SK TARSANDS at La Loche - on & on & . . .

Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche on & on . . . .

Postby Oscar » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:40 am

Saskatchewan still hopes to mine its own oilsands

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saskatc ... -1.3117242 ]

New technology needed to extract resource, then there's the problem of selling it

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News Posted: Jun 18, 2015 5:00 AM ET| Last Updated: Jun 18, 2015 1:48 PM ET

After more than a decade of effort, millions spent on research and a corporate bankruptcy, Saskatchewan, which hasn't produced a drop of oil from bitumen, remains determined to develop its own oilsands.

- - - - SNIP - - - -

Syncrude oil sands site near Fort McMurray Saskatchewan wants to follow in Alberta's footsteps and one day develop its oilsands reserves. Kyle Bakx/CBC)

- - -

"There is a long laundry list of challenges that lie in front of Saskatchewan," said University of Calgary energy historian Paul Chastko, who has studied Canada's oilsands extensively. "All of which seem to argue against anything happening immediately."

It wasn't always thus. In 2007, then-opposition leader Brad Wall proudly waved a sample of Saskatchewan bitumen at a fundraiser audience in Calgary. Oil was trading in the triple digits, which made the province's dreams of oilsands seem close enough to touch.

In those days, companies that had been shut out of the sweet spots in Alberta were also looking at what was on offer across the border. Oilsands Quest, for instance, spent millions researching how to extract bitumen from the early stage play. When access to capital dried up along with the financial crisis, the junior company was forced into bankruptcy protection.

In 2012, Cenovus bought Oilsands Quest's properties in Alberta and Saskatchewan for $10 million. The company says it has no plans at this time to develop any of the properties.

Currently, companies have no way to extract the bitumen in Saskatchewan. The resource is too deep for mining and too shallow for SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage), which uses steam to heat the bitumen so it flows downward into wells and can be pumped to the surface.

Scientists and engineers have tried to find a solution. While they have yet to find an answer, they may be getting close.

Not if, but when

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has worked for 15 years to try and liberate the province's bitumen. SRC worked with Oilsands Quest many years ago on this project. In the next several years, the council is pledging to figure out how to extract Saskatchewan's bitumen.

"I think in the next five years we will crack that," said Mike Crabtree, vice-president of energy for SRC. "Then it will be a question of when those technologies will be commercially picked up by the operators."

SRC scientists are hopeful the use of electricity and solvents could be the solution. The reason SAGD is ineffective for Saskatchewan's bitumen deposits, which are about 180 metres underground, is because it uses steam at a high temperature and high pressure. That's problematic because the geography in the area isn't strong enough to form a barrier or cap to contain the steam.

That's why researchers are trying to develop a low temperature, low pressure method to exploiting the reserves. Techniques under development include using electrical thermal heating and solvents instead of steam. Those methods could also result in a lower energy, more environmentally sensitive way of extracting bitumen than conventional approaches used in Alberta.

Plenty of hurdles

If researchers can perfect the technology, it would then be up to industry to implement.

"Scientists and engineers have to be optimists. We develop a lot of technology. Some of it makes the cut, some of it doesn't," said Crabtree.

Any potential oilsands operator would face several challenges to begin operating in Saskatchewan, besides the obvious technology hurdle. How would the bitumen be transported, by pipeline or rail? Will there need to be any upgrading or refining required? Is there not a more profitable play in Alberta?

Then, there is the environment. If it takes five years to perfect the technology to unlock Saskatchewan's oilsands, it may take another five years for a company to commercialize the technique, leading to a decade down the road without a facility constructed. What will the environmental concerns be at that time, considering the extensive discussions already about climate
change, the need for a carbon tax and the G7 pledge to decarbonize the world?

While Alberta has reaped the financial benefits of the oilsands, it has also had to bear the considerable criticism flung from around the world over the harm to its environment.

"Make sure you have adequate thought on transportation, infrastructure and impact on the workforce, land, air, and water," said Chastko. "Be sure that you have thought out the implications of your decision. Having the technology and skills to do something, is a completely different question than whether or not something should be done."

Ultimately, Saskatchewan's efforts could prove to be Alberta's gain.

If the technology is proven, it will likely be put to use in Alberta first, which will greatly expand how much bitumen can be recovered in the province. For instance, Crabtree suggests Cenovus is watching the research closely and if perfected, the company would likely use it on several of its properties in Alberta, before thinking of extracting bitumen from its lands in Saskatchewan.

That said, Saskatchewan doesn't want the whole world, it just wants its slice of the oilsands pie.

- -

■Oilpatch sharply cuts future production forecast
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/oilpatc ... -1.3105972 ]

■Difficult to invest in green energy in Canada without Big Oil
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/d ... -1.3100233 ]
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8372
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - on & on & . . .

Postby Oscar » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:53 am

Saskatchewan still hopes to mine its own oilsands

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saskatc ... -1.3117242 ]

New technology needed to extract resource, then there's the problem of selling it

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News Posted: Jun 18, 2015 5:00 AM ET| Last Updated: Jun 18, 2015 1:48 PM ET

After more than a decade of effort, millions spent on research and a corporate bankruptcy, Saskatchewan, which hasn't produced a drop of oil from bitumen, remains determined to develop its own oilsands.

EXCERPT:

"There is a long laundry list of challenges that lie in front of Saskatchewan," said University of Calgary energy historian Paul Chastko, who has studied Canada's oilsands extensively. "All of which seem to argue against anything happening immediately."

It wasn't always thus. In 2007, then-opposition leader Brad Wall proudly waved a sample of Saskatchewan bitumen at a fundraiser audience in Calgary. Oil was trading in the triple digits, which made the province's dreams of oilsands seem close enough to touch.

In those days, companies that had been shut out of the sweet spots in Alberta were also looking at what was on offer across the border. Oilsands Quest, for instance, spent millions researching how to extract bitumen from the early stage play. When access to capital dried up along with the financial crisis, the junior company was forced into bankruptcy protection.

In 2012, Cenovus bought Oilsands Quest's properties in Alberta and Saskatchewan for $10 million. The company says it has no plans at this time to develop any of the properties.

Currently, companies have no way to extract the bitumen in Saskatchewan. The resource is too deep for mining and too shallow for SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage), which uses steam to heat the bitumen so it flows downward into wells and can be pumped to the surface.

Scientists and engineers have tried to find a solution. While they have yet to find an answer, they may be getting close.

Not if, but when

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has worked for 15 years to try and liberate the province's bitumen. SRC worked with Oilsands Quest many years ago on this project. In the next several years, the council is pledging to figure out how to extract Saskatchewan's bitumen.

"I think in the next five years we will crack that," said Mike Crabtree, vice-president of energy for SRC. "Then it will be a question of when those technologies will be commercially picked up by the operators."

SRC scientists are hopeful the use of electricity and solvents could be the solution. The reason SAGD is ineffective for Saskatchewan's bitumen deposits, which are about 180 metres underground, is because it uses steam at a high temperature and high pressure. That's problematic because the geography in the area isn't strong enough to form a barrier or cap to contain the steam.

That's why researchers are trying to develop a low temperature, low pressure method to exploiting the reserves. Techniques under development include using electrical thermal heating and solvents instead of steam. Those methods could also result in a lower energy, more environmentally sensitive way of extracting bitumen than conventional approaches used in Alberta.

MORE:

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saskatc ... -1.3117242 ]

- - -

■Oilpatch sharply cuts future production forecast
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/oilpatc ... -1.3105972 ]

■Difficult to invest in green energy in Canada without Big Oil
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/d ... -1.3100233 ]
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8372
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - on & on & . . .

Postby Oscar » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:52 am

Saskatchewan still hopes to mine its own oilsands

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saskatc ... -1.3117242 ]

New technology needed to extract resource, then there's the problem of selling it

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News Posted: Jun 18, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 18, 2015 1:48 PM ET

EXCERPT:

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has worked for 15 years to try and liberate the province's bitumen. SRC worked with Oilsands Quest many years ago on this project. In the next several years, the council is pledging to figure out how to extract Saskatchewan's bitumen.

"I think in the next five years we will crack that," said Mike Crabtree, vice-president of energy for SRC. "Then it will be a question of when those technologies will be commercially picked up by the operators."

SRC scientists are hopeful the use of electricity and solvents could be the solution. The reason SAGD is ineffective for Saskatchewan's bitumen deposits, which are about 180 metres underground, is because it uses steam at a high temperature and high pressure. That's problematic because the geography in the area isn't strong enough to form a barrier or cap to contain the steam.

That's why researchers are trying to develop a low temperature, low pressure method to exploiting the reserves. Techniques under development include using electrical thermal heating and solvents instead of steam. Those methods could also result in a lower energy, more environmentally sensitive way of extracting bitumen than conventional approaches used in Alberta.

- - - - SNIP - - - -

If the technology is proven, it will likely be put to use in Alberta first, which will greatly expand how much bitumen can be recovered in the province. For instance, Crabtree suggests Cenovus is watching the research closely and if perfected, the company would likely use it on several of its properties in Alberta, before thinking of extracting bitumen from its lands in Saskatchewan.

That said, Saskatchewan doesn't want the whole world, it just wants its slice of the oilsands pie.


+++++++++++++++


NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL AND SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCH COUNCIL PARTNER TO FOCUS ON NATIONAL PRIORITIES

[ http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/n ... priorities ]

Released on July 16, 2015

Partnership will further national priorities while stimulating job creation in Saskatchewan

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) announced today a partnership to provide the tools and expertise Canadian firms need to translate research and development from the lab to the marketplace.

“Saskatchewan is a global leader in biotechnology and this partnership will help to ensure this continues,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Jeremy Harrison said. “In the past, we have embraced biotechnology to deliver more value to the agriculture sector and enhance food security on a global scale. This partnership will expand our capabilities to include the energy, mining and minerals sectors.”

“As Canada’s premier research and technology organization, NRC is an essential partner to drive innovation across Canada, by translating research and technology into jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Canadians,” National Research Council of Canada Vice President of Life Sciences Dr. Roman Szumski said. “This partnership will greatly benefit the goals of NRC’s Bio-based Specialty Chemicals program where 50 per cent of the focus revolves around fermentation and microbial synthesis.”

“This partnership will allow SRC to take further advantage of our facilities and expertise to explore new business areas with a broader national scope by leveraging the capabilities that NRC can provide,” Saskatchewan Research Council President and CEO Dr. Laurier Schramm said. “It will also allow SRC to expand our current service offerings which will help us better meet the needs of our clients.”

The NRC and SRC will together grow the local and national biotechnology and bio-manufacturing industries. The partnership will work with industry in the development of new bioproducts for niche markets and develop bio-manufacturing processes and products for industries beyond agriculture and health to also include the energy, mining and minerals sectors.

The two organizations will leverage existing capabilities and infrastructure and will co-manage a fermentation facility located at Innovation Place in Saskatoon. The partnership will enable each organization to meet the increasing demand for fermentation services, to expand current service offerings and decrease client wait times while accelerating the commercialization of products. The partnership will also allow both parties to take further advantage of their respective facilities to explore new business areas with a broader national scope.

Quick Facts:
•The partnership is an opportunity for Canada to showcase its science, technology, and innovation know-how on a national and international scale in the emerging area of bio-based specialty chemical development.
•As one of Canada’s premier contract biomanufacturing service providers since the 1990s, SRC is well positioned through this partnership to enable partners to build critical mass to advance innovation in biomanufacturing including the areas of biomass development, biocatalyst and bioprocessing, as well as fermentation and microbial synthesis.
•SRC’s Biosafety Level2 fermentation facility is well-equipped for process development, scale-up, optimization and manufacturing of microbial technologies, upstream production, downstream processing and product analysis and it is further supported by leading-edge genomics infrastructure. -30-

For more information, contact:

Media Relations Teams, National Research Council, Ottawa
Phone: 613-991-1431
Email: media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Rebecca Grotto, Saskatchewan Research Council,
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-933-6298
Email: rebecca.grotto@src
Oscar
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Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - on & on & . . .

Postby Oscar » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:57 am

Premiers conference could see clash over pipelines and emissions

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/premier ... -1.3154166 ]

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall signals growing frustration with Ontario, Quebec

By Chris Hall, CBC News Posted: Jul 16, 2015 5:00 AM ET| Last Updated: Jul 16, 2015 11:38 AM ET

Canada's longest serving premier isn't happy. Not one bit. And Brad Wall is letting some of his colleagues know it before he arrives in St. John's for the annual meeting of the country's provincial and territorial leaders.

Wall told reporters in his home province of Saskatchewan that Ontario and Quebec should get out of the way of proposals to build or convert pipelines to carry oil from west to east.

And he said it's high time Central Canada stops treating this country's oil industry as some kind of environmental liability, rather than as an economic benefit that's being shared, via transfer payments, with the entire country.

"We've been contributing mightily to equalization, and I just don't think this kind of talk is welcome, frankly," Wall said Wednesday.

- - - SNIP - - -

Ontario's Kathleen Wynne wasn't responding to questions Wednesday at a reception welcoming premiers to St. John's. But she indicated she'll have plenty to say today when premiers hold their first session in the Hotel Newfoundland, overlooking St. John's historic harbour.

Ontario and Quebec recently announced an agreement to implement a cap and trade system to reduce emissions. Wynne is aiming to reduce her province's emissions by a whopping 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

- - - SNIP - - -

Wynne has been pushing the green agenda hard.

"Ontario and Quebec have agreed on joint principles to help us define a common front to ensure that the project offers safety and protection for the environment, promotes social acceptability and optimizes the economic impacts," she said before heading to the premiers meeting.

Linking pipelines and emissions

To Saskatchewan, that sounds suspiciously like the two provinces won't approve any pipeline projects unless Wall brings in climate change policies they like.

It promises to be good fodder today, a discussion that has much broader implications in the lead-up to a federal campaign in which the economy, energy security and competing regional demands could spell the difference between victory and defeat.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has spent years trying to unlock negotiations over pipelines to the west, pipelines to the south and now pipelines to the east. Environmental reviews have been streamlined inside Canada. He's lectured the Americans on the need to approve Keystone XL.

For all his efforts, nothing has been built. No pipeline has been approved, not even the proposed reversal or conversion of existing pipelines to carry oil from west to east.

MORE:

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/premier ... -1.3154166 ]

- - -

■Saskatchewan still hopes to mine its own oilsands

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saskatc ... -1.3117242 ]
Oscar
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Posts: 8372
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

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