tar sands processing will prevent Canada from
            > achieving its goals under the Kyoto Protocol, an international
            treaty
            > aimed at reducing industrial pollution linked to global warming.
            > Nationwide, Canada is trying to reduce emissions by 45 megatonnes,
            > and measures being considered for limiting emissions nationwide
            would
            > make the tar sands companies responsible for about 12 percent of
            the
            > nation's post-Kyoto greenhouse gases.
            >
            > The national government in Ottawa and the province of Alberta,
            whose
            > leaders have opposed the Kyoto treaty since its inception, remain
            > split on the greenhouse gas issue.
            >
            > The Canadian government last month unveiled its plan to meet Kyoto
            > mandates through direct greenhouse gas emissions reduction, carbon
            > credit trading and paying into a government-administered fund to
            > encourage new carbon reduction technologies. This month the
            > government issued guidelines for an energy credit system that will
            > allow large greenhouse gas producers to buy and trade emissions
            > credits while penalizing companies that produce excess pollution.
            >
            > The government pledged in the proposed rule to meet its Kyoto
            > obligations beginning in 2008, while recognizing that broader
            > economic transformation will be necessary to achieve GHG reduction
            > targets set out by Kyoto for the post-2012 period.
            >
            > Alberta, however, has long been opposed to the Kyoto Protocol,
            > calling it a flawed agreement with unrealistic and unworkable
            targets
            > and timelines.
            >
            > "Canada should be investing in the Canadian economy and Canadian
            jobs
            > -- strategic investments such as Alberta's Innovative Energy
            > Technologies Program, which supports pilot and demonstration
            projects
            > aimed at increasing recoveries from existing and new energy
            > reserves," said Cathy Housdorff of the Alberta energy office.
            >
            > As individual companies work to reduce their energy intensity, they
            > hope to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions as well.
            >
            > Syncrude says it has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
            > by 2 percent per year, and projects a 23 percent reduction in CO2
            > emissions per barrel of crude oil produced by 2010, though total
            > emissions will rise because the company is significantly increasing
            > its production and improving the quality of crude oil.
            >
            > The company also is working to reduce total emissions of sulfur
            > dioxide by 60 percent per day from current levels of 245 metric
            tons
            > per day, and even with adding extra production of 100,000 barrels
            per
            > day this year, total SO2 emissions will fall by 15 percent, the
            > company says. This is the result of a new flue gas desulfurization
            > unit being added to the plant facility through the $8 billion
            > expansion project. The new unit will virtually eliminate all SO2
            > emissions from a new fluid coker, as well as from the tail gas of
            all
            > Syncrude sulfur recovery plants.
            >
            > Shell's greenhouse gas emissions from its Albian Sands site were
            3.4
            > million metric tons in 2004, with plans to reduce those emissions
            to
            > 1,750 million metric tons by 2008, according to company documents.
            >
            > "Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands
            by
            > 50 percent of design by 2010," said Jones, the Albian Sands' chief
            > operating officer. That level would put the oil from the Albian
            Sands
            > site on par with or better gases produced by imported crude oil
            > supplies.
            >
            > While efforts by individual companies are good, they are not going
            to
            > help Canada meet the Kyoto goals, Sierra Club's Hazell said.
            >
            > "If these guys scale up their production," he said, "they could
            blow
            > our targets just by virtue of the tar sands."
            >
            >
            >
            > Go to E&ETV to watch the
            March
            > 29 OnPoint featuring Alberta Premier Ralph Klein as he discusses
            the
            > tar sands' oil potential and planned natural gas and oil pipelines
            > from the Arctic.
            >
            >
            > Want more stories like this every day? Sign up for a free trial and
            > get the best environmental and energy policy coverage available. Go
            > to >
            > Watch OnPoint every day to see interviews with key environment and
            > energy policy makers. Go to
            >
            >
            > Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
            > E&E DAILY -- GREENWIRE -- LAND LETTER -- E&ETV
            > Phone: 202-628-6500
            > Copyright 2005 http://www.eenews.net
            > --
            >






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          • Mike Stasse
            ... have read from you,,, why r we doing this? what a great question....let s see at maximum production the athabasca tar sands would produce approximately 3
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 19, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Richard <roccman2003@y...> wrote:
              > finally mauk you ask one valid question in the herculian posts i
              have read from you,,,"why r we doing this?" what a great
              question....let's see at maximum production the athabasca tar sands
              would produce approximately 3 to 5 million barrels per day IN TEN TO
              15 YEARS when global demand is upwards of 90 to 100 million bpd.
              hmmmmm....seems like a mighty small percentage to throw on the
              market...and why are we doing this? oh that's right we will by then be
              producing 3 to 5 million bpd from anwr...geeze that makes a whopping
              10 million bpd or 10% of projected demand (on the high side of
              course)....wow....and why are we doing this? what a great question mauk!!


              GREED!!!!!!

              That's all. If you can make a squillion bucks from wrecking the
              joint, we will. And we do.

              Mike Stasse
              Australia
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