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.

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. Canada Emissions Oil sands

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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

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. g CO 2 e/MJ for US conventional crude oil recovery.

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. Resources.

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). —“The Status of Biodiversity in the Athabasca Oil Sands Area”. Canada Oil sands

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). Resources. 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. underground, without mining—thermal recovery of bitumen and heavy oil: steam injection and combustion. Resources.

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. However, the majority of the difference was due to increases in the estimate for GHG intensity of some oil sands extraction methods, such as SAGD dilbit, mining SCO and CSS dilbit.

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 program is designed to provide an improved understanding of the long-term cumulative effects of oil sands development. A key consideration related to the development of the oil sands is that of habitat disturbance.

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

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The report provides nine different Tailings Technology Deployment (TDD) Roadmaps to accelerate the implementation of oil sands tailings solutions in Alberta. sand and clay. For the project, Alberta oil sands operators—Suncor Energy, Syncrude Canada Ltd.,

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. Canadian Natural Resources Limited. Imperial Oil.

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

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Brandt considers factors affecting energy consumption and GHG emissions from oil sands extraction, and then uses publicly available data to analyze the assumptions made in the LCA models to better understand the causes of variability in emissions estimates. Resources.

Rystad Energy: Oil sands and Arctic most expensive oil resources; NA shale putting on pressure

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Oil and gas consultancy Rystad Energy estimates that oil sands and the Arctic continue to be the most expensive resources, with an average breakeven price of $75-80 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe).

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.

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. Resources. LCFS Lifecycle analysis Oil sands

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. Resources.

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. miles) underground into the deepest saline aquifer formation in Alberta (the Basal Cambrian Sands) beneath several layers of impermeable rock. Resources.

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%

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.

CFR Report Says Energy Security and Climate Change Concerns With Oil Sands Can be Reconciled

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Oil sands supply chain. The report argues that oil sands production delivers both energy security benefits and climate change damages, but warns that both are often overstated. “ Oil sands exploitation will not fundamentally change the global oil picture.

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.

New study concludes oil sands development has significantly increased PAH and DBT loadings in regional lakes; combined with effects of climate change, a “new ecological state” for the lakes

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Standardized values (Z scores) of (A) visible reflectance spectroscopy (VRS) chlorophyll a inferences from the five lakes proximate to major oil sands operations as indicators of lake primary production; (B) total PAH concentrations and (C) total DBT concentrations from all six study sites.

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. Resources.

Government of Canada to buy Trans Mountain Pipeline System and Expansion Project for C$4.5B, resume planing and construction

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The 1,150-km (714-mile) Trans Mountain pipeline system (TMPL) is the only pipeline system in North America that transports both crude oil from the oil sands and refined products to the west coast. Canada Infrastructure Oil sands

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Alberta publishes report assessing non-combustion uses for bitumen, opens $2M call for projects

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Following a 2017 report that identified potential products that could be made from Alberta oil sands bitumen, this new study identifies the top potential uses to help Alberta diversify its economy outside of conventional fuels and chemical feedstocks. The main objectives of the BBC Phase 2 study were to identify high potential non-combustion products that could be manufactured from oil sands, and assess the market potential for these products.

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Suncor targeting 1M barrels per day by 2020, some 80% from oil sands; new strategic alliance with Total

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Suncor is targeting 1 million barrels per day output in 2020, with its growth in the oil sands underpinned by its alliance with Total. Approximately 80% of that production will be from the oil sands. Teck Resources Ltd. Total in the oil sands.

Statoil postponing Corner oil sands project for minimum of 3 years; rising costs, limited pipeline access

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Statoil will postpone the previously planned Corner field development at the Kai Kos Dehseh (KKD) oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, for a minimum of three years, due in part to rising labor and materials costs and market access issues including limited pipeline access.

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).

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.

Canada and Alberta to Invest C$865M in Athabasca Oil Sands Carbon Capture and Storage Project

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The provincial government of Alberta and the federal government of Canada will invest C$865 million (US$822 million) in a large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in the Athabasca oil sands. Resources. Overview of the Quest CCS project. Click to enlarge.

Cenovus receives approval for Grand Rapids oil sands project; capacity to reach 180,000 bbls/d

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received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for its 100%-owned Grand Rapids thermal oil sands project. Cenovus continues to assess other oil sands opportunities within its portfolio for future development. is a Canadian integrated oil company.

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. The Draft PEIS analyzes several alternatives for land allocation and resource management. or oil sands development. RD&D First Requirement (2b), Oil Shale.

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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EIA projects world energy use to increase 53% by 2035; oil sands/bitumen and biofuels account for 70% of the increase in unconventional liquid fuels

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World oil prices remain high in the IEO2011 Reference case, but oil consumption continues to grow; both conventional and unconventional liquid supplies are used to meet rising demand. Oil sands/bitumen and biofuels account for 70% of the increase in unconventional liquid fuels.

Shell Starts Up Commercial-scale Field Demonstration of Atmospheric Fines Drying for Oil Sands Tailings Processing

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Shell Canada has started its commercial-scale Atmospheric Fines Drying field demonstration for managing tailings from its oil sands operations. Tailings are a mixture of fine clay, sands, water and residual bitumen produced through extraction processes used with surface mining production (i.e., The fluid fine tailings concentrate to about 30% mass solids in two to three years but only very slowly thereafter, according to Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB).

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.

Two Lifecycle Studies Find Greater Range in GHG Emissions from both Conventional and Oil Sands Derived Crude Than Previously Shown; Oils Sands Emissions Comparable to Conventional Oil Production in Some Cases

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Two new lifecycle studies have found that direct greenhouse emissions from producing, transporting and refining oil-sands derived crude, while greater on average than those from conventional crudes, can also overlap the conventional crude range, depending upon a number of factors.

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.

CO2 Solutions’ enzymatic carbon capture technology performance exceeds targets in oil sands project

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an innovator in the field of enzyme-enabled carbon capture technology, announced that it has exceeded the second set of technical performance milestones for its oil sands project. Resources. Canada-based CO 2 Solutions Inc.,