Getting Ready for Oil Sands

posted at 10:55 am on February 3, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

A new report prepared for the Dept. of Energy is catching the attention of domestic energy advocates this week. With an eye toward the future it examines the potential of bituminous sands (or oil sands) from Canada to virtually replace US dependence on remaining Middle Eastern oil supplies in the decades to come, eventually providing a significant portion of US requirements. Unfortunately, for this option to remain viable, early action will be required in terms of pipelines and infrastructure to make sure the opportunity isn’t lost. More from Heliogenic Climate Change.

Study results indicate U.S. refining of Canadian crudes could rise from 1.9 mbd [million barrels per day] in 2009 to 4 mbd by 2030. Associated oil sands streams imports would rise from under 1 mbd in 2009 to over 3.6 mbd by 2030. This projected increase would curb dependency on crude oils from other sources notably the Middle East and Africa.

It is fair to point out that the price point for oil from bituminous sands is currently too high for mass production as compared to pooled crude oil deposits found under Saudi Arabia, for example. This is because more time and energy is required to separate the usable oil from the grit and clay in which it is embedded. However prices change on both ends. Advances in technology may lower production costs of Canada’s supplies even as increased demand from other nations – China in particular – drive prices for existing crude supplies higher. But we will need to construct and expand new pipelines from Canada down to the gulf coast refineries to make this viable.

Don’t think China hasn’t noticed this. They are already looking at purchases in the oil sand rich areas as well as the possible construction of shorter pipelines from the Alberta fields to ports on the British Columbia coast where the oil could quickly be shipped across the Pacific.

The evidence from the WORLD model cases is that, if pipeline projects to the BC [British Columbia] coast are built, they are likely to be utilized. This is because of the relatively short marine distances to major northeast Asia markets, future expected growth there in refining capacity and increasing ownership interests by Chinese companies especially in oil sands production. Such increased capacity would alter global crude trade patterns. WCSB [Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (oil sands)] crudes would be “lost” from the USA, going instead to Asia.

Of course we are already seeing resistance to this from Washington. The EPA is protesting the amount of carbon dioxide breathed out by sweaty oil rig workers increased levels of greenhouse gasses generated by the higher energy extraction methods required. They also note that a new, rich bounty of oil could “hurt efforts to produce more-efficient cars and electric vehicles.”

Having the Obama administration dither over this and kick the can down the road will not do. This report should make clear that a decision will need to be made now in order to prepare for future demand, and sitting on their hands will only allow China to lock this market up before we can get a toe in the door.

Read the original Dept. of Energy report here.


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We shouldn’t be importing any energy/oil from anyone else. We have plenty of our own…more than enough with Oil Shale. Hard to believe that Americans allow this crap to continue…

Karmi on February 3, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Another cost is filters.
$30-40/pop sometimes EVERYTIME you fill the tank on a Semi.
Add that to the $3.40+/gallon diesel price & you have something that is VERY out of control, per the US FEDERAL GOVT.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I should also add that sometimes when the algae in your tank is so bad (even though you’ve been using that special additive) you may only get up to 100 miles per filter change.
That is outrageous.
And it’s all bcs of govt regulations.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 2:27 PM

…if pipeline projects to the BC [British Columbia] coast are built… WCSB [Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (oil sands)] crudes would be “lost” from the USA, going instead to Asia.

Rubbish.

Oil is fungible. And crude shipping from BC is shorter (cheaper) to Western US refineries than Asian markets.

Terp Mole on February 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Rubbish.

Oil is fungible. And crude shipping from BC is shorter (cheaper) to Western US refineries than Asian markets.

Terp Mole on February 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Well that only depends on whether or not the contracts for the oil and/or the refineries are owned by the Asians or not.

Once they buy the contracts, it doesn’t matter if we could walk across the border with gallon jugs and pour it out of a tap ourselves. It belongs to them.

Lily on February 3, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Somewhat related: where’s the outrage from the general public over current fuel prices?

Here in Nevada, just outside Reno, diesel has gone from $3.11 to $3.55 in the past 6-8 weeks. The current administration needs to be held accountable for blocking drilling, development, etc.

LooseCannon on February 3, 2011 at 3:37 PM

diesel has gone from $3.11 to $3.55 in the past 6-8 weeks. The current administration needs to be held accountable for blocking drilling, development, etc.

LooseCannon on February 3, 2011 at 3:37 PM

I’ve watched it.
Running the tractor to push snow here in SW ND costs us $200-$300/DAY.
I am outraged.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 4:26 PM

You know why I said “lower” sulfer right?

We both use diesel quite a bit. But not everyone understand it is easier to refine a crude with less sulfer (sweet crude) than more sulfer for gasoline.

I wish they would put back lead to a point, at least the motors didn’t wear as fast!

upinak on February 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Somewhat related: where’s the outrage from the general public over current fuel prices?

Here in Nevada, just outside Reno, diesel has gone from $3.11 to $3.55 in the past 6-8 weeks. The current administration needs to be held accountable for blocking drilling, development, etc.

LooseCannon on February 3, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Start talking more at places and with your friends. Get people to think about it. Make people realize that taxes are going UP on their gas… that they didn’t authorize the Federal Government Officials as well as State and Muni/County agencies. People don’t have a CLUE! Inform them…. you never know who may be in their “circle”.

upinak on February 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM

AND NO ONE IS COVERING THIS COURT CASE

http://thehayride.com/2011/02/feldman-issues-civil-contempt-order-to-interior-on-offshore-moratorium/

This website also had far better reporting than any other regarding the oil spill.

Kermit on February 3, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Because that land is sacred to Native Americans paleface, too sacred to build anything there except casinos.

Akzed on February 3, 2011 at 1:15 PM

None of the deposits I described are on tribal land. The tribes protest the mines based on the chance that they may pollute the water or air resources and may directly, or indirectly, eventually effect tribal lands.

One extremely rich deposit is quite distant from any tribal lands. The single rock outcrop over it, well into a swampy plain where no one ever went (very few people even knew it was there) was suddenly remembered to be a hill that was an ancient meeting place sacred to the Chippewa.

The State of Michigan owns a significant portion of that resource and therefore is due to make a bunch of money in royalties. But we all know Michigan doesn’t need the revenue.

Yoop on February 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM

You know why I said “lower” sulfer right?

We both use diesel quite a bit. But not everyone understand it is easier to refine a crude with less sulfer (sweet crude) than more sulfer for gasoline.

I wish they would put back lead to a point, at least the motors didn’t wear as fast!

upinak on February 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Yes but I wanted to rant! LOL!
And yes on the lead. But you know it was for the children that we banned lead in gasoline.
Bcs remember how many children were dying of lead poisoning due to leaded gas?

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Bcs remember how many children were dying of lead poisoning due to leaded gas?

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM

I thought that was because they were licking the paint off old houses or eating their cribs or something.

Oldnuke on February 3, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Oldnuke on February 3, 2011 at 5:13 PM

LOL! And don’t forget the pencils!

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

LOL! And don’t forget the pencils!

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Or Lead glass. ;)

upinak on February 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Or Lead glass. ;)

upinak on February 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Kids were being poisoned from eating lead glass? My gawd we must ban it immediately and raise taxes. It’s the only way, and it’s for the children. Does it increase global warming too?

Oldnuke on February 3, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Does it really matter if we buy our oil from Canada if someone who otherwise would have also bought from Canada buys from the Mid East?

They are still getting the same money flow, just from different countries.

Fungible.

clement on February 3, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Yes, it matters a lot. If the islamists go to war with Israel and close the Gulf or the Suez, we may have problems getting the oil we get now. If we ever get into it with China, they can interdict our oil supplies from Nigeria.

A supply of oil from Canada cannot be plausibly interrupted by any of our enemies. The price might certainly rise because oil is fungible to an extent, but that doesn’t mean we can get it to where we need it.

slickwillie2001 on February 3, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Ed, I think in this thread, this is ON topic:

Today’s ruling in New Orleans by Judge Feldman that the Obama Administration is in contempt, for maintaining the Gulf drilling moratorium, is an ATOM BOMB.

In a sane country, we would now be able to, without breaking a sweat, draw up impeachment charges against President Obama and throw him so far out of the White House that Richard Nixon’s ghost couldn’t see him from San Clemente.

Coupled with his insistence on ignoring Judge Vinson’s voiding of Obamacare, we have a LAWLESS TYRANT in the presidency.

This man needs to go NOW – by any means, no matter what.

America is under full-blown constitutional assault.

Now is the time for me to re-post links to the footage I shot from 20 feet away of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal last July 24th at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La..

Yes, I’m not a pro cameraman, but listen to Bobby’s words!

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5hyE3FUm6w

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czk8Lqs7yNM&feature=related

As I was hollering about last fall, the moratorium was NEVER LIFTED BECAUSE OBAMA FIRST LIED, THEN DEFIED, THE FEDERAL JUDGE WHO STRUCK IT DOWN!

There are NO new deep-water drilling permits being issued at all! Are any of your gas prices up?

Are there “For Sale” signs all over south Louisiana?

OBAMA THREW THE CIRCUIT BREAKER ON THE U.S. ECOMONY LAST YEAR – HE SHUT OFF YOUR DOMESTIC OIL! I HOLLERED AS LOUD AS I COULD THEN, AND NOW IT’S HERE!

IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT, NOW!!!!!!!!!

We have ALL the ammo we need! Obamacare, the moratorium, and, of course, his G-D birth certificate!.

This lawless, un-American president must GO. NOW.

cane_loader on February 3, 2011 at 7:54 PM

“Barack H. Obama will you please go now!
The time has come.
The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go.
Go.
Go!
I don’t care how.
You can go by foot.
You can go by cow.
Barack H. Obama will you please go now!
You can go on skates.
You can go on skis.
You can go in a hat.
But
Please go.
Please!
I don’t care.
You can go
By bike.
You can go
On a Zike-Bike
If you like.
If you like
You can go
In an old blue shoe.
Just go, go, GO!
Please do, do, do, DO!
Barack H. Obama
I don’t care how.
Barack H. Obama
Will you please
GO NOW!
You can go on stilts.
You can go by fish.
You can go in a Crunk-Car
If you wish.
If you wish
You may go
By lion’s tale.
Or stamp yourself
And go by mail.
Barack H. Obama
Don’t you know
The time has come
To go, go, GO!
Get on your way!
Barack H.!
You might like going in a Zumble-Zay.
You can go by balloon . . .
Or broomstick.
Or
You can go by camel
In a bureau drawer.
You can go by bumble-boat
. . . or jet.
I don’t care how you go.
Just get!
Barack H. Obama!
I don’t care how.
Barack H. Obama
Will you please
GO NOW!
I said
GO
And
GO
I meant . . .
The time had come
So . . .
Barack WENT.”

cane_loader on February 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM

THAT WAS AWESOME! cane_loader

dhunter on February 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM

There are certainly some strange new faces here on HA.
Some are scary.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM

There are certainly some strange new faces here on HA.
Some are scary.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM

As a kid Dr. Suess seriously creeped me out.

Actually, as an adult I get kinda the same feeling.

Like clowns and mimes. *shudders*

Lily on February 3, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Why is everyone so dense?

Obama has already implicitly stated he wants energy prices to rise.

I am not even remotely kidding.

Why this is not decried as a tax on the poor I’ll never know.

We have so much shale and untapped reserves off shore in the U.S. it’s insane. We could go another 500-1,000 years on oil and natural gas if we’d tap what is available. (Even I hope we’re off of oil by then though)

The reason we don’t is due to just one facet of the oppressive religion of liberalism a.k.a. Gaia worship. And believe me when I say it is a religion.

scotash on February 4, 2011 at 3:22 AM

*shudders*

Lily on February 3, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Clinton & Obama & Gore creep me out in the very same way.

Badger40 on February 4, 2011 at 11:06 AM

A simple thing to do is buy a $6 sign board and with a marker write “NO DRILLING = $5 GAS” and mount it on the front or rear of your vehicle. I have one on the front AND rear of my Jeep. A simple message that MOST understand. Just a little reminder that Bush did’t do it this time and if you don’t like expensive fuel look to the Obama Admin.

Remember in 2007 when the MSM and the Democrats screamed Bush and his oil friends made us pay $3 for gas. Where is that outrage now. Oh and the Cubans are drilling in our jointly owned reserve off Key Wesat; we aren’t. Why! Just asking.

amr on February 4, 2011 at 1:26 PM

increased demand from other nations – China in particular –

Gee, yaaaa think? Pretty soon just about everything this country and others produce will end up in China.

But we will need to construct and expand new pipelines from Canada down to the gulf coast refineries to make this viable.

Oh, yeah, like how the Alaska oil pipeline was supposed to help us out and ended up fueling Japan instead?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 4, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Jazz is being too timid. Canada is the #2 in known reserves. The US would be #1 except we can’t claim all ours as “known” because we aren’t allowed to even explore in many of the richest areas. Canada and the US and Mexico should form a cartel. We’d drive the price.

If we still had politicians with balls this would have been done a decade ago.

rcl on February 5, 2011 at 1:47 AM

Oh this is great. Now Canada’s economy will get these US dollars while there are plenty of oil shale deposits right here in the US. Is it too much to ask democrats and republicans to give US workers a chance at some of those high paying oil production jobs? What do these two political parties have against US workers?? We elect clueless morons. DD

Darvin Dowdy on February 6, 2011 at 7:02 PM

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