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Alberta oil sands case study
Transcript of Alberta oil sands case study
Alberta Oil Sands
What is Alberta Oil Sands?
Oil Sands: The oil sands are a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay and other minerals, water and bitumen.
Bitumen is heavy and extremely viscous oil that must be treated before it can be used to produce usable fuels such as gasoline and diesel.
Benefits to Albertans
Greenhouse Gas Emissions solution
Athabasca Oil Sands Upgraders
"Bitumen production releases twice as much air pollution as conventional oil"
Developing Oil Sands
-Syncrude surface mines oil sand, extracts
the raw oil known as bitumen and upgrades it into high-quality, sweet light crude oil. The
upgrading process subjects the bitumen to
fluid coking, hydro processing, hydro treating
STEP 1: MINING
STEP 2: EXTRACTION
STEP 3: FROTH TREATMENT
STEP 4: UPGRADING
STEP 5: SECONDARY UPGRADING
STEP 6: BLENDING/STORAGE
Micro (local environmental impacts)
-Development also pollutes the land, air, and water with dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in northern Alberta
-threatens the lands of aboriginal people: destroying wildlife habitat, polluting air and water with toxins and carcinogens, and rendering traditional food sources – such as caribou and fish – extinct or inedible.
-destroys boreal forests (increase in CO2), pollutes Athabasca river, wetlands in Northern Alberta, which has huge impacts on lives of species due to loss of habitat (esp. caribou, songbirds and fish)
-there are over 720 billion litres of toxic tailings on the landscape in the Athabasca oil sands area.
Macro (national/international impacts)
-Alberta is responsible for one-
third of Canada’s Greenhouse
-oil sands are Canada’s largest-
growing source of Greenhouse
-many newcomers cannot find adequate housing
-region’s physical infrastructure from roads to water and sewage systems, are severely overtaxed
-social services including healthcare, crime prevention and education are inadequate and unable to meet the demands of population pressures
-Alberta government has been slow to provide these communities with requested funding
-it remains a politically difficult policy problem for the foreseeable future
- Alberta’s oil reserves play an important role in the Canadian and global economy, supplying stable, reliable energy to the world
- Oil sands development benefits all Canadians through employment opportunities
- Oil sands bring significant economic and social benefits for local communities and the country
-Every dollar invested in the oil sands creates about $8 worth of economic activity
* Alberta provides cheaper oil for Canada and gains profit by shipping to the U.S.
- Distribution of benefits has been uneven overall
- Investors are pulling their money from other economic sectors and concentrating their investments in the oil sands
- Level of investment and growth in the oil sands has hurt the Alberta’s conventional oil and gas industry
* Rising estate costs and general inflation have hurt sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing
* cities have increased living cost, which means more homeless people
- Royalties from the oil sands were $3.56 billion in 2012-2013
- Oil sands production helps generating royalties and taxes that help pay for government services and programs
* According to the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), Alberta can expect $350 billion in royalties and $122billion in provincial and municipal tax revenue from the oil sands over the next 25 years
Benefits to Canadians
- Oil sands currently affects the jobs of 112,000 people across Canada outside the province of Alberta and this is expected to grow to over 500,000 jobs over the next 25 years
- Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the U.S.
-North America’s largest oil reserves are in Canada’s oil sands
What’s Syncrude Canada Ltd?
Syncrude Canada Ltd. operates the largest oil sands facility in the world, producing
crude oil from the Athabasca oil sands formation in Alberta, Canada.
Syncrude Canada is a joint venture of oil and gas companies developing Athabasca oil sands properties in northeastern Alberta, Canada. Operations include three separate mines: the Base, North, and Aurora mines. The operation is on eight leases totaling 258,000 hectares of property. The main plant site is located at Mildred Lake, 40 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, and about 500 kilometers northeast of Edmonton.
Is Syncrude Canada Ltd. practice sustainable/
-Syncrude operates technologically advanced oil sands mines,
extraction and upgrading facilities, as well as utilities plants
$60 million per year spent on R&D improve energy efficiency
-builds attractive places for oil sands employees and their families to work, live and play
-Syncrude and its employees donated $1.4 million to United Way in 2009 haring the economic opportunities
Mildred Lake Mine Extension (MLX)
Location: approximately 40km north
of Fort McMurray
-Oil sands are located in three major areas in northeast Alberta underlying 140,200 square kilometers.
-Eliminate wet taillings production
Should we approve the MILDRED LAKE MINE EXTENSION??