US: Oil Sands are “Threat Number One”

October 31, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post 3 Comments

Anyone who read yesterday’s blog on oil sands will know it’s a fuel with serious ecological and social problems. Well, Canadian oil sands producers should brace for further bad news – this time from south of the border. David Pumphrey, a former official in the Department of Energy and now a senior fellow at the … Read More

The “Dark Side” of Oil Sands

October 30, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

People concerned about the environmental and social downside of the tar sands boom, should read the Guardian today, with a long feature on the “dark side” of  the frontier town of Fort McMurray, which is an oil sands boom town – going from a “a small town becoming a major city, and a major economic … Read More

Tar Sands: Canada’s “Dirty Little Secret”

September 17, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post 2 Comments

Stupid Idea number two. Good article by Dan Woynillowicz from World Watch on the growing importance of Canada’s tar sands, especially to the US. If you thought coal to oil (see blog below) was stupid, tar sands is much worse. The United States has its hopes pinned on Canada’s “tar sands” for North American security … Read More

“The Answer to Oil Sands”

August 13, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

Interesting story from the Globe and Mail about new techniques being used to exploit Alberta’s oil sands which offer a “potential sea change in how Canadian companies wring energy from the ground.” Most companies have traditionally pumped steam into their reservoirs to move the putty-like oil deposits, a process called steam-assisted gravity drainage, but this … Read More

Marathon Moves Into Oil Sands

August 1, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post 1 Comment

The rush to invest in Canada’s oil sands is on (see yesterday’s post on Shell). Marathon Oil, the largest oil refiner in the U.S. Midwest, is set to become the latest international energy player to grab a stake in Alberta’s oil sands, after it announced a deal yesterday to buy Calgary-based Western Oil Sands Inc. … Read More

Shell to Build $25 Billion Oil Sands Plant

July 31, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post 1 Comment

Oil giant Shell is seeking to build a new $25 billion plant to process bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands. The “Scotford Upgrader 2 Project”, to be built near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, will be built in four phases with a capacity of 100,000 barrels a day each. Construction may start as early as 2009.

Industry Sees its Future in Harmful Heavy Oil

February 19, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

All the world’s extra oil supply is likely to come from expensive and environmentally damaging unconventional sources within 15 years, according to a detailed study by oil consultants, Wood Mackenzie. They have calculated that the world holds 3,600bn barrels of unconventional oil and gas reserves in Canadian oil sands and Venezuela’s Orinoco tar belt that … Read More

Shell Hires ANWR Drilling Advocates

February 6, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

Ok – so not to be outdone by Exxon that hired Bush advisor Philip Cooney, the former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Shell has now appointed Gale Norton, a former interior secretary for the Bush administration, as a senior legal advisor. Gale Norton supports opening up the Arctic National … Read More

Invest in Alberta’s “Risk-Free” Oil Sands

November 21, 2006By Andy RowellBlog Post 1 Comment

Independent investment analysts “Investment U” are promoting Alberta’s oil sands as a “win-win” investment opportunity. They say: “the oil sands will soon be the single-largest source of foreign oil for the U.S. – even bigger than Saudi Arabia”. Oil producers can explore Alberta’s oil sands virtually “risk-free… and for a tremendous profit”.

Shell Bids C$7.7bn For Oil Sands Operation

October 24, 2006By Andy RowellBlog Post

Oil giant Shell has underlined a huge commitment to developing Canada’s highly polluting oil-sands with a C$7.7billion offer to buy out minority investors in a Shell company involved in the controversial fuel. The Shell group already owns 78 per cent of its Canadian subsidiary and is now trying to buy the remaining 22 per cent.