Peeking at Peak Oil – The Tap of the Canadian Oil Sands

Posted on October 21, 2012

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On Tuesday I will give a presentation at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, Canada. Currently, a number of pipelines are planned through British Columbia (BC) and the leadership of BC must agree to their construction. Many people are opposed to the projects and in my presentation I will attempt to explain why it is that China, above all, wants the pipelines built. To my surprise the organisers have sent out a press release and have invited the public to attend the presentation titled, “Peeking at Peak Oil – The Tap of the Canadian Oil Sands”.

Without new “taps” it will not be possible to expand the production of the very viscous oil from Alberta. Currently there is one pipeline from Edminton to Vancouver and it passes north of Kelowna. Its capacity was increased to 300,000 barrels per day in 2005 and they are now planning to lay new pipelines along the same path so that the capacity will be increased to 750,000 barrels per day. It is estimated that this increase will allow 25 supertankers to export oil from Vancouver’s harbour every month.

China and South Korea have shown great interest in Canada’s oil sands and have invested $13.9 billion in them in the past three years. If these investments are to be profitable they need to build a new pipeline from Alberta and the planned “Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline” is estimated to cost $5.6 billion. China is willing to make this investment. This will move 525,000 barrels per day of produced oil to the Canadian coast but to move that oil out they will, simultaneously, need to pump 190,000 barrels of condensate per day to Alberta (to facilitate the production and transport of the viscous oil).

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have shown that “Big Tar” plans to increase production by 4.5 million barrels per day by 2030. What this means for construction of new pipelines is described by the Vancouver Observer:

“Let’s be clear about one thing: Big Tar is planning to build lots of new pipelines. Keystone XL was just one of many. The tar sands industry says they plan to increase their production by 4.5 million barrels per day in the next 25 years. Here is how many pipes they will need to move that extra oil:

•15 new pipelines the size of existing Kinder Morgan Transmountain into Vancouver, or

•8 more pipelines the size of the proposed Enbridge “Northern Gateway” giant to Kitimat

“However you slice it, Big Tar has very aggressive plans that require slapping down a big new tar sands pipeline project every two to four years for decades.”

(Swedish)

På tisdag skall jag hålla ett föredrag på UBC’s Okanagan campus i Kelowna, Kanada. Just nu planeras ett antal pipelines genom British Columbia (BC) och ledarna för BC måste säga ja. Många är motståndar till projekteten och i mitt föredrag skall jag försöka förklara varför framförallt Kina vill att dessa pipelines skall byggas. Till min förvåning har man gått ut med et pressmedelande och bjudit in allmänheten till seminariet med titeln ”Peeking at Peak Oil — The Tap of the Canadian Oil Sands”.

Utan nya ”kranar” från Alberta så går det inte att expandera produktionen av mycket tjock olja. Idag finns det en pipeline från Edminton till Vancouver och den passerar norr om Kelowna. Kapaciteten ökades till 300.000 fat om dagen 2005 och man planerar nu nya pipelines långs denna sträckning så att kapaciteten skall bli 750.000 fat om dagen. Man räknar med att denna ökning kommer att medföra att cirka 25 supertankers om månaden kommer att lämna Vancouvers hamn.

Kina och Sydkorea har visat stort intresse för Kanadas oljesand och under de senaste 3 åren har man investerat 13.9 miljarder dollar. Om dessa investeringar skall bli lönsamma måste man bygga en ny pipeline från Alberta och den planerade ledningen ”Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline” beräknas kosta 5.6 miljarder dollar och Kina är villiga att göra investeringen.  Produktionen ut till kusten skall bli 525.000 fat om dagen, men för att få ut den oljan måste man samtidigt pumpa in 190.000 fat kondensat om dagen.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers har visat att ”Big Tar” planerar att öka produktionen med 4.5 miljoner fat om dagen fram till 2030. Vad det medför vad det gäller nya pipelines skriver The Vancouver Observer:

Let’s be clear about one thing: Big Tar is planning to build lots of new pipelines. Keystone XL was just one of many. The tar sands industry says they plan to increase their production by 4.5 million barrels per day in the next 25 years. Here is how many pipes they will need to move that extra oil:

•15 new pipelines the size of existing Kinder Morgan Transmountain into Vancouver, or

•8 more pipelines the size of the proposed Enbridge “Northern Gateway” giant to Kitimat

However you slice it, Big Tar has very aggressive plans that require slapping down a big new tar sands pipeline project every two to four years for decades.

Bild med pipelines

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