IHS Markit: oil sands greenhouse gas intensity declined 20% over past decade

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New research by the IHS Markit Canadian Oil Sands Dialogue shows that the combined greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of Canadian oil sands projects has declined 20% from 2009 levels. The new analysis, using most recent data available, shows trends remaining in line with previous IHS Markit projections that oil sands GHG intensity will decline by at least 16 to 23% by 2030 (to a level 30% below 2009). This is important and it goes beyond just the oil sands.

IHS Markit: small long-term change for Canadian oil sands despite COVID-19 Shock & largest annual production decline in 2020

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Canadian oil sands production is expected to decline by nearly 175,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2020 as a result of COVID-19—the largest annual decline on record. Forecasts Market Background Oil sands

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Researchers develop large-scale, economical method to extract hydrogen from oil sands and oil fields

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Canadian researchers have developed a large-scale economical method to extract hydrogen from oil sands (natural bitumen) and oil fields. The process can extract hydrogen from existing oil sands reservoirs, with huge existing supplies found in Canada and Venezuela. The process can also be applied to mainstream oil fields, causing them to produce hydrogen instead of oil. Oil fields, even abandoned oil fields, still contain significant amounts of oil.

IHS Markit: Canadian oil sands production to be ~1M barrels higher by 2030 but with lower annual growth; boosted by deterioration in Venezuela

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Canadian oil sands production is set to enter a period of slower annual production growth compared to previous years. Transportation constraints such as a lack of adequate pipeline capacity and the resulting sense of price insecurity in western Canada have weighed on new large scale incremental investments in the oil sands, said Kevin Birn, vice president, IHS Markit. Canada Forecasts Oil sands

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.

Shell completes divestment of oil sand interests in Canada; retains Scotford refinery and plants

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Royal Dutch Shell plc announced the completion of two previously announced agreements by Shell Canada Energy, Shell Canada Limited and Shell Canada Resources (Shell) that will see Shell sell all its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in Canada and reduce its share in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) from 60% to 10%. Canada Oil sands

Shell launches commercial operation of Quest carbon capture and storage in Alberta oil sands

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Using activated amine (ADIP-X), Quest will capture one-third of the CO 2 emissions from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader, which turns oil sands bitumen into synthetic crude that can be refined into fuel and other products. Te Storage zone is a formation called Basal Cambrian Sands (BCS). Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Oil sands

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.

Alberta Innovates & NRCan awarding $26.2M to three oil sands clean tech projects; industry kicking in $43.3M

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Alberta Innovates has teamed up with Natural Resources (NRCan) and industry partners to take three clean oil sands technologies to commercial demonstration. This announcement is a result of NRCan’s Oil and Gas Clean Tech Program. Cenovus Energy will test an oil sands extraction technology using a solvent-driven process. SOR (steam-to-oil ratio), as well as improving the overall recovery from the reservoir. Canada Emissions 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

U Calgary study finds oil shale most energy intensive upgraded fuel followed by in-situ-produced bitumen from oil sands

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A team at the University of Calgary (Canada) has compared the energy intensities and lifecycle GHG emissions of unconventional oils (oil sands and oil shale) alongside shale gas, coal, lignite, wood and conventional oil and gas. In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology , they report that lignite is the most GHG intensive primary fuel followed by oil shale. By comparison, oil shale has NERs (or EROI) of 1.6−2.0

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

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.

Canada introduces new integrated plan for oil sands monitoring

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Summary of the current oil sands developments (mining and in-situ) and associated land use. Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent released an integrated monitoring plan for the oil sands region. The final plan includes components for monitoring air quality, biodiversity, and the next phase of water quality monitoring in the oil sands region. fail in its goal of generating the data necessary to provide assurance that the oil sands are.

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. Nexen is focused on three core businesses: conventional offshore oil and gas; oil sands; and shale gas: Conventional oil and gas. It is the second-largest oil producer in the UK North Sea.

Alabama, Mississippi to assess oil sands resources in their states

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Alabama and Mississippi are forming a partnership to further study the oil sands resources in the two states, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced on Saturday while speaking to the Southern States Energy Board. The State of Alabama has the third largest oil sands resource in the United States, which may extend into the State of Mississippi.

New study suggests reported PAH emissions in oil sands region greatly underestimated

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Results from a new modeling assessment of contamination in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) suggest that officially reported emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in that region have been greatly underestimated. PAHs—many of which are highly carcinogenic—are produced during the process of extracting petroleum from the oil sands. Emissions Oil sands

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. LCFS Lifecycle analysis Oil sands

China Qaidam Oil Sands Proven

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Lab tests conducted by PetroChina of oil sands samples obtained in Yousha Mountains at Qaidam basin in northwest China determined that the resource is proven economically feasible for further exploration and development. According to the company-run China Petroleum Daily newspaper earlier in the week, the oil sands samples are proven with an average bitumen content of 5.2%

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.

U. Calgary analysis of energy balances and emissions of SAGD oil sands production finds need for improved processes; some operations not thermally efficient or net generators of energy

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Plot of cumulative steam-to-oil ratio (cSOR) vs. ratio of energy produced in form of chemical energy contained in bitumen if combusted to energy injected in form of steam (75% efficient steam generation). One of the key challenges in producing bitumen and heavy oil is their high, variable viscosity. Heavy oil (between 10° and 20° API) has a dead oil viscosity ranging up to the thousands or tens of thousands of cP. Emissions Oil sands

Univ. of Calgary team developing nanocatalysts for underground upgrading of heavy oil and bitumen; possible “next generation” of oil sands production

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Researchers at the University of Calgary are developing ultra-dispersed (UD) nanocatalysts for the in situ upgrading of heavy oil and bitumen from deep reservoirs. Such an “underground refinery” approach is one of the alternatives to surface upgrading that may become the next-generation of oil sands industry improvement, they suggest in a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels. to improve the quality of produced heavy oil and bitumen. Catalysts Oil sands

Fluid thermal processing of Mongolian oil sands

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A study by a team from the State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum found that fluid thermal processing of. il sands is a feasible process for the production of an upgraded bitumen-derived liquid from Inner Mongolian oil sand. Oil sands exploration in Xing’an region. Israel’s Brack Capital Energy (BCE) is exploring for oil sands reserves in the Xing’an region of Inner Mongolia.

Canada backs demonstration-scale algal biorefinery project in the oil sands; Algal Carbon Conversion

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The Government of Canada is supporting a three-year project that will result in the construction of a $19-million, demonstration-scale facility in Alberta that will use algae to recycle industrial carbon dioxide emissions from an oil sands facility into commercial products such as biofuels. The demonstration-scale algal biorefinery will be established at Canadian Natural’s Primrose South oil sands site, near Bonnyville, Alberta.

Understanding the variability of GHG life cycle studies of oil sands production

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In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology , Stanford University assistant professor Adam Brandt reviews a number of recent life cycle assessment (LCA) studies calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil sands extraction, upgrading, and refining pathways—the results of which vary considerably. He found that the variation in oil sands GHG estimates is due to a variety of causes. Lifecycle analysis Oil sands

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).

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

Enbridge to twin southern section of its Athabasca oil sands pipeline for about $1.2B

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will twin the southern section of its Athabasca Pipeline from the Kirby Lake, Alberta terminal to the Hardisty, Alberta crude oil hub at an estimated cost of approximately C$1.2 The new line is designed to accommodate the need for additional capacity to serve Kirby area oil sands growth beyond the expansion of the existing 30-inch pipeline to its maximum capacity of 570,000 bpd which was announced in the fall of 2010. Infrastructure 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.

Shell to halt 80K bpd Carmon Creek oil sands project

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Royal Dutch Shell plc will not continue construction of the 80,000 barrel per day Carmon Creek thermal in situ oil sands project located in Alberta, Canada. This decision reflects current uncertainties, including the lack of infrastructure to move Canadian crude oil to global commodity markets.

Average carbon intensity of oil sands production has dropped ~36% in last 40 years; still 12-24% higher than conventional oil CI

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The carbon intensity (CI) of Alberta oil sands production has significantly decreased over the last 40 years, according to a new study by a team from Stanford University published as an open access paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Despite these improvements, they noted, the CI of oil sands production (on a pathway-average basis) ranges from 12 to 24% higher than CI values from conventional oil production. Canada Lifecycle analysis Oil sands

Oil sands production accounted for 28.8% of total Canadian gas demand in 2016

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Alberta’s oil sands operations accounted for 28.8% From 2005 to 2016, natural gas purchased by oil sands projects more than tripled, from 0.73 Natural gas is largely used in the oil sands to generate steam for in situ oil production, and in situ growth has been the main driver behind increased oil sands demand for natural gas. Additionally, natural gas is used in oil sands mining to heat water to separate bitumen from sand.

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.

Utah 101

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.

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.

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 Land use Oil sands Sustainability Water

Transcanada restarts Keystone oil sands pipeline operations

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TransCanada Corporation said that its 590,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) capacity Keystone Pipeline system resumed transporting oil sands crude on Sunday, 5 June, after a shutdown 29 May following an above-ground spill at a pump station in Kansas involving less than 10 barrels of oil. On May 7, 2011, a reportable failure incident occurred on pump station piping on the Keystone crude oil pipeline resulting in the release of approximately 400 barrels of crude oil.

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.

Enbridge to Expand Athabasca Oil Sands Pipeline Capacity

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will undertake an expansion of its Athabasca Pipeline to accommodate recent shipping commitments by the Christina Lake oil sands project operated by Cenovus. The Athabasca Pipeline transports crude oil from various oil sands projects to the mainline hub at Hardisty, Alberta. billion in commercially secured projects to expand and extend its Regional Oil Sands System. Enbridge Inc.

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.

TOYO Engineering signs multi-year oil sands deal

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has signed an Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) contract with JACOS (Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited) for a 20,000 bbl/day Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) production processing facility (expandable to 30,000 bbl/day) in the Hangingstone area, near Fort McMurray, Alberta. TOYO Engineering Corporation is a Japan-based, full-service EPCM company specializing in the global execution of oil and gas, petrochemical, infrastructure, and pharmaceutical projects.

Enbridge to develop two pipelines for total of $3B in Canadian oil sands

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Enbridge is developing two pipelines in the Canadian oil sands area for a combined investment of about $3 billion. billion, depending on scope, to meet the needs of multiple producers in the Athabasca oil sands region. The second is a new $1.6-billion pipeline to transport crude oil production under long term transportation commitments to Enbridge’s mainline hub at Hardisty, Alberta.

Oil sands growth to push Canadian crude production to about 4.7M bpd in 2025, up 67% from 2010; in situ production takes lead in 2016

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Canadian oil sands & conventional production. Oil sands growth will drive Canadian crude oil production to about 4.7 The forecast sees oil sands production rising from 1.5 Canadian and US crude oil pipelines—all proposals. The forecast also breaks out oil sands production by extraction method (mining and drilling) and tracks the amount of domestic upgrading. Growth Case: Western Canada oil sands & conventional production.