Alberta Soap Box 🇨🇦

Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Oil Sands Hypocrisy

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orinoco 01Utah has little problem with their oil sands, yet Alberta’s oil sands and the Key Stone Pipeline is trashed around the world as an environmental nightmare. Why the hypocrisy? This is a question that no one seems to want to tackle and give an answer. Oil sands are the same around the world. You can’t have good and bad oil sand. So why is the world just picking on the Alberta oil sands? The argument of being an environmental catastrophe just doesn’t wash.  Since other oil sands around the world are not being attacked by the same environmental groups with the same gusto as attacking Alberta, how can it possibly be an environmental motive that drives the push to shut down the Alberta Oil Sands.  Just the idea of an environmentalist having two different views on oil sands depending on the country is ludicrous.  It can’t be. The drive to shut down the Alberta Oil Sands must have another motive.

Venezuela is now producing more extra heavy crude in the Orinoco oil sands than its four upgraders can handle. The upgraders have a combined capacity of 630,000 bbl/d . There is approximately 300 bn bbl of bitumen estimated to be recoverable (largest recoverable deposit on earth) compared to Alberta’s 168 bn bbl.  The mostly in-situ operations, as in Alberta (80%), in Venezuela  are massive and very carbon intensive projects, so where is the protest to shut down Orinoco. Where is the outrage and the news coverage. The largest oil sands deposit on earth being mined with little to no CO2 emissions regulations and hardly a word.

The USA also has its oil sands production going on in the  Uinta Basin in Utah. Although the Utah’s Uinta Basin bitumen deposits contain 90% less sulfur than the bitumen found in Alberta’s Athabasca region and Venezuela which averages about 5%, it is still Oil sands and comes with all the environmental problems all oil sands come with. Again, little opposition for the Utah product to be shipped by pipe through the USA. Not a word from the Obama administration.

An Italian oil company ENI announced a project to develop a small oil sands deposit estimated between 500 million and 2.5 billion barrels reserves of recoverable oil sands  in the Republic of Congo. Production is scheduled to commence in 2014. Small potatoes compared to Venezuela and Alberta but still oil sands.  Again very little criticism from our world environmentalists even though it could  destroy the Congo’s rainforest.

We could go on with examples around the world from Russian oil sands to  Kazakhstan, bottom line, Alberta is the only oil sand producing country that is getting the shaft from the environmental community. Why does so many factions want Alberta Oil Sands and the Keystone pipeline shut down or reduced to limited production. The answer has little to do with the environment and much more as to who is going to get the oil business and make the money. Venezuela is going to be a big winner with the Alberta oil sands stalled. With its business dwindling to the US and oil accounting for 90% of its export business , Venezuela has sold China on their oil sands resulting in China dramatically altering its international investment policy, pulling back on its plans for direct participation in Canada’s oil sands. With Alberta Oil sands land locked its businesses as usual for the other oil-producing countries, the environment and CO2 emission’s be dammed.

As David Hannum once said “there’s a sucker Born every minute”. Guess they all ended up in Canada since we’re the biggest dupe’s and losers in the oil sands environmental game. We coulda , woulda been a world-class oil-producing nation if only we had known what game we were playing.

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