Articles tagged with "canada"
This post is seeded by a note from Luis de Sousa (h/t Luis) who noted a story in Mother Jones. That story, in turn, fed from one in the Toronto Star and is about surface contamination of oil, coming from the underlying tar sands and emerging as a watery bitumen mixture over at least four areas in the Cold Lake region of Alberta. The story is difficult to report, since the contamination is centered within the Cold Lake Air Missile Range, where the Canadian military fires and tests live weapons. Unfortunately, as written, it seems to have some technical inconsistencies.
The oil migration was apparently started by underground extraction wells that are being used to extract the oil from the oil sand, without having to dig it up first. There are two main ways of injecting steam through wells down into the oil sands that can produce the oil. The one that is most commonly discussed is the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) process, but the more commonly one used in the past is often known as “Huff and Puff.” I have described both of these in some detail in an earlier post. In this case the process would appear to be the older one, and as a refresher, here is what I wrote about it a couple of years ago.
Posted by Rembrandt on June 10, 2013 - 4:27am
Tags: adam brandt, canada, energy return, energy return on energy invested, eroei, eroi, oil, oil sands, tar sands [list all tags]
Low energetic returns (e.g., EROI, NER) from oil sands extraction and upgrading have been noted as a potential limit to the development of the oil sands as a substitute for depleting conventional oil resources (e.g., Herweyer and Gupta, 2008). In this article we will examine this claim from a variety of perspectives. Specifically, we will examine the following questions:
- Are the energetic returns from oil sands extraction lower than conventional oil?
- How have the energy returns from oil sands extraction varied over time?
- What energy sources are used in oil sands extraction, and what are the implications of this sourcing for net energy availability from the oil sands?
- Will low energy returns limit the net output of energy from the oil sands industry?
This article is based on the peer-reviewed journal article: Brandt A.R., J. Englander and S. Bharadwaj (2013). The energy efficiency of oil sands extraction: Energy return ratios from 1970 to 2010. Energy.
Figure 1 North American (USA, Canada and Mexico) total liquid fuel production stood at 16.3 million bpd in august 2012. 9.0 million bpd was conventional crude + condensate comprising 55% of the total.... 5 more charts below the fold.
Oil Watch posts are joint with Rembrandt Koppelaar.
This is part I of a guest post by Jean Laherrère, long term contributor to The Oil Drum. Jean worked 37 years for TOTAL on exploration and production of oil and gas, and since his retirement has worked tirelessly to analyse the world's oil & gas data and developments.
Leonardo Maugeri is an economist who worked for ENI since 1994, where he is currently on a sabbatical leave. He is also a senior fellow at Harvard University. In October 2009 he wrote an article in Scientific American entitled "Squeezing More Oil From the Ground: Amid warnings of a possible "peak oil," advanced technologies offer ways to extract every last possible drop”, which is now found with another title: “Another Century of Oil? Getting More from Current Reserves”. At the time, I wrote some comments on The Oil Drum in response: “Comments on Squeezing more oil from the ground by L. Maugeri Scientific American October 2009”
Recently, Maugeri published a new working paper, "Oil the Next Revolution: The uprecedented usurge of oil production capacity and what it means for the world". I again disagree with L. Maugeri’s stance that oil production capacity is surging, because production capacity data is completely unreliable, based on guesses and not on real measurements. Only oil production data should be used for forecasting purposes; his forecast on non conventional oil is also flawed. L. Maugeri has a poor understanding of the accuracy of oil data and his statements are in my view political and not scientific. His paper does not deserve to be on the website of Harvard University, a centre for science.
Below the fold are my comments on Maugeri's Oil Revolution discussion paper.
This series of posts has just completed a review of the different regions of Russian oil production, with the conclusion that while Russia may maintain current production levels of around 10.4 mbd for a short time, it faces rising domestic consumption levels because it is not replacing existing production at a fast enough rate to be able to sustain exports. Without more investment than is likely available, the rate of new field development (given the harsh and remote nature of the sites) means that there will be a slow decline in available oil to the market starting fairly soon. Given the large supplies of natural gas coming available, this series is going to focus a bit more on oil as we continue the review.
As the series continues and moves slightly down the list to consider the future of the oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, it is worth noting that while there is little that Russia can do to significantly raise production in the short term, this does not hold true for the desert kingdom. However, before moving on to KSA in detail, I pause this week to consider some contextual changes in the overall picture.
One of the questions that has been raised many times relates to the true maximum production levels that Saudi Arabia can achieve. As oil prices continue to rise, politicians call for the Saudis to increase oil production, so that prices may fall. This is a rather odd and unrealistic request when the KSA needs all the income it can get to help domestically. The EIA, in considering the global oil flow as sanctions begin to bite on Iran, have projected that OPEC has a spare capacity of 2.5 mbd, most of which comes from KSA. At present the KSA is producing at around 9.7 mbd, up some 600 kbd from this time last year, according to the EIA, although there is a little question as to how accurate that number is.
The IEA is reportedly saying that KSA is already producing at 11.5 mbd. However, the IEA counts all liquids, as Gail the Actuary has pointed out, while EIA values add up to 9.7 mbd for the crude and condensate, and though there appears to be a discrepancy, there really is not. The debate is likely to see some harder numbers in the months ahead. Iran is already having problems marketing their oil, since after January 23, the European Mutual Protection and Indemnity Club is no longer covering shipping contracts. This makes it difficult for consumers such as India to maintain supply, and they are already considering the use of sovereign guarantees for its shipping lines. At the same time, the EU is not calling for coverage to be phased out until July 1.
Posted by Heading Out on October 9, 2011 - 7:29am
Tags: canada, cushing, enbridge, hibernia, keystone xl, labrador, maine, new brunswick, oil pipeline, white rose [list all tags]
I wrote last time about the projected pipelines that are being anticipated to take advantage of increased production from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, with the intent that I would use that to lead into a review of the oil sands operation itself. However, Gail has raised the issue of the proposed reversal of the pipeline (Line 9) that runs from Sarnia in Ontario to Montreal so that oil would flow to the Suncor refinery in Montreal, rather than the current flow, which runs the other way. (Sarnia is right by Detroit). The pipeline reversal is planned to continue beyond Montreal, to include reversing the flow of a supply pipeline from Portland, Maine so that the oil from Alberta might also supply northern New England. The project has been called “The Trailbreaker” and had been postponed two years ago when demand declined.
The overall question of the relative role of exports and imports on the Canadian oil supply equation was also raised in comments on the previous post. As a result, I am going to look a bit more into the overall Canadian picture and particularly that in the East Coast, and will postpone the oil sand piece a week (sorry Neil). To begin, it helps to look at the current projects that Enbridge has in mind for pipelines.
The Ozark pipeline, which is shown running from Cushing to Wood River was closed on Friday, September 30, when the pipeline was found to be exposed as it ran across the bottom of the Mississippi River. It carries around 240 kbd and the shut down is precautionary, since there has been no leak detected.
If one looks at the countries that are major importers of oil into the United States, Canada currently easily tops the list, exporting 2.085 mbd of crude (2.524 mbd of total petroleum products) for example in June. Interestingly Saudi Arabia was in second place at 1.164 mbd and Mexico had fallen to third place at 1.108 mbd. In light of the countries that used to occupy places on earlier lists and no longer do, it is worth noting that places such as Chad and the Congo are now on the list.
Posted by Heading Out on September 18, 2011 - 5:25am
Tags: canada, china, crude oil production, iran, natural gas supply, ngl, russian production, saudi arabia, united states [list all tags]
Art Berman commented, in regard to my last post on the oil and gas reserves in offshore Alaska, that at one time companies looked for an estimated 1 billion barrels in reserves before they would consider starting down the long road to bringing them to market. With the rising price of oil, that number may have declined a little but for natural gas, a similar need for a long-term assured market is currently potentially raising barriers to progress. As I mentioned in that post, there is a considerable sum involved, not just in acquiring the leases for the sites but in all the preparatory work needed before the first drill even hits the surface. Even after the wells have come in, the hydrocarbons must still be moved down to the customer and as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) showed, it takes time, money, and a considerable commitment before that connection can be made.
One of the recent changes that I noted a couple of posts ago is that more of the reserve in the North Slope is now known to be natural gas rather than oil. With the current relative natural gas glut in the contiguous United States, that reduces the immediate market and the potential current price that the gas could bring in. This, in turn, slows lease development. But times change and with an increase in natural gas demand there will be a growing demand with time. One can also see an increased future need for natural gas in Alberta, where it helps in the production of the heavy oils from the shallow sands around Fort McMurray. And that brings us to the current controversy over the building of another pipeline, this time for natural gas, down from the Arctic.
Posted by Heading Out on April 10, 2011 - 1:18pm
Tags: algeria, brazil, canada, china, crude oil production, iran, iraq, kuwait, mexico, nigeria, norway, russia, saudi arabia, united arab emirates, united states, venezuela [list all tags]
These posts have been going through the EIA list of the top oil producers in the world, over the past few weeks, I thought I might just review them collectively, but briefly, before starting to look at individual countries and oilfields. Even the posts that I have written recently have become out of date with new information (Russia increased production again in February by 20 kbd over January reaching 10.23 mbd) and then fell back to 10.2 mbd in March but at this stage, rather than focusing on such details, I am trying to generate a sense of the overall picture. It should also be recognized that I am just grabbing a snapshot of data, rather than the more detailed studies that look at the longer term, which folk such as Rembrandt, Rune and Euan provide. The simplest way to do this is to place my current estimates of production for the top 30 oil producers that I have reviewed in this series against the EIA estimate of their production in 2009.
The following is a guest post by Simon Dyer, of Canada's Pembina Institute. The Pembina Institute believes that while oil sands extraction has many issues, it can be done in an environmentally sustainable way. In the end, they advocate a moratorium on new project approvals until 2011, new regional environmental groups and some additional environmental controls, as described in their publication Taking the Wheel. Increased CO2 emissions might be handled through purchase of carbon emissions credits and through improvements in production efficiency. While the oil sands aren't great, with some adjustments, they may still be an acceptable solution. The comments to this post are helpful in understanding the complex situation. Don't miss them!
By Simon Dyer, Oil Sands Program Director,
The Pembina Institute
The oil sands are an issue of global importance. As conventional sources of crude oil are depleted, unconventional sources of oil, such as the bitumen found in oil sands, play a larger role in offsetting declining conventional production. The Canadian oil sands are the second largest proven oil reserve after Saudi Arabia.1