In its most recent forecast, even under the most stringent emissions scenario, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that in the next 25 years oil sands production in Canada will increase by approximately 2.5 million barrels per day with the oil sands accounting for the majority of this growth. A gradual buildup towards a low, stable output with a resource life of centuries will yield a completely different debt profile because there won’t be any public debt and personal debt will be minimized. To this point, long term solutions are not technically feasible and large tailing ponds are currently being used to hold contaminated water. Or Canadian consumption for about 500 years. Bitumen can be extracted using two methods, depending on how deep the deposits are below the surface. Canada’s tar sands are similar to this as oil is found on the surface. What is more, the use of oil has given rise to another environmental challenge of our times: waste disposal. Since a sustainable society is under no obligation to burn up its non-renewable resources as quickly as possible, the oil sands could remain a useful resource asset for many centuries. Currently, development of the oil sands has resulted in huge tailing ponds which no one has yet been able to render environmentally neutral. Indeed, there are many derivatives that come from the extraction of petroleum that go on to be used in a multitude of processes and to manufacture a myriad of products. Oil sands pollution levels may have been underestimated, Two other studies since 2010 have shown increased levels of mercury in the oil-sands region. On the other side of the equation are the advances in technology which will make production more efficient over time. The best way to approach the development of the oil sands would have been to slowly ramp up production on the lowest cost ore bodies to assure the greatest margins which would have much better supported environmental balance and infrastructure construction. To extract it, special drilling technology is used to go through the earth. Perhaps a long-term policy can be adopted. Or the fact that we are exploiting the richest deposits now and all future deposits will take more energy and more work per barrel of oil produced. This is because oil contains many chemicals besides carbon, and refining it takes some of these chemicals out. This requires a large amount of energy which is why the oil sands have a far higher level of carbon emissions than do conventional oil production sites. Carbon emissions and direct environmental damage are on a massive scale. Complex treatment of both the huge amounts of water used (2 barrels water input for every one barrel of oil output) and the sand and landscape revitalization also require large energy inputs. Total Oil Sands Production as % of Total USA Oil Consumption, Total US daily consumption in barrels per day, Total American Oil Imports in barrels per day, Total American Oil production in barrels per day, Total Oil Sands Oil production in barrels per day. Who will pay for it is very well known. Where oil flows quite readily out of a conventional oil field once it has been tapped, oil from the oil sands has to be extracted in an industrial process involving a great deal of heat and pressure. Canada’s oil sands are developed by the private sector, with major investments from companies based in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. To provide an indication of the scale of the problem of marine litter today it suffices to say that plastics are the most common man-made objects sighted at sea, with 18,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square kilometre of the world’s oceans [4]. Alberta Energy is responsible for forecasting non-renewable resource revenue including oil, natural gas, oil sands, as well as coal royalties, mineral taxes and mineral rights sales and rentals. Our goal is to inspire people to change their attitudes and behaviors toward a more sustainable life. Forecasting non-renewable resource revenue from sources like oil and natural gas is determined primarily by three factors: price, production and the applicable royalties. At a projected rate of 10 million barrels per day, the oil sands life span is under 50 years. Let us know if you liked this article. The oil sands in Alberta is the largest energy project in Canada and is certain to be the longest lived mining operation in the country’s history. Large numbers of foreign workers would not be necessary to keep wages low. In a rapid growth, boom town feeding frenzy infrastructure badly lags growth and speculators push up living costs so the higher wages earned by workers are largely eaten away. However, the way in which the oil sands is developed can lead to a sustainable economy as the energy sector is given time to convert to a renewable energy base. Find out more about Canada’s oil resources, Response from the Minister of Natural Resources on oil pipeline and rail capacity out of Western Canada [PDF, 68KB], Optimizing Oil Pipeline and Rail Capacity out of Western Canada, Learn more about oil sands science underway at NRCan’s Devon, Alberta Research Centre, Learn more about how oil pipelines are regulated in Canada, Get the latest information on crude oil prices, Find information on fuel prices in your area, Find key statistics on Canada’s energy sector in the Energy Market Fact Book 2015-2016. Chapter 13 ~ Non-Renewable Resources Key Concepts. The oil sands carbon emissions are second (a distant second) only to mass immigration as the source of Canada’s rising emissions. This does not refer only to the repurposing of oil rigs or platforms when known reservoirs of oil run out and companies seek to relocate. The oil sands in Alberta contain approximately 170 billion barrels of accessible oil. Read more about us. Bitumen can be extracted using two methods, depending on how deep the deposits are below the surface. But most of the world’s oil is still deep under the ground, not only on land but also under the ocean floor. Use our cartoons and logos to drive your points home. In many ways, petroleum is how we get to one of the most commonly used materials: plastic. Governments scramble to build infrastructure and incur heavy debt in doing so. Innovation is critical to reducing the environmental footprint of oil sands development. As a result, the economic benefits of oil sands development reach across Canada and around the globe. However, this was a process that took place over many thousands of years. Greentumble is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to It is interesting to see how in this case, the extraction and refining process are optimised to use as much of the extracted oil as possible, but this does not counterbalance the environmental degradation its use causes. However, the way in which the oil sands is developed can lead to a sustainable economy as the energy sector is given time to convert to a renewable energy base. Out of the $90 selling price, oil sands developers are spending are spending approximately 15 cents per barrel on environmental costs. Like any mine, once the richest body of the ore is depleted, the mine is abandoned. In 2014, oil sands production was 2.2 million barrels per day. Just like other fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, it was formed many thousand years ago when the Earth’s climate was radically different. Canada can replay the mining town boom-bust cycle or it can transition to responsible governance for the welfare of all in the long term. For enquiries, contact us. That does not take into account future population growth. Crude oil is a fossil fuel that’s used to make gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, heating oil, lubricating oils, and asphalt. Oil sand is a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay or other minerals, water, and bitumen. Given the size of the oil sands, such an approach will prove disastrous from all public points of view. The heat and weight of the layers of soil created the perfect conditions for the formation of oil. While heavy machinery keeps spraying #monocrops with #pesticides and #fertilizers, millions of #family #farmers are applying agroecological approaches to redress those impacts and revive #rural areas. Carbon capture and storage has been trumpeted as the means to drastically reduce emissions level for both the oil sands and Canada as a whole. By definition, the oils sands is a mining operation which means it is a non-renewable resource and therefore development is unsustainable.

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