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View Full Version : Tarsands - any of our Canadian friends know anything about this?



George Jung
07-28-2013, 07:59 PM
I caught this blurb - but don't know 'the source' that well. Is this legit?
Alberta Tar Sands Blowout Threatens Boreal Forest, Wasn't Disclosed Until Months Later


Tar sands oil has been spilling in Alberta’s boreal forests (http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/07/19/nobody_understands_ongoing_spills_at_alberta_oilsa nds_operation.html) for months, and according to a government scientist, neither industry nor government knows how to stop it. Four "oil blowouts" left 34 tons of vegetation covered in oil, dozens of animals dead, and two-foot-high coats of oil on tree trunks.

So far, cleanup efforts have removed 26,000 barrels of bitumen mixed with surface water - at least 4,500 barrels of pure bitumen in total. The impacts on groundwater are unknown.




http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/27/alberta-tar-sands-oil-blowouts-disclosed-months-later-still-occurring

Captain Intrepid
07-28-2013, 08:26 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/m/text/story_news-technology.html?/ept/html/story/2013/07/25/edmonton-primrose-oil-leak-alberta.html

TomF
07-28-2013, 08:28 PM
No, I didn't know. And no, I'm not surprised, not really.

As many of us have said before, there are great environmental costs to this, even when things go correctly. This is the largest deposit of fossil fuel material in the world, so one can expect the mining and refining to have correspondingly big impacts. When things go right, and when they don't.

We have to face the reality that our lifestyles have actual costs. In Alberta, in Nigerian oilfields, in the Middle East. In Appalachia, where first they ground away the tops of whole mountains mining coal, and now fracking is having a new impact. Etc etc.

My nearest watershed - the one where we catch brook trout 20 minutes away - is going to be impacted soon by a tungsten mine. 27 years of production, but a huge dam holding arsenic-laced waste needing monitoring forever after. Of course, we need jobs - we've the highest unemployment rate in Canada here (11%), so it's likely to go ahead.

A different way of life would reduce these costs, but it's not gonna happen without a bigger immediate disincentive.

Ian McColgin
07-28-2013, 08:32 PM
Sad to say, on this sort of issue the Canadian government is at least as much a servant of the oil-agarchy as US is.

Captain Intrepid
07-28-2013, 08:41 PM
The current Harper government is an embarrassment to what Canada stands for.

Steve McMahon
07-28-2013, 08:51 PM
The current Harper government is an embarrassment to what Canada stands for.

I agree 100%.

TomF
07-28-2013, 08:55 PM
Many of us agree 100%. But apparently not enough to vote the b@stards out.

Waddie
07-28-2013, 09:17 PM
The bastards are giving us what we want, short term reward.

"We have met the enemy, and they are us"

regards,
Waddie

Full Tilt
07-28-2013, 10:29 PM
I've posted quite a bit on the tar sands project.

The site is larger than England.

An association of 400 environmental groups rated Canada and the Tar Sands project the biggest single threat to ecology in the world.

With global dumbing so prevalent, nothing is going to change.

Mike

WX
07-29-2013, 01:45 AM
Wait till we start getting oil spills in the Arctic. Tar sands was always a bad idea.

Duncan Gibbs
07-29-2013, 02:41 AM
I'm sure you've seen it Lee, but there's a rather good doco' called Crude. No guessing needed! In it one guy in the UAE was saying that oil is the most amazing possible thing out there and divined that future generations will look back at us and say, "You burnt it all???" He's right: It is an amazing resource and we're (the global "we") are just pissing it all away and damn any of the consequences.

Paul Pless
07-29-2013, 05:19 AM
The current Harper government is an embarrassment to what Canada stands for.last i heard canada was one one of the world's most highly regarded democracies, at least by canadians - you get the govt that you deserve, now where have i heard that before????

Full Tilt
07-29-2013, 05:45 AM
last i heard canada was one one of the world's most highly regarded democracies, at least by canadians - you get the govt that you deserve, now where have i heard that before????

No Paul, you get what you deserve when you make up BS like this.

skuthorp
07-29-2013, 05:56 AM
last i heard canada was one one of the world's most highly regarded democracies, at least by canadians - you get the govt that you deserve, now where have i heard that before????
They are all in thrall to the petrochemical industries Paul, not least because we all are. Take petroleum away from the modern world and it is no longer the modern world. Think about that, petrochemicals are in more than we realise.

Captain Intrepid
07-29-2013, 06:28 AM
last i heard canada was one one of the world's most highly regarded democracies, at least by canadians - you get the govt that you deserve, now where have i heard that before????

Im not a fan of that phrase. Very rarely do people get what they deserve, good or bad. We've screwed up, and we'll be paying the price for years to come.

pefjr
07-29-2013, 07:05 AM
People pollution. Hmmm... still exploding, the obesity rates and standard of living rising. On an one busy intersection of Las Vegas, at any given time, 24 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic, going four different directions. with 90% one passenger vehicles. I am the only bicycle, a few people walking, a new double decker city bus rolls by with 5 passengers, one bicycle on the front rack. Meanwhile, the Lake Mead rec area has several full marinas with waiting lists for dockage, weekends the Lake is crowded with mostly large twin engine power boats. Full Jet Planes landing every 40 seconds. A friend in LA emails me that someone jumped his fence during the night and stole his priceless hybrid bike that he had built over the last 5 years, brings me to tears.

pefjr
07-29-2013, 01:20 PM
Why do you live there?Why not?

pefjr
07-29-2013, 01:26 PM
For all the reasons pointed out in post #21. It does not sound like a place I would like to liveHow is Boston any different? The accent?

pefjr
07-29-2013, 02:42 PM
I don't live in Boston proper... I live 20 miles south... and there's nothing here like you describe. It is a semi-rural far-suburb, with a very large proportion of conservation land, Audubon land, and a state park.... negligible traffic... a lovely lake with strictly controlled horsepower limitations. No airplane noise, no road wider than 2 lanes, yet only 45 minutes (with moderate traffic, at worst) to Narragansett Bay and some of the best sailing conditions in the country.

In short, nothing like you described.

Then again, we don't have casinos with elaborate shows and cheap restaurants, Disney-like attractions for the kids, and summery weather most of the year.

There are always some tradeoffs :)I don't live in the middle of that intersection either. People Pollution is a world wide problem, and does not belong to the Las Vegas area only, I just used my city as an example. I have no doubts I can find the same vehicles with one passenger in a Boston intersection. This is not a home town pp contest, you missed the point.

Bob Adams
07-29-2013, 03:06 PM
A great deal it is, thank you Lee. How much a gallon was the jet fuel you were burnin?

Bob Adams
07-29-2013, 06:31 PM
Glad your Dad's in a good place. I'm under the same notion I always am every time you regurgitate your low cost oil is the root of all evil speech.

George Jung
07-29-2013, 06:37 PM
That little speech from LeeG can be irritating - esp since it's got at least some basis in truth... But that comment 'you burned all of it?' is absolutely correct, too. Unbelieveable a greater effort at alternative energy/conservation - a Manhatten Project, if you will - isn't underway. It'd cost a lot for a different infrastructure - but look at how it'd stimulate the economy! All pluses.

Full Tilt
08-03-2013, 11:59 AM
This thread is falling like a stone, but the biggest single anthropogenic ecological disaster continues, 24-7.

Years ago I read somewhere how, after the public has focussed on an issue for a while, we consider the matter solved and move on to something else, leaving the problem to continue. Kind of a mass hypnosis or collective unconsciousness. A societal 'Attention Deficit Disorder'.

The Tar Sands is a Gulf of Mexico sized oil spill without any plan to ever plug the leak.

Mike

John Smith
08-03-2013, 12:51 PM
http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/06/20/19059339-and-speaking-of-oil-related-leaks?lite

Full Tilt
08-03-2013, 12:59 PM
Two oil spills a day in Alberta alone!

That's beyond just 'criminal'.

Mike

skuthorp
08-03-2013, 08:14 PM
There's an incomplete list of oil spills here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills some a few tons, some thousands. Some of the African ones have been ongoing for 20 years or more. Here's one, and the Hague has let Dutch Shell off the hook.
http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/august-2013/slippery-justice-victims-oil-spills
http://www.un.org/africarenewal/sites/dr7.un.org.africarenewal/files/nigeria_oil_1.jpg

Canada is a civilised european country and we don't expect such malfeasance, but in Africa and far away?
Google gives you dozens of links. http://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=african+oil+pipeline+spils&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=ian9Ub79Ds2kigf6_ICQCw

Full Tilt
08-04-2013, 01:21 PM
Canada is a civilised european country and we don't expect such malfeasance,

ahem. We are neither "civilised" nor "european".

Mike:confused:

skuthorp
08-04-2013, 04:29 PM
Apart from the Aboriginal population basic european stock, plus a myriad of other human variations that have mostly arrived since WW2? That's us as well. But at root still white european, just.

John Smith
08-04-2013, 06:12 PM
Two oil spills a day in Alberta alone!

That's beyond just 'criminal'.

Mike

I think the people need to wake up. The chemical they sprayed on the oil in the Gulf didn't clean up the oil. From my understanding it only made the oil sink so it's out of our sight.

Fracking is happening all over the world, and the ONLY thing you need to know to understand it is, in fact, not safely done, is that it's exempt from all our clean water laws. If it was safe it wouldn't need to be exempt.

People are getting rich, and they are destroying the planet. Eventually, they'll have no safe place to live.

chas
08-05-2013, 02:42 AM
"The Tar Sands is a Gulf of Mexico sized oil spill without any plan to ever plug the leak."

Not quite, Mike. It ain't perfect but an effort is being made. This is a fairly accurate portrayal of that work. / Jim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p91iKnr1jSk

Paul Pless
08-05-2013, 06:21 AM
Canada is a civilised european country and we don't expect such malfeasance. . .that's gonna leave a mark

John Smith
08-05-2013, 07:13 AM
"The Tar Sands is a Gulf of Mexico sized oil spill without any plan to ever plug the leak."

Not quite, Mike. It ain't perfect but an effort is being made. This is a fairly accurate portrayal of that work. / Jim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p91iKnr1jSk

This impresses me as a pure piece of propaganda designed to make the public feel better. The brutal truth is there is no guaranteed safe way to extract oil or gas from this planet in the quantities needed. We can make it less unsafe, but that will only work when people doing the drilling who cut corners go to jail.

If we just take BP as an example, and acknowledge that no one went to jail, the ONLY risk is a fine to the company that, given the companies resources is but a thorn in their side, there is NO incentive to not cut corners in the future. There seems no incentive of have better methods of clean up researched and developed.

I understand that desperate people will accept any job so they can feed their families, or join the military when no other reasonable option presents itself, but destroying the planet somehow does not seem a wise long term plan.

Full Tilt
08-05-2013, 08:10 AM
"The Tar Sands is a Gulf of Mexico sized oil spill without any plan to ever plug the leak."

Not quite, Mike. It ain't perfect but an effort is being made. This is a fairly accurate portrayal of that work. / Jim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p91iKnr1jSk

The destruction caused by the oilsands project is going to continue for decades to come.

The pipelines emanating from Alberta and crossing the continent will be spewing bitumen thousands of miles from the source.

If the oil produced in Alberta actually gets used, GW will reach the tipping point.

This is a disaster any way you look at it.

The public relations video you posted is BS.

Mike

John Smith
08-05-2013, 09:22 AM
We are bombarded with commercials telling us BP has fixed the Gulf of Mexico and that fracking is perfectly safe. Still, however, it is exempt from clean water laws.

This is America, and apparently Canada. Don't solve the problem. Hire a PR firm to convince the public it's not a problem and simply deny and keep a debate going.

This was done over cigarettes: a lot of "doctors" told us there was no connection between smoking and cancer. That fight went on for years before the truth won out. There was great debate and denial over Agent Orange before the truth won out. There was debate and denial about the air quality at ground zero before the truth won out.

There is debate and denial about Global Warming and Climate change. This time when the truth wins out it may be too late.

In my area we are bombarded with ads starring our governor. They would convince you that the NJ shore area is totally recovered and rebuilt; more lies.

chas
08-05-2013, 10:10 AM
The destruction will continue for decades to come, without question. The video is about the reclamation aspect of the enterprise, which has been ongoing and hopefully will be funded and continued for decades after the oil has been used up. Those are real people with a concern about their homeland and a voice who are helping to shape the environmental policy for our nation. Contrary to your opinion and while not complete by any means, there is a plan in development to mitigate damages related to this development.

I'd urge you to poke around that link to CEMA a little further and put faces and names to the people working on this problem. I hear you have a bit of time idling your way thru gridlock while pursuing your lifestyle choices in the "center of the universe". Keep that AC on 'full tilt' and remain cool. :D / Jim

Full Tilt
08-05-2013, 10:32 AM
Lifestyle choice? Since when is a job a "lifestyle choice"?

Speaking of jobs, by what route does your paycheck from 'Big Oil' reach you? :d

Mike

chas
08-05-2013, 11:48 AM
With one foot on the gunwale and tilting towards off-grid, a paycheck from Big Oil would involve a very convoluted path; nothing much left by the time it gets here. Allows me the illusion of keeping my hands clean.

Sorry about the Toronto dig. Force of habit ever since Gordon Pinsent and "Goin' Down The Road" painted we Maritimers with such an unflattering brush. You would think I would have grown out of that by now, having second generation relatives in the Big Smoke, but these west coasters seem to have the same attitude towards Ontario folk. Don't know why that is exactly, but there is some familiarity with it that is comforting. :D / Jim

John Smith
08-05-2013, 01:11 PM
What I have trouble understanding is that all these people making billions are going to need the planet to live on, no?

LeeG
08-06-2013, 07:23 PM
Dialog on the topic

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10124



Tech Talk - The Latest Canadian Oil Spill
Posted by Heading Out on August 4, 2013 - 10:55am
Topic: Supply/Production
Tags: alberta, canada, huff and puff, oil sands, oil spill, permeability, steam injection, viscosity [list all tags]
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.

Full Tilt
08-06-2013, 08:48 PM
Dialog on the topic

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10124

"Dialog" means discussion between at least two people .

One sided oil industry propaganda is not dialogue.

Mike

LeeG
08-06-2013, 09:27 PM
"Dialog" means discussion between at least two people .

One sided oil industry propaganda is not dialogue.

Mike

Mike, what propaganda are you speaking of? The oildrum.com is a blog about oil depletion with unpaid articles from academics and professionals in the field and is an aggregator of oil and energy related news. It's presented information that most oil industry and gov't officials don't really want to talk about.

Full Tilt
08-06-2013, 09:52 PM
Mike, what propaganda are you speaking of? The oildrum.com is a blog about oil depletion with unpaid articles from academics and professionals in the field and is an aggregator of oil and energy related news. It's presented information that most oil industry and gov't officials don't really want to talk about.

Prexactly!

"The Oildrum' is a 'Pro oil industry' newsletter. There's no discussion of the ethics of ecological destruction, it pre supposes that since there is oil in Alberta we have no choice but to mine it, sell it and burn it at the expense of the environment.

Everything I read was from the same side of the table.

Mike

LeeG
08-06-2013, 10:13 PM
Prexactly!

"The Oildrum' is a 'Pro oil industry' newsletter. There's no discussion of the ethics of ecological destruction, it pre supposes that since there is oil in Alberta we have no choice but to mine it, sell it and burn it at the expense of the environment.

Everything I read was from the same side of the table.

Mike

Well I suppose WoodenBoat is an elitist boat building publication with no moral discussion over the frivolous expenditure of energy, primarily fossil, to build pretty toys that have to be transported by petroleum fueled vehicles and propelled by petroleum fueled engines for non-productive pleasure, and don't forget the epoxy.

I guess the average person should read Yachting and Tikkun if they really want to know about wood boats since this is such a pro-industry publication about wood boats

This is an example of a pro-oil industry newsletter


http://www.rigzone.com/. It even has adverts

LeeG
08-09-2013, 09:45 AM
A little more info


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/business/global/leak-at-oil-sands-project-in-alberta-heightens-conservationists-concerns.html?_r=0

A study released in January by Alberta’s previous regulator about a 2009 spill at the same site also appears to undermine the company’s contention that old wells are the source of the problem.

While that study did not determine a cause for the 2009 spill, its authors said that they believed that the protective layer of rock “was likely breached by high-pressure steam injection not related to a well bore issue.”

The study added that the high pressure of the steam that Canadian Natural used probably contributed to the 2009 spill and that the steam and pressure may have created weaknesses in the protective rock layer and provided an escape route for bitumen.

“There’s a pretty strong incentive for the company to portray this as a technical issue because technical issues can be fixed, unlike fundamental issues,” said Chris Severson-Baker, the managing director of the Pembina Institute, an environmental group based in Calgary, Alberta.

But, Mr. Severson-Baker said, this leak, “calls into question how much knowledge the industry and the government have about the integrity of the cap rock before they allow these projects to proceed.”

chas
08-10-2013, 11:01 PM
.... or it says the industry will determine the amount of pressure required to blow holes in the cap rock, probably not a good thing, and respond from there. What do you think? / Jim

LeeG
08-11-2013, 08:22 AM
.... or it says the industry will determine the amount of pressure required to blow holes in the cap rock, probably not a good thing, and respond from there. What do you think? / Jim

The particular company doing the drilling would be the one to manage specifics with regulatory agencies ensuring the operation doesn't pollute. My take is that whatever standard the Canadian agencies has established should be enforced, if the geology doesn't allow for that particular method without excessive pollution it should be shut down.