Oil sands GHG lifecycle study using operating data finds lower emitting oil sands cases outperform higher emitting conventional crude cases; a call for more sophisticated tools and reporting

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Well-to-wheel (WTW) greenhouse gas emissions for in situ SAGD and surface mining pathways generated employing GHOST/TIAX/ GHGenius combination and comparison with SAGD, mining and conventional crude oil literature pathways (all results are on a HHV basis). The LCA, reported in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology , is the first based on confidential operating data from oil sands projects, the authors said. 74% of WTW emissions in our oil sands pathways.

Canada oil sands producers form alliance to improve environmental performance

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Twelve of Canada’s oil sands producers have formed a new alliance, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), focused on accelerating the pace of improving environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands through collaborative action and innovation. Tailings are the rock, sand, clay and water byproducts of surface mining, and are currently held in large tailing ponds. Imperial Oil. Canada Oil sands

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New lifecycle analysis of WTW GHG emissions of diesel and gasoline refined in US from Canadian oil sands crude

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In a new, comprehensive study, a team from Argonne National Laboratory, Stanford University and UC Davis ITS has estimated the well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions of US production of gasoline and diesel sourced from Canadian oil sands. The analysis uses an expanded system boundary including land disturbance-induced GHG emissions and also incorporates operating data that represent the average practices and technological advances of the oil sands industry since 2008.

China’s CNOOC to acquire Canada-based Nexen for $15.1B; offshore oil and gas, oil sands, and shale gas

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CNOOC Limited—China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas and one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world—is acquiring all of the Common Shares of Canada-based energy company Nexen Inc. 20 July 2012 and a premium of 66% relative to the volume-weighted average price of the Common Shares over the 20 trading days ending 20 July 2012. It is the second-largest oil producer in the UK North Sea.

Canada and Alberta introduce joint plan for improved environmental monitoring in the oil sands

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Proposed oil sands monitoring by 2015. The Government of Canada and Government of Alberta unveiled “The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring” in a partnership to improve environmental monitoring in the oil sands region with a program that will sample more sites for more substances more frequently. The program is designed to provide an improved understanding of the long-term cumulative effects of oil sands development.

IHS CERA meta-analysis finds lifecycle GHG emissions for fuel produced solely from oil sands crude average 11% higher than from average crude refined in the US; high variability

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Average values for WTW GHG emissions for oil sands and other crudes, tight boundary. When the boundary for measuring GHG emissions is placed around crude production and processing facilities, for fuels produced solely from Canadian oil sands the average well-to-wheels (WTW) life-cycle GHG emissions are 11% higher than for the average crude refined in the United States (results range from 4% to 18% higher), according to a new meta-analysis by energy market consultancy IHS CERA.

Study concludes permanent loss of peatlands in open-pit oil sands mining adds significantly to carbon burden of oil sands production

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Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have quantified the transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Oil sands deposits accessible by open-pit surface mining (as opposed to deeper deposits produced via thermal in-situ methods) cover about 475,000 ha of boreal Alberta, 99% of which is already leased. Schindler (2012).

Tailings Technology Roadmap project releases nine development roadmaps for treatment of oil sands fine tailings

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A collaboration of Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) and the Oil Sands Tailing Consortium ( OSTC ), in partnership with Alberta Energy, Natural Resources Canada, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, released the report from The Tailings Technology Roadmap and Action Plan project. sand and clay. Canada Oil sands

Details on how Enbridge will expand capacity of Alberta Clipper oil sands crude pipeline without US review

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Enbridge has devised a way to ship more oil sands crude from Alberta to the US via its Alberta Clipper pipeline without getting further tangled in the type of review that has kept TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline proposal mired in limbo for years: switching crude from one pipeline in its existing system to another before it crosses the border and then back again. The Enbridge Mainline system is the largest conduit of oil into the United States. Canada Oil sands

US BLM issues draft PEIS for oil shale and oil sands; significantly scales back public land available for commercial leasing

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The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and Possible Land Use Amendments for Allocation of Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resources on Lands Administered by the BLM in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. In addition, 91,045 acres in eastern Utah would be available for activities related to oil sands. or oil sands development. for commercial tar sands leasing.

ABMI releases first report on biodiversity in Athabasca Oil Sands Area

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The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) released the first comprehensive report on the status of Alberta’s species in the Athabasca Oil Sands Area (AOSA). It also contains the Athabasca oil sands deposit, which represents 77% of Canada’s proven oil reserves and supports a growing energy extraction sector. “ —“The Status of Biodiversity in the Athabasca Oil Sands Area”. Canada Oil sands

American Sands Energy announces successful operation of oil sand pilot facility in Utah

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American Sands Energy Corp., an oil sands exploration and development company operating in the state of Utah, announced the successful operation of its oil sand recovery pilot facility. Approximately 80 tons of the company’s oil sands were shipped to the facility, which has been able to run at its designed rate of up to two tons per hour, generating consistent flows of oil and clean, dry sand over multiple, consecutive days of operation.

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Researcher urges more effort on assessment of land and water impacts of oil sands production; reference point for other unconventional fuels

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Bitumen production from the Canadian oil sands provides a point of reference that could be used to observe and better manage the land and water impacts of a rapid transition to unconventional fuels, suggests Dr. Sarah Jordaan of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy Research Group, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University. The production of bitumen, the hydrocarbon mixed in the sand, has grown from 0.7 —Jordaan 2012. —Jordaan 2012.

Early improvements in place for Alberta oil sands monitoring program

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Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent, and Alberta’s Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Diana McQueen toured several of the new oil sands monitoring stations now in place in the early stages of implementation of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. The program is designed to provide an improved understanding of the long-term cumulative effects of oil sands development.

Japex to proceed with C$1.4B Hangingstone oil sands expansion

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Japex) will proceed with an expansion of its oil sands project in the Hangingstone area in Alberta. Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. JACOS), a consolidated subsidiary of Japex, currently produces 6,000 to 7,000 barrels per day of bitumen (ultra heavy crude oil extracted from oil sands) at its Hangingstone Demonstration Project area. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co, Ltd.

GE to supply water recycling technology for SAGD project in Alberta oil sands; 5th such win in oil sands

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GE’s wastewater evaporation technologies have been selected to improve wastewater recovery at an existing oil sands project near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. The use of GE’s evaporation technologies for the recovery of OTSG blowdown is gaining traction in the Alberta oil sands, where producers are seeking more sustainable production processes that satisfy increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

Alberta Premier proposes $3B for oil-sands environmental research

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During a campaign speech, Alberta Premier Alison Redford proposed a $3-billion government-funded research agency to support oil sands environmental research. Redford said she would revive the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) as AOSTRA 2. Globe and Mail. The original initiative, formed in 1974, spent a total of $620-million over 20 years. Now that the sector has hits its stride, Ms.

ExxonMobil licenses oil sands steam injection technology to Baker Hughes

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ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company has awarded the first license for its patented steam injection system and production method to Baker Hughes to improve the efficiency of in-situ oil sands projects. Approximately 80% of Canada’s oil sands can be produced using in-situ technology, which involves the injection of steam to enable bitumen to be extracted through drilling versus surface mining.

Natural Resources Canada team investigates solvent extraction process for oil sand bitumen; non-aqueous alternative to hot water processing with reduced environmental impacts

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A team of two researchers from Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY reports on a new process for solvent extraction of bitumen from mineable Athabasca oil sands (i.e., In this process, oil sand is mixed with light hydrocarbon solvents, and the solvent–bitumen solution is separated from the mineral solids by centrifugal filtration or regular pressure filtration. Their findings were: Cyclopentane is a good solvent for extracting bitumen from oil sand.

Researchers propose framework for CCS infrastructure optimization to reduce GHG emissions from oil sands extraction and processing

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The width of the pipeline network (green lines) is proportional to CO 2 flow; the largest CO 2 flow is approximately 36 MtCO 2 / yr for the $155/tCO 2 scenario (pipeline leaving the Athabasca oil sands area). Two researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Stanford University have developed an integrated framework that simultaneously considers economic and engineering decisions for the capture, transport, and storage of oil sands CO 2 emissions (CCS).

Study finds plausibly high volumes of Canadian oil sands crudes in US refineries in 2025 would lead to modest increases in refinery CO2 emissions

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An analysis of the US refining sector, based on linear programming (LP) modeling, finds that refining plausibly high volumes of Canadian oil sands crudes in US refineries in 2025 would lead to a modest increase in refinery CO 2 emissions (ranging between 5.4% The estimates account both for increased oil sands crude in the refinery crude slate and the imposition of new fuel sulfur specifications, which require additional refining effort.

Imperial Oil approves $2B in situ oil sands expansion project

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Imperial Oil Limited has approved a $2 billion expansion of the company’s Cold Lake in situ oil sands operation in northeastern Alberta. Imperial’s Cold Lake facility is the largest and longest-running in situ oil sands operation in Canada, and includes four steam generation and bitumen production plants. The expansion, called Nabiye, will bring on additional commercial bitumen production of more than 40,000 barrels per day at Cold Lake.

Governments of Canada and Alberta sign MoU on oil sands research

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The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will lead to the development of new and improved oil sands technologies with reduced energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to continue working with the Government of Alberta to overcome the unique technological and environmental challenges associated with oil sands development.

Shell to proceed with Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the oil sands

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Shell will proceed with the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project for an oil sands operation in Canada. The $1.35-billion Quest project will be built on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture owners (Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil) and with support from the Governments of Canada and Alberta. The Athabasca Oil Sands project produces bitumen, which is piped to Shell’s Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta.

Titanium Corporation receives patent for improved solvent recovery from oil sands tailings

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has secured what it calls a critical patent for its innovative technology which recovers hydrocarbon diluents (solvents) from oil sands tailings. Heavy minerals exist in Alberta’s oil sands in minor quantities. These minerals are attracted to bitumen and become greatly concentrated by the oil sands bitumen extraction process. Titanium Corporation Inc.

New research chair at University of Saskatchewan to help reclaim oil sands land

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Syncrude will provide half the funding for Barbour’s Chair in Hydrogeological Characterization of Oil Sands Mine Closure Landforms, investing more than $1.3-million over the five-year research project, with another $1.3-million provided by NSERC. Research is vitally important to an economically and socially sustainable oil sands industry. We will determine the magnitude, rate, pathway, and chemistry of groundwater in the reclaimed oil sands mine landforms.

New advisory body to coordinate transportation planning in Athabasca oil sands region

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A new advisory committee will review and will make recommendations to the Alberta, Canada government on the current and future transportation needs of the Athabasca oil sands region. The committee of municipal, industry and provincial representatives will take into account the region’s economic and infrastructure needs and the importance of the oil sands to the province’s economy.

Cenovus achieves first production at Christina Lake Phase D oil sands expansion ahead of schedule

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is producing oil from phase D at its Christina Lake oil sands operation approximately three months ahead of schedule and within budget. Cenovus has decades of growth ahead in the oil sands. The manufacturing approach we use to develop our oil sands projects supports this long-term growth. Cenovus Energy Inc. The company began injecting steam in the second quarter of this year and began producing in late July.

Consortium completes successful test of new oil sands recovery process using electromagnetic heating technology

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A technology and energy production consortium has successfully completed initial proof-of-concept testing of a novel oil sands extraction method that has the potential to improve environmental performance and reduce development costs. The test confirms the ability to successfully generate, propagate and distribute electromagnetic heat in an oil sands formation.

Shell secures C$865M funding for Canadian CO2 storage project; >1M tonnes/yr from oil sands

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The carbon capture process at the Scotford oil sands upgrader will capture about 35% of emissions. The Quest Project will capture and permanently store deep underground more than 1 million tonnes of CO 2 per year—about 35% of the total emissions—from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta, which processes heavy oil from the Athabasca oil sands. —John Abbott, Shell’s Executive Vice President of Heavy Oil.

Studies find oil sands-derived crude oil no more corrosive in pipelines than other crudes

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Both scientific research and industrial experience have found that bitumen-derived crude oil (i.e., crude from the oil sands) is no more corrosive in transmission pipelines than other crudes, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRC). ASTM International recently published a guide ( G205 ) for measuring the corrosivity of crude oil under pipeline conditions, based on research conducted by several organizations including the CANMET Laboratories of NRC.

TransCanada to develop Northern Courier Pipeline to carry oil sands bitumen and diluent to upgrader

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The project, with an estimated capital cost of $660 million, is a 90-kilometer (56-mile) pipeline system that will transport bitumen and diluent between the Fort Hills oil sands mine site and the Voyageur Upgrader located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. TransCanada expects to file its initial regulatory application in late 2012, and at that time a more detailed schedule will be provided.

ACL to begin transporting Canadian crude by inland barge to Gulf Coast for oil sands company MEG Energy

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American Commercial Lines (ACL) will begin transporting crude oil by barge on the US inland waterways for MEG Energy (US) Inc. MEG Energy), a subsidiary of the Canadian oil sands company MEG Energy Corp. Crude oil will arrive primarily via pipeline and will be transferred to barges at storage terminals located on the inland waterways for transport by ACL to the Gulf Coast. MEG Energy is a Canadian oil sands company focused on in situ development and production.

Utah Water Quality Board upholds issuance of permit for oil sands mine in Utah

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The Utah Water Quality Board, in a 9-2 vote this week, agreed with the August 2012 recommendations of an administrative law judge (ALJ) upholding a permit-by-rule issued by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for the proposed PR Spring an oil sands mine on state land in eastern Utah. The PR Spring project is owned by Alberta, Canada-based US Oil Sands (USOS). In water-wet oil sands, water sticks to the sand grains, with bitumen and clay in between.

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TransCanada and Phoenix Energy forming JV to develop $3B oil sands pipeline in Alberta

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TransCanada and Phoenix will each own 50% of the proposed $3-billion pipeline project that includes both a crude oil and a diluent line to transport volumes approximately 500 kilometers (311 miles) between the oil sands producing area northwest of Fort McMurray and the Edmonton/Heartland region. The system will have the capacity to move up to 900,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 330,000 barrels per day of diluent.

Government of Canada OKs CNOOC’s $15B acquisition of Nexen, Petronas’ $6B acquisition of Progress Energy oil sands companies; impedes future oil sands purchases by foreign state-owned enterprises

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Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Industry, announced on Friday that the federal government is allowing two major acquisitions of oil sands companies by foreign state-owned enterprises (SOEs): the $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen by China’s CNOOC ( earlier post ), and the $6-billion acquisition by Malaysia’s Petronas of Progress Energy Resources Corp.

Cenovus oil sands production increases 14% in 2013; increasing its rail transport capability

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increased its oil sands production 14% in 2013, from 89,736 barrels per day in 2013 to 102,500 bbls/day in 2013. The increase in production from the company’s oil sands operations in 2013 was largely driven by its Christina Lake project. Christina Lake volumes increased 55% as phase D reached full production capacity and phase E, the company’s 10 th oil sands phase, began production in July. Cenovus Energy Inc.

Athabasca Oil Sands sells remainder of interest in MacKay River oil sands project to PetroChina for C$680M; PetroChina to be full owner of project

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Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. has exercised its option to divest its 40% interest in the MacKay River oil sands project to Cretaceous Oilsands Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina International Investment Limited, for C$680 million (US$672 million) in cash. of its MacKay River interest, Athabasca’s 2012 capital budget will be reduced by approximately $190. million acres of promising light oil and liquids-rich natural gas. end of 2012.

Alberta to establish arm’s-length environmental monitoring agency; work to begin in the oil sands region

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The new science-based agency will begin work in the oil sands region and will focus on what is monitored, how it’s monitored and where it’s monitored. While the new agency is being established, environmental monitoring in the oil sands region will continue to be led through a joint federal-provincial program announced in February.

Shell begins production from Scotford Upgrader Expansion in oil sands

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The 100,000 barrels-per-day expansion takes upgrading capacity at Scotford to 255,000 barrels-per-day of heavy oil from the Athabasca oil sands. The Scotford Upgrader processes oil sands bitumen from the Muskeg River Mine and Jackpine Mine. With production capacity at the Athabasca Oil Sands Project now at 255,000 barrels-per-day, engineers will focus on improving operating efficiencies and adding capacity through debottlenecking.

US DOI finalizes plan for oil shale and oil sands research, demonstration and development

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar last week announced the Department of the Interior’s final plan for encouraging research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale and oil sands resources on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. In November 2012, the BLM signed two additional leases for RD&D oil shale proposals to encourage industry to develop and test technologies aimed at developing oil shale resources on a commercial scale.

Canada Minister of Natural Resources emphasizes key role of oil sands in the country’s energy future

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Speaking at the at the University of Toronto’s Hart House Alumni Dinner Series, Canada Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, emphasized the pivotal role that Canada’s oil sands will continue to play in the country’s energy future. Canada’s oil reserves are the most strategic of our energy assets—the oil sands in particular, where the majority of our proven reserve is located.

Imperial Oil sanctions Kearl Oil Sands expansion project

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Imperial Oil Limited’s board of directors has approved the expansion phase of the Kearl Oil Sands Project, a surface mining operation under construction northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Imperial Oil’s share of the Kearl Oil Sands asset is 71%. The Kearl expansion project is a key element of Imperial’s plan to double its production to approximately 600,000 oil equivalent barrels per day by 2020.