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Oil & Gas News

                                                                                                       

Alberta                                                                                            

 

 

According to Wikipedia (21-Feb-2013), oil reserves in Canada were estimated at 179 billion barrels in 2007. This figure includes the oil sands reserves that are estimated by government regulators to be economically producible at current prices using current technology.  According to this figure, Canada's reserves are third only to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.  Over 95% of these reserves are in the oil sands deposits in the province of Alberta.  Alberta contains nearly all of Canada's oil sands and much of its conventional oil reserves.  The balance is concentrated in several other provinces and territories. Saskatchewan and offshore areas of Newfoundland in particular have substantial oil production and reserves.  Alberta has 39% of Canada's remaining conventional oil reserves, offshore Newfoundland 28% and Saskatchewan 27%, but if oil sands are included, Alberta's share is over 98%.

 

The terms “oil sands” and “tar sands” are used interchangeably with a more negative connotation on the latter simply for the imagery it conveys.  Fort McMurray is the principle oil/tar sands mining and upgrading town in Alberta.

 

Oil sand is a mixture of bitumen (a thick tar-like substance), sand, clay, silt and water.  Bitumen is extracted using traditional mining techniques if the source is close to surface (20% of extraction), or through in-situ extraction (fracking with steam) for sources deeper than 200 feet (80% of extraction).

 

Upgrading converts thick bitumen to synthetic crude oil and diesel fuel.  By-products are petroleum coke, sulphur and tailings. 

 

Tailings consist of water, clay, sand, residual bitumen.  Released to a pond, the heaviest material (usually sand) settles, while the water rises to the top.  The suspended particles in the middle, called mature fine tailings (MFT) are a significant environmental hazard.

 

Major problems resulting from oil sand production are quantity of fresh water use, fresh water loss, fresh water toxicity, watershed risk, impacts from toxic tailings ponds, greenhouse gas emissions, flaring of “unwanted” gas, and the controversial fracking methodology.

 

Canadians also have no idea of the overall ‘big picture’ of the impacts of oilsands production and transport because each project is assessed in isolation. (article)

 

Size

 

According to www.oilsands.alberta.ca, a website administered by the Alberta Government, the entire oil sands resource is about the size of Florida – about 140,000 square kilometres.  According to www.ethicaloil.org only about 2% of that 140,000 square kilometres (2,800 sq kms) will ever be mined in a way that physically interferes with the natural landscape.  Of Canada’s 1.4 billion acres of Boreal forest, just one percent of one percent, or 160,000 acres, will be temporarily used for surface mining. 

 

The bulk of the oilsands resource isn’t so shallow that it can just be dug up from the surface. Since it’s buried deep under the earth in huge deposits, much like conventional oil but fused with the soil, oilsands operators have developed technologies that allow them to draw the oil out from where it sits—which is why it’s called in situ, meaning, in it’s original place. The most common method to do this is called Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, or SAG-D: it essentially drills a hole in the ground and runs pipes down, and then horizontally, through the large oilsands deposits. The pipes steam the oil till it’s soft enough that it separates from the soil, and gets sucked back up through the pipes.

 

  

Companies

 

List of companies operating in Alberta’s oil sands according to the Rainforest Action Network (as shown on their website 19-Jan-2017):

 

Athabasca Oil Sands Corp
Baytex Energy Trust
Bonavista Energy Trust
BP plc
Bronco Energy Ltd
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
Canadian Oil Sands Trust
CanWest Petroleum Corp
Cenovus Energy Inc
Chevron Corp
China National Petroleum Corp
Connacher Oil & Gas Ltd
ConocoPhillips
Devon Energy Corp
Enbridge Inc

EnCana Corp
Enerplus Resources Fund
Exxon Mobil Corp

Harvest Energy Trust
Husky Energy Inc
Imperial Oil Ltd
Inter Pipeline Fund
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP
Koch Resources LLC
Korea National Oil Corp
Marathon Oil Corp
MEG Energy Corp
Mocal Energy Ltd
Murphy Oil Corp
Nexen Inc
Nippon Oil Corp
Occidental Petroleum Corp
Oilsands Quest Inc
OPTI Canada Inc
Paramount Resources Ltd
Pembina Pipeline Income Fund
Pengrowth Energy Trust
Penn West Energy Trust
Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd
Petro-Canada
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Sinopec Group
StatoilHydro ASA
Suncor Energy Inc
Syncrude Canada Ltd
Total SA
TransCanada Corp
UTS Energy Corp


Oil Sands/Tar Sands Links

 

Oil Sands Aerial Footage/photos (DeSmog Canada 2014)

 

Oil Sands 105:  What is Diluent and Why is it Important?

 

Alberta Energy Regulator – Youtube Channel

 

Industry viewpoint (Suncor Energy):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI_O_i4xeek (10:49mins)

 

Non-industry viewpoint:  (Reality Check:  Canada’s Oil Sands):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dwwVo3CEFAQ (2:27mins)

 

Non-industry viewpoint:  (Tar Sands Oil Extraction – The Dirty Truth):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkwoRivP17A (11:39mins)

 

Business Insider:  The Canadian Oil Sand Mines Refused Us Access, So We Rented This Plane To See What They Were Up To (2012)

 

Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) report - Going in Reverse:  The Tar Sands Threat To Central Canada and New England (June 2012)(24 pg .pdf)

 

Oil sands production in northern Alberta is planned to triple in size over the next 25 years (2013 article).

 

Opposition viewpoint: Tar Sands Reality Check (www.tarsandsrealitycheck.com)

 

Hydrofracking risks outweigh rewards – Opinion:  Donald C. Helm, Scientist

 

Link to North American Refinery Production Interactive Tool

 

Building the world’s largest truck (Cat. 797B) (43mins)

 

www.brokenground.ca (David Suzuki Foundation)

 

 

 

Link to list of oil sands companies and properties

 

 

 

News – Alberta

 

Date

yyyy-mm-dd

Posted By

Article Link

Comment

2018-11-13

National Observer

The silence on Alberta's $260 billion environmental liability is deafening

Amin Asadollahi

2018-11-02

Vancouver Sun

Chinese buyers ramp up purchases of cheap Alberta bitumen-laden crude

Derrick Penner

2018-11-02

TheNarwhal.ca

The story of Alberta’s $100-billion well liability problem. How did we get here?

Sharon J. Riley

2018-08-14

TheNarwhal.ca

Are Albertans collecting a fair share of oilsands wealth

James Wilt

2018-05-23

AlbertaPolitics.ca

Guest Post: Canadians should be on red alert over Redwater Energy case

Regan Boychuk

2018-04-26

Pembina Institute

Blog: A liability iceberg in Alberta exposed by the Redwater legal case

Jodi McNeill

2018-03-26

Calgary Herald

As oil glut grows, Canada's crude-by-rail terminals sit idle

Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg News

AO News: Rail

2018-04-19

Desmog Canada

The Myth of The Asian Market for Alberta’s Oil

James Wilt

2018-03-07

National Observer

The fatal flaw of Alberta's oil expansion

Paul McKay

2018-04-03

Globe and Mail

Federal climate plan to yield to Alberta on oil sands, pipelines

Shawn McCarthy

2018-03-08

Calgary Herald

Oil firm shutting down, walking away from thousands of untended Alberta wells

Dan Healing

2018-02-15

CBC News

Fight over bankrupt oil company lands at Supreme Court

Tony Seskus

2018-01-31

National Observer

Suncor Energy says driverless trucks will eliminate a net 400 jobs in the oilsands

Dan Healing

2018-01-16

Bloomberg.com

340 Billion Gallons of Sludge Spur Environmental Fears in Canada

Kevin Orland

2017-12-31

National Observer

Legacy of Liabilities – series of reports

 

2017-11-14

TheGuardian.com

Opinion: Canada’s most shameful environmental secret must not remain hidden

Tzeporah Berman

2017-09-08

National Observer

Bankruptcy for profit in Alberta's oilpatch

Regan Boychuk

2017-08-18

National Observer

NAFTA's environmental arm demands Canada explain oilsands tailings leaks

The Canadian Press

2017-06-29

CochraneEagle.com

Anti-fracking group looking for public awareness

Lindsay Seewalt

2017-04-19

BNNBloomberg.ca

Oil sands production using nearly one-third of Canada's natural gas

The Canadian Press

2017-02-15

CBC

Alberta shuts down Lexin Resources, leaving big mess to clean up

 

2016-10-30

CBC

No one hurt after train derails near Grande Cache

- 25 rail cars left track

- frack sand

- AO News – Frack Sand

- AO News - Rail

 

2016-10-19

National Observer

Oilsands research group says it is a 'logical' recipient of carbon tax grants

Dan Healing

- Keith Stewart, Greenpeace

2016-10-06

Desmog.ca

Cause and Volume of Pipeline Spill in Alberta Wetland Still Unknown Six Days In

Carol Linnitt

AO News - Spills

2016-08-10

National Observer

Teachers investigate whether University of Calgary is in bed with Big Oil

Christopher Adams

2016-06-14

CBC News

Pipeline leak fouls creek near grizzly bear protection area in northwestern Alberta

- Grande Cache

- 380,000 litres of light petroleum

2016-05-20

Financial Post

Alberta court rules insolvent oil company’s assets won’t be used to clean up idle wells

Geoffrey Morgan

2016-05-06

WarriorPublications.

wordpress.com

Fort McMurray fires shut down even more oilsands facilities, knock one million barrels offline

Zig Zag

 - Claudia Cattaneo and Geoffrey Morgan, Financial Post, May 5, 2016

2016-05-03

Global News

All of Fort McMurray evacuated as wildfire intensifies

Emily Mertz, Phil Heidenreich and Caley Ramsay

2016-04-04

National Post

Oil companies create lakes ‘from scratch’ to try to replace destroyed fish habitat in north Alberta

Janet French

2016-03-29

Globe and Mail

Study confirms link between fracking, earthquakes in Western Canada

Mark Hume

AO News – Earthquakes

2016-02-17

HIS Markit (Blog)

Production cost and the Canadian oil sands in a lower price environment

Kevin Birn

2016-02-12

Calgary Herald

Landowners fight for enforcement of rules at inactive Alberta well sites

Colette Derworiz

2016-01-29

Ottawa Citizen

Oilsands' share of GHG emissions to double by 2030

Jason Fekete

2016-01-13

Thetyee.ca

In Supreme Court, a Battle Over Fracking and Citizens' Rights

Andrew Nikiforuk

- Jessica Ernst

2016-01-12

CBC News Edmonton

Fox Creek fracking operation closed indefinitely after earthquake

- 4.3 magnitude earthquake 12‑Jan-2016 at 11:27am

- Repsol Oil & Gas

2016-01-08

Thetyee.ca

Charter Rights at Issue in Fracking Supreme Court Case

Andrew Nikiforuk

- Jessica Ernst

2016-01-04

CBC News

As Suncor offer nears deadline, Canadian Oil Sands repeats call to remain independent

 

2015-12-30

Edmonton Journal

‘A cocktail of chemicals’: Alberta farmers face off with energy firms over odour from heavy oilfields

Geoffrey Morgan

2015-12-29

CBC News

Pet surrenders on rise as Fort McMurray's economy falls

Wallis Snowdon

2015-10-28

TheGuardian.com

Shell halts Carmon Creek oil sands project in Alberta, Canada

 

2015-10-16

Globe and Mail

Companies charged over 2013 coal tailings pond spill: Alberta Energy Regulator

Bob Weber and John Cotter

- Coal companies

2015-09-09

CBC News

Alberta on track to have worst air quality in Canada

Trisha Estabrooks

2015-08-29

Globe and Mail

Alberta regulator shuts 95 Nexen pipelines over ‘noncompliance’

Mike De Souza

2015-08-18

DesmogCanada

New Water Use Restrictions Highlight Influence of Climate on Oilsands, Need for Stronger Rules

Carol Linnitt

2015-08-11

Theguardian.com (UK)

Revealed: Canadian government spent millions on secret tar sands advocacy

Martin Lukacs

2015-07-20

Global News

Cleanup continues at Nexen oil spill site in northern Alberta

Caley Ramsay

2015-07-18

Toronto Star

It's time to talk about the oilsands

Tzeporah Berman

2015-07-18

Globe and Mail

Alberta oil spill cleanup begins, but cause still uncertain

Dean Bennett

2015-07-17

CBC News

Alberta pipelines: 6 major oil spills in recent history

 

2015-07-17

Globe and Mail

Earthquakes shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking

- Fox Creek, Alberta

2015-07-04

Alberta Oil Magazine

What Does the Anti-fracking Movement Mean for Canada?

Markham Hislop

2015-06-10

Huffington Post

100 Canadian, U.S. Scientists Call For Halt To Oilsands Projects

Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

2015-05-05

Bloomberg

New Democratic Win in Alberta Sends Energy Shares Sliding

Rebecca Penty and Robert Tuttle

2015-04-22

Bloomberg

Wolves Shot From Choppers Shows Oil Harm Beyond Pollution

Rebecca Penty

2015-03-25

Global News NB

Oil sands air monitoring cancelled due to funding problems

 

2015-03-18

Financial Post

Talisman Energy Inc, Nexen Energy ULC fire hundreds of employees in ‘bloody Tuesday’

Caludia Cattaneo, Geoffrey Morgan

- Calgary

2015-02-23

Globe and Mail

Shell pulls plug on long-delayed Alberta oil sands mine

Jeff Lewis

2015-01-30

CBC News

Fracking likely linked to 4.4 magnitude quake in Fox Creek

 

2014-12-10

University of Calgary /

School of Public Policy

How Many People Really Do Work in the Oil Sands?

Jennifer Winter

2014-12-05

TheTyee.ca

Ann Craft's Fracking Nightmare: A Top Lawyer's Startling Counsel

Andrew Nikiforuk

Council of Cdns

2014-12-02

Globe and Mail

Green energy sector jobs surpass total oil sands employment

Richard Blackwell

2014-11-17

EcoWatch / FracTracker Alliance

New Study Finds Tar Sands Oil Calculations Out of Whack

Ted Auch

2014-11-04

660 News

Reports of birds on tailings ponds in Alberta’s oilsands

stephanie.froese

2014-10-28

Globe and Mail

Fort McMurray cracks under oil boom’s strain

Jeff Lewis

2014-09-19

Globe and Mail

No charges laid against Suncor over Athabasca River spill, document says

Josh Wingrove

2014-09-15

Metro News

Alberta woman loses fracking case appeal

- Jessica Ernst lawsuit

 

CBC Digital Archives

Oilsands blamed for lead poisoning

 

2014-09-05

Calgary Herald

Alberta sheds more than 13,000 jobs in August

Mario Toneguzzi

2014-09-01

CBC Go Public

Canadians expose foreign worker “mess” in oilsands

Kathy Tomlinson

2014-07-08

EcoWatch / Natural Resources Defense Council

Higher Cancer Rates and Tainted Local Foods Linked to Tar Sands Operations

Danielle Droitsch

2014-07-03

ClimateState.com

Canada’s shocking oilsands operation (Aerial footage)

DeSmog Canada

2014-06-26

Desmog.ca

Experts Call for Moratorium on New Oilsands Development Until Climate, Environmental Impacts Assessed

Stephen Leahy

2014-06-02

DW

Canadian awaits verdict on fracking nightmare

David Kattenburg,

- Diana Daunheimer sues Bellatrix Corp.

2014-05-29

Globe and Mail

Total shelves $11-billion Alberta oil sands mine

Carrie Tait

2014-05-09

Metronews

Video: Alberta ranchers voice health concerns about fracking (1 min)

Cam Tucker

- Howard & Nielle Hawkwood

2014-04-15?

Environmental Defense

Reality Check: Climate Change and the Tar Sands

 

2014-04-08

CBC News

Greenpeace calls for Elections Canada probe of Ethical Oil

- Keith Stewart

2014-04-08

EcoWatch / Anthony Hall

Oil Consultant Turned Whistleblower Exposes Fracking Crimes in Alberta

Anthony Hall

- Jessica Ernst

2014-03-31

Global News

Alberta inquiry finds oil odours may be making people sick

Leslie Young

2014-03-05

TheTyee.ca

Alberta Regulator Quietly Halts Steam Bitumen Mining Near Fort Mac

Andrew Nikiforuk

- in situ steaming operations

2014-02-27

Vancouver Observer

Alberta doctor tells U.S.: Canada is ‘lying’ about tar sands’ health effects

- Dr. John O’Connor

2014-02-21

National Post

Rex Murphy: Speaking my mind, no matter the issue

Rex Murphy

2014-02-20

CBC News

Oilsands study confirms tailings found in groundwater, river

 

2014-02-18

ThinkProgress.org

Meet The Family The Tar Sands Industry Wants To Keep Quiet

Emily Atkin

2014-02-04

Huffington Post / CBC

Pipeline Rupture Report Raises Questions About TransCanada Inspections

2009-07-20 Peace River mainline explosion

2014-01-19

Edmonton Journal

Some doctors refused to treat emission-area residents:  report

Sheila Pratt

2014-01-16

Greenpeace

Blog: 10 reasons why Neil Young is right about the Tarsands:

Mike Hudema

2014-01-11

Huffington Post

Norway's Oil Fund Heads For $1 Trillion; So Where Is Alberta's Pot Of Gold?

Daniel Tencer

2013-12-29

Aljazeera America

Researchers find 7,300-mile ring of mercury around tar sands in Canada

Peter Moskowitz

2013-12-18

CBC News

Ottawa questioned about leaking oilsands tailings pond

Alberta

2013-12-09

CBC

Jackpine Mine will destroy wetlands and wildlife, First Nations say

Angela Sterritt

2013-10-29

Youtube / albertavoices

Fracking in Alberta: Don & Elaine Thomas (17 mins)

- both worked in oil & gas industry

- whole new breed of oil & gas wells

- air quality & health related issues

- “This can be done differently. This can be done safely.”

2013-10-23

Huffington Post

Edmonton Air Carcinogens: Study Finds Alarming Levels Of Chemicals Downwind Of Petrochemical Plants

Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

2013-10-15

Youtube / albertavoices

Fracking in Alberta: Chelan H (8 mins)

- Daughter diagnosed with leukemia, suspects a connection with oil & gas activities

2013-10-10

Youtube / albertavoices

Fracking in Alberta:  Dr. Gary Tresidder (12 mins)

- Dr. Gary Tresidder

- flare shields

- health impacts

- “I’m not a protester.  I’m just an average guy trying to live a normal life.”

2013-09-28

CBC News

Alberta orders lake drained to contain bitumen leak

Cold Lake, Alberta

2013-09-24

Youtube / albertavoices

Fracking in Alberta:  The Hawkwoods (15 mins)

- Howard & Nielle Hawkwood

- health impacts (hairloss)

- personal economic impacts / food chain

- earthquakes

- 400 similar complaints in  southern Alberta overwhelming gov’t resources

2013-08-26

Youtube / albertavoices

Fracking in Alberta: The Hemeyers (13 mins)

- Vern & Carol Hemeyer

- visual impact

2013-07-30

Youtube / albertavoices

Fracking in Alberta: The Campbells (15 mins)

- Shawn & Ronalie Campbell

- land-owners have no rights

- high tech “glove” testing

- thermogenic gas in water well

2013-07-19

Toronto Star

‘Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta oil sands operation

Emma Pullman and Martin Lukacs

- Cold Lake

2013-04-26

Greenpeace.org

Alberta government lays charges against pipeline company following Greenpeace report

- Plains Midstream

2012-12-12

Youtube / UAlberta Fracking

Responsibility for the Land Conference: Conversations on Fracking in Alberta (21 mins)

Alison Bortolon and Carmelle Mohr,

University of Alberta

2012-11-01

Youtube / gazzornenplat

Rex Murphy energy speech in Alberta, November 2013 (18 mins)

Rex Murphy gives kudos to Alberta’s oil industry

2012-06-05

Youtube / Newculture

Fracked! Jessica Ernst vs. Encana (43 mins)

Jessica Ernst

2012-05-21

Youtube / Douglas Clark

Jessica Ernst, The Consequences of Fracking (43 mins)

Jessica Ernst

2012-05-18

Business Insider

The Canadian Oil Sand Mines Refused Us Access, So We Rented This Plane To See What They Were Up To

Robert Johnson

2012-05-10

Financial Post

Majority of oil sands ownership and profits are foreign, says analysis

Mike De Souza

2012-05-04

Financial Post

Alberta sues oil sands firms for $100M in royalty dispute

Trish Audette

2011-09-28

CBC News

Nobel laureates ask Harper to stop oilsands

The Canadian Press

2011-05-01

Youtube / ADW993

Fracking water in Alberta (Canada) (2 mins)

News story, Jessica Ernst

2011-01-28

Comment:

ERCB Unconventional Gas Regulatory Framework (ERCB Report 2011-A):

-          deep and shallow shales will be fracked

-          hydraulic fracturing can contaminate “useable water aquifers” with toxic chemicals and “is a recognized risk”

(.pdf)

2009-08-31

Reuters

PetroChina takes C$1.9 billion stake in Canada oil sands

AO News - China

2005-01-11

Comment:

Rosebud, Alberta – water tower explodes due to accumulation of gases

(video source @19mins)

 

 

More Information:

 

Canada’s Oil Sands (www.canadasoilsands.ca) by Canada’s Oil and Natural Gas Producers

 

Brief Review of Threats to Canada’s Groundwater from the Oil and Gas Industry’s Methane Migration and Hydraulic Fracturing by Ernst Environmental Services (June 2013)

 

www.albertavoices.ca

 

Link to AWARE-Ontario Oil & Gas News

 

Return to AWARE-Ontario.ca Home Page

 

List of Ontario’s Issues

 

What Can I Do?

 

 

Disclaimer: This information has been compiled through private amateur research for the purpose of allowing the reader to make an informed and educated decision.  However, while the information is believed to be reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

 

 

 


APPENDICES

 

APPENDIX A

 

https://awareontario.nfshost.com/AWARE-Ontario/Issues/Oilgas_Provinces/Oilgas_Province_Alberta.htm

 

APPENDIX B

 

Comment:

The mega-quarry was proposed at 2,400 acres or 937 hectares. It was shocking to read that Shell's Jackpine oil sand mine has the federal gov't green light to expand from 7,500 hectares to 13,000 hectares (32,124 acres) or 130 km2.  Shell Canada is only one of 60 or so companies doing business in Alberta’s oil sands.

 

 

Metronews Comment by aiyana jane (april 2014)

In Alberta the licencing for Hydraulic Fracturing has increased by 647% between 2012 & 2013 ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/... ) Not so coincidentally, this increase in approvals comes after the Energy Resource Conservation Board is disbanded by the Responsible Energy Development Act - which establishes the Alberta Energy Regulator in its place.

 

The AER is a private corporation, entirely funded by industry, in charge of the regulation and environmental investigations in ALL aspects of oil and gas development in Alberta. ( www.aer.ca ) BC politicians are considering a similar regulatory model. Interestingly enough, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the AER, Gerry Protti, is the former Vice President of Encana Corporation - which is the company focused on in Burning Water, and accused in the Court of QB in Ernst's multi-million dollar lawsuit of contaminating her well water.