Sunday, March 30, 2008

Forget Ethanol, What About Canada's Oil-Sands?

At a time when saying anything good about fossil fuels is like declaring war on the environment, it may seem like wishful thinking to press for an expansion of U.S. oil refining capacity. Yet it is precisely this sort of thinking that is necessary if we are to make use of a vast, secure and reliable supply of fuel from Canada's oil sands.

The tar sands hold an estimated 174 billion barrels of crude oil, making Canada's oil-sands deposits second only to Saudi Arabia in global reserves. The U.S. currently obtains 1 million barrels a day from Canada's tar sands, but with planned investments the daily supply could exceed 3 million barrels by 2015.

Read more here in Investor's Business Daily

12 Comments:

At 3/31/2008 7:26 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Screw Canada!

What about this country's massive resources?

Consider how it would lighten up our trade deficits...

 
At 3/31/2008 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can temporarily take 100K barrels per day out of the tar sands production equation.

It's not the size of the tank (reserves), it's the size of the hose (production) that would lighten the oil trade deficit. Oil shales are decades away from supplying any material production.

 
At 3/31/2008 9:11 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Oil shales are decades away from supplying any material production"...

According to whom?

BTW thanks for the article on how socialist bureaucracies are as usual inhibiting economic growth...

 
At 3/31/2008 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to whom?

According to Tracy Boyd, a Shell Oil spokesperson, from the Missoulian on November 4, 2007 :

"Shell may apply for permits again in a year or so, he added. The company hopes to make a decision about commercial production within the next decade."

For the technocornucopians, the oil shales have been in a receding horizon for a century.

 
At 3/31/2008 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One could be extracting from oil shale within a few months. The infrastructure is mostly there right now having been mothballed in the early 1980s after crude prices tanked.

New methods of extraction have made it possible to extract the "oil" from the shale in place. That is without the very expensive step of first bringing the shale to the surface.

Another consideration is the environmental impact of oil shale production. Regardless of how it is done there will be environmental concerns and associated liabilities that in some cases might extend for decades after production ceases. Who wants to get involved with that?

 
At 3/31/2008 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

End of the Oil Age
By John Lippert and Alan Ohnsman
Bloomberg Markets March 2008

This article references and permanent ecological damage that Oil-sands mining is creating. It doesn't appear that we are studying all of the costs (environmental and economic) that oil-sands mining creates.

 
At 3/31/2008 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:52 The article you quoted said that 800 million barrels of shale oil are considered recoverable.

That is a 38 day supply at the 2005 rate of use.

 
At 3/31/2008 11:35 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"According to Tracy Boyd, a Shell Oil spokesperson, from the Missoulian on November 4, 2007"...

Ahhh, an AP story...

Color me skeptical...

I found several somethings of interest at the ECONBROWSER...

There was a link to this almost three year old Rocky Mountain News article (not an AP bit) that had the following: But with crude oil above $66 a barrel at the close of trading Tuesday, oil shale is a promising alternative to crude. The Green River shale deposits in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming are estimated to contain 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of oil, and while not all of it can be recovered, half that amount is nearly triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia...

So are the America haters (EPA, tree huggers, root kissers) standing in the way of progress?

Re: End of the Oil Age, do you have a link for that?

A quick search of Bloomberg for Lippert or Ohnsman produced nothing like that...

"Regardless of how it is done there will be environmental concerns and associated liabilities that in some cases might extend for decades after production ceases"...

Easy enough to deal with, get rid of the EPA and let the states do the oversight...

After all what part of the Constitution mandates federal intervention into the environment?

 
At 3/31/2008 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grab your ankles and think of England folks because there ain't enough corn planted in the U.S. to supply Taco Bell or Bush's ethanol debacle this year.

Can you say "Tax Payer Financed Bail Out--Part Deux?"

Now we are going to have to import corn from China to brew ethanol in our state of the art ethanol plants.

 
At 4/01/2008 1:11 PM, Blogger Marko said...

If the Supreme Court were to grow some balls, they could put a stop to all this extra constitutional regulation of "interstate commerce". Better yet, the electorate so grow some balls and kick out legislatures that insist on increasing regulations for no purpose, and "encouraging" the production of one commodity over another. We should just fire the federal government. Sheesh. Enough already.

 
At 4/02/2008 12:25 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

AS I understand it, with currently developed tech, the price of oil would have to rise to somewhere above US$100/bbl to make it profitable to extract (in current dollars).

While it's blipped above that, it is believed that the actual market price of oil is ca. $80/bbl -- about $30 + $50 for the pressure India/China are putting into play. The reason it's where it is now is because of speculation -- a "bubble" -- which will not be sustained for a lot longer.

So it's not yet time to bring shale to the market.

That said, there are idiots in Cali and Illinois (surprising, right?) who are attempting to destroy this nascent market before it exists by passing laws refusing to allow oil derived from shales and sands to be sold there.

We need a green revolution. One that kills all the green idiots and gets ones who actually care about the environment involving people as well as some nirvana-ized version of it that never existed.

=============================
Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California is one of my favorite places on Earth. When the glaciers, which formed its sheer vertical walls, receded some ten thousand years ago, they left a large lake in the upper half of the valley, dammed up behind the detritus of gravel and boulders deposited by the melting ice at the lower margin of the active glacier. Over a few thousand years, the lake silted up, creating the flat floor of the valley. When tourists first started visiting the valley in large numbers, less than a century ago, the valley floor was a mix of forest and meadow, with a large, clear lake at the upper end of the valley, reflecting the spectacular, granite faces which surround it- - Cloud's Rest, Half Dome, North Dome, and Washington Column. Today the forests have taken over more of the valley floor, and the siltation of Mirror Lake continues, so that even in years of normal precipitation the lake is reduced to an expanse of mud with a small stream meandering through one side during half the summer and fall.
. A conservation ethic, dedicated to the preservation of the biosphere in its status quo, would be just as lethal- - both to ourselves and to the rest of the system- - as it would be to pave the entire planet with concrete and asphalt. If we were to attempt to preserve Yosemite Valley, unchanged forever, which Yosemite should be preserved: the Glacial Lake, the silted marshland of a few thousand years ago, the Yosemite our grandparents knew, or the Yosemite to come, with very little meadow space and no Mirror Lake?
. How shall we use and shape the planet?"

- J. Peter Valk, 'Doomsday Has Been Cancelled' (1977) -

 
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