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Oil sands in Canada

A short view on Athabasca's oil sands and their impact on environment, economy and society.
by

Pete Sa

on 2 February 2013

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Transcript of Oil sands in Canada

Conclusion should not become dependant
decrease of oil production after 2030
environmental impacts
better invest in renewable energy
it is still possible to pull out Oil sands in Canada Are oil sands a sustainable way of energy generation? What are oil sands? sand, clay, water They consist of and bitumen petroleum Global reserves The total reserves are about 1500 billion barrels. s Methods of extraction Pit mining Athabasca oil sands Over 96% of Canada's oil reserves are bound in the oil sands of Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace river. Environmental problems Steam assisted procedures The main part of the oil is delivered to the USA via pipelines. sand is bulldozed away
huge diggers and trucks come into operation
method to extract the oil sands from the surface, down to 60 meters Mining process Transportation oil sands are mixed with hot water

--> it can be transported with pipelines
--> bitumen is seperated from sand during transportation

finally a centrifuge extracts the bitumen Pros and Cons cheap procedure
very fast to mine from the surface extremely large wood-areas have to be chopped down
high waste of clean water
pollution of lakes and rivers Mining process Transportation Pros and Cons needs less than 10% of the space the surface mining uses
in-situ: converting to petroleum is done in place relatively expensive
also waste of clean water to produce steam
pollution of lakes and rivers (the hot bitumen can reach the ground-water) two similar methods:
Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS)
Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

in both methods steam is pressed into the ground to heat up the bitumen
after some time the bitumen is pumped to the surface through drainages CSS extreme forest clearance needed to provide enough space
only partly recycling of the water used to wash out the bitumen
deposition of bitumen and other carcinogenic carbon compounds high energy usage
--> about 90% cannot be extracted cost-effectively

as many greenhouse gas emissions as Denmark's whole economy So what do you think? Sources Basic
information Environmental
aspects Economical
aspects Social
aspects Impact on Canada's economy oil sands are one of the main aspects of Canada's economy

10-20% of the economy is based on them, still growing
--> oil industry is main employer in Alberta
--> growth of taxes
--> support of health care, education and culture Feedback of Society Pro:

investors and job applicants see a huge chance in the industry
politicians want to increase the development Internet: “The Most Destructive Project on Earth: Alberta’s Tar Sands”, http://www.celsias.com/article/the-most-destructive-project-on-earth-albertas-tar/ march 2008, last accessed 15.01.2013
http://www.tagesspiegel.de/wirtschaft/oelsand-in-kanada-segen-oder-fluch/4679592.html, l.a. 20.01.2013
http://www.handelsblatt.com/technologie/forschung-medizin/forschung-innovation/mit-neuen-techniken-wird-die-bitumengewinnung-in-der-kanadischen-provinz-alberta-kostenguenstiger-oelsand-kann-heute-konkurrieren/2340396.html, l.a. 18.01.2013
http://www.handelsblatt.com/technologie/forschung-medizin/forschung-innovation/mit-neuen-techniken-wird-die-bitumengewinnung-in-der-kanadischen-provinz-alberta-kostenguenstiger-oelsand-kann-heute-konkurrieren-seite-2/2340396-2.html, l.a. 18.01.2013
http://www.motor-talk.de/blogs/umwelt-und-soziales/oelsand-abbau-in-kanada-von-greenpeace-aktivisten-gestoppt-t2412212.html, l.a. 17.01.2013
http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/791.asp, l.a. 19.01.2013
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2009/2009-08-21-091.asp, l.a. 20.01.2013
http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/27/27579/1.html, l.a. 20.01.2013 Pictures: http://images.publicradio.org/content/2008/04/21/20080421_oilsand_33.jpg, l.a. 20.01.2013
http://learningfromdogs.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/coal_mine_wyoming.jpg, l.a. 20.01.2013
http://www.oilsandsdevelopers.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/steaminject-centre-big.jpg, l.a. 20.01.2013
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Athabasca_Oil_Sands_map.png, l.a. 19.01.2013 (slightly changed)
Global resources chart based on http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/graphs/Largest_Oil_Reserves_2010.JPG, l.a. 17.01.2013 in-situ procedures allow to convert the extracted oil sands right in place
--> reduces costs
--> saves a lot of time oil industry contributes about 1.7 trillion $ to Canada's GDP

investors make great profit due to growing oil prices Contra:

Kyoto protocol requests to reduce the emissions
Greenpeace activists fight against the extension of oil sands industry
fear of the consequences on health
destruction of hunting grounds
possible image problems "Oil Sands: An Important Asset Generating Benefits across Canada", Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, September 2009
"John Vidal: The price of prosperity?", Green line: Chosen country Canada, July 2008
"Peter Klein: Canada's Quiet Oil Boom", Cornelsen Context 21, April 2008
"Robert Kuntzig: The Price of Wealth", Cornelsen Context 21, March 2009 Literature: Sustainable? NO!
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