Petroleum exploration in the waters off Western Australia’s coast has led to an astounding discovery – thousands of metres of Eskimo oil and gas hydrates, from the continental to the sub-Antarctic. petroleum exploration in the waters off Western Australia’s coast has led to an accounting of substantial reserves of natural gas and oil. Exploration in the waters of the Moroccan coast, on the other hand, has produced worrying discoveries of quantities oferosene in the sandbars.
remarkably, less than 1 per cent of the reserves of normally commercially valuable petroleum are locked in offshore production, many of which are for export. The Nature of the petroleum resource also varies widely. With a wide range of habitats for diverse oil and gas fields, the catchment area for conventional production of hydrocarbons in offshore areas ranges from 20 to 450 metres depth (90 to 1,250 ft), sometimes extending to 700 metres (2,liquid) and more than 2,500 metres (10,000 ft). With supplies likely to remain short for many years, it will be necessary to develop new technologies to manage such large crude reservoirs.
Even with modern extraction methods, much of the nation’s production of hydrocarbons is difficult to extract from hard rock formations and often cost those not eager to pay high costs for deep water access. In these circumstances, the conventional production of hydrocarbons from sandstone alternatives soon become competitive with oil sands in both production and export.
Concerning oil sands developments, it is worth noting that the deep water access pipeline from Canada to British Columbia was recently completed. Access to such large quantities of water is required for future oil sands developments.
Obviously, progress and exploration of sophisticated drilling and extraction technologies will be crucial to both productions and deployals of oil sands bitumen. Investment in this sector can only be a good thing for Canada’s oil sands region, as it leads to the greatest North American oil sands mine.
America gathers more than half of the world’s known reserves of oil. Canada increasingly supplies such quantities of oil to the U.S. market.
Given this pressing need, it is surprising that Canada’s oil sands region has virtually no domestic oil production. Canada produces less than 1 million gallons of oil per day. Even if highly automated conventional oil production could be achieved, the daily capability will be sporadic, not regular, and not large enough to be economically viable. It will take many years before the North Sea oil sands region can produce oil at volume to sustain a city like Toronto.
If we take a longer view, some interesting technologies may prove to be more promising. In the next decade it is estimated that 80 per cent of the world’s transportation fuel will be electric and two thirds of welded steel pipes will be replaced. In the next 15 years it is predicted that electric vehicles will replace 10 per cent of rides and 30 per cent of cargo transportation. In Canada’s transportation sector, we can expect the situation to improve as we learn to harness cleaner, renewable energy sources.
Even if some of the current oil sands projects come to fruition, Canada’s oil sands are expected to send about 1.5 million tons of bitumen to the Gulf of Mexico every year after 2010. This will very likely mean that the supply will be uninterrupted and safe for investors, who will be given priority access to the project. The amount of investment potential in the region is estimated at $1.7 billion (USD) in the first phase with another $1.9 billion required to break ground a broadside treatment that includes both capital and operating arrangements. The project would also need to include a550 kilometer buffer zone to account for oil spills.
In addition, with each Labyrinth oil spill much like the Cotway spill in spectacular fashion, the future of oil in the Canadian Rockies looks grim. The industry must address management issues, environmental protection, and training programs to ensure that these spills will never be repeated. The industry must realize that it must be environmentally responsible if truly sustainable tourism is to survive. It’s a difficult balancing act, but with proper management, technology, and thoughtful planning Canada’s oil sands will live on for generations to come. After all, we can’t forget the children and future generations whose future depends on our ability to continue to invest in this precious good.”
When I learned of these allegations regarding the spills, I sent emails to Rolf Seiff at TransCanada Keystone Products to express my disgust about this potential tragedy. Your response was gracious and thoughtful. You suggested that we meet to discuss the details of the spills and our obligations to minimize spills in the future.