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The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly
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The Oil Sands by Gordon Kelly

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Table of Contents, sample chapters, bibliography from The Oil Sands: Canada's Path to Clean Energy? by Gordon Kelly, published by Kingsley and distributed by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Table of Contents, sample chapters, bibliography from The Oil Sands: Canada's Path to Clean Energy? by Gordon Kelly, published by Kingsley and distributed by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

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  • 1. PUBLISHING
  • 2. Copyright © 2009 Gordon Kelly All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review to print in a magazine or news- paper, or broadcast on radio or television. In the case of photocopying or other repro- graphic copying, users must obtain a licence from Access Copyright. Cover and interior design by Dean Pickup Project management by Kingsley Publishing Services www.kingsleypublishing.ca Printed in Canada by Friesens on 100% recycled paper 2009 / 1 Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Kelly, Gordon, 1933– The oil sands : Canada's path to clean energy? / Gordon Kelly. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-9784526-5-0 1. Oil sands–Environmental aspects–Alberta. 2. Oil sands–Environmental aspects–Saskatchewan. 3. Oil sands–Economic aspects–Alberta. 4. Oil sands–Economic aspects–Saskatchewan. 5. Clean energy industries–Alberta–Forecasting. I. Title. TN870.54.K45 2009 333.8'232097123 C2009-903190-6 Ordering information: www.kingsleypublishing.ca
  • 3. Contents Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vi Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ix Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xi 1. Rising to the Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 The Path to Clean Energy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Where Is Oil Going? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Keeping the Oil Sands Viable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Funding Alternative Energy Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 2. Background and History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Early History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 “The Board” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 The First Oil Sands Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 The Oil Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 OSLO and Husky Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 AOSTRA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Alberta Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Saskatchewan Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 3. The Peak Oil Debate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 The Ability to Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Hubbert’s Peak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 World Demand and Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 4. The Geology of the Oil Sands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 The Geology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Athabasca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 Cold Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 Peace River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Formation Thickness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Saskatchewan’s Oil Sands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72 5. The Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Mining Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Heavy Oil Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 Imperial Oil and Cyclic Steam Stimulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86 The Well Drilling Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90 SCC and SAGD Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Newer Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 Future Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101
  • 4. 6. Mining Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Syncrude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109 Athabasca Oil Sands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 CNRL’s Horizon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 Kearl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115 Fort Hills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Northern Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 7. The In Situ Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121 Husky’s Heavy Oil Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122 Imperial’s Cold Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124 CNRL Wolf Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126 Encana’s Foster Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127 Blackrock Hilda Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 Shell’s Peace River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 Petro-Canada’s MacKay River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131 JACOS Hangingstone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132 ConocoPhillips Surmount Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133 Total’s Joslyn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135 Suncor’s Firebag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137 Petro-Canada’s Meadow Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139 Opti-Nexen’s Long Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140 EnCana’s Christina Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143 Devon’s Jackfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145 MEG Energy’s Christina Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147 Connacher’s Great Divide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148 8. The Province and Climate Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151 Kyoto and Climate Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152 Carbon Capture and Sequestering (CCS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160 The U.S. Cap and Trade Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165 9. Reducing Oil Sands Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .167 The In Situ Footprint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .181 Impact on Local Residents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190 10. Improving the Fiscal Regime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195 Alberta Royalties and Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .196 The Alberta Royalty Debate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202 Sovereign Wealth Funds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .207 11. The Provincial Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .215 The Infrastructure Gap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216 The Need for a Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225
  • 5. 12. Marketing Bitumen and Synthetic Crude Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227 Canadian Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227 U.S. Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .229 Major Export Pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230 The Bitumen Differential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .232 The Upgrading Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .234 Alberta’s Upgrading Dilemma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236 Upgrader Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .237 U.S. Refinery Upgrades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .239 13. Possible Future Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241 The Arctic Pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241 The Need for Workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250 Broadening the Supply Channels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252 Project Scheduling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .255 Finding Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256 TILMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257 Accommodation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .258 On-site Accommodation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260 Fly-In, Fly-Out Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .262 The Benefits to North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .264 14. The Bumpy Slope from Hubbert’s Peak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267 Finding Energy Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268 The Impact of Peak Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .271 The Impact of Price . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .272 The Ability to Cut Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273 The Implications for Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274 Implications of NAFTA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275 The Ideal Situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .278 15. The Path to Clean Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .279 The Need for a New Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .281 Carbon Sequestering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285 Battery-Powered Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285 Hydrogen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291 Hydrogen Transfer and Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .294 Improving Wind and Solar Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .297 Hydrogen Fuelled Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .303 The Research Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .306 Alberta’s Ability to Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .307 Closing Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .310 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .313 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320
  • 6. Technical Abbreviations Metric Gas Volumes Gas Price m3 cubic metres GJ Gigajoule Km3 thousands of cubic metres $/GJ dollars per trillion joules Mm3 millions of cubic metres Bm3 billions of cubic metres Oil Volumes Gm3 trillions of cubic metres m3 cubic metres Tm3 thousands of cubic metres GHG Gases Mm3 millions of cubic metres te tonnes Bm3 billions of cubic metres Kte thousands of tonnes Mte millions of tonnes Land Areas Gte billions of tonnes ha hectares km2 square kilometres 1 km2 100 hectares Imperial Gas Volumes Bb billion barrels Mcf thousands of cubic feet Tb trillion barrels Mmcf millions of cubic feet Bcf billions of cubic feet Land Areas Tcf trillions of cubic feet ac acre mi2 square mile Oil Volumes section 640 acres b barrels township 36 square miles Mb million barrels Electric Power Units Fuel Consumption kW kilowatt km/l kilometres per 100 litres MW megawatt mpg miles per gallon GW gigawatt TW terawatt Volumes or Amounts over Time Mm3/d millions of cubic metres/day Power Supply Bcf/d billions of cubic feet/day kW-hr kilowatt-hour Bcf/yr billions of cubic feet/year MW-hr megawatt-hour Mte/yr millions of tonnes/year GW-hr gigawatt-hour Gte/yr billions of tonnes/year m3/d cubic metres/day Pressure Mb/d millions of barrels/day kPa kilopascals Bb/d billions of barrels/day mPa megapascals Bm3/yr billions of cubic metres/year psi pounds per square inch vi
  • 7. Abbreviations AECL Atomic Energy Canada Limited CHOPS Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand AERCB Alberta Energy Resources Conservation CLAWR Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Board CME Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters AERI Alberta Energy Research Institute CMO Collateralized Mortgage Obligations AEUB Alberta Energy & Utilities Board (now AECB and AUC) CN Canadian National Railway AHFMR Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical CNG Compressed Natural Gas Research CNOOC China National Offshore Oil Company AHPP Alaska Highway Pipeline Project CNRL Canadian Natural Resources Limited AHSTF Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund CO2 Carbon Dioxide AIF Alberta Ingenuity Fund CPV Concentrating Photovoltaic ANY Athabasca Northern Railway COSI Centre for Oil Sands Innovation AOSP Alberta Oil Sands Project CP Canadian Pacific Railway AOSTRA Alberta Oil Sand Technology and Research Authority CSS Cyclic Steam Stimulation (Huff ’n Puff) APG Aboriginal Pipeline Group DDT Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (insecticide) APMC Alberta Petroleum Marketing Board EIA Energy Information Agency ARC Alberta Research Council EOR Enhanced Oil Recovery ASRA Alberta Scientific and Research Authority EPA Environmental Protection Act AUC Alberta Utilities Commission (formerly AEUB) ERCB Energy Resources Conservation Board BTU British Thermal Unit EU European Union CAPP Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers EUB Energy and Utilities Board (now ERCB) CBM Coal Bed Methane FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (U.S.) CCS Carbon Capture and Sequestration FIFO Fly-In, Fly-Out CDO Collateralized Debt Obligations FMGC Fort McMurray Group of Companies CEAA Canadian Environmental Assessment Act GCOS Great Canadian Oil Sands CEMA Cumulative Environmental Management As- sociation GDP Gross Domestic Product CERI Canadian Energy Research Institute GHG Greenhouse Gases CFC Chlorofluorocarbon GSC Geological Survey of Canada vii
  • 8. H2 Hydrogen (gas) NWMP North West Mounted Police (now RCMP) HBC Hudson’s Bay Company NWT Northwest Territories HBS Harvard Business School OPEC Oil Producing and Exporting Countries HDI Human Development Index (UN) OSLO Other Six Lease Owners HSTF Heritage Savings Trust Fund OSUM Oil Sands Underground Mining IEA International Energy Agency PADD Petroleum Administration for Defence District IRAP Industrial Research Assistance Program PCP Progressive Cavity Pump JACOS Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited PdVSA Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. LNG Liquid Natural Gas PEM Proton Exchange Membrane LPG Liquid Petroleum Gas PV Solar Photovoltaic LHB Lloydminster Heavy Blend QEII Queen Elizabeth II (Highway) MBA Master of Business Administration R&D Research and Development MFT Mature Fine Tailings RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties) MGP Mackenzie Gas Project SAGD Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage MSAR Multiphase Superfine Atomized Residue SCO Synthetic Crude Oil MSDC Mistee Seepee Development Corporation SOFC Solid Oxide Fuel Cell N&L Newfoundland and Labrador SOR Steam-oil Ratio NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement SO2 Sulphur Dioxide NAR Northern Athabasca Railroad SWF Sovereign Wealth Fund NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration TAP Trans-Alaska Pipeline NDP New Democratic Party TCPL TransCanada Pipelines Limited NEB National Energy Board THAI Toe-Heel-Air-Injection NEP National Energy Program TILMA Trade, Investment Labour Mobility Agreement NIABY Not In Anyone’s Back Yard USGS United States Geological Service NIMBY Not In My Back Yard WCSB Western Canada Sedimentary Basin NSERC National Sciences and Engineering WTI West Texas Intermediate Oil Research Council WWI World War One NT Northern Transportation Limited WWII World War Two viii
  • 9. Preface T here are four reasons for writing this book. The foremost reason is to tell readers that the Alberta and Saskatchewan oil sands are not the envi- ronmental monster some people would have you believe. Contrary to what many activists say, resource companies are not destroying millions of acres of pristine wilderness and blackening western Canada’s skies in pursuit of big- ger profits from “dirty oil” and the “Tar Pits.” The activists love to focus on the “Before” and “During” pictures but never show the “After” pictures where the land has been restored to close to its original natural state and condition. They never show bison roaming the restored land. Development of the oil sands projects are proceeding as planned, in an or- derly manner with significant safeguards by the two provinces for people and the environment. This book includes dozens of pictures, enabling the reader to see how projects are being operated. Major environmental improvements are on the way and future developments will be “clean.” This book tries to tell read- ers that Chicken Little may be mistaken in predicting that the sky is falling. The second reason is to provide the “The sky is falling!” reader with an understanding of the impor- Chicken Little (aka Henny Penny) tance of the oil sands to the economic in a British adaptation of a fairy growth of Canada over the next few decades. tale from Buddhist Indian folklore Given reasonable oil prices and proper di- rection, the oil sands will be generating thousands of new jobs over the coming years and have the potential to buy billions of dollars of new equipment, services and technology. The book suggests it is better to develop the oil sands to keep Cana- dians employed and the economy strong than to shut them down, as suggested by many environmentalists, and import oil from the Middle East. The oil sands can become a major economic driver for Canada. After Black October 2008, this is an important factor for people across Canada who want jobs. The third reason is to present a challenge to the province of Alberta, espe- cially Premier Stelmach, to take the lead in becoming the environmental champi- ons of Canada by using the Heritage Fund to develop clean power sources for the future. Alberta should not only clean up the existing sources of emissions from the oil sands but support expanded research into new mobile power systems. Hydrogen and electricity will become the primary mobile energy sources of the 21st century. Alberta should help fund the research needed to make these technologies commercially viable in Alberta as soon as possible. The province should be at the forefront of new energy technology and not a follower. ix
  • 10. Alberta will be a source of oil for decades but it should become a leader in other types of energy, especially hydrogen. Because it can take up to 30 years to design, test and replace existing power sources, it becomes important to start the search now. The fourth reason is to supply readers with information on how they can participate in the development of oil sands projects. The oil sands can become a major factor in creating jobs across Canada. The book contains clues for those who would like to work in the oil sands but live in other provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, the Maritimes and Quebec. It can be done with “Fly-In, Fly-Out” (FIFO) employment. This option gives those who would like to live in other regions the opportunity to make a good living in the oil sands but still spend much of their lives with family and friends at home. It also reas- sures readers that the environmental impact is not as serious as many people sug- gest and that it will be reduced significantly in the future. Canadians rarely brag about the good things they do. We are similar in many ways to our American and British cousins, but have been the young, quiet one who doesn’t get much glory. We did not have a revolution but became a nation in a peaceful, civilized way. Our West was settled peacefully because the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Mounties brought law and order to the region for two centuries before the settlers arrived. How many people know about Vimy Ridge, in WWI, where Canadians captured the hill in three days with 17,000 casualties, while the British and French had lost 200,000 men over two years and not been successful? It was Canadians who stormed Juno Beach on D-Day, one of five beaches in the world’s biggest invasion, but there is not one Canadian featured in the movie The Longest Day. We are the quiet suppliers of wheat, lumber, pork, beef, maple syrup and many other raw materials to the world, as well as some of the best hockey players. It is time we played a more dominant role on the global stage and not let the kibitzers stop us. For some rea- son, we are our own worst critics. The world is changing and Canadians have the opportunity to play a leading role in making things better in the future. The Canadian oil sands are one of the largest oil reserves in the world. They are the largest mining project in the history of man, but few people really know much about them. Much of the information people have heard is wrong be- cause critics are deliberately spreading distorted information. This book is not going to make the reader an expert on the processes being used to get the bi- tumen from the oil sands to market, but it should help clarify the technology and complexity of the process. It is time the real story is told. x
  • 11. Acknowledgements T here are many people I want to thank for helping me put this work to- gether. The first is obviously my wife, Jane, who has put up with “just an- other few paragraphs” around bedtime. This book is dedicated to her. Special thanks to four long-time friends who helped shape my life. Bill Deeks has been my best friend for much of my life. Marilou Taylor, my former secretary at Arthur D. Little, took the time to critique my rough draft and has always been a loyal friend. Walter Kudryk, my office-mate at Touche, went con- sulting around the world with me for 30 years. Unlike Johnny Cash, we did not get everywhere, but we had a lot of interesting times trying. Andre Nikitine, a classmate from Harvard Business School, died suddenly during our Russian oil venture. I owe many thanks to the four of you. You made my life much richer. I also want to thank many of the people in the industry who took the time and effort to talk to me about their chosen aspect of the oil sands sector. These include Harbir Chhina and Leanne Deighton from EnCana, Janet Annesley from Shell, Paul Spring of Phoenix Heli-Flight, Travis Robertson and Andrew Buzinsky of Weatherford, Syd Dykstra of Opti-Canada, Michael Fournier of Lockerbie & Hole, Brad Anderson at the Construction Owners Association of Alberta, Duane Mather of Nabors Canada, Ron Green of the PTI Group, Brian Harrison of Devon Canada, and Michael Shaw of Atco Global and Pat Klak of the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Authority. Additional thanks also go to those who helped get the book into print: Dorinda Wong, Maureen Johnson and Charlene Dobmeier. If there are errors in the book, they are mine alone. xi
  • 12. 1 Ch ap t er On e Rising to the Challenge I t is the end of April 2009 as this book goes to print. The Canadian fed- eral election is over. The coalition failed to surface after Hon. Michael Ig- natieff took over leadership of the Liberal Party, and Jack Layton is still hungry for a Cabinet seat. The Dion Green Shift seems to have been relegated to the trash can, as has Mr. Dion. The Democrats won the U.S. election and President Barack Obama is in power. His party will control both the House and Senate. The crash of the global economy and stock markets has created major new concerns for the coming years. The Stelmach government has just issued a 20-year policy statement for the oil sands. President Obama has made his first quick trip to Ottawa. Before things can change again, this book is going to print. It is difficult to write about a moving target. Black October 2008, combined with oil prices of US$140/b over the past year, have created a serious recession in the global economy that will last for at least 12 to 18 months, but the world economy should recover. Countries around the world are going through the worst financial crisis in 80 years, but the au- thor expects they will recover because most of them are pumping huge amounts of cash back into the system to get it working again. The biggest question is timing. Canada is in good shape financially but will be hurt by the slowdown in key markets. Although the next few years will be tough, Alberta and Saskatchewan could become leaders in helping Canada remain strong. The Harper Conservative Government has brought down a budget that promises deficits of $64 billion over the next two years in order to stimulate the economy. This book outlines how the oil sands and Alberta might help Canada come through this crisis better and faster than most other nations. This book was originally aimed at telling people about the oil sands and how Alberta could take a major role in being the economic driver for Canada 1
  • 13. The Oil Sands in a prosperous economy. It also made recommendations on how to improve the process. Nine months ago, the major problem was that the western Canadian economy was over-heated, but Black October changed things very quickly. The Saskatchewan economy is still strong but both Alberta and British Columbia are slowing down. The rapid collapse of world markets and oil prices suggest Prime Minister Harper and the premiers are going to have to work hard over the next few years to keep the Canadian economy healthy. This book puts forward ideas of how the oil sands can help Canada become a stronger economic driver. There are many who are suggesting that the oil sands have hit a plateau and that the boom days are gone as project after project is delayed or cancelled. There is also concern for their impact on the environment. This book suggests that the slowdown is good because it gives time for future projects to evaluate how they can be improved to reduce capital and operating costs through more efficient planning and the use of improved technology. It also assures readers that the environmental impact is not as serious as many people suggest and that it will be reduced significantly in the future. The Path to Clean Energy? Early readers have asked how the oil sands can possibly be the path to clean energy in Canada. Right from the start it is important to be aware of the main points of the book. These are: • Alberta can develop the oil sands in a “clean” manner and will do so. • The world is likely to experience “Peak Oil” between 2015 and 2020. • Alberta should invest in research of “clean” fuels for the future. Canada has the capability to be one of the leading nations of the world in the 21st century and both Alberta and Saskatchewan can help lead the way. This book suggests Alberta should become a leading supplier of both “clean” oil and renewable energy power to North America in 2020 and beyond. Saskatchewan is a world supplier of uranium. For those not familiar with the terminology, “clean” energy does not emit excessive greenhouse gases (GHG), or sequesters them; while alternative energy sources, once in place, emit hardly any GHG. How can the oil sands become the supplier of “clean” energy? The answer is through technology. If Canadians can take bitumen and heavy oil and turn it into gasoline and fuels, they can take the process further and do it “cleanly”. It must be remembered that emitting GHG has only become a target for environmentalists since 2000 when they came to the conclusion that these gases were causing global climate change. The oil sands and heavy oil projects were designed and built two and three decades ago and conformed with the laws existing at that time. 2
  • 14. Rising to the Challenge The energy industry in both provinces has made a firm commitment to develop their oil and energy resources in an environmentally benign manner, but it takes time and money to change direction and technology. The oil sands sector is firmly committed to making the oil sands a clean source of energy in the future and will achieve that goal within a few years. It has the money, the resources and the technology to make it happen. This book outlines how it can succeed. This is primarily a book about Alberta because most of the oil sands are in that province, but it also includes Saskatchewan because some of the oil sands cross the border and most of the heavy oil is in it. The two provinces are major exporters of energy to the world. Saskatchewan is the largest uranium exporter on the planet and the energy that it exports in yellowcake annually exceeds the energy in Alberta’s oil and gas. At the same time, the book looks at the need for new mobile sources of en- ergy for the future. Energy research, sponsored by Alberta, should be expanded and taken to the next level to develop cleaner, more efficient fuels of the future. Alberta has been successful with this approach in the past. In 1974, Premier Lougheed set up the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) to develop oil sands technology. He recognized that Alberta’s con- ventional oil was running out. In order to continue being a supplier of energy to Canada for the next 80+ years, it was necessary to invest in the oil sands. AOSTRA was a research organization that invested $670 million in oil sands research from 1974 to 1999 that turned bitumen into an economically usable fuel. This was not government research, but private sector research par- tially funded by the province. This was the best investment the province ever made. It resulted in $120 billion of capital investment over the past 20 years and could result in another $200 billion in the coming decades. Alberta needs to make a similar investment in research now in order to generate the business opportunities for 30 years from now. Future mobile energy will revolve around hydrogen and batteries and it is essential that Canada become a leader in these technologies. This approach is described in greater detail in the final chapter. Where Is Oil Going? It is time to recognize that oil is running out on a global basis and that new al- ternative sources of “clean” transportation energy will have to be used over the next 20 to 30 years. There are many sources of renewable energy—solar, wind, nuclear and electricity—that can provide GHG-free power but they cannot be used for transportation. A windmill is no good when your car’s gas tank is dry. It is going to take time to develop new power sources that can reduce depend- ence on diesel oil, jet fuel and gasoline. Alberta should become a leader in one or more of these renewable energy 3
  • 15. The Oil Sands technologies if it wants to continue to be a supplier of energy to Canada. Alberta will continue to have lots of oil, but it should also be able to supply alternative energy and power. It is time for Alberta to invest in research across Canada in order to develop the clean transportation fuels needed for the future. Electric- ity, batteries and hydrogen power will be the key to energy success by 2040. Al- berta should focus its efforts in these areas, along with the associated technology. Canada is the largest per capita user of hydrogen in the world, so we should aim to become leaders in that technology. It will not be easy, but Canada has the capability to become the leader in these sources if we start now, work together and are committed. Above all, it requires leadership. The objective is to get enough infrastructure and technology into place as soon as possible to create, test and improve the power generation equip- ment needed to replace oil. The world is in a race to see whether oil runs out first or whether the new power sources make it obsolete. Alberta should aim to be in the enviable position of being able to supply both oil and alternative sources of energy. Big Oil says there are oil supplies for 40 years but the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) report says the world will be 15 Mb/d (15 million barrels a day) short of oil by 2015 unless new oil fields are found. That is 2.4 Mm3/d (2.4 million m3 a day) for those who think in metric terms. This prediction is a se- rious shortfall that is almost 17% of demand. A recent survey of the top 800 fields in the world shows volumes are declining at rates faster than expected. No one knows for sure when Peak Oil might happen but this book suggests it will likely first occur between 2015 and 2020. It will not be caused by a shortage of oil to be found but by an industry that has too many “cooks” with different agendas. The industry could fail to develop enough supplies to meet rising de- mand. Low prices in 2008 and 2009 will have an impact. Between restrictions on drilling, NIMBYs, environmental controls and National Oil Companies (NOCs) owning the best prospects there could be delays that will prevent enough new oil supplies being brought on stream to meet demand. Oil will still continue to flow when Peak Oil hits. There just won’t be enough to meet the demand. Half of the world’s oil will still be available, but there will be a shortage until new supplies can be brought on production. The first Peak Oil crisis will likely be short but could be followed by more serious crises, depending on whether the world is willing to let the oil industry find and produce more oil in the following years. This book suggests that Peak Oil is closer than people in the oil industry are willing to concede. Big Oil assures us that this will not happen until 2040 or be- yond. (What else can they say?) The reality is that the world is consuming some 31 Bb/yr (31 billion barrels of oil annually or 1,000 barrels per second) but the oil in- 4
  • 16. Rising to the Challenge dustry has not been finding replacement volumes of that magnitude for decades. The world is relying on about 25 declining supergiant oil fields for much of its supply. The graph in Exhibit 1 shows that in order to maintain the total energy needs of the world, new power sources will be needed in the future to replace oil. 1. Past and Future Sources of Power These new sources are labelled as Hydrogen and Alternative sources. Alter- native includes such power sources as solar, wind, batteries, biofuel, microhydro, tidal, geothermal, etc. Nuclear and coal power will continue to grow. Solar and wind power have been growing rapidly but are still small and highly inefficient. Batteries are expected to start making a major blip in 2009 with their use in cars. As an energy source, the term “battery” is incorrect as batteries store electricity generated elsewhere, and belong in a separate category. Hydrogen, including fuel cells, is just beginning to have an impact but will prove important as technology improves and the infrastructure grows. Canada should be a leader in that growth. If the world is running out of oil, it makes the oil sands more valuable and development of alternative power sources especially critical. The world is facing a situation where there might not be enough available alternative power sources, especially for mobile power, in time to replace oil. If Big Oil is wrong and does not find enough oil to meet future demand to 2040, there is no other energy source to replace it. The world will be in a terrible mess. The world relies on oil, 5
  • 17. The Oil Sands especially for transportation. If we develop new sources of power before oil runs out, there will be no harm done. There is security in having alternative sources ready. Alberta (and Canada) should aim to be the supplier of two kinds of “clean” energy as soon as possible. The advent of Peak Oil before 2020 brings with it the potential for high oil prices in the early years of the coming decade, as shown in Exhibit 2. The slow- down in the world economy has dropped oil prices below US$40/b in early 2009. This low price will be temporary and oil should rise to US$50/b to $60/b later in 2009. By 2010, the price of oil is expected to fluctuate somewhere be- tween US$60/b and US$70/b. While OPEC is not a strong cartel, it is expected to be able to keep the global price within the US$60/b to $100/b range after 2010, but the price will continue to rise over the longer term. Oil will likely hit US$150/b within the decade unless massive supplies of new oil are found. 2. Price of Brent Crude Oil price is very important because oil sands projects in Alberta are depend- ent on the global price of oil. Fortunately, start up of new projects is not based solely on the price of oil at the time when the decision to proceed is made. Most SAGD projects, for example, can be profitable at US$60/b if they have good sands, use the latest technology and are built and operated with tight cost controls. Because the oil flow lasts for 10 years or more, the important factor is the average price during the production period. Oil sands construction may slow down during 2009 but the province will still be kept busy with other projects. Construction activity will be stronger in future years as North America will still need oil and Alberta is a reliable source. It will be even more valuable if it is considered “clean” oil. 6
  • 18. Rising to the Challenge Keeping the Oil Sands Viable The economic future of Alberta is closely linked with the oil sands. This sug- gests it is very important to the Alberta government to keep them economi- cally and environmentally viable. In February 2009, the Stelmach government made that commitment. This means getting costs down and curbing environ- mental impacts. The province is already supporting several programs but few people outside of Alberta are aware of them. This book explains them. Climate Change In the minds of most people across the globe, the world is definitely warming up. The majority of people believe climate change is being caused by GHG and are prepared to support efforts to control them. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is leading efforts to see that GHG sources are forced to curb emissions. Alberta has recognized the politics of the situation and has commit- ted itself to sequestering provincial GHG emissions, is developing other clean sources of energy and has a moderate carbon tax in place. This is good policy. It is important for the province and oil industry to correct the problems of “dirty oil” and be the suppliers of clean technology to the world rather than to continue being a target for activists. Alberta is a responsible province and should be known globally for more than tailings ponds and dead ducks. Al- berta is already pushing industry to find the answer to the tailings ponds within two years and is leading the charge to become the leader in the sequestering of GHG. It is also urging the oil sands industry to use new technology to reduce the environmental impact of the oil sands. This book says it will be successful. Building Infrastructure The province has been lagging in the construction of highway and rail links that could help the oil sands projects reduce their capital costs. Specific prob- lems include the need for a four-lane divided highway to Fort McMurray, a heavy-load rail link to the oil sands and a high-speed commuter train along the Edmonton-to-Calgary corridor. The slowdown of the economy will allow the four-lane road (under construction) into Fort McMurray to be completed. CN Rail is proposing to move bitumen by tank car from the oil sands so im- provements on the rail line must be going ahead. There is still a need for im- proved commuter rail transport in the province, especially into Fort McMurray. Infrastructure is important to reduce the capital costs of oil sands projects and the province is closing the gap. 7
  • 19. The Oil Sands Encouraging Better Technology Oil sands technology is constantly improving. Many processes have already been implemented but others such as sequestration and the elimination of the tailings ponds are still a year or two away. The rate of bitumen recovery is in- creasing while impact on the land has been reduced. Other technologies can re- duce the need for water, natural gas and land use and should be encouraged. This reduces the cost of future oil sands projects and improves the quality of the product. These technologies are discussed in greater detail in the book and should reduce both the costs and the environmental impact over the years. Scheduling the Oil Sands Oil sands projects have recently experienced a series of delays and cancella- tions. The slower approach in 2009 could be beneficial in reducing costs. Dur- ing this slow period, the province should encourage a more orderly process for scheduling new oil sands projects. At the same time, there is a need to find more resources from across Canada. New projects will continue to be devel- oped for most of the coming century so there is no reason why they cannot be properly scheduled. The reserves are known, as is the demand for them. The industry should work out a means of building projects in sequence to meet that demand at the lowest cost. The planning tools are available; the province should ensure they are used. The Alberta government has indicated it is com- mitted to orderly development of the oil sands. One way or another, it must achieve that objective. Spreading the Oil Sands Benefits Alberta and Saskatchewan are already working to find additional people and re- sources from across Canada and other countries to help the industry reduce costs. The province has been a strong supporter of the program to attract more workers on a Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO) basis and finding new suppliers globally to provide the modules needed by oil sands projects. While this is largely a pri- vate sector program, the support of the province and other provinces is im- portant for wider credibility. Alberta should push harder to reduce provincial trade barriers and encourage more participation by the other provinces to be- come suppliers of labour and equipment to the oil sands, especially during the coming “tough” times. 8
  • 20. Rising to the Challenge Keeping the Oil Sands Profitable The province has seen a serious drop in oil sands royalties in 2009 because of the lower profits of the oil sands projects from low oil prices. It may be neces- sary to adjust oil sands royalties in 2010 and 2011 to encourage expansions and new projects if oil prices remain low. The economic benefits to Canada of new projects are too important. The Generic Royalty had many benefits, especially the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (ACCA), which could be brought back, in cooperation with the federal government, to ensure new projects continue to be built. The federal government has an equal interest in keeping the oil sands economy strong because of the employment and taxes that are gener- ated. Oil prices should rise over the next few years, but both governments know they need to keep the oil sands sector financially healthy to generate revenues. Funding Alternative Energy Research Canada has the potential to become a global leader in many areas over the com- ing decades, but especially in the alternative energy field. Canada is the lead- ing per capita user of energy in the world (ignoring small refining countries). We used 3,516 kg of oil equivalent per capita in 2007 compared to the U.S. at 2,862 kg. Canada has experienced suppliers in most areas of oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, wind, tidal and alternative energy sources. We lag in solar because of the short winter days. Canada is the largest per capita user of hydrogen in the world, with Al- berta being the leader in this country. The country has talented energy research capability all across the country, but there is a need to provide more focus, pump in more money and create a sense of urgency to become world leaders in non-polluting energy, especially in the transportation area. The world is nearing a major turning point in energy and Alberta should fund research across Canada to become a leader in renewable power sources. Most Canadi- ans would likely agree that this is the field of endeavour where we should excel. This suggests an opportunity for Alberta. Putting surplus funds from the semi-dormant Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund (AHSTF) into research is the best way to invest it for future generations. The Heritage Fund was meant to be an investment for the future not a “rainy day” fund. A rainy day fund will not be necessary if oil prices are rising, but being a leader in other energies will be essential 30 years from now. The money should be invested creatively so that it will create jobs for both present and future generations of young people. If invested as wisely as the AOSTRA funds, it will provide many times its value in the future rather than sitting in a semi-dormant fund. AOSTRA proved the 9
  • 21. The Oil Sands wisdom of investing in future energy research. Alberta should do it again, only this time with hydrogen and stored power as the objectives. Research into sources of clean power of all types, but especially mobile power, would be a major investment in the future. This would show leadership at the national level and could be the basis of major exports from Canada in fu- ture years. Alberta would be strengthening Canada’s competitive future by pumping research money into universities during slow economic times that will pay off in the future. A united research approach from many provinces to cre- ate new sources of clean power, supported by the Heritage Fund, should be suc- cessful. Canada has very capable universities. It is time they worked together to make this research successful. This is discussed in greater detail later in the book. This research program will need to be significantly larger than the AOSTRA program. A preliminary analysis suggests desired results could be achieved by aiming for 4,000 projects over 15 years at $1 million per project, for a total of about $4 billion. Maximum expenditures in any year would be about $500 mil- lion while the average would be about $250 million. The AHSTF held some $15 billion in assets in 2008, even after the market crash, so this funding level is well within the fund’s ability to handle. The Alberta Energy Research Insti- tute (AERI) has the goals and structure in place to carry out this work. It now needs broader funding and expansion to achieve these objectives. Canada has never been challenged in a single high technology research proj- ect with funding of this magnitude. It would give a major boost to energy research across Canada, especially during tough economic times. Canada needs to support “research-ready” projects for masters and doctoral candidates that will challenge them to create a cleaner world. This approach will direct their environmental zeal towards getting real results, by developing new hydrogen technology and innova- tive concepts in mobile power. The best thing about the AOSTRA research ap- proach is that it had the flexibility to invest in all types of novel ideas. We are racing against other countries that are pouring billions of dollars into research on new technology to reduce their reliance on oil. Much of this is going into coal and nuclear energy, but Canada should focus its efforts on hy- drogen and electricity for mobile power sources. Canada has a greater need for transportation energy than any other nation in the world and should focus on these areas. It also fits better with the needs for future major exports from east- ern Canada (i.e., cars, trucks, planes, trains and new systems). Canada has the capability to rise to the challenge. It may take a few years to get up to full speed but with AHSTF funding, innovations in new sources of energy and power could be in use in Canada within the coming decade. The book outlines how the oil sands are a natural path for Canada in its search for clean energy for the future. 10
  • 22. 2 Ch ap t er Tw o Background and History T he first white man to see bitumen from the largest oil deposit in Canada was Henry Kelsey, manager of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) at York Factory in 1719, when a Cree, Wa-Pa-Su, brought him a sample. In those days, HBC traders didn’t travel far from their forts around the Bay and let the native trappers bring their furs to them. It was not until 1778 that a North West Company trader, Peter Pond, actually saw the deposits when he entered the Athabasca River watershed via the Clearwater River. A picture of the sands is shown in Exhibit 3. Pond described the oil sands de- posits along the river and how the local Natives used the thick gummy mate- rial to waterproof their canoes. He was followed in 1790 by Alexander Mackenzie, another North West Company explorer, who paddled up the Athabasca River past “bituminous fountains” on his way to the Arctic Ocean using the river that would later bear his name: At about 24 miles from the fork (of the Athabasca and Clear- water Rivers) are bituminous fountains in to which a pole of 20 feet long may be inserted without the least resistance. The bitumen is in a fluid state and when mixed with gum, the resinous substance collected from the spruce fir, it serves to gum the Indians’ canoes. In its heated state it emits a smell like that of sea coal. Diary of Alexander Mackenzie, 1790 Sir John Richardson first passed through the area in 1819 on his search for the Northwest Passage, and again in 1848 in a search for Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition. His knowledge of geology allowed him to recognize that the oil 11
  • 23. The Oil Sands sands overlaid the older Devonian limestone and that they covered large areas of the region. It would be years before many white people came to the region again. The world needed to find a use for oil first. Canada was one of the earliest users of petroleum with the development of oil wells dug by hand near Petrolia, Ontario, in 1856, a year before Colonel Drake drilled the first oil well in Penn- sylvania in 1857. The Petrolia oil fields dominated the oil indus- try in Canada for many years and led to the establishment and growth of one of Canada’s large refining and petrochemi- cal complexes at Sarnia. The oil fields’ location in Lambton County, only 27 km (16 mi) east of the St. Clair River, made Sar- nia a logical location for build- ing the refining facilities that 3. Handful of Oil Sands needed large amounts of water. One of the companies that start- ed in Ontario in 1880 was Imperial Oil Limited, a firm that has been a leader in the oil industry in Canada ever since. Between 1860 and 1900, a major share of Canadian petroleum needs was supplied from the Ontario oil fields. The Sarnia refineries continue in that role to the present day. More important, this was the training ground for many of the people and companies who were to build Canada’s petroleum industry. The Petrolia oil fields are a historical site now and worth a visit. Early History In 1867, the Dominion of Canada came into being and the British Crown bought back the Hudson’s Bay Company grant lands before turning them over to the Canadian government in Ottawa. By 1870, the Hudson’s Bay Company had merged with the North West Company and the expanded HBC built a fort at the junction of the Clearwater and Athabasca rivers to trade furs. They called it Fort McMurray after their chief factor in the region. In 1875, the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) sent botanist John Macoun through the area. He reported on the sands and the interesting observation that water would wash the oil out of the sand. In 1882, the GSC sent Dr. Robert Bell to further define the discovery, followed the next year by G. C. Hoffman, who 12
  • 24. Background and History also reported that the bitumen could be separated from the sand using water. By the end of the 19th century, the Ontario oil fields were declining and the Canadian oil industry was searching for new sources of petroleum. The oil de- posits in the northern Alberta forests attracted attention from a variety of people. In 1905, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan came into existence, but the federal government specifically did not transfer the mineral rights to them in the belief that natural resources could be better developed by the federal government. Initially it was believed that the oil in the oil sands came from large pools underground that could be tapped by drilling wells. In 1906, Alfred von Ham- merstein earned his place in history for being the first to drill six wells in the area, but he found salt instead of oil. Others tried, with no useful results. Heavy oil was found in small fields in Saskatchewan in 1911, but it was never devel- oped to any degree because the heavy oil was too difficult to refine at that time. During WWI, there was a renewed interest by the federal government in trying to develop the oil sands. In 1913, the Mines Branch sent Sydney Ells, an engineer, to carry out a more detailed survey of the oil sands. His maps are the first comprehensive assessment of the resource. He felt the asphalt had poten- tial for road building and found a California refinery that could process the material. In 1915, Ells was able to access funding and did some road building in Edmonton with the bitumen, but little else happened in this respect during the war. In 1925 and 1926, Ells carried out more core drilling to further define the size and depths of the deposits. For over 40 years, Ells was active on behalf of the federal government in trying to develop the oil sands, and was an hon- oured guest when the first oil sands plant opened in 1967. He is remembered today by a river bearing his name near the Bi- tumont site. The locations of these early sites are shown in Exhibit 4. In 1920, Alberta started to take more interest in developing its natural resources. It hired Dr. Karl Clark, who had worked with Ells, and set up the Scientific and Industrial Research Coun- cil of Alberta the following year. In 1930, its name was changed to Alberta Research Council 4. Past Place Names (ARC). Over the next 30 years, 13
  • 25. The Oil Sands there was a strong rivalry between Ells and Clark and the federal and provincial governments over the oil sands. This brief outline cannot begin to cover all of the people and companies who tried to develop the oil sands and failed, but there were many. The magnitude of the oil deposits that were found in the “tar sands,” as they were called in those days, was well known and attracted dozens of peo- ple who hoped they might make their fortunes developing this source of ener- gy. This book only tracks a few of the more prominent participants. Two of the more successful people were Dr. Karl Clark and Sydney Blair, who developed a process using hot water to separate the bitumen from the sand. In 1924, they built a small separation unit at the University of Alberta and followed this up the next year with a larger model at the Dunvegan rail yards on the outskirts of Edmonton. They brought in oil sands by hopper car from the Fort McMurray area for their tests. Contrary to expectations, they found that the major problem was not separating the bitumen from the quartz sand and water, but removing the impurities from the bitumen afterward. It still is. In 1922, Robert Fitzsimmons acquired a lease at Bitumont from the federal government, about 90 km (54 mi) north of Fort McMurray, where he mined the 5. Bitumont Site 14
  • 26. Background and History oil sands. It is now a historic site. An aerial view is shown in Exhibit 5. In 1925, he also built a hot water separation process and marketed the heavy oil residue under the name of International Bitumen Company. The process was crude but he was able to use the material for roofing, roads and eventually some fuel oils. The Depression seriously slowed the provincial economy but Fitzsimmons managed to keep the company alive until 1942 when he finally sold out. In 1929, Dr. Clark’s Dunvegan plant was moved from Edmonton to Wa- terways, on the Clearwater River just south of Fort McMurray. The move meant the plant was closer to the sand deposit and was made in anticipation of the federal government transferring the mineral rights to the province the follow- ing year. In 1930, the federal government transferred the mineral leases under the province to Alberta but kept back 809 ha (2000 ac) around Fort Mc- Murray. This was likely due to Ells wanting to continue his involvement with the oil sands. The federal government granted the first lease in this special area to a company run by Max Ball, a petroleum engineer from Denver. The province cried foul. The lease was for property near the junction of the Horse and Athabasca rivers, near Fort McMurray. Ball formed a company that would eventually be called Abasand Oils Ltd. Abasand built a plant on the leased property that was completed in 1936 and could process 223 te/d of oil sands. This was later expanded to 352 te/d. The company managed to sur- vive throughout the Depression but the plant burned down in 1941. WWII created a desire to find better ways to recover the fuel potential of the oil sands. Lloyd Champion bought the Bitumont plant in 1942, renamed it Oil Sands Ltd, and started to upgrade the plant using technology and support from Dr. Clark and the Alberta Research Council. The federal government was supporting the Ells-sponsored Abasand project, but both of the oil sands plants at Abasand and Bitumont became millstones around the necks of their respec- tive governments because the new processes and equipment failed to be built on time and completed on budget. The war was both a spur and an impediment to development of the oil sands. While governments provided money to develop a new source of oil, construction labour, equipment and steel were scarce. Delays, breakdowns and lack of diluents also posed problems. Workers were not eager to move to the remote sites. The Abasand plant was rebuilt between 1941 and 1944, but burned down again in 1945. The Bitumont plant was not completed until summer 1949. The Province of Alberta took it over because of its debts: $500,000 that Oil Sands Ltd. could not repay. They proved that the process worked and then shut it down. In 1951, the population of the Village of Fort McMurray was 621. A picture 15
  • 27. The Oil Sands of modern-day Fort McMurray, with a population approaching 80,000, can be seen in Exhibit 6. During WWII, the search for new sources of oil was not confined to the oil sands. There was an expanded search for oil all across the West, from Manitoba to the Rockies, to supplement the small oil volumes being pro- duced at Turner Valley and at 6. Fort McMurray the Norman Wells field, dis- covered in 1919. A few heavy oil fields were found near Lloydminster and were exploited during the war but the volumes were small, with only 7,900 m3 (50,000 b) being produced. This volume was sufficient to attract Glenn Nielsen, President of Husky Oil Company in Cody, Wyoming, to Alberta. He moved a small second-hand refinery into the Lloydminster area in 1947. Husky was very small company at the time, but it grew rapidly over the following years, refining the cheaper heavy oil to supply to a string of gas stations across the American and Cana- dian prairies. Following its start in Petrolia, Imperial Oil Ltd (a 70% subsidiary of Stan- dard Oil of New Jersey, now ExxonMobil) had become the largest oil company in Canada and was the most active driller on the western plains. It was the largest owner of producing wells in Canada with holdings in both Turner Val- ley and Norman Wells. After drilling 132 dry holes in the 1940s, it found oil in the Leduc field in February 1947, Redwater in 1948 and several more fields in 1949. All were prolific Devonian reefs that produced light oil. These discover- ies spawned dozens of small independent companies and attracted oil compa- nies from around the world. The Alberta oil industry soon found more new fields and drilled hundreds of wells that produced thousands of barrels of light oil daily. The problem quickly became one of finding markets for the new sup- plies as the prairie refineries were quickly saturated. Pipelines were started to the east and west to find new outlets for Alberta crude. Two companies looked to the future and saw that the huge oil deposits in the Athabasca region might someday be valuable. Nobody else was interested in them and millions of barrels of oil were available for pennies per barrel. In 1953, Abasand Oils was restructured into the Great Canadian Oil Sands Company (GCOS) by a consortium led by J. Howard Pew, the chairman of Sun Oil of Philadelphia. In 1954, Alberta sold the Bitumont plant to Can-Amera Oil 16
  • 28. Background and History Sands. They, in turn, sold the plant in 1957 to Royalite (part of Imperial Oil Ltd) who shut the operations down again. Oil sands operations could not com- pete in a world where light crude oil was under US$2/b. Between 1945 and 1970, North America faced a huge crude-oil oversup- ply problem that restricted the output of most of the oil wells on the conti- nent. This meant that each well was allocated a specific volume of oil it could produce. Markets for Alberta crude in the U.S. were limited because the Americans were reserving their markets for domestic supplies, mostly from Texas. The oil sands plants sat idle for over a decade, although efforts con- tinued in the lab to find ways to reduce the cost of extracting and using the bitumen. In 1956, the Suez Crisis interrupted oil supplies from the Middle East and the subsequent formation of OPEC, in 1961, shook the oil industry worldwide. International oil companies started to look to domestic reserves as an asset safe from expropriation and a fall-back source of supply if the Cold War cut off sup- plies from distant countries. In Alberta, the Ernest Manning government de- cided to encourage oil sands production by guaranteeing oil sands plants up to 5% of Alberta’s oil market. This caused consternation among the independent oil companies whose production was being restricted and who were lobbying to open up the Montreal market to Alberta crude. Montreal was a large Canadian market, mostly supplied by Venezuelan crude. Alberta producers wanted to build a pipeline from Sarnia to ease their oversupply problem. The Diefenbaker government appointed a Royal Com- mission to examine the problem. The 1959 Borden report recognized the eco- nomic hazards of a crude oil pipeline to Montreal and limited Alberta crude to Ontario and markets west. It was 1970 before the United States’ production of oil peaked and started to decline. With declining domestic supplies, the U.S. federal government relaxed its restrictions against imports, allowing more Canadian crude into their markets. The volumes have grown steadily over the years and Canada is now the largest supplier of oil to the U.S. “The Board” Canadians are a people who seem to like being governed far more than their neighbours to the south. A key phrase in the North America Act that created Canada was the term “peace, order and good government,” which contrasts with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the American Declaration of Independence. The story of the settlement of the Canadian West is far more peaceful and lawful than the American West. Law and order was established in the Canadian 17
  • 29. The Oil Sands West almost from the start. The Hudson’s Bay Company controlled and ad- ministered all the lands from Hudson’s Bay to the Rockies from 1670 until Canadian Confederation in 1867. Their rules were the law. There was a period of two years after Confederation when there was no official law enforcement and traders from Montana created problems with the Blackfoot and other tribes by selling them whisky. In 1869, the Northwest Mounted Police force (NWMP) was formed and sent west to correct the problem. The NWMP established forts throughout the west and brought law to both Alberta and Saskatchewan, then collectively known as the Northwest Territories. The two federal territories did not become provinces until September 1, 1905. The mineral rights under Alberta and Saskatchewan belong to the province unless otherwise granted to other landowners. As a result, 81% of the mineral rights in Alberta belong to the province and indirectly, to the citizens, while in Saskatchewan the percentage is slightly lower, at 78%. The remaining 19% and 22% are owned mainly by the Government of Canada (under national parks), by First Nations or by the Hudson’s Bay Company, Canadian Pacific or Canadian National railroads. These latter companies helped settle the Canadian West and were granted the mineral rights under some lands as part of the deal. The early settlers were also granted the mineral rights under their land until into the 1890s. But after that time, they were kept for the federal Crown. The federal government transferred the mineral rights to the provinces in 1930. There are only about 1,000 private leaseholders in each province. Most of the settlers with mineral rights let them lapse during the Depression when they could not afford to pay the annual fees. This makes the Alberta and Saskatchewan public very interested in the way oil and gas reserves are devel- oped in their provinces since they are the major beneficial owners. In 1930, when mineral rights were transferred from the Canadian to the Alberta government, there was no controlling body to rule on how the gov- ernment’s mineral rights should be handled. In 1938, after the Turner Valley gas field had been drilled and produced so irresponsibly, the Alberta government created the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board to set out rules for the orderly control of future oil and gas fields within their jurisdiction, and to see that the public interest was protected. In 1956, the name changed to the Oil and Gas Conservation Board. In 1971, the Lougheed government restructured it as the Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB) with control over elec- tric power, pipelines, and coal as well as oil and gas. In 1995, the Klein Government united the Public Utilities Board and the ERCB to form the Energy Utilities Board (EUB). In 1996, the Alberta Geologi- cal Survey group was added to the organization. It was viewed as a way to re- duce costs during a period of tight budgets. On January 1, 2008, the Stelmach 18
  • 30. Background and History government split the EUB back into two groups, with the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) regulating the oil and gas industry, and the Al- berta Utilities Commission (AUC) regulating the utilities industry. The ERCB is a very powerful entity within the province. Its combination of many capabilities gives it a quasi-judicial role in the control of the province’s energy resources. It has the people, resources and power to evalu- ate, monitor and enforce the geological and energy resources within the province. It approves applications to develop all energy resources and regu- lates them to ensure they comply with what was promised. The board also has the authority to shut down operations that do not conform. It has expert staff that it can send in to independently evaluate and assess what is happen- ing on any lease or property. Its normal manner of operation is through open hearings so that everyone can air their opinions. They are prepared to change or cancel projects if there are strong reasons to minimize the impacts on peo- ple and the environment. The role of the board has generally been very beneficial over the years. It runs a tight ship. For over 80 years, Alberta’s oil and gas have been developed using the best practices of the time. Conservation has been an important part of the board’s role right from the start. When required, they will step into a bad environmental situation and take control in order to ensure it is corrected. This has happened several times when wells have blown out of control. One of the worst disasters was the 1948 Atlantic #3, near Edmonton, that blew out of con- trol and spewed 190,000 m3 (1.2 Mb) of oil onto farmland. The ERCB stepped in and hired people to bring the well under control and clean up the environ- mental damage. Today, it is almost impossible to see where it happened. The board has not always been perfect, but it has applied the principles of try- ing to conserve the land as well as the oil and gas resources for the people of Al- berta. Their approval process requires every large and small project to go through a public hearing before it can proceed. The drilling of every single oil well in the province is announced and notification is published publicly so that all parties in- volved can get their support or opposition out on the table for debate. On some occasions over the past decades, there have been two or more competing projects aiming to achieve the same objective, but often only one is allowed to proceed if it would be wasteful to have two. New gas discoveries are often required to route their gas to competitive gas plants and treatment facil- ities for processing rather than developing their own. It is cheaper for the roy- alty owner (i.e., the people of Alberta) if the oil or gas goes to an existing plant that has surplus capacity. The oil or gas will be processed at a fair cost to both sides. The objective is to maximize the economic benefits and to protect the interests of the province and the public. 19
  • 31. The Oil Sands The hearing process for new projects has improved over the years. Large oil companies cannot wait out the “small” people. Opposition groups such as First Nations, landowners, environmentalists and others opposing a project must be given funding by project sponsors to hire lawyers or other experts to thoroughly evaluate and challenge it. The hearings on very complex projects can often take one or two years before the board issues a permit to proceed. Oil sands projects have never been allowed to proceed without significant environmental scrutiny by the board and, as discussed in greater detail later, the scrutiny is getting tougher. The board listens to the critics of all projects and im- plements changes, as needed, to try to mollify opponents. The general impar- tiality of the Conservation Board over the years has caused it to become a model for governmental regulatory agencies for oil and gas around the world. The professionalism of its approach and the general fairness of its regulations have been adopted in many jurisdictions. The quality of its online computerized re- porting systems provides the industry with some of the best and most respon- sive data in the world. Despite trying to run a program that is fair to everyone, the ERCB has its share of critics. There are many people, especially in the agricultural and envi- ronmental sectors, who disagree that the ERCB is impartial and feel that it al- most always sides with the oil and gas sector. Many farmers and ranchers resent the ability of the ERCB to order them to allow their land to be used by the oil companies to run seismic, drill wells and produce oil or gas with only minimal rentals to the owners for its use. They own the land and pay taxes on it. Many feel the damage is more than the rents. Most oil firms try to minimize the dam- age and retain good relations with the landowners but over the years, problems can arise and become a major source of aggravation. This can range from leav- ing gates open, letting cattle out, to spills of water, oil or other pollutants. It is an on-going problem. The ERCB has tried to encourage the use of technology to reduce the im- pact on rural communities. For example, with directional drilling, new wells can often be located close to the road allowance to minimize the impact on agricultural land. New drilling and production techniques reduce some of the problems but sour gas, coal bed methane projects and water use are a constant source of conflict between the oil industry and both rural communities and environmentalists. 20
  • 32. Background and History The First Oil Sands Plants In 1962, Great Canadian Oil Sands (GCOS), with the support of the Sun Oil Com- pany, submitted an application to the ERCB for permission to build a 5,000 m3/d (31,500 b/d) oil sands plant, a volume close to the 5% of market that was prom- ised by the Manning government. GCOS had built a pilot plant that proved out their technology. The process was similar to Dr. Karl Clark’s technique of using hot water to separate the oil from the sand. Their application was soon followed by two competing submissions from Cities Service and Shell. Both of these plants asked for volumes of 15,900 m3/d (100,000 b/d) to make the project more economic. The hearings debate was long and fierce, but in 1964, the board author- ized GCOS to build its plant. The construction company, Bechtel Corp. of San Francisco, led in Canada by the same Sydney Blair who had worked with Karl Clark, advised GCOS to increase the volume to 7,200 m3/d (45,000 b/d) to make the plant more economic. The board approved this expansion because Sun Oil agreed to purchase the additional volume of crude oil for its Toledo refinery, and since this was considered outside Alberta’s traditional market, the extra volumes were allowed. Pro-rationing of crude oil was tough in those days. By 1962, the population of Fort McMurray had grown to about 2,000 peo- ple, but the province granted it “New Town” status, making it eligible for in- frastructure support. One major investment was the $3.3 million Grant MacEwan Bridge across the Athabasca River, allowing heavy trucks access to the GCOS building site. Although initially called the “Bridge to Nowhere”, it is so busy today that another span is planned. Construction of hospitals, schools and other government services followed as thousands of people moved north. In 1967, Premier Manning officially opened the new oil sands plant (now Sun- cor) in a town that had grown to over 6,000 people. The community has seen exceptional growth over the years as more people move north to find high pay- ing jobs, badly straining a regional infrastructure trying to provide the ameni- ties of life for nearly 80,000 people. The problems of this growth are discussed in greater detail later in the book. The Suncor plant had operational problems from the start. The new plant used bucket wheels, draglines and conveyors that were designed for coal min- ing because no one had ever designed an oil sands mining plant before. Equip- ment problems were severe. When one part of the supply train failed, all production on the site came to a halt. The plant designers had no experience with -40º Canadian winters and the equipment constantly had problems. Bucket teeth broke trying to penetrate the frozen ground, large chunks of frozen bitumen jammed the crushers, and conveyor belts split in the extreme 21
  • 33. The Oil Sands cold. The plant averaged 2,400 m3/d (15,000 b/d) during the first year, or one- third of design capacity. The company was only kept alive by the faith of the Sun Oil Company, which poured in tens of millions of dollars to keep the company operating. It was five years before the plant operated to capacity, and seven years before it made a modest profit. In 1991, Suncor got rid of the bucket wheels and conveyors and switched to trucks and shovels so the oil sands handling process system is now more reliable. If one unit breaks down, it hardly has any impact on the flow of tonnes of raw sand and bitumen to the processing plants. Suncor has not stopped the search for improved systems and will likely scrap the huge trucks and shovels to go to better systems. In 1971, a Conservative government, under Hon. Peter Lougheed, was swept into power and changed many of the policies of the Social Credit regime that had been the government for 36 years. Lougheed is a grandson of Sir James Lougheed, a senator and one of the prominent founders of the province. A lawyer and graduate of the Harvard Business School, Peter Lougheed was to become one of the best premiers in a province that has had a series of compe- tent leaders. Lougheed was eager to get a second oil sands plant built. In 1968, Syn- crude, a consortium consisting of Imperial Oil, Gulf Oil and Atlantic Richfield (Arco), submitted an application for a 12,700 m3/d (80,000 b/d) plant. It started to work through the negotiation process with the federal and provincial gov- ernments to set out royalty, tax and environmental agreements. Both sides played hardball but negotiations almost collapsed when Arco withdrew from the project. Arco was heavily committed to Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay project at the same time and felt Alberta was demanding too much. The project teetered on the edge of collapse. In August 1973, two levels of government (Jean Chrétien and Donald Mac- donald, the federal representatives, and provincial representatives Bill Davis and Darcy McKeough for Ontario, and Lougheed, Don Getty, Mervin Leitch and Bill Dickie for Alberta) stepped in to pick up the $300 million that was Arco’s share. The federal government bought 15% of the equity, the Alberta government bought 10% and the Ontario government took 5% to ensure the project went ahead. They later sold these ownership shares at a profit once the project started and was successful. Construction of the Syncrude plant began in 1974 and opened on September 15, 1978, with an initial capacity of 19,900 m3/d (125,000 b/d). Its present capacity is 55,600 m3/d (350,000 b/d). In 1966, Imperial Oil started the hearings process to develop the Cold Lake bitumen deposits. These oil sands are too deep to mine, like the deposits far- ther north. They need steam heat to soften the bitumen underground so it can be pumped to the surface. Cold Lake was the first of the in situ projects. It was 22
  • 34. Background and History initially only a pilot project but proved that bitumen could be recovered from the deeper formations using steam. After extended hearings, it received per- mission to expand further. These initial approvals have since grown into over 4,000 wells being drilled in 14 phases of development. Cold Lake is now the biggest producer of bitumen in Canada. In 1997, the Klein government was working its way out of a serious reces- sion and also wanted more oil sands plants built. They introduced an innova- tive “generic royalty” system aimed at encouraging large investments in new oil sands projects. The Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), led by Shell, had applied to build a third mine and upgrader. Rather than each project negotiat- ing individual royalty and tax arrangements, as Suncor and Syncrude had done, the federal and provincial governments decided to develop one “generic” roy- alty system that would be applied to all oil sands projects. The generic royalty was adopted. AOSP was the third oil sands mine and upgrader project. It started construction in late 1999 and was completed in 2003. Under the generic royalty arrangement, the oil company would only pay a 1% royalty until the capital cost was paid out, at which time the royalty went to 25% of profits. No taxes were payable during this initial period. Oil sands proj- ects have high capital needs and this approach allows companies to get all their investment back before the province takes its share. Both governments agreed to this formula. It lasted for 10 years and was extremely successful in encour- aging investment. In 2006, the Klein government conducted a review of the royalties when oil prices rose to the $60/b range and came to the conclusion that no adjustment should be made. This conclusion brought abuse and scorn from left-wing ac- tivists as well as from many other sectors of the population who were convinced the oil companies were getting too rich at the expense of the Alberta royalty owners. The Stelmach government reviewed the royalty again when it came into power and implemented a new system in October 2007. Details of the roy- alty are examined in greater detail in Chapter 10. The Oil Wars The National Energy Board (NEB) is the federal pipeline and petroleum ex- port regulator in Canada. The organization originated with the 1957 Borden Royal Commission, which the Diefenbaker government set up to examine the need for a pipeline from Alberta to Montreal. At the time, all North American oil wells were under tight production control and Alberta producers were re- stricted in their imports to the U.S. They wanted to open new markets in Que- bec with a pipeline directly to Montreal to replace oil imported from Venezuela. 23
  • 35. The Oil Sands Borden ruled against the Montreal pipeline because the economics would not support it, but he recommended that there be a federal body set up to regulate oil and gas pipelines in the country. In the United States, there is a similar body, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). These two bodies now regulate all oil and gas pipelines north of the Rio Grande. The Diefenbaker government passed the National Energy Act in 1959. Gyrations in the world oil markets resulting from wars and the formation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1960 con- tributed to the NEB gaining more power over the next few years. The NEB was not a popular group in Alberta in its early years because its initial man- date insisted that a 20-year supply of oil and gas be kept in the ground for Canadian consumers before exports would be considered. This clause dis- couraged new exploration in western Canada because there was no benefit to finding new fields if the gas or oil had to stay in the ground for two decades before being sold. OPEC was founded in 1960 but it took several years before it exerted much influence. One key factor was the U.S. hitting Peak Oil in 1970. Once the U.S. was unable to influence the price of oil, OPEC raised prices; gradually at first, from around US$1/b to US$1.50/b over the next decade. The higher prices started a minor oil boom in Alberta. More severe oil shocks were triggered in 1970 when Libya raised oil prices to its customers and OPEC cut production by 5% to enforce its aims on Middle East foreign policies. Oil prices rose from US$1.80/b in 1970 to $3.80/b by 1973. Small independent oil companies were formed by the dozens in Calgary. Exploration surged. In April 1972, Premier Lougheed moved to exert provin- cial control over oil prices and introduced an increase in oil and gas royalties, eliminating the maximum royalty of 16⅔% that had been in place under the Manning government. He felt the province should get an increased share of the rising oil price. At the same time, he created the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) to encourage development of the oil sands resource, with special attention to underground recovery. In September 1973, the Trudeau government in Ottawa brought in legis- lation to protect Ontario consumers from rising world oil costs by freezing the price of all western Canadian crude oil for six months. The federal government also agreed to provide the Maritimes and Quebec and other regions that relied on imports with subsidies that would be funded by increasing the taxes on the oil companies and raising the tariffs on exports of oil to the U.S. It also created Petro-Canada, a national oil company that was to be the “window on the in- dustry” and provided it with $800 million in cash to take over three Canadian oil companies with varying degrees of foreign ownership. In October 1973, the 24
  • 36. Background and History Yom Kippur War triggered major oil price increases in international oil from about US$3/b to over US$10/b. For those not familiar with the politics of the time, Trudeau was a Liberal prime minister whose political (and voter) base was very firmly in Ontario and Quebec. His government held few seats west of Ontario. He believed strongly in the power of the federal government to control many aspects of life in Canada. In particular, he was determined to enforce the supremacy of the fed- eral government, especially over Quebec secession and Alberta’s oil wealth. Al- berta’s Lougheed was equally determined that the people of Alberta receive fair prices for their resources. The two were on a collision course. Saskatchewan was an innocent bystander that got dragged into the fight. The freezing of oil prices was not well received by the private sector oil in- dustry or the Lougheed government and opened many years of bitter relations between Ottawa and Alberta. The province saw this as an intrusion into its ju- risdiction. Lougheed created the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) with broad powers over the pricing, marketing, production and reg- ulation of oil and gas within the province to counteract the federal moves. This included higher royalties, which increased the provincial share of revenue and reduced the federal share from taxes. The Trudeau government retaliated by disallowing the deduction of provincial royalties for income tax purposes, thus increasing their revenue flow share. Trudeau also brought in the Petroleum Ad- ministration Act, which gave it authority over oil and gas pricing across borders within Canada and internationally. The Federal government generally has the final authority in disputes with the provinces. After the initial price freeze in 1973, the Federal government gradually al- lowed the price of Canadian oil and gas to increase over the next five years, and by 1979, Alberta oil was within US$3/b of world prices. That year, the global oil situation got worse when the Shah’s regime in Iran collapsed, sending world oil prices up by 150%. The Canadian government also changed that year, after 16 years of Liberal rule, with the election of Progressive Conservative Joe Clark with a very shaky minority government. Clark was a 39-year-old Albertan from High River who was voted from office seven months later in the 1980 election, when a renewed Pierre Elliot Trudeau came back to power with a majority government. The seven months in opposition had made Trudeau more determined than ever to exert federal control over the country. He and Marc Lalonde imple- mented the National Energy Program (NEP) in October 1980, affirming Ot- tawa’s supremacy over energy affairs and aiming to curb the wealth and power of Alberta. The objective was to create a Canadian-controlled oil industry that would have “made in Canada” oil and gas prices and give the federal govern- ment more control and revenues. The lower-than-world prices were designed 25
  • 37. The Oil Sands to protect the industrial sectors in Quebec and Ontario from global prices and to give them a competitive advantage in global trade. The NEP created a mas- sive intervention into the nation’s oil economy by setting prices for “new” and “old” oil and gas. Because the NEP program was developed secretly in Ottawa, it relied on civil servants, lawyers, economists and other amateurs with little understand- ing of how the energy sector works to develop the program and policies. The major error was that the new taxes made production uneconomic; some com- panies were losing money on every barrel produced. Ottawa also thought they could encourage more Canadian-owned companies to explore by providing them with grants as well as higher oil and gas prices for new discoveries. The grants rose as the percentage of Canadian ownership in the exploration com- pany increased. There was an incentive to develop domestic reserves, especially on “frontier lands” where the federal government owned the mineral rights, with 300% “super depletion”. There were limited grants for 30% Canadian- owned companies like Imperial Oil and none for 100% foreign-owned firms. The frontier lands were areas where the federal government held the roy- alty rights and included all the offshore Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans as well as the onshore Northwest Territories. Petro-Canada was to be the chosen vehicle for Canadian ownership with the right to “back-in” without compen- sation for 25% of every oil and gas project on federal lands. Ottawa was dis- mayed to find that Dome Petroleum Ltd., the leading Canadian independent actively drilling in the Beaufort Sea, had a majority of American shareholders. Other “Canadian” companies like Nova also had high foreign ownership. Dome had to create a new public subsidiary, Dome Canada, owned only by Canadi- ans, to qualify for the new drilling subsidies. Enforcement of “Made in Canada” oil and gas prices meant Syncrude, Sun- cor and many oil companies were losing money on every barrel of oil produced, while Alberta was receiving reduced royalties on a depleting resource. The east- ern provinces enjoyed buying oil well below the world price ($17 versus $38), but the mood in Alberta was grim. The impact on the provincial oil industry was immediate and extremely negative. Across the province, the boom caused by higher oil prices literally came to a stop overnight, especially in Calgary. One day it was necessary to make reservations for lunch, the next day most restau- rants were half empty. Majors and independents cancelled drilling, and seis- mic and production projects ceased overnight because they were no longer economic. Frozen oil and gas prices meant no opportunity to make money. Many foreign-owned firms stopped all new operations, laid off staff and hunkered down to ride out the situation. Some independents moved their operations to the United States. Over $2 billion of drilling activity went south or into international 26
  • 38. Background and History markets within weeks. Over 15,000 jobs in the oil sector vanished from Alberta in the first few months of the NEP. Negotiations by the province to adjust oil and gas prices from a loss situa- tion went nowhere. The federal mandarins would not back down. Because they did not understand the economics of the oil industry, they did not realize how badly it was affecting the Alberta economy. Trudeau and Lalonde were equally stubborn. Lougheed refused to accept the situation and started to withdraw the 30% Alberta royalty oil from the market, reducing volumes flowing to eastern Canada by 15%. This forced refineries in Ontario and Quebec to buy more ex- pensive foreign crude and increased the subsidy drain on the federal treasury. It was the only way Alberta could fight back. Over the next three years, many Alberta engineering, seismic, service and drilling firms either went bankrupt or were forced to develop U.S. or overseas operations to survive. The decline in oil activity quickly transferred to other business sectors of the province. Most economic activity in Alberta dried up within weeks of the NEP being introduced. Real estate prices collapsed quickly as workers moved to find jobs, often walking away from mortgages that were now larger than the property values. Suicides soared. The Alsands project dis- banded. Imperial cancelled its Cold Lake project. Syncrude and Suncor can- celled expansion plans. Ottawa’s attempt to create a new economic order with the NEP ended when world oil prices collapsed in 1984. Taking inflation into consideration, the oil prices in those days were comparable to today’s US$90/b to US$100/b. The high OPEC oil prices pushed the global economy into recession and global oil de- mand dropped. In addition, Big Oil started to find new sources of supply in Britain, Mexico, Norway and other non-OPEC countries and soon had brim- ming oil tanks around the world. World prices fell from the US$45/b range to US$10/b by late 1985 and stayed below this level throughout 1986, making the Canadian price higher than world price. The death knell for the NEP came with the defeat of the Trudeau govern- ment in September 1984 and the election of Brian Mulroney. His policies were the reverse of Trudeau’s in that they sought to bring Canada into the North American economy rather than isolating it. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) removed the last vestiges of the NEP. While the Canada Land grant program was designed to encourage new drilling, the NEP destroyed many of the Canadian firms it was meant to help. Dome Petroleum, the largest Canadian independent oil company, went bank- rupt. Dome was the leader in Arctic offshore exploration and along with Gulf Canada, had built up major technical capability for drilling in the Beaufort. The companies had brought in talent from all over the world and had developed 27
  • 39. The Oil Sands major improvements in icebreakers and Arctic drilling vessels. Both compa- nies got into financial trouble when prices collapsed and were eventually bought out by foreign firms. The expertise and innovative equipment that had been gathered went offshore and hopes for major Arctic oil discoveries died. Firms like Nova and Husky that participated too closely with the NEP were also left in poor financial shape when the program ended, and were taken over. Encouraged by Trudeau and Lalonde to buy foreign-owned assets at peak prices, the domestic firms were hammered financially when world oil prices plummeted and interest rates soared to 20%. Albertans lost millions as their oil and gas stocks cratered in value. The Alberta GDP and population both dropped for the first time in a decade. It was estimated that the NEP took $97 billion out of the Alberta economy and delayed oil sands projects by five years. Some 40,000 people left the province. The bitterness of the NEP is still a strong memory in the minds of the Alberta oil industry and an episode that will never be forgotten, or forgiven, by those who lived through it. OSLO and Husky Projects In 1985, Premier Lougheed stepped down when the oil crisis, and Trudeau, had passed into history. Hon. Don Getty took over as premier of Alberta. The Alberta economy was in serious recession and the government was haemor- rhaging deficits as the economy tanked under painfully low oil prices. People were still leaving the province in droves to find work. Oil prices had dropped to US$10/b while government expenditures remained out of control. The province was borrowing money to meet its bills and eventually Getty’s govern- ment ran up a total of $25 billion in debt. For a province that had been debt- free for decades, this was not popular. Getty suffered politically from policies for diversification that had been started during the Lougheed administration to help expand the Alberta econ- omy. Lougheed had used the large cash flows from rising oil prices to fund new industrial ventures in Alberta. These included granting large areas of timberland to companies to set up paper mills, grants for petro-chemical plants, and various types of financial support for the electronics industry, magnesium production and a variety of other diversification opportunities. Many of these were funded by loan guarantees that suddenly became liabilities when the economy crashed. The political opposition, particularly Lawrence Décor and the Liberals, made strong progress in the polls, bringing all these loan defaults to the attention of the public. It appeared that the Conservatives might be voted out of office at the next election. Getty recognized the handwriting on the wall and resigned. In 1992, Hon. Ralph Klein replaced Getty as premier, and Hon. Jim Dinning, 28
  • 40. Background and History his treasurer, immediately slashed government payrolls and expenditures to bring the provincial budget into line with revenues. Pensions for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) were among the first targets. The govern- ment made across-the-board budget cuts that hit all sectors of government expenditures, and stopped all loan guarantees and subsidies to private sector firms. It took three years to get back to surplus revenues and to start to pay down the debt. Klein stuck to these policies and retired as one of the more popular premiers of the province. He won three elections and served as pre- mier for 14 years. The death of the NEP and the election of a Conservative government in Ot- tawa slowly brought about the resurrection of many oil and gas projects that had been cancelled or put on hold. Oil prices were still low (US$10/b) so oil sands projects were not economic, even with a 1% royalty. Oil companies sought subsidies from the federal and provincial governments to finance their projects. One oil sands mining project was the OSLO (Other Six Lease Own- ers) mine and upgrader. Backers were Imperial Oil, Petro-Canada, PanCana- dian, Canadian Occidental, Gulf Canada and the Province of Alberta. The idea was to use Syncrude’s technology to build a 12,200 m3/d (77,000 b/d) plant in the area north of the Suncor plant where the consortium had leases on rich oil sands lands. The Klein government refused to provide any financial support. As a result, the project died. At the same time, in Lloydminster, Husky Oil was eager to build an 8,750 m3/d (55,000 b/d) heavy oil upgrader to increase the value of the oil it was pro- ducing from many small fields in the region. Straddling the Alberta- Saskatchewan border, the Bi-Provincial Upgrader planned to turn the medium and heavy crude found in the area into lighter synthetic crude that could be shipped to other refineries in the U.S. and eastern Canada. As the federal gov- ernment was in favour of encouraging more production of this resource, the Mulroney government supplied $150 million while the Saskatchewan govern- ment contributed $75 million of its $750 million cost. The Alberta government did not participate because of Klein’s “no finan- cial support” rule. The first Husky upgrader came on stream in July 1992 on the Saskatchewan side of the border. It produced about 12,700 m3/d (80,000 b/d) in 2008 but a $2.3 billion expansion will raise capacity to 23,900 m3/d (150,000 b/d) by 2009–10. The Husky upgrader was the only government-supported oil sands project that went ahead during the post-NEP period. All the rest were owner financed. 29
  • 41. The Oil Sands AOSTRA The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority, popularly called AOSTRA (ay-os-tra) was created in 1974 by the Lougheed government to work together with the Alberta Research Council (ARC). The first oil sands plant (Suncor) was operational at the time, but Lougheed wanted a new organiza- tion that was focused on the development of in situ recovery techniques be- cause over 80% of the oil sands are underground and not suitable for mining processes. AOSTRA was to be the vehicle to encourage innovation in the oil sands. It was initially funded with $100 million from the Alberta Heritage Fund. AOSTRA’s mandate was to sponsor private sector research and develop- ment into oil sands technology, especially non-mineable deposits. While it was a provincial entity, it was designed to encourage private sector research, not government research. Husky Oil and Imperial Oil were working in the Lloyd- minster and Cold Lake areas respectively, but there was limited activity being directed toward the other underground heavy oil or bitumen deposits. The AOSTRA mandate was 1) to find ways to improve the thermal efficiency of the bitumen extraction process 2) to improve upgrading technology and 3) to re- duce the impact of oil sands recovery processes on the environment. At the start, AOSTRA’s primary focus was on the economics of in situ bi- tumen recovery from the oil sands. AOSTRA was not the implementer of the projects but the financial supporter. Its job was to encourage and support pri- vate sector firms to carry out research that would allow the economic recovery of oil from the oil sands in an environmentally acceptable way. AOSTRA was prepared to put money into projects that might not be economic just to prove them out, one way or another. It also allocated funding to find better ways to ship the bitumen by pipeline and to refine it. Preservation and restoration of the environment was also an important part of their mandate, especially the tail- ings pond problem. AOSTRA was an exceptional organization that used the capability of the Al- berta oil industry to leverage its efforts. Right from the start, it was determined to increase the pace of long-term research into oil sands recovery processes. It was willing to fund research and technology from anywhere but the net result was that research results became the property of AOSTRA, to be licensed at a reasonable cost to Alberta firms in the future. Preference was given to Alberta firms, then Canadian firms and non-Canadian companies after that. AOSTRA did not want to be the owners of any research facilities but preferred to use facil- ities belonging to others. Balancing the rights to proprietary information is not easy, but AOSTRA’s willingness to support 50% of the cost of projects was at- tractive, especially if the sponsoring company knew it could get the rights back 30
  • 42. Background and History 7. Dover Underground Test Facility at a later date for a reasonable fee. It allowed many Alberta companies the op- portunity to try out new oil sands technology with lower costs and risk. In 1983, AOSTRA deviated from its policy of not owning research facili- ties when it was unable to find companies to carry out innovative underground recovery technology projects. It built a research facility, the Dover Underground Test Facility (UTF), north of Fort McMurray to conduct a series of experiments in various underground recovery processes. It was later sold and is now part of Petro-Canada. A view of the facilities is shown in Exhibit 7. Many of the senior leaders in the oil sands industry today worked in one capacity or another at the Dover facility. One of the research projects was an un- derground caisson where mining technology was used to drill long tunnels un- der the oil sands to channel heat to the bitumen in the formation. Eventually, the ability to use horizontal drill technology made this approach obsolete, but it was an excellent training ground for many of the younger engineers who could see the underground oil sands up close. The underground technology developed during that time may yet return as many people feel it has merit for the future and offers a more environmentally friendly way to recover the oil deposits. In 1995, the AOSTRA mandate was broadened to include the upgrading of heavy oils and bitumen. The resources allocated to this technology included 31
  • 43. The Oil Sands the National Centre for Upgrading Technology at Devon, just south of Ed- monton. This federal centre is well equipped to carry out pilot projects to test new upgrading technology and similar bitumen processes. AOSTRA was in existence from 1974 to 1999. It spent some $670 million over 15 years on nearly 1,000 projects. This was a highly effective investment and should serve as the model for future energy investments. Its success is due to its sponsorship of other people’s ideas. Researchers have to be convinced their proj- ect will be successful in order to put up half the money. Having the government fund the other half of the cost of a research project is an attractive proposition and reduces the risk. Results of research are not released immediately but all tech- nology eventually goes into a database open to all and available for a low royalty. In 2000, AOSTRA was replaced by the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI). AERI has a similar purpose, but its mandate is broader and covers re- search into coal, solar, windmills, geothermal and other types of energy needed for the future. Like AOSTRA, AERI has a cooperative attitude for sharing in- formation and for funding projects. Not all AOSTRA projects were successful. There were many failures, but these were accepted as part of a learning process. AOSTRA’s two biggest suc- cesses were the development of the cold water process for mining projects and SAGD for underground projects. AOSTRA’s technology developments have pumped $180 billion into the Alberta economy over the past decades. There were also a host of minor improvements that will contribute to lower cost, fewer emissions and reduced environmental impact of future projects. AOSTRA’s im- pact was important because it led to the development of today’s oil sands sector. Alberta Today Alberta was once an impoverished corner of Canada that relied almost entirely on its agriculture sector. In the last 50 years, oil and gas resources have trans- formed the province into the fastest-growing, youngest, best-educated and most employed population in Canada. In January 2009, Alberta had an estimated population of 3.6 million in a country of 33.5 million, or 10.7% of the Canadian population, but accounted for about 16% of the national GDP. The province has been the economic leader in Canada for the last decade. It is at the end of the strongest, longest economic growth period ever recorded by a Canadian province. Oil and gas are still the major driving force in the economy, but the manufacturing sector exceeded the agricultural sector several years ago in terms of economic output. All three sectors have been solid economic drivers in the rapidly diversifying economy. Even though the Alberta economy has been hit hard by Black October and low oil prices, it remains economically strong. 32
  • 44. Background and History The province has seen exceptional migration since 2000, as 487,000 people were added to the province between 2000 and 2007, adding to the 278,000 peo- ple who moved in over the preceding five years. The population between 2005 and 2006 increased by 98,181 people—a 3% increase in one year, or almost 270 people per day—but slowed in 2007 and 2008. A large percentage of these were transfers from other provinces, but natural births were especially strong in re- cent years. There has been heavy immigration from the Orient and India as well. The population aged 19 and under represents 28% of residents, while the age group between 20 and 64 represents almost 62%. This leaves only 10.6% of the population over 65, probably because many older Albertans retire in British Columbia where the climate is better. The median population is 36.6 years, the youngest in Canada. Nonetheless, Alberta’s population is aging, just like the rest of Canada. The population is also one of the best educated in Canada as Alberta’s labour force consisted of over 2.1 million well-educated personnel in January 2009. Sta- tistics show that 60% of the labour force, 25 years of age and older, reported holding a university degree, or post-secondary diploma or certificate. The three universities and the 16 community, trade and art colleges in the province have hundreds of evening courses that are full of students taking additional courses for both credit and non-credit programs. Education is important in Alberta. Alberta’s public education system is one of the best in North America. All education taxes from the cities, towns and municipalities flow to the provincial government and are mingled with the provincial contribution and distributed back to local school boards on an equal per capita payment basis. This allows all students in the province access to the same funding for their education re- gardless of the wealth in the community. Alberta teachers are the highest paid in Canada. All schools and libraries in the province have high speed Internet, while Calgary is the first city in Canada where all schools are wired for wire- less Internet. The province is full of free Internet “hot spots.” Alberta funds religious and “charter” schools from the public purse. Many of these are elite schools while others offer religious or ethnic teaching. The province tests students at Grades 3, 6 and 9, and sets the graduation exams for Grade 12. The last round of tests showed that Alberta Grade 9 children were tops in North America, and were third only to Singapore and Korea on a global basis. Grade 3 and 6 tests show similar results. Two Alberta students have been the runners-up in the U.S. National Scripps-Howard National spelling bee over the last two years. Finola Hackett from Tofield (population 1,880) was the run- ner-up in 2006, while Nate Gartke from Spruce Grove (a suburb of Edmonton, population 18,000) was the runner-up in 2007. The province has three universities located in Edmonton, Calgary and 33
  • 45. The Oil Sands Lethbridge. It has two major Institutes of Technology in Edmonton and Cal- gary, and community colleges in some 13 communities offering a wide range of technical and arts courses. Three serve the entire province through class- rooms in small communities and are especially busy in the oil sands where many people are getting an education while they work. The biggest problem is that the universities are full and cannot admit all qualified students who apply. Two or three colleges will be upgraded to universities by 2010 because the three existing ones cannot grow fast enough. There will be an increasing need for bachelor, masters and Ph.D. degrees in the province in the future. Alberta has set aside huge tracts of land that are to remain in their natural state for the people. The province has one of the largest parks systems in the world. The province has over 500 provincial parks and protected public access areas that receive over 8 million visitors a year from a population of 3.5 million. Banff, Jasper and Waterton National Parks are within its borders (18,092 km2) as well as another 27,525 km2 of protected public lands. Wood Buffalo National Park, located on the northern border of the province, 250 km (150 mi) north of Fort McMurray is the largest park in Canada at 44,800 km2. There are a total of 87,000 km2 (33,600 mi2) of parks in Alberta compared to 76,800 km2, the total of all U.S. National Parks. Over 13.1% of the province is a park or protected area. That’s the equivalent of 74% of New York State in parks. Most Albertans enjoy their parks, mountains and prairies and are sensitive to the environment and try to protect it. Unfortunately there are still a few slobs with 4-wheel-drive trucks and ATVs that like to tear up public lands with their vehicles. Some get tickets but too many get away with it. Alberta’s employment rate rose to 2.12 million workers in January 2009, with the unemployed representing 4.4% of the work force, up slightly from the lowest level in provincial history (3.1%) recorded in mid-2007. Black October will likely increase the unemployment rate as the oil sector slows under low oil prices. The labour participation rate (percentage of people between 16 and 64 who are in the work force) in Alberta was 73.8% in 2008, the highest in Canada. The level of union members in the private sector is only 12.4%, mostly in the trans- portation and construction sectors. The provincial average is 23.7% due mostly to provincial and municipal employees, hospital care and education employees who are almost entirely unionized. Calgary has the second-largest number of head offices for large companies (over 1,000 employees) in Canada, behind Toronto but ahead of Montreal and Vancouver. Most of these companies have global operations. One of the few good things that came out of the National Energy Program was that the com- panies that survived the NEP became international traders, a trait that exists throughout the province. These global firms are the training grounds for the 34
  • 46. Background and History new wave of entrepreneurs emerging in Alberta. They bring with them the ex- perience of having worked internationally with local companies. Calgary and Edmonton are two of the best cities in Canada for small busi- ness. Calgary has about 40 small businesses (less than 50 people) per 1,000 pop- ulation, Edmonton about 36. These small businesses were also the second- and third-fastest growing in the country in 2008, and were leaders in previous years. Many of these are small companies in engineering, research, manufacturing, medicine, telecommunications, software or other business services. These firms originally sprung up to supply high technology goods and services to the oil in- dustry and oil sands, but have since broadened their scope into international markets to grow. Both communities have incubators for a wide range of inno- vative companies in the process of developing global business. The Queen Elizabeth II highway corridor between Calgary and Edmonton is one of the wealthiest parts of Canada, ranking with similar complexes such as Route 128 near Boston or the Denver-Colorado Springs region. A TD Bank study in 2003 pointed out that the corridor from Edmonton to Lethbridge had a GDP of US$40,000 per capita, putting it second only to Luxembourg. Income in the corridor is 140% of the Canadian average. Generating over $100 billion in goods and services annually, this corridor includes the two cities of Ed- monton and Calgary (with 1 million people each) as well as over 100 smaller communities that have well established retail sectors as well as agricultural, manufacturing and oil service and supply companies. All these communities have been well diversified and are booming. The numerous communities along the QEII corridor offer an attractive lifestyle. These small- and medium-sized towns and cities offer reasonable house prices, an infrastructure with good social, education and medical serv- ices and a high quality of life. Each community generally has a unique person- ality. There are hundreds of small companies delivering a wide range of goods and services to a broad global range of business sectors, ensuring much of the wealth flows back into the province. Edmonton and Calgary have good air con- nections to cities throughout the world. The QEII four-lane highway continues through to the U.S. border and connects with similar turnpikes to Mexico. Both CP Rail and CN Rail have connections throughout the province offering direct rail freight service across Canada and to the U.S. Alberta Politics Politically, the province is the most stable in Canada. It has a habit of staying with one government for many years. The initial government (Liberal) ruled from 1905 to 1921 (16 years), while the United Farmers of Alberta ruled for 14 35
  • 47. The Oil Sands years. The Social Credit party term of office extended from 1935 until 1971 (36 years). The Conservatives have been in power ever since 1971 (37+ years). All have been right-of-centre governments with a practical, responsible agenda. The province has been blessed in that all of its premiers have generally been capable, honest leaders. Two have been exceptional. Much of the credit for the success of the province in the last half-century has been due to the competent leadership of Hon. Ernest Manning and Hon. Peter Lougheed. Albertans are generally hard-working people who have a right-of-centre political point of view, but this has changed with the influx of many new peo- ple over the last decade. Left-of-centre views can be found around Edmonton but the southern part of the province is solid right-wing territory. Most Alber- tans view honesty, integrity and the ability to stand on one’s own feet as im- portant. Citizens strongly supported the Klein government when it chopped spending to bring the deficit under control, and to pay down the debt. Sur- prisingly, most Albertans did not want the $400 “dividend” cheques that were mailed to all citizens in 2006, feeling it should have been spent on education, health care and infrastructure. This does not mean that Alberta does not have problems. Critics point out the income disparity, lack of low-income housing, shortage of care for the men- tally ill, the huge gambling problem and the high abuse/divorce rates. These certainly exist but there is little support from the public to correct them as the majority feel it is up to the person to solve his/her own problems. People look to the province to provide good health care, high quality education and the op- portunity to get a job. After that, it is up to individuals to make their own life. Albertans are reasonably generous with charity and volunteering their time for good causes but are not near the top of the list among the provinces. It is still a very self-centred part of the world. Achievement and wealth are important goals to many who live here. Albertans work hard and play hard. They admire and support success. Alberta-trained athletes dominated the Canadian share of medals at the Torino Winter Olympics because of the legacy of the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Not only was Calgary left with all the Olympic facilities but had $66 million in the bank for upkeep and to ensure facilities could be used for training. The number of medals won in the Winter Games has risen steadily since then as the quality of the athletes and training improves. Canada is the only country in the world that has not won a gold medal when it has hosted the Olympic Games (Montreal in 1967 and Calgary in 1988). It will be interesting to see if Canada can finally break the jinx in Vancouver/Whistler in 2010. 36
  • 48. Background and History Commitment to Innovation Alberta has made major commitments to research over the decades. It has been a slow process for an impoverished agricultural province that has been built up steadily over the years. The role of the Alberta Research Council and AOSTRA has been discussed above, but new funds have been set up to advance the level of research in the province. In 1980, $300 million from the Alberta Heritage Fund was put into the Al- berta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR). Another $500 mil- lion was allocated in 2005, allowing the AHFMR to carry out some $62 million in medical research throughout the province. In 1994, the Alberta Science and Research Authority (ASRA) was estab- lished to coordinate research being carried out throughout the province and to attract funding for it. With reduced government budgets, there were concerns research was not being focused on areas where it could be most beneficial. In April 2000, the Klein government committed $1 billion for the Alberta Ingenuity Fund to create similar innovation in the engineering and life sciences fields as had been achieved in the medical area. This group is still in the process of growing but carried out about $50 million in research in 2007. In May 2007, Premier Ed Stelmach unveiled the province’s commitment to exploit the world’s nanotechnology market and announced a $130-million investment fund over five years to expand research and development at the University of Alberta. In July 2008, Premier Stelmach announced a further $4 billion fund for Climate Change Strategy. Half this fund will be used to develop carbon cap- ture and storage (CCS) projects while the second $2 billion will be used for public transit. The province is committed to research and development and recognizes leadership in the world is directly tied with research into new technology. That is why this book proposes Alberta start the hydrogen age while it still has ample financial resources thanks to its revenues from oil. Oil may not be needed in 30 to 40 years as other forms of energy may have replaced it. That is why it is im- portant for the province to start the search now for the energy sources that will be needed in 2040 and beyond. This assumes that Alberta wants to continue to be a leader within the Canadian federation, and in global markets. Saskatchewan Today Saskatchewan was like Alberta for much of its early history. It is slightly smaller than Alberta at 588,276 km2 (227,134 mi2) but came into existence on the same day in 1905. It also received the mineral rights under the soil in 1930 when the 37
  • 49. The Oil Sands federal government transferred them to the two provinces. The province is like Alberta with rich rolling prairies in the southern half of the province and wooded boreal forest with many rivers and lakes in the northern half. The province became the “breadbasket of the world” as immigrants streamed into the prairie lands after the Canadian Pacific Railway was built in 1885. The development of Marquis Wheat that ripened quickly in the short Canadian summer allowed the province to become a major exporter of high quality grain to the world in the early part of the 20th century. Tens of thou- sands of immigrants poured in from all across Europe to homestead the free land. People from many different nations settled in the small communities and created the mosaic of cultures that blended with the 72 Indian indigenous bands. The population reached the 900,000 mark by 1930 and the province prospered until the Depression when wheat prices collapsed. The Depression hit both prairie provinces very hard and economic times were tough. Politically, Saskatchewan has been left of centre in its provincial politics for much of the 20th century. Because of the reliance on the wheat trade, the province became strongly socialist as the farmers fought together against the eastern railroads, bankers, brokers and governments to exercise more control over the prices of their grains. There has always been a strong resentment to- ward large blocks of capital from central Canada. The Canadian Common- wealth Confederation (CCF) became the New Democratic Party (NDP), both with strong socialist roots. The provincial government became the operator of the phone company, the insurance company, the power company and the oil company among other key sectors of the economy. The monopoly federal Wheat Board markets the grain. The Saskatchewan government under Hon. Tommy Douglas introduced the first Medicare for the citizens, a good idea that has since spread across Canada. While right-of-centre parties would get into power from time to time, the province kept returning to the left-wing parties. The NDP was in power for 16 years before the election in 2007 of the Saskatchewan Party under the Hon. Brad Wall. During much of the post-WWII period, cooperatives were encouraged as business models under the socialist governments. These often did well and spread the revenues from livestock, meat packing, wheat, oilseeds, pigs and other agricultural commodities throughout the communities but lacked the capital to become world class competitors. Many new businesses aimed at di- versification of the provincial economy went bankrupt because the owners lacked either the capital or the expertise. The small market of less than 1 mil- lion was also a major deterrent. The province failed to generate the business acumen and spirit of free enterprise that its next-door neighbour embraced. Economically, the province never lived up to its promise in spite of the 38
  • 50. Background and History wealth that was found beneath its soil. The province has found oil and gas since the 1930s and produced some 63,600 m3/d (400,000 b/d) in 2008. While the deposits under the province have been attractive they only have about 25% of the oil and 5% of the gas that was found in Alberta. The socialist governments did not bar the private oil companies from exploiting their oil and gas resources but made the royalties so high that the firms preferred to keep their head offices in Alberta. The biggest oil company for many years was the government-owned SaskOil but it was sold off and privatized in 1986. Federated Co-op still runs the 127,000 m3/d (80,000 b/d) refinery in Regina. Since then the Husky upgrader in Lloydminster has become the biggest oil firm. As the need for farm workers has declined over the years with the advent of bigger ploughs, combines and other farm machinery, the younger people have drifted away to find jobs elsewhere, many coming to Alberta. However, they remain committed to the province. The cheering at the Calgary or Ed- monton stadia for the Roughriders when the Saskatchewan team is in town is almost as loud as for the home team. The province has remained stuck around the 1 million population mark for decades since 1930. Saskatoon is the largest city but at 209,000 it is one-fifth the size of Edmonton or Calgary. This lack of population is hurting the province as it is now booming with new industry and opportunity as commodity and wheat prices are strong. The province is ac- tively encouraging those who have moved away to come back. Some 15,000 re- turned in 2008 as the lifestyle can be an attractive one. The cost of living is comparable to many other parts of Canada, although housing is scarce. Much of the prosperity is due to expanding demand for natural resources. Some of the better opportunities include the following: The oil industry is experiencing boom activity as the Bakken light oil play in the south-eastern part of the province is matched with the expansion of the heavy oil and upgrading sector in Lloydminster. The province has cut the royalties to match those in Alberta and Alberta oil firms are moving into the province in large numbers. The oil sands in Saskatchewan are also being developed. The potash industry with 100 billion tonnes of reserves has 10 modern mines that are supplying potassium chloride (KCL) to the world for potash fer- tilizer. Sales are over $1 billion/yr. While the largest firm, Potash Corp, was orig- inally owned by the provincial government, it has been privatized and other private sector firms are also active. The industry has been booming as the world demands better food and needs potash to achieve it. Demand has been slowing in 2009. Saskatchewan is the largest exporter of uranium in the world, with some of the richest mines. It has about 17% of the world’s uranium reserves with sales approaching $1 billion/yr as the price increases under rising demand. Nuclear 39
  • 51. power plants are being built again as the world seeks to curb the emission of GHGs. At the current rate of extraction, Saskatchewan’s known uranium de- posits will last for more than 25 years. IPSCO (Interprovincial Steel Corporation) was a successful company for half a century with its innovative steel pipe and plate mills in Regina. Like many of the steel companies in North America, it was taken over by a foreign firm, Evraz, in 2008, with its head office in Luxembourg. The province under Premier Brad Wall is expected to be the only province in Canada that will show positive growth in 2009. The unemployment rate in early 2009 is the lowest in Canada and the attitude of the citizens is very posi- tive. There is strong innovation and the new venture development sector in Saskatoon is considered to be one of the best in western Canada. It is going to be interesting to see if the growth continues. 40
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  • 56. Bibliography Library of Parliament. The Climate Change Conven- Oil Sands Experts Group Workshop. Oil Sands tion & Kyoto Protocol, Ottawa, November 2007. Workshop Report, January 2006. Liberal Party of Canada. The Green Shift: Building a Oil Sands Underground Mining Inc. Ronald Drake. Canadian Economy for the 21st Century, June 2008. An Innovative Approach for the Underground Mining Of Oil Sands, June 2001. Marathon Oil Corporation. Annual Report, 2008. Oilsands Quest. Christopher Hawkins, CEO. Build- Marsden, William. Stupid to the Last Drop: How Al- ing Value Step By Step, at TD Newcrest Forum, Lon- berta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to don, January 2009. Canada (And Doesn’t Seem to Care). Toronto, ON: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2007. Opti Canada Inc. Building the Oil Sands Advantage, 2004. Marsulex Corporation. Annual Reports, 2006, 2007. Opti-Nexen Project. Application for Amendment McMahon, Darryl. The Emperor’s New Hydrogen Long Lake Updated Engineering, February 2006. Economy. New York, NY: iUniverse, Inc., 2006. OECD. Energy: The Next Fifty Years, Paris, France, Mitchell, Robert, Brad Anderson, Marty Kaga, and 1999. Stephen Eliot. Alberta’s Oil Sands: Update on the Generic Royalty Regime, 1998. Paper. ———. Innovation in Energy Technology, Comparing National Systems at the Sectoral Level, Paris, France, Mobis Energy Inc. G. Rhodey. A New Concept to 2005. Maximize Heavy Hydrocarbon Upgrading, Septem- ber 2006. ———. Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard, Innovation and Performance in the Global Economy, Moore, Curtis, and Alan Miller. Green Gold: The Paris, France, 2007. Race for Environmental Technology. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1994. Paramount Energy Trust. Gas Over Bitumen—Final Hearing Presentation, June 2005. Morris, Charles R. The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Philadelphia, PA: Perseus Books Group, 2008. Parkland Institute. John Warnock. Selling the Family Silver: Oil and Gas Royalties, Corporate Profits and National Centre for Upgrading Technology. Soheil The Disregarded Public, November 2006. Asgarpour, An Integrated Energy Solution, Septem- ber, 2006. Paul, Bill. Future Energy. How The New Oil Industry will Change People, Politics and Portfolios, Hoboken, National Energy Board. Canada’s Oil Sands: Oppor- NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. tunities and Challenges to 2015, An Update, June 2006. Pembina Institute. Down to the Last Drop: The Athabasca and Oil Sands, March 2006. Natural Resources Canada. Carbon Dioxide, Cap- ture and Storage, A Compendium of Canada’s Partic- ———. Meeting Demands for Water: Oil Sands and ipation, 2006. Conventional Oil, March 2006. Nexen Inc. Effects of Potential Water Withdrawal of ———. Death by a Thousand Cuts: Impacts of In A SAGD Operation, February 2004. Situ Oil Sands Development on Alberta’s Boreal Forests, August 2006. ———. Gary Neuwenberg. Long Lake Synthetic Crude, March 2004. ———. “Presentation to Oil Sands Multi-Stakehold- er Committee,” September 2006. Nicholls Applied Management. Manufacturing Op- portunities Related To In-Situ Oil Sands Industry Ex- ———. Oil Sands Fever: The Environmental Implica- pansion, May 2003. tions Of Canada’s Oil Sands Rush, November 2006. Nikiforuk, Andrew. Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Fu- ———. Thinking Like An Owner: Overhauling The ture of a Continent. Vancouver, BC: Greystone Royalty And Tax Treatment Of Alberta’s Oil Sands, Books, 2008. November 2006. Nodelcorp Consulting Inc. Greenhouse Gas Man- ———. Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance on Oil agement Plan, Joslyn North, December 2005. Sands, Submission to the Standing Committee of Fi- nance, February 2007. Northern Lights, A Synenco SinoChina Partnership. Application for Oil Sand Mining and Extraction Proj- ———. Roger Peters and Lynda O’Malley. Storing ect, May 2005. Renewable Power, June 2008. 317
  • 57. The Oil Sands ———. Peggy Holroyd. Transboundary Implications Romm, Joseph J. The Hype about Hydrogen. Wash- of Oil Sands Development, February 2009. ington, DC: Island Press, 2004. Penn, Mark J. Micro-trends: The Small Forces Behind Salm, Dr. Ranjit (Ron). Technical Paper on the Intro- Tomorrow’s Big Changes. Twelve, New York, 2007 duction of Greater than E10 Gasoline Blends, July 2007. Petro-Canada. Dr. Claes Palmgren. The Technology Triangle, Athabasca Bitumen Vapex Pilot, June 2005. Saskatchewan Industry & Resources. Oil Sands In Saskatchewan, 2005. ———. Oil Sands—Presentation to Alberta Econom- ic Development Seminar, Tokyo, Japan, March 2006. Saskatchewan Research Council. Technology Makes the Difference, 2006 paper. ———. Sue Mackenzie. Delivering In Situ Value: Formula for Success, October 2006. Scott, David Sanborn. Smelling Land, Canadian Hy- drogen Association, www.h2.ca. ———. Human Health Risk Assessment, MacKay River Expansion EIA, November 2006. Shell Canada for Albian Sands Energy Inc. Environ- mental Impact Assessment Report for Muskeg River Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada. Technology Mine, October 2004. Roadmap for Expanding Bitumen & Heavy Oil, March 2006. Shell Canada Limited. Growth, Profitability and Sus- tainable Development, June 2006. Phillips, Kevin. Bad Money. Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capital- Sightline Institute. Cap and Trade 101: A Climate ism, New York, NY: Viking, 2008. Policy Primer, Seattle, WA, September 2008. Platt’s. Canadian Oil Sands and Its Impact on the Simmons, Matthew. The World’s Giant Oilfields, United States, New York Energy Forum, New York, 2004. Simmons & Company International, Houston, NY, 2007. TX website. Purvin & Gertz. Gareth Crandall. Bitumen to Re- ———. Twilight in the Desert. Hoboken, NJ: John fined Products and Petrochemicals, April 2004. Wiley & Sons, 2005. Quadrise Canada Fuel Systems Inc. Multiphase Su- Simpson, Jeffery, Mark Jaccard, and Nic Rivers. Hot perfine Atomized Residue Emulsion Fuels, June Air—Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge. 2006. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 2007. Rajeshwar, Krishnan, Robert McConnell, and Stuart Solomon, Lawrence. The Deniers. The World- Licht Stuart. Solar Hydrogen Generation: Towards a Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Renewable Energy Future. New York: Springer Sci- Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud, ence & Business Media LLC, 2008. Toronto Richard Vigilante Books, 2008. Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Regional Soros, George. The New Paradigm for Financial Profile, 2003. Markets. Public Affairs, New York, NY, 2008. Resources for the Future. Energy: The Next Twenty Stahan, David. The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide Years. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing, 1979. to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man. Lon- don, United Kingdom: John Murray, 2007. Rettger, Phil, Jim Arnold, Arjan Jonckers, and Doug Cathro. Gasification in the Canadian Oil Sands: The Statistics Canada. Energy Statistics Handbook, Ot- Long Lake Integrated Upgrading Project, October tawa, Canada, 2007. 2004. ———. Statistics on Population, GDP, Income, Ot- Rifkin, Jeremy. The Hydrogen Economy: The Next tawa, Canada, 2007. Great Economic Revolution. New York, NY: Penguin Stupple, G.W., and S.B. Rood. Historic Analysis of Putnam, 2002. Stream Flow on the Athabasca River. Annual Meet- Rocky Mountain Institute. The Ripon Forum: Ending ing, Canadian Association of Geographers, Univer- Our Oil Dependence. Snowmass, CO, 2005. sity College of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, B.C., March 2007. ———. Amory Lovins. Getting off Oil: The World in 2007. Snowmass, CO, 2007. Suncor Energy Inc. North Steepbank Expansion Project, March 2005. ———. Amory Lovins, Tilting at Windmills Snow- mass, CO, 2007. ———. Voyageur Expansion Project, March 2005. 318
  • 58. Bibliography ———. Our Journey Towards Sustainable Develop- University of Calgary. ConocoPhillips Ltd., Conoco ment, Annual Reports to 2008. Surmont Pilot Project, 2004. Synenco Energy Inc. “Corporate Presentation,” Sep- University of Waterloo. Maurice Dusseault. Canadi- tember 7, 2007. an Heavy Oil Resources and New Production Tech- nologies, June 2005. Streissguth, Thomas, ed. Nuclear and Toxic Waste. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press Inc., 2001. Upgrading & Refining Heavy Oil, Bitumen and Syn- thetic Crude Conference, Edmonton, AB, Abstracts, Taylor, Karen J, and Michael McGowan. Pipelines & September 2006. Utilities, Exchanging Fire, BMO-Nesbitt Burns Con- ference, May 2006. Uppsala University, Sweden. A Crash Program Sce- nario for the Canadian Oil Sands Industry, June Tertzakian, Peter. A Thousands Barrels a Second: 2006. The Coming Oil Point Break and the Challenges Fac- ing an Energy Dependent World. New York, NY: Mc- ———. Sweden. Kjell Aleklett. A World Addicted to Graw-Hill, 2006. Oil: It’s Time To Sober Up, July 2006. TD Securities. Overview of Canada’s Oil Sands, Jan- Ward’s World Motor Vehicle Data, 2007. uary 2004. Williams, Paul L. The Dunces of Doomsday. TotalFinaElf, Philippe Armand, Sharing Experiences Nashville, TN: Cumberland House Publishing, Inc. in Canada and Venezuela, November 2002. Wood, Denis. Five Billion Years of Global Change. ———. J.J. Mosconi. Capturing Benefits Of Integra- New York, NY: Guildford Press, 2004. tion Through the Oil and Gas Chain, November World Resources Institute. Capturing King Coal: De- 2006. ploying Carbon Capture and Storage Systems, Wash- TransAlta Utilities. “Project Details, 240 KV Power ington, DC, 2008. Line To MEG Energy,” August 2005. World Resources Institute. China’s Booming Energy Udall, Randy, and Steve Andrews. The Illusive Bo- Efficiency Industry, Washington, DC, 2008. nanza: Oil Shale In Colorado, 2005. ———. Plants at the Pump: Biofuels, Climate Change U.S. Department of Agriculture. Paul C. Westcott. and Sustainability, Washington, DC, 2008. Ethanol Expansion in the United States, May 2007. ———. Managing the Transition to a Low Carbon ———. William Coyle. The Future of Biofuels, No- Future, Washington, DC, 2008. vember 2007. ———. Correcting the World’s Greatest Market Fail- U.S. Department of Energy. Strategic Significance of ure: Climate Change, Washington, DC, 2008. America’s Oil Shale Resource, March 2004. ———. Brad Tomer. Importance of Technology in Meeting U.S. Oil Demand, September 2006. ———. Methane Hydrate, Future Energy within Our Grasp, 2007. ———. Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States, 2007, December 2008. U.S. Energy Information Administration. Interna- tional Energy Outlook, 2007. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, 1990–2006, April 2008. U.S.G.S. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil Resources in the Devonian-Mississippian Bakken Formation, 2008. University of Alberta. Rob Engelhardt and Marius Todirescu. Development in Alberta’s Oil Sands, February 2005. 319
  • 59. Index Abasand Oils, 15–16 Bridge to Nowhere, 21 fish, 173–74 Alaska Pipeline (AHPP), 241–42, 245–47, 251 permits, 169 Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board withdrawals, 171–73 (ARCB), 18–20, 66, 69, 70, 71, 75, 85, 94–95, water policy, 174–75 100–3, 131, 139, 143, 145, 148, 225, 234, 247 Atlantic Richfield, (ARCO), 95–97 Alberta Geological Survey, 18–19 Bakken Formation, 39, 53–54, 207 Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), 10, 32 Bechtel, 21, 107 goals, 281 Bell, Dr. Robert, 12 Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund (AHSTF), 9, 30, 37, 196, 312 Biofuels, 59–63, 109, 275, 293 funding research, 9–10, 307 bio-diesel, 61–62 Sovereign Wealth Fund, 210–11 ethanol, 59–61 impact on food prices, 62–63 Alberta Oil Sands Technology Research Authority (AOSTRA), 3, 9–10, 24, 30–32, 37, 75, 86–87, Bitumont, 13–16 94, 101–2, 127, 130, 143, 145, 279–85, 305–10 Black October, 1, 32, 34, 48, 123, 201, 207, 210, Alberta Research Council, 13, 15, 30, 37, 98 215, 224, 231, 241, 245, 248, 251, 255, 263, 265, 268, 272, 276, 281, 307 Albian Sands, see Athabasca Oil Sands Project Blackrock, see Royal Dutch Shell Alternative Energy Research Project (AERP), 281, 305–6, 312 Blair, Robert, 122 budget, 306–7 funding process, 283 Blair, Sydney, 14, 21 objectives, 292–93 Borden Commission, 17, 23–24 Alternative Mobile Energy Sources for Alberta Brazil, 47, 50, 51, 198, 269 batteries, 284 ethanol, 60–61 battery cars, 285–90 Petrobras, 50 solar, 284, 290–91, 298–303 Tupi and offshore, 50, 168 wind power, 280, 284, 294, 297–98 see also Hydrogen Bush, President George W., 49, 211, 213, 271, 277 Altex Pipeline, 230–32 Calgary, 33, 39, 41, 101, 103, 122, 124, 135, 154, 165, 187, 197, 220, 265, 290, 302 Asphaltenes, 185–86, 235–36 business centre, 24, 34–35, 253, 260 stripping, 109, 141, 235 education, 33–34 upgrading bitumen, 141, 186, 235, 249 impact of NEP, 26 use for fuel, 118, 121, 126, 142, 185 Olympic city, 36 ATCO, 191, 260–61 water consumption, 171–73 Athabasca Northern RR (ANY), 219 Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) economic impact, 265 Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), 111–13, 116, 117, 190, 261 Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL), 72, Albion Sands, 81, 105, 113 121, 136, 163, 197, 260, 261, 310 Muskeg River, 112, 117, 191, 237 Horizon, 81, 105, 114–15, 177, 190, 237 Strathcona refinery, 61, 112, 237 Wolf Lake/Primrose, 126–27 Athabasca River, 11–12, 69, 171–73, 188 Campbell, Dr. Colin, 95 Arctic route, 221–22 320
  • 60. Index Carbon Capture & Storage (CSS), 160–65 early oil sands use, 13–15 economics, 161–62 education centre, 34–35 funding, 37 oil centre, 19, 32, 35, 81, 112, 117, 118, 126, possible project, 162–65 146, 220, 227, 234, 237, 243, 253 Weyburn, 161 water use, 171 Carbon tax in Alberta, 159–60 Ells, Dr. Sydney, 13–15 Champion, Lloyd, 15 Enbridge, 146 Arctic pipeline, 246 Chavez, President Hugo, 52–53, 199–200, 239 CCS projects, 164–65 Chrétien, Rt. Hon. Jean, 22 pipelines east, 82, 227–28 pipelines south, 232 Christina Lake, see MEG or EnCana pipeline west, 230 Cities Service, 21, 109 EnCana, 121, 161, 163–64, 183, 197, 214, 236, 239, 248, 250, 260 Clark, Dr. Karl, 13–15, 21, 75, 185 Christina Lake, 143–44, 239, 248, 260 Clark, Rt. Hon. Joseph, 25 Christine Lake pilot project, 96 ConocoPhillips JV, 144, 194, 239 CN Rail, 7, 35, 219–20 Foster Creek, 127–28, 144, 183, 188, 239 Foster Creek pilot plant, 97 CP Rail, 35, 189 Ethanol, see Biofuels Cold Lake, see Imperial Oil Limited Energy Information Agency (EIA), 46 Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR), 124– oil shales, 54 25, 127–28, 183 ExxonMobil, 16, 46, 110, 198, 201 Colony Project, 55 Arctic, 243, 245–47, Connacher Petroleum, 197, 236 Kearl, 115–17, 169, 177, 238 Great Divide, 148–49 First Nations—Fort Chipewyan, 171, 190, 192–94 ConocoPhillips, 110, 198, 232 Cancer concerns, 193–94 EnCana JV, 194, 239 First Nations—Fort McKay, 105, 190–92, 218, Surmont, 133–35 222, 224 Cumulative Environmental Management Asso- Fitzsimmons, Robert, 14–15 ciation, (CEMA), 169, 181 fish/water problem, 174–75 Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO), 8, 252, 257, 262–64 role in region, 174 Fort McMurray, 7, 12, 14, 17, 31, 34, 66, 87, 105, Davis, Hon. Bill, 22 110, 112, 117, 162, 172, 185, 190, 192, 219 airport, 115, 193, 217, 222–24 Deffeyes, Kenneth S., 95 population growth, 16, 21 Devon Energy, 95, 121, 164, 201, 250, 252, 264 rail links, 219–21 Jackfish, 145–46, 188, 248 river links, 221–22 traffic, 191, 217–18 Dickie, Hon. William, 22 see also Wood Buffalo Diefenbaker, Rt. Hon. George, 17, 23–24 Foster Creek, see EnCana Dinning, Hon. James, 28 Franklin, Sir John, 11 Dion, Hon. Stéphane, 1 Fuel Cells, 5, 278, 181–84, 286–88, 291, 292 Dome Petroleum, 26–27, 122, 126, 221 Canadian experience, 303–4, 308–9 Future use, 278–81, 305–9 Edmonton, 33, 35, 36, 39, 162–63, 193, 215, 219, 221, 230, 250, 259, 260, 296, 310 Great Canadian Oil Sands, see Suncor 321
  • 61. The Oil Sands Great Divide project, see Connacher Petroleum International Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), 7, 43, 152–54 Green River Shales, 53–55 Jack 2 oil field, 49 Greenhouse gases (GHG), 2 role in climate change, 7 JACOS Hangingstone, 132–33 Gulf Oil, 22, 27, 28, 221, 245, 259, 269 Kinder Morgan, 232 Hangingstone, see JACOS CCS project, 164–65 Harper, Rt. Hon. Stephen, 1, 2, 62, 155, 158–59, Vancouver pipeline, 227–28 165, 200, 204, 230, 310 Klein, Hon. Ralph, 18, 23, 29, 37, 187, 200, 210 Harvard Business School, 22, 303 funds for research, 37 spending freeze, 28–29, 216, 220 Highway 63, 217–19 Kyoto, 152 Hoffman, G.C., 12 Canadian plans, 154–56 Protocol, 154–56 Hopper, Bill, 122 Lalonde, Hon. Marc, 25, 27, 28 Hubbert, Dr. Marion King, 44–45 Laricina Energy, 100 Hubbert’s Peak, see Peak Oil Leduc, 16, 82, 197, 236, 253, 259 Hudson’s Bay Company, xi, 11–12, 18, 190, 192, 214 Leitch, Mervin, 22 Hunter, Bill, 205 Li, Kai-Shing, 122–23 Husky Oil, 28, 121, 126, 146, 197, 214 Bi-Provincial Upgrader, 29, 39, 81, 236, 238 Lougheed, Hon. Peter, 3, 18, 28, 36, 255 early days, 16 AOSTRA, 3, 30, 279, 307 heavy oil, 30, 81–83, 121–122, 227 Heritage Trust Fund, 210 Tucker Lake, 123 oil wars, 25-27 raise royalties, 24, 196, 204 Hydrogen, 37, 187, 267, 286, 287, 309–10 Syncrude, 22-23 Future fuel, 3–5, 9–10, 280–82, 291–93 upgrading bitumen, 81, 111–12, 186–87, Lougheed, Sir James, 22 234–35 storage, 281–83, 294–97 Macdonald, Hon. Donald, 22 pipelines, 295–97 Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP), 243–45 vehicles, 303–5 see also Fuel cells Mackenzie, Alexander, 11 Ignatieff, Hon. Michael, 1, 310 Mackenzie River route to oil sands, 222 Investment Canada Act, 213 Macoun, John, 12 Jackfish project, see Dover Energy Manning, Hon. Ernest, 17, 24, 36, 255 Imperial Oil Limited, 12, 16, 19, 26–27, 121, building Alberta, 196 123, 129, 132, 163, 169, 197, 236, 250, 252 first oil sands plant, 21, 107 Arctic, 221 Cold Lake, 30, 70, 83–86, 96, 124–26, 188 Marie Lake, 102, 125 Kearl, 81, 115–17, 169, 177, 238, 260, 264– 265 McKeough, Hon. Darcy, 22 Strathcona refinery, 116, 126 MEG Energy Syncrude, OSLO, 22, 29, 76, 109 Christina Lake, 147–48 International Energy Agency (IEA), 46, 48, 269, Mexico, 27, 35, 51, 172, 210, 252, 263 280, 302 Cantarell, 48, 276 shortfall, 4, 46, 268–69 NAFTA, 276–77 offshore, 268, 276 322
  • 62. Index Montreal, 34, 42, 180 Fort Hills, 117–18, 264 market, 17, 227 JACOS, 132 pipeline, 23–24 Mackay River, 131–32 Meadow Creek, 139–40 Muskeg River Mine, see Alberta Oil Sands OSLO, 29, National Energy Program, 25–28 Strathcona refinery, 132, 139, 238 Sturgeon Upgrader, 237 Norman Wells, 16 Syncrude, 110 UTF, DOVAP, 31, 97, 145 North West Company, 11 Petrolia, 12 North West Mounted Police (Mounties), xi, 18 Pew, J. Howard, 16 Northern Transportation, 221–22 Pond, Peter, 11 Northwest Territories, 26, 190, 241, 245 Frontier drilling, 26, 245 Project Scheduling, 255–56 Mackenzie Gas Project, 243–44 Prudhoe Bay, 22, 50, 203, 245–46 Nuclear Power atomic bomb in sands, 186 PTI Group, 144, 259, 260–62 heat for SAGD, 186–188 Putin, Premier Vladimir, 198–200 Obama, Pres. Barack, 1, 165, 194, 211, 236, 247, Queen Elizabeth highway corridor, 35, 197 251, 277 high speed rail, 7, 221, 305 Oberg, Hon. Lyle, 205 Reclaiming the land Oil Sand Deposits mining, 178–80 Athabasca, 69, 71–73 in-situ, 181–82 Cold Lake, 70 Redwater, 16, 82, 117, 163, 259 Peace River, 71 Saskatchewan, 72–73 Research in Canada budgets, 306-8, OPEC, 45–46, 52, 196, 211, 268, 274, 275 hydrogen 302-5 crises, 24, 273, 277 formation, 17, 24 Richardson, Sir John, 11 price of oil, 27, 242, 272–73 wealth, see Sovereign Wealth Funds Royal Dutch Shell, 21, 44, 109, 116, 121, 260, 281, 309 Opti-Nexen, 81, 121, 163, 220, 222 A.O.S.P., 23, 111–13, 163, 190, 198, 237, 243, Long Lake, 141–43 261, 264 upgrading, 185–86, 235, 249 Blackrock, 129 Fort MacKay, 190–91 Orinoco Basin, see Venezuela Green River Shales, 55 OSUM, 101–3 In-situ upgrading, 103 Jackpine project, 113 Palmgren, Dr. Claes, 95 Peace River, 71, 129–31 Parkland Institute, 196, 205 Royalty Regimes, 9, 24–27, 162, 195–201 generic, 22–23, 200–1 Peak Oil, 2, 4–5, 28, 43–47, 50–53, 57, 267–70, original oil sand projects, 21–22 271–78, 285, 293, 312 sources of revenues, 195–96 Pembina Institute, 169–82, 189, 196, 225–26 2008 Alberta changes, 202–7 Petrobank Petroleum, 98–100, 188 Sarnia, 12, 17, 109, 117, 238, 296 THAI process, 98–100 refining centre, 12, 227–28 Whitesands, 98–100, 188 Saskatchewan, 1–2, 8, 18, 25, 37–40, 63, 122, 183 Petro-Canada, 76, 95, 121, 144, 163, 197 Bakken, 53–54, 207 creation, 24–26, 122 heavy oil, 13, 68, 81–83, 124, 148 323
  • 63. The Oil Sands oil sands, 3, 65, 70, 72–73 Total Petroleum, 76, 121, 186, 198, 201, 265 potash, 39, 86 Joslyn, 135–37 upgrader, 29, 71 Northern Lights, 118, 119, 222, 237 uranium, 39, 187 Surmont ownership, 133 Weyburn EOR project, 161 UTS offer, 118 Saudi Arabia, 46, 52, 66, 207, 260, 272 THAI process, see Petrobank Petroleum sovereign wealth fund, 209–10 TILMA, 257–57 Simmons, Matthew, 95 Trudeau, Rt. Hon. Pierre, 24–25, 213 Social Credit, 22, 36 oil wars, 25–28 Sovereign Wealth Funds Turner Valley, 16, 18 AHSTF, 9 see also Alberta Heritage Fund United States, 1, 9, 27, 33, 34, 35, 41, 84, 108, 145, 164, 169, 171, 193, 199, 207, 209, 210– Stelmach, Hon. Edward, 1, 7, 19, 37, 41, 103, 12, 214–16, 241, 246, 250, 251, 258, 265, 268, 121, 165, 170, 216, 220, 255 273, 274, 278, 280, 283, 292, 296, 277–98, climate change strategy, 23, 151, 160–63 299–300, 301, 307, 308 carbon tax, 159–60, 283 Alaska pipeline, 245–47 infrastructure, 216, 220, 234, 236, 260 electric cars, 287, 289–90 royalty review, 23, 204–7 emissions, 153–54, 156, 165–66, 170, 285 water management, 174–77 imports, 52, 162, 236, 242, 245, 276–77 market for oil, 17, 23, 29, 227, 229–30, 236 Sun Oil Company, 21–22 U.S. Peak Oil, 24, 44, 46, 272 Suncor, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30, 60, 75, 105, 112, 117, future oil/gas/fuel, 49, 51, 53–54, 57–61, 161 139, 142, 190–92, 197, 200, 206, 216, 219, refinery changes, 121, 230–34, 239–40 234, 247, 250, 255, 260 Vapex, 97 Burnt Lake, 123 carbon capture, 160–63 Venezuela, 17, 23, 66, 151, 185 Firebag, 96, 108, 137–39, 185–86 Orinoco Basin, 51–53, 185–86, 199 first plant, 21–22, 106 Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), 199 Great Canadian Oil Sands, 16, 21, 107 Millennium, 81, 264 Von Hammerstein, Alfred, 13 new technology, 78–80, 97, 101 Williams, Hon. Danny, 199–200, 253 Ontario refinery, ethanol and stations, 107–9 Steepbank mine, 108 Wolf Lake, see Husky Oil Voyageur, 109, 225, 237 Wood Buffalo, 174, 181, 193 water and reclamation, 175–80, 185 endangered species, 178 windmills, 309 future growth, 259 Surmont, see ConocoPhillips National Park, 34, 172 size of region, 224–225 Syncrude, 23, 26, 27, 29, 68, 76, 101, 108, 112, 117, 136, 142, 160, 162, 175, 178, 180, 185, Yamani, Sheik, 277 186, 189, 190, 191, 197, 200, 206, 219, 247, 255, 260 Aurora, 80, 111 consortium ownership, 22, 139 first plant, 22, 109–111 technology change, 78–79, 234 upgrading expansion, 81, 111, 237 Tailings Ponds elimination of, 175–77 MTF problems, 80, 176–78, 180 324

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