WorldWideScience

Sample records for athabasca oil sands

  1. Sources of atmospheric emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    An inventory of emissions for the Athabasca oil sands airshed that can be used as a basis for air quality assessments was presented. This report was prepared for the Suncor Steepbank Mine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and for the Syncrude Aurora Mine EIA. Both Syncrude and Suncor have plans to develop new oil sands leases and to increase their crude oil and bitumen production. Suncor has proposed modifications to reduce SO 2 emissions to the atmosphere and Syncrude will develop additional ambient air quality, sulphur deposition and biomonitoring programs to ensure that environmental quality is not compromised because of atmospheric emissions associated with their operations. Major emission sources are controlled and monitored by regulatory statutes, regulations and guidelines. In this report, the following four types of emission sources were identified and quantified: (1) major industrial sources associated with Suncor's and Syncrude's current oil sands operations, (2) fugitive and area emission sources such as volatilization of hydrocarbons from tanks and tailings ponds, (3) other industrial emission sources in the area, including oil sands and non-oil sands related facilities, and (4) highway and residential emission sources. Emissions associated with mining operations include: SO 2 , NO x , CO, and CO 2 . The overall conclusion was that although there are other smaller sources of emissions that can influence air quality, there is no reason to doubt that Suncor and Syncrude oil sands operations are the major sources of emissions to the atmosphere. 13 refs., 12 tabs., 8 figs

  2. Meteorology observations in the Athabasca oil sands region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    Meteorological data was collected in the Athabasca oil sands area of Alberta in support of Syncrude' application for approval to develop and operate the Aurora Mine. Meteorology controls the transport and dispersion of gaseous and particulate emissions which are vented into the atmosphere. Several meteorological monitoring stations have been set up in the Fort McMurray and Fort McKay area. The study was part of Suncor's commitment to Alberta Environmental Protection to substantially reduce SO 2 emissions by July 1996. Also, as a condition of approval of the proposed Aurora Mine, the company was required to develop additional ambient air quality, sulphur deposition and biomonitoring programs. Background reports were prepared for: (1) source characterization, (2) ambient air quality observations, (3) meteorology observations, and (4) air quality monitoring. The following factors were incorporated into dispersion modelling: terrain, wind, turbulence, temperature, net radiation and mixing height, relative humidity and precipitation. 15 refs., 9 tabs., 40 figs

  3. Ambient air quality observations in the Athabasca oil sands region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    Both Syncrude and Suncor have plans to develop new oil sands leases and to increase crude oil and bitumen recovery in the Athabasca oil sands region. In recognition of the effects that this will have on the environment, Suncor has proposed modifications to reduce SO 2 emissions to the atmosphere, while Syncrude plans to develop additional ambient air quality, sulphur deposition and biomonitoring programs. This report discussed the ambient air quality monitoring that was undertaken in the Fort McMurray-Fort McKay airshed. Twelve continuous ambient air quality stations and 76 passive monitoring stations are maintained in the region. Environment Canada maintains eight precipitation monitoring stations in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Source characterization, ambient air quality and meteorology observations, air quality monitoring, and air quality data from continuous sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, acid rain and particulates analyzers were reviewed. The documentation of all computer files used for the analysis of the air quality data is discussed in the Appendix. 47 refs., 39 tabs., 53 figs

  4. Alberta's economic development of the Athabasca oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmann, Michael

    This dissertation examines the 61-year evolution of public policies pertaining to development of Alberta's non-conventional source of crude oil. The Athabasca oil sands contain an estimated 1.5 trillion barrels and provide for a safe continental supply. The Provincial Government first sponsored this undertaking in 1943. The period from then to 1971 was one of a transition from a wheat economy to a natural-resource economic base. A stable government emerged and was able to negotiate viable development policies. A second period, 1971 to 1986, was marked by unstable world conditions that afforded the Alberta government the ability to set terms of development with multi-national oil firms. A 50% profit-sharing plan was implemented, and basic 1973 terms lasted until 1996. However, 1986 was a critical year because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced prices, causing the Alberta economy to lapse into recession. During a third period, 1986 to 1996, the Alberta Government was unable to adapt quickly to world conditions. A new leadership structure in 1996 made major changes to create ongoing fiscal and development policies. That history provides answers to two primary research questions: How do public policies affect the behaviors of the modern corporation and visa versa? What are the implications for development theory? Two sources of information were used for this study. First, it was possible to review the Premier's files located in the Provincial Archives. Materials from various government libraries were also examined. Some 7,000 documents were used to show the evolution of government policymaking. Second, interviews with leaders of oil companies and federal research facilities were important. Findings support the thesis that, to facilitate oil sands development, government and the private sector have closely collaborated. In particular, revenue policies have allowed for effective R&D organization. Relying on intensive technological

  5. Microbial processes in the Athabasca Oil Sands and their potential applications in microbial enhanced oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harner, N K; Richardson, T L; Thompson, K A; Best, R J; Best, A S; Trevors, J T

    2011-11-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands are located within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which covers over 140,200 km(2) of land in Alberta, Canada. The oil sands provide a unique environment for bacteria as a result of the stressors of low water availability and high hydrocarbon concentrations. Understanding the mechanisms bacteria use to tolerate these stresses may aid in our understanding of how hydrocarbon degradation has occurred over geological time, and how these processes and related tolerance mechanisms may be used in biotechnology applications such as microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). The majority of research has focused on microbiology processes in oil reservoirs and oilfields; as such there is a paucity of information specific to oil sands. By studying microbial processes in oil sands there is the potential to use microbes in MEOR applications. This article reviews the microbiology of the Athabasca Oil Sands and the mechanisms bacteria use to tolerate low water and high hydrocarbon availability in oil reservoirs and oilfields, and potential applications in MEOR.

  6. Athabasca tar sands as a source of crude oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montgomery, D S

    1964-01-01

    A general review is presented of the variable nature of the Athabasca bituminous sand resource, and the chemical composition of the bitumen is given at various stages during the refining from raw material to finished products. The research conducted at the Mines Branch, Ottawa, on vapor-phase hydrogenation of coker distillates is described, emphasizing the effect of hydrogen pressure on the rate of catalyst deactivation. The quality of the hydrogenated products is described in general terms and some observations are made on the reasons why large-scale operation is essential if an economical process is to be achieved.

  7. Investing for the future : Athabasca Oil Sands Trust 1998 annual report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sand Trust was created in 1995 when a subsidiary of the Trust, Athabasca Oil Sands Investment Inc., acquired Alberta's 11.74 per cent working interest in the Syncrude Project, which is a joint venture involved in the mining and upgrading of bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands. The Trust is a closed-end investment trust which was created to provide an opportunity for direct public investment in Syncrude and oil sands development in northern Alberta. Syncrude, produced a record 76.7 million barrels of Syncrude Sweet Blend (SSB), and shipped its one billionth barrel on April 16, 1998. Another key achievement in 1998 was the investment the Syncrude Joint Venture Partners of almost half a billion dollars to maintain Syncrude's operations and pursue the Business Plan growth targets outlined in last year's report. By aggressively pursuing this capital investment program despite the current low oil prices, the Syncrude Joint Venture Partners expect to double SSB production to 155 million barrels per year by 2007. The Athabasca Trust's share of these capital expenditures to fuel the projected growth in production is about $ 70 million this year and the next. The report provides operating statistics on production, financial highlights and consolidated balance sheets for 1998, including operating expenditures, capital expenditures, and the usual notes to the consolidated financial statement. 10 tabs., 2 figs

  8. Oil sands development contributes polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Athabasca River and its tributaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Erin N.; Short, Jeffrey W.; Schindler, David W.; Hodson, Peter V.; Ma, Mingsheng; Kwan, Alvin K.; Fortin, Barbra L.

    2009-01-01

    For over a decade, the contribution of oil sands mining and processing to the pollution of the Athabasca River has been controversial. We show that the oil sands development is a greater source of contamination than previously realized. In 2008, within 50 km of oil sands upgrading facilities, the loading to the snowpack of airborne particulates was 11,400 T over 4 months and included 391 kg of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC), equivalent to 600 T of bitumen, while 168 kg of dissolved PAC was also deposited. Dissolved PAC concentrations in tributaries to the Athabasca increased from 0.009 μg/L upstream of oil sands development to 0.023 μg/L in winter and to 0.202 μg/L in summer downstream. In the Athabasca, dissolved PAC concentrations were mostly snow, dissolved PAC concentrations were up to 4.8 μg/L, thus, spring snowmelt and washout during rain events are important unknowns. These results indicate that major changes are needed to the way that environmental impacts of oil sands development are monitored and managed. PMID:19995964

  9. Parameters and mechanisms in the mechanical upgrading of Athabasca oil sands by a cold water process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grant, G B

    1977-01-01

    The efficiency of sand rejection in the cold water mechanical upgrading of Athabasca oil sands has been studied in the operation of rotary contactors of 8.9 cm and 19.0 cm internal diameter, fitted with lifters. Duration of operation, rate of rotation, linear velocity of lifters, temperature, water to oil sands ratio, depth of charge to lifter height ratio, and internal diameter of the contactor have been identified as important parameters. Surfactant addition and presoaking of the feed had negligible effects on the process. A model has been proposed that accounts for the variation of extraction efficiency as a function of duration of operation, the data showing that both the equilibrium extraction efficiency and the rate constant were greater in the large contactor than the small contactor for equal rates of rotation, except when centrifuging occurred in the large contactor. Sand rejection was promoted by lifter-sand and contactor wall-sand impacts and by the action of shear fields within vortices created by the lifter. The impacts occurred for all loading conditions but the latter mechanism only contributed to the sand rejection process for depth-of-charge to lifter height ratios of one or greater. In addition, the contribution of shear fields was only significant for large water to oil sands ratios. Finally, the sand rejection process was affected significantly by variations in temperature. 37 refs., 34 figs., 11 tabs., 4 illus.

  10. An assessment of ground-level ozone concentrations in the Athabasca oil sands region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

    Syncrude and Suncor have plans to develop new oil sands leases and to increase crude oil and bitumen recovery in the Athabasca oil sands region. A first air quality assessment was prepared as part of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board application, in order to evaluate the emissions and potential impacts associated with the development. The Pembina Institute raised several issues with respect to potential future changes in ambient ozone levels as a result of the Aurora Mine operations. In response to these concerns, another more rigorous assessment was conducted to predict future ground-level ozone concentrations in the Fort McMurray area. This report includes: (1) ambient air quality guidelines for ozone, (2) emissions inventory for dispersion modelling, (3) dispersion modelling methodology, and (4) predicted ambient ozone concentrations. Ground level ozone (O 3 ) concentrations result from anthropogenically produced ozone, and from naturally occurring ozone. Ozone is not directly emitted to the atmosphere from industrial sources, but is formed as a result of chemical reactions between NO x and VOCs, which are emitted from industrial sources within the Athabasca oil sands region. NO x and VOC emissions associated with the Aurora Mine operation are predicted to increase hourly average ozone concentrations in the Fort McMurray area by only 0.001 ppm. 17 refs., 18 tabs., 5 figs

  11. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciborowski, J.; Dixon, G.; Foote, L.; Liber, K.; Smits, J.

    2010-01-01

    This abstract provided details of the Carbon Dynamics, Food Web Structure and Reclamation Strategies in Athabasca Oil Sands Wetlands (CFRAW) program, a collaboration between oil sands industry partners and university laboratories. CFRAW researchers are investigating the effects of mine tailings and process waters on the development, health, and function of wetland communities in post-mining landscapes. The aim of the program is to accurately predict how quickly the reclaimed wetlands will approach conditions seen in reference wetland systems. The program is also examining the effects of hydrocarbons as a surrogate source of carbon after they are metabolized by bacteria. The biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands are also being studied. Flux estimates will be used to determine if wetlands amended with peat will maintain their productivity. A conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets is also being developed.

  12. Origin and geochemistry of saline spring waters in the Athabasca oil sands region, Alberta, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gue, Anita E.; Mayer, Bernhard; Grasby, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Saline groundwater enters the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers in the AOSR via springs. • High TDS is due to subsurface dissolution of Devonian evaporites and carbonates. • Low δ 18 O values, and 3 H and 14 C data suggest some Laurentide glacial meltwater input. • Bacterial sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, and CH 4 oxidation were identified. • Metal and PAH contents are reported; bitumen does not appear to be major influence. - Abstract: The geochemistry of saline spring waters in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) in Alberta (Canada) discharging from Devonian carbonate rocks into the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers was characterized for major ions, trace elements, dissolved gases, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In addition, stable isotope analyses of H 2 O, SO 4 , dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), Sr, and CH 4 were used to trace the sources of spring waters and their dissolved solutes, and to identify subsurface processes affecting water chemistry. The spring waters had δ 18 O values as low as −23.5‰, suggesting they are composed of up to 75% Laurentide glacial meltwater. Tritium and radiocarbon age-dating results, analyzed for three spring waters, supported a glacial origin. The high salinity of the spring waters (TDS 7210–51,800 mg/L) was due to dissolution of Devonian evaporite and carbonate deposits in the subsurface. Spring waters were affected by bacterial (dissimilatory) sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, and methane oxidation. Trace elements were present in spring waters at varying concentrations, with only one spring containing several predominant oil sands metals (As, Fe, Mo, Ni, Se, Zn) suggesting bitumen as a source. Five springs contained elements (Al, As, B, Fe, Se) at concentrations exceeding water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. Seven PAHs were detected in spring waters (total PAH concentrations ranged from 7.3 to 273.6 ng/L), but most springs contained a maximum of two PAHs

  13. Estimation of particle size distribution in Athabasca oil sands by indirect neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schutte, R.; Thompson, G.R.; Donkor, K.K. [New Caledonia College, Prince George, BC (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry; Duke, M.J.M. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). SLOWPOKE Nuclear Reactor Facility; Cowles, R. [Syncrude Canada, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Li, X.P.; Kratochvil, B. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry

    1999-10-01

    Knowledge concerning the particle size distribution (PSD) of oil sands is necessary for optimal extraction of bitumen from the sand, and it indicates ore quality, gives a measure of process performance during bitumen extraction, and yields information useful for tailings management. Oil sands with mainly coarse particulates are usually bitumen rich and easy to process in the conventional hot water extraction process. These ores do not require the addition of sodium hydroxide as a process aid, and tailings volumes are minimal in contrast to high fines oil sands. Compared to the methods currently in use for determining the PSD in the oil sand industry, a method is described that is rapid, simple to carry out, and does not involve the use of organic solvents with attendant disposal problems. The principle behind the method is the development of a set of correlations by applying regression analysis to a large set of PSD and elemental analysis data. Predicted PSDs compare favorably with results obtained by existing methods. Each of the three PSD methods currently in use could be simulated by the INAA method. The INAA-based model that predicts hydrometer equivalent data was only applicable above certain lower limits for the amount of the fine size fractions present because of the limited sensitivity of the hydrometer method for PSD determination of fine fractions. For all six particle sizes studied, the INAA model had lower overall uncertainty than the corresponding Microtrac and Coulter instrument methods; the instrument repeatability of the INAA fell between those of Microtrac and Coulter. For Athabasca oil sands, the INAA-based method for PSD determination at and below 44 microm afforded results comparable to current Microtrac and Coulter methods. 13 refs., 9 tabs., 2 figs.

  14. Spatial and temporal distribution of ambient nitric acid and ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Bytnerowicz; W. Fraczek; S. Schilling; D. Alexander

    2010-01-01

    Monthly average ambient concentrations of gaseous nitric acid (HNO3) and ammonia (NH3) were monitored at the Athabasca Oils Sands Region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, between May 2005 and September 2008. Generally, concentrations of both pollutants were elevated and highly variable in space and time. The highest atmospheric...

  15. Groundwater recharge estimates in the Athabasca and Cold Lake oil sands areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacMillan, G.J.; Smith, A.D.

    2009-01-01

    Groundwater recharge estimates for the Cold Lake and Athabasca oil sands region were presented. New oil sands projects planned for the future will require approximately 150,000 m 3 per day of groundwater. Regulators and public agencies are now investigating the potential impacts of oil sands operations on both shallow groundwater and surface water in the region. Maximum yields from the aquifers are also being estimated. Measurements are currently being taken to determine transmissivity, hydraulic pressure, storage potential and leakage. Numerical models are currently used to determine saturated zone recharge estimates and water table fluctuations. Isotope tracers are also being used to determine where groundwater flow potential is vertical as well as to determine correction factors for hydrogeological and geochemical conditions at each site. Darcy's Law is used to determine heat flow in the groundwater aquifers. To date, the studies have demonstrated that drilling fluids have been recovered at groundwater sites. Wells are often installed near water supply and supply well networks. It was concluded that new water wells will need to be completed at various depths. Data were presented for aquifers and nest wells. refs., tabs., figs

  16. Loadings of polynuclear aromatic compounds and metals to the Athabasca River watershed by oil sands mining and processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hodson, P.V.

    2010-01-01

    The contribution of oil sands operations to pollution in the Athabasca River has not yet been determined. Wastes from oil sands processes include recycled water, sand, silt, clay, bitumen, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC) and metals. Upgrading processes can also release significant quantities of PAC and heavy metals. This paper discussed a study in which PAC and metals in the snow pack and river water of the Athabasca watershed were assessed. The study showed that the oil sands industry is a significant source of contamination. The equivalent of 600 T of bitumen was observed at sites within 50 km of oil sands upgrading facilities. The strongest contamination signals occurred during the summer months, which suggested that the surface run-off of contaminated water was related to recent oil sands developments. Samples taken from tributaries in watersheds with little or no development indicated that increased concentrations of oil sands related contaminants were not caused by natural erosion. The contaminants may contribute to higher levels of mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) in the flesh of fish and wildlife and increase toxicity to the embryos of spring-spawning fish.

  17. Developing the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straker, J. [Integral Ecology Group Ltd., Victoria, BC (Canada); Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Reclamation Working Group, Terrestrial Subgroup; Donald, G. [Donald Functional and Applied Ecology Inc., Victoria, BC (Canada); Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Reclamation Working Group, Terrestrial Subgroup

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed the development process behind and the structure of the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. The advances present in the second edition, published in 2010, were described relative to the first edition, which was published in 1998. Oils sands mining companies are mandated to use the manual under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The paper provided an overview of the structure of the second edition and presented the process used to develop the second edition. It also described the planning approaches for revegetative treatments and the planning guidance of overstory and understory species selection. The methods for evaluating revegetative success were also described with particular reference to plant community composition and soil salinity indicators as examples of indicator development. The goal of the manual is to provide guidance on re-establishing the vegetation component of upland ecosystems on reclaimed landscapes and on evaluating the success of the re-establishment, assuming that the reclaimed plant communities should have species characteristic of native plant communities in the region, that the trends of vegetation community and structure development on reclaimed land should be similar to native plant communities in the region, and that the reclaimed ecosystems should have development trajectories that satisfy land-use objectives and provide resilience against natural disturbances. 15 refs., 1 tab., 1 fig.

  18. Spatial and temporal patterns in trace element deposition to lakes in the Athabasca oil sands region (Alberta, Canada)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Colin A.; Kirk, Jane L.; Muir, Derek C. G.; Wiklund, Johan A.; Wang, Xiaowa; Gleason, Amber; Evans, Marlene S.

    2017-12-01

    The mining and processing of the Athabasca oil sands (Alberta, Canada) has been occurring for decades; however, a lack of consistent regional monitoring has obscured the long-term environmental impact. Here, we present sediment core results to reconstruct spatial and temporal patterns in trace element deposition to lakes in the Athabasca oil sands region. Early mining operations (during the 1970s and 1980s) led to elevated V and Pb inputs to lakes located quality guidelines, and no spatial or temporal trends were observed in the frequency of guideline exceedence. Our results demonstrate that early mining efforts had an even greater impact on trace element cycling than has been appreciated previously, placing recent monitoring efforts in a critical long-term context.

  19. Development of water quality objectives and management systems for the lower Athabasca River in the oil sands area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noton, L.; McEachern, P.

    2004-01-01

    This paper addressed environmental concerns related to the increased oil sands activity along the lower Athabasca River in northeastern Alberta. The concerns include potential effects on water quality of the river even though wastewaters do not currently reach the Athabasca River, nor do they have any significant effects. However, as the industry expands, there is concern that releases of wastewater may increase significantly. A multi-stakeholder group called the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) has addressed some of these environmental management issues in the Athabasca area by establishing a water quality task group that examines water quality protection and management activities. The task group intends to develop and recommend water quality objectives and management options on the lower Athabasca River. Their 4 part process includes: (1) defining the problem, (2) setting goals, (3) measuring performance, and (4) managing and adapting to potential impacts. The group has identified and defined about 35 water quality variables of potential concern. It has also identified the uses of water it wants to protect and intends to prevent the degradation of water quality. A plan for developing site specific water quality objectives has been established following a review of water quality guidelines. Performance will be measured using water quality models that simulate full development scenarios. The modelling work will be instrumental in designing management schemes for any potential impacts

  20. Assessing the potential environmental impact of Athabasca oil sands development in lakes across Northwest Saskatchewan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahad, J. M.; Cumming, B. F.; Das, B.; Sanei, H.

    2011-12-01

    The continued development of Canada's Athabasca oil sands poses a significant environmental challenge. Low buffered boreal lakes located downwind of the prevailing eastward wind direction may be threatened by acidification and elevated inputs of airborne contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). An accurate assessment of the impact that increased levels of bitumen production may have on lakes in the region requires an understanding of the historic variability within these systems prior to at least the past several decades. Here we report concentrations of PAHs, δ13C and δ15N of organic matter (OM), Rock-Eval pyrolysis analyses, and distributions of n-alkanes in dated sediment cores from ten lakes located across NW Saskatchewan. Concentrations of PAHs were relatively low (combustion of coniferous wood, was generally the most abundant PAH amongst those reported, demonstrating the importance of forest fires as a principal PAH source. Plots of Hydrogen Index (HI) versus Oxygen Index (OI) fell within a relatively narrow range typical for sediments containing a high content of algal-derived OM. Relatively lower C/N ratios and higher abundances of C17 n-alkane in more recent sediments pointed to an increasingly larger component of algal-derived OM. In all ten lakes δ13C showed gradual upcore depletions that fell within the expected range for fossil fuel combustion (i.e., Suess effect), although this alone may not explain the up to ~3% depletion observed in several of the lakes. In conjunction with the other upcore trends these data may suggest a possible increase in primary productivity over the past several decades in many of the lakes studied. δ15N signatures were more variable, showing upcore increases in some lakes and upcore depletions in others. The increasingly lighter values observed in more recent sediments in some lakes suggest a potential input of depleted bioavailable nitrogen, as might be expected from anthropogenic NOx emissions. This

  1. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CFRAW)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciborowski, J.J.; Dixon, G.; Foote, L.; Liber, K.; Smits, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    The remediation and ecology of oilsands constructed wetlands was discussed with reference to a project known as the Carbon dynamics, Food web structure and Reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands Wetlands (CFRAW). This joint project between 7 mining partners and 5 universities documents how tailings in constructed wetlands modify maturation leading to natural conditions in a reclaimed landscape. Since wetlands are expected to make up 20-50 per cent of the final reclamation landscape of areas surface mined for oil sands in northeastern Alberta, the project focuses on how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions seen in reference wetland systems. This study provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to evaluate how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It is likely that succession and community development will accelerate if constructed wetlands are supplemented with stockpiled peat or topsoil. The bitumens and naphthenic acids found in wetlands constructed with mine tailings materials are initially toxic, but may ultimately serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade or are metabolized by bacteria. This study evaluated the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands, with particular reference to how productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are also being monitored to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope measurements indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age, and how this influences community

  2. Observations on sediment sources in the Lower Athabasca River basin: implications of natural hydrocarbons inputs from oil sands deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conly, F.M.

    1999-01-01

    Government, industry and public concern exists over the environmental consequences of the development of the oil sand deposits in the McMurray Formation in the lower Athabasca River basin, Alberta. The impact of this development is unclear and is undergoing investigation. Investigations to date have focussed on the nature of the effluent produced by the extraction industry and its effect on biotic systems, and on the spatial distribution of hydrocarbon contaminants associated with deposited fluvial sediments. Natural hydrocarbon outcrops may be responsible for observed biomarker responses in areas not exposed to industrial effluent. Given this source of hydrocarbons and doubt concerning its environmental impact, it is difficult to ascertain the impact of oil extraction activities within a fluvial system. A study was conducted to determine the nature and extent of natural hydrocarbon releases within the context of the sediment regime of the lower Athabasca River basin. A description is included of observations from the field and a context is set up for assessing sediment-bound hydrocarbon contaminants in the lower Athabasca River basin. Abstract only included

  3. Outcrop - core correlation and seismic modeling of the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit, Fort McMurray area, northeast Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hein, F.J. [Alberta Geological Survey, Calgary, AB (Canada); Langenberg, C.W.; Cotterill, D.C.; Berhane, H. [Alberta Geological Survey, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Lawton, D.; Cunningham, J. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada)

    1999-11-01

    A joint study between the Alberta Geological Survey and the University of Calgary was conducted which involved a detailed facies analysis of cores and outcrops from the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit in Alberta`s Steepbank area. A unified facies classification for the deposit was developed. Larger scale facies associations were also determined, as well as proxy sonic logs for outcrops used in seismic modeling. The cores which were displayed exhibited detailed sedimentological and stratigraphic analysis of 10 outcrops in the area. 7 refs.

  4. Total and methyl mercury concentrations in sediment and water of a constructed wetland in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oswald, Claire J.; Carey, Sean K.

    2016-01-01

    In the Athabasca Oil Sands Region in northeastern Alberta, Canada, oil sands operators are testing the feasibility of peatland construction on the post-mining landscape. In 2009, Syncrude Canada Ltd. began construction of the 52 ha Sandhill Fen pilot watershed, including a 15 ha, hydrologically managed fen peatland built on sand-capped soft oil sands tailings. An integral component of fen reclamation is post-construction monitoring of water quality, including salinity, fluvial carbon, and priority pollutant elements. In this study, the effects of fen reclamation and elevated sulfate levels on mercury (Hg) fate and transport in the constructed system were assessed. Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in the fen sediment were lower than in two nearby natural fens, which may be due to the higher mineral content of the Sandhill Fen peat mix and/or a loss of Hg through evasion during the peat harvesting, stockpiling and placement processes. Porewater MeHg concentrations in the Sandhill Fen typically did not exceed 1.0 ng L −1 . The low MeHg concentrations may be a result of elevated porewater sulfate concentrations (mean 346 mg L −1 ) and an increase in sulphide concentrations with depth in the peat, which are known to suppress MeHg production. Total Hg and MeHg concentrations increased during a controlled mid-summer flooding event where the water table rose above the ground surface in most of the fen. The Hg dynamics during this event showed that hydrologic fluctuations in this system exacerbate the release of THg and MeHg downstream. In addition, the elevated SO 4 2− concentrations in the peat porewaters may become a problem with respect to downstream MeHg production once the fen is hydrologically connected to a larger wetland network that is currently being constructed. - Highlights: • A constructed fen peatland in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region was studied. • Total and methyl mercury concentrations in fen sediment and waters

  5. Differential effects of high atmospheric N and S deposition on bog plant/lichen tissue and porewater chemistry across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Kelman Wieder; Melanie A. Vile; Kimberli D. Scott; Cara M. Albright; Kelly J. McMillen; Dale H. Vitt; Mark E. Fenn

    2016-01-01

    Oil extraction and development activities in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of northern Alberta, Canada, release NOx, SOx, and NHy to the atmosphere, ultimately resulting in increasing N and S inputs to surrounding ecosystems through atmospheric deposition. Peatlands are a major feature of the northern Alberta landscape, with bogs covering 6-10% of the land area, and...

  6. Compromised metamorphosis and thyroid hormone changes in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised on reclaimed wetlands on the Athabasca oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hersikorn, Blair D.; Smits, Judit E.G.

    2011-01-01

    The wet landscape approach to oil sands tailings reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands region involves creating wetlands from fluid tailings in mined-out pits. We measured time to metamorphosis, thyroid hormone status, and detoxification enzyme (EROD) induction in Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles raised on reclaimed oil sands wetlands of different ages [young (≤7 yr) vs. old (>7 yr)] and compared data with tadpoles raised on reference (control) wetlands. Metamorphosis was delayed or never occurred in tadpoles raised in young tailings; those exposed to older tailings developed similarly to those in reference wetlands. Thyroid hormone disruption likely played an important role in the metamorphosis delay as the T3:T4 ratio was lowest in tadpoles raised in young, tailings-affected wetlands. Our findings suggest tailings wetlands become less toxic with age, and that these amphibians will be able to complete their life cycle in tailing wetlands that have sufficiently detoxified with age. - This work provides guidance for reclamation of oil sands tailings and shows the usefulness of frogs and caging studies in environmental toxicology.

  7. Compromised metamorphosis and thyroid hormone changes in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised on reclaimed wetlands on the Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hersikorn, Blair D., E-mail: blair.hersikorn@usask.c [Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 44 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5B3 (Canada); Smits, Judit E.G., E-mail: judit.smits@ucalgary.c [Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4Z6 (Canada)

    2011-02-15

    The wet landscape approach to oil sands tailings reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands region involves creating wetlands from fluid tailings in mined-out pits. We measured time to metamorphosis, thyroid hormone status, and detoxification enzyme (EROD) induction in Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles raised on reclaimed oil sands wetlands of different ages [young ({<=}7 yr) vs. old (>7 yr)] and compared data with tadpoles raised on reference (control) wetlands. Metamorphosis was delayed or never occurred in tadpoles raised in young tailings; those exposed to older tailings developed similarly to those in reference wetlands. Thyroid hormone disruption likely played an important role in the metamorphosis delay as the T3:T4 ratio was lowest in tadpoles raised in young, tailings-affected wetlands. Our findings suggest tailings wetlands become less toxic with age, and that these amphibians will be able to complete their life cycle in tailing wetlands that have sufficiently detoxified with age. - This work provides guidance for reclamation of oil sands tailings and shows the usefulness of frogs and caging studies in environmental toxicology.

  8. Oil sands development and its impact on atmospheric wet deposition of air pollutants to the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lynam, Mary M.; Dvonch, J. Timothy; Barres, James A.; Morishita, Masako; Legge, Allan; Percy, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Characterization of air pollutant deposition resulting from Athabasca oil sands development is necessary to assess risk to humans and the environment. To investigate this we collected event-based wet deposition during a pilot study in 2010–2012 at the AMS 6 site 30 km from the nearest upgrading facility in Fort McMurray, AB, Canada. Sulfate, nitrate and ammonium deposition was (kg/ha) 1.96, 1.60 and 1.03, respectively. Trace element pollutant deposition ranged from 2 × 10"−"5 - 0.79 and exhibited the trend Hg < Se < As < Cd < Pb < Cu < Zn < S. Crustal element deposition ranged from 1.4 × 10"−"4 – 0.46 and had the trend: La < Ce < Sr < Mn < Al < Fe < Mg. S, Se and Hg demonstrated highest median enrichment factors (130–2020) suggesting emissions from oil sands development, urban activities and forest fires were deposited. High deposition of the elements Sr, Mn, Fe and Mg which are tracers for soil and crustal dust implies land-clearing, mining and hauling emissions greatly impacted surrounding human settlements and ecosystems. - Highlights: • Atmospheric event wet deposition was collected during a 21 month pilot study. • Major ion, anthropogenic and crustal element wet deposition was characterized. • Low precipitation depths attenuated major ion and anthropogenic element deposition. • Oil sands development, urban activities and forest fires contributed to deposition. - In the vicinity of oil sands, monitoring revealed that wet deposition of major ions (SO_4"2"−, NO_3"-, NH_4"+) was highest followed by S and Mg, the latter is a tracer for soil/crustal dust.

  9. Using Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and Spatial Distribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, M.; Graney, J. R.; Pancras, P.; Krupa, S.; Edgerton, E.; Puckett, K.; Percy, K.

    2013-12-01

    The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) conducted studies to document the geographic patterns of atmospheric deposition of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) using epiphytic lichens as bioindicators of atmospheric pollution. Epiphytic lichen samples (Hypogymnia physodes) were collected from 44 locations in 2002, 359 locations in 2008, and 21 locations in 2011 within the AOSR. A subset of samples from 2002 (15) and 2008 (121); and all the samples from 2011 were microwave extracted and analyzed for a comprehensive suite of trace elements using DRC-ICPMS. In addition, source profiles were developed for samples from a variety of available process stacks, heavy duty diesel fleet vehicles, bulk materials representing the various stages of oil sands processing operations, and forest fires. The lichen monitoring and source profile information were integrated into a receptor modeling framework to elucidate the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic sources to the observed atmospheric deposition of S and N in the AOSR. U.S. EPA implemented statistical receptor models utilized included Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF), Unmix, and Chemical Mass Balance (CMB). The sources uniquely identified that significantly contributed to concentrations of elements in the lichen tissue include: fugitive dust from haul roads, tailing sand, and oil sand mining; oil sand processing; combustion processes; and a general urban regional source. The spatial patterns of CMB, PMF, and Unmix receptor model estimated source impacts on the Hypogymnia physodes tissue concentrations from the oil sand processing and fugitive dust sources had a significant association with the distance from the primary oil sands surface mining operations and related production facilities. The spatial extent of the fugitive dust impact was limited to an approximately 20 km radius around the major mining and oil production facilities, indicative of ground level coarse

  10. Sources of particulate matter components in the Athabasca oil sands region: investigation through a comparison of trace element measurement methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips-Smith, Catherine; Jeong, Cheol-Heon; Healy, Robert M.; Dabek-Zlotorzynska, Ewa; Celo, Valbona; Brook, Jeffrey R.; Evans, Greg

    2017-08-01

    The province of Alberta, Canada, is home to three oil sands regions which, combined, contain the third largest deposit of oil in the world. Of these, the Athabasca oil sands region is the largest. As part of Environment and Climate Change Canada's program in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring program, concentrations of trace elements in PM2. 5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter) were measured through two campaigns that involved different methodologies: a long-term filter campaign and a short-term intensive campaign. In the long-term campaign, 24 h filter samples were collected once every 6 days over a 2-year period (December 2010-November 2012) at three air monitoring stations in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. For the intensive campaign (August 2013), hourly measurements were made with an online instrument at one air monitoring station; daily filter samples were also collected. The hourly and 24 h filter data were analyzed individually using positive matrix factorization. Seven emission sources of PM2. 5 trace elements were thereby identified: two types of upgrader emissions, soil, haul road dust, biomass burning, and two sources of mixed origin. The upgrader emissions, soil, and haul road dust sources were identified through both the methodologies and both methodologies identified a mixed source, but these exhibited more differences than similarities. The second upgrader emissions and biomass burning sources were only resolved by the hourly and filter methodologies, respectively. The similarity of the receptor modeling results from the two methodologies provided reassurance as to the identity of the sources. Overall, much of the PM2. 5-related trace elements were found to be anthropogenic, or at least to be aerosolized through anthropogenic activities. These emissions may in part explain the previously reported higher levels of trace elements in snow, water, and biota samples collected

  11. Multicomponent seismic reservoir characterization of a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) heavy oil project, Athabasca oil sands, Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiltz, Kelsey Kristine

    Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is an in situ heavy oil recovery method involving the injection of steam in horizontal wells. Time-lapse seismic analysis over a SAGD project in the Athabasca oil sands deposit of Alberta reveals that the SAGD steam chamber has not developed uniformly. Core data confirm the presence of low permeability shale bodies within the reservoir. These shales can act as barriers and baffles to steam and limit production by prohibiting steam from accessing the full extent of the reservoir. Seismic data can be used to identify these shale breaks prior to siting new SAGD well pairs in order to optimize field development. To identify shale breaks in the study area, three types of seismic inversion and a probabilistic neural network prediction were performed. The predictive value of each result was evaluated by comparing the position of interpreted shales with the boundaries of the steam chamber determined through time-lapse analysis. The P-impedance result from post-stack inversion did not contain enough detail to be able to predict the vertical boundaries of the steam chamber but did show some predictive value in a spatial sense. P-impedance from pre-stack inversion exhibited some meaningful correlations with the steam chamber but was misleading in many crucial areas, particularly the lower reservoir. Density estimated through the application of a probabilistic neural network (PNN) trained using both PP and PS attributes identified shales most accurately. The interpreted shales from this result exhibit a strong relationship with the boundaries of the steam chamber, leading to the conclusion that the PNN method can be used to make predictions about steam chamber growth. In this study, reservoir characterization incorporating multicomponent seismic data demonstrated a high predictive value and could be useful in evaluating future well placement.

  12. Physiological and biochemical responses of small fish exposed to Athabasca oil sands sediment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tetrault, G.R.; Environment Canada, Burlington, ON; McMaster, M.E.; Dixon, D.G.; Parrott, J.L.

    2002-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the influence of naturally occurring oil sands related compounds on the reproductive function and hepatic responses of fish. Wild fish, both exposed and unexposed to the compounds in question, were collected along with sediments for laboratory testing. The study showed that in vitro gonadal incubation levels of steroid production were lower at the tributary sites within the oil sands deposits. One indicator of exposure to oil sands related compounds (hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity) was shown to be 5 times higher at the same sites. In addition, slimy sculpin were exposed to sediment samples from the Steepbank River site for 4 to 8 days to evaluate the absorption of the indicator. The indicator in exposed fish was found to be comparable to that measured in fish native to the oil sands area. The study was not capable of predicting an altered ability of gonadal tissue of exposed fish to produce steroid hormones in vitro. It was concluded that future development could compromise the reproductive health of fish in the area

  13. Pollutant deposition impacts on lichens, mosses, wood and soil in the Athabasca oil sands area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pauls, R.W.; Abboud, S.A.; Turchenek, L.W.

    1996-01-01

    A study was conducted to monitor the accumulation and impact on the environment of emissions from oil sands processing plants. SO 2 , H 2 S, NO x and hydrocarbon concentrations in the air were monitored. Syncrude Canada Ltd. conducted surveys to determine elemental levels in lichens and mosses. The objective of the study was to monitor the pattern of accumulation of emissions by oil sand plants in, and their effects on, lichens and mosses, and examine changes in wood induced by soil acidity. The moss, lichen and wood samples were analyzed for total elemental content. Soils were analyzed for pH, soluble sulphate and other properties related to soil acidity and soil composition. Little or no evidence was found to indicate that wood tissue chemistry has been affected by atmospheric deposition of substances originating from oil sands plants. These results led to the inference that no large changes in soil acidity have resulted from oil sands plant emissions either. 66 refs., 21 tabs., 124 figs

  14. Total and methyl mercury concentrations in sediment and water of a constructed wetland in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oswald, Claire J; Carey, Sean K

    2016-06-01

    In the Athabasca Oil Sands Region in northeastern Alberta, Canada, oil sands operators are testing the feasibility of peatland construction on the post-mining landscape. In 2009, Syncrude Canada Ltd. began construction of the 52 ha Sandhill Fen pilot watershed, including a 15 ha, hydrologically managed fen peatland built on sand-capped soft oil sands tailings. An integral component of fen reclamation is post-construction monitoring of water quality, including salinity, fluvial carbon, and priority pollutant elements. In this study, the effects of fen reclamation and elevated sulfate levels on mercury (Hg) fate and transport in the constructed system were assessed. Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in the fen sediment were lower than in two nearby natural fens, which may be due to the higher mineral content of the Sandhill Fen peat mix and/or a loss of Hg through evasion during the peat harvesting, stockpiling and placement processes. Porewater MeHg concentrations in the Sandhill Fen typically did not exceed 1.0 ng L(-1). The low MeHg concentrations may be a result of elevated porewater sulfate concentrations (mean 346 mg L(-1)) and an increase in sulphide concentrations with depth in the peat, which are known to suppress MeHg production. Total Hg and MeHg concentrations increased during a controlled mid-summer flooding event where the water table rose above the ground surface in most of the fen. The Hg dynamics during this event showed that hydrologic fluctuations in this system exacerbate the release of THg and MeHg downstream. In addition, the elevated SO4(2-) concentrations in the peat porewaters may become a problem with respect to downstream MeHg production once the fen is hydrologically connected to a larger wetland network that is currently being constructed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Long vigil in Athabasca oil sands culminates in rapid expansion plans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1974-05-01

    Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. needs to earn $40 million or more per year to get a reasonable return on the investment, vice president and general manager R.D. Humphreys told delegates at the Petroleum Accountants Society of W. Canada annual conference at Jasper Park Lodge. The conference then was ''the Alberta Oil Sands.'' Sun Oil Co. has taken no return yet, but has paid off the loans and taken shares in return so it owns nearly all the equity capital. The operation is not really breaking even at present, but should improve because GCOS is getting the full effect of the oil price increase under the original royalty agreement with the Alberta government. It is hoped that this will enable the company to recoup an accumulated deficit of more than $90 million. Money is the biggest problem for the current expansion designed to raise production to the authorized 65,000 bpd. Manpower is second and delivery of materials third. There is a lead time of 15 to 18 mo. on critical materials. Over the long term, tailings disposal is the greatest single problem facing all oil sands operators.

  16. A risk-based approach for identifying constituents of concern in oil sands process-affected water from the Athabasca Oil Sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQueen, Andrew D; Kinley, Ciera M; Hendrikse, Maas; Gaspari, Daniel P; Calomeni, Alyssa J; Iwinski, Kyla J; Castle, James W; Haakensen, Monique C; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V; Rodgers, John H

    2017-04-01

    Mining leases in the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) region produce large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) containing constituents that limit beneficial uses and discharge into receiving systems. The aim of this research is to identify constituents of concern (COCs) in OSPW sourced from an active settling basin with the goal of providing a sound rational for developing mitigation strategies for using constructed treatment wetlands for COCs contained in OSPW. COCs were identified through several lines of evidence: 1) chemical and physical characterization of OSPW and comparisons with numeric water quality guidelines and toxicity endpoints, 2) measuring toxicity of OSPW using a taxonomic range of sentinel organisms (i.e. fish, aquatic invertebrates, and a macrophyte), 3) conducting process-based manipulations (PBMs) of OSPW to alter toxicity and inform treatment processes, and 4) discerning potential treatment pathways to mitigate ecological risks of OSPW based on identification of COCs, toxicological analyses, and PBM results. COCs identified in OSPW included organics (naphthenic acids [NAs], oil and grease [O/G]), metals/metalloids, and suspended solids. In terms of species sensitivities to undiluted OSPW, fish ≥ aquatic invertebrates > macrophytes. Bench-scale manipulations of the organic fractions of OSPW via PBMs (i.e. H 2 O 2 +UV 254 and granular activated charcoal treatments) eliminated toxicity to Ceriodaphnia dubia (7-8 d), in terms of mortality and reproduction. Results from this study provide critical information to inform mitigation strategies using passive or semi-passive treatment processes (e.g., constructed treatment wetlands) to mitigate ecological risks of OSPW to aquatic organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Distribution of clay minerals in the process streams produced by the extraction of bitumen from Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaminsky, H.A.W.; Etsell, T.H.; Ivey, D.G. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering; Omotoso, O. [Natural Resources Canada, Devon, AB (Canada). CETC

    2009-02-15

    The clay minerals present in the oil sands were studied with particular reference to how they are partitioned in bitumen ore during the extraction process. Bitumen production from surface-mined oil sands accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total bitumen production in Alberta. Every cubic meter of mined ore results in 1.3 cubic meters of mature fine tailings (MFT). The characteristic differences between the clay minerals that report to the froth versus the tailings streams were also examined to determine which minerals could impact different unit operations in the bitumen extraction process. X-ray diffraction and random powder samples were used to quantify the clay minerals. Particle size distribution and clay activity balances were also conducted. The degree of partitioning during the conditioning and flotation stages in a batch extractor was determined by the surface properties of the clay minerals. The water-continuous tailings stream was separated into fine and coarse tailings fractions through sedimentation. The study showed that bitumen-clay interactions may be dominated by kaolinite or iron oxides. Clays are responsible for the poor settling behaviour of MFTs. The clay minerals present in the oil sands include illite, illite-smectite, kaolinite, kaolinite-smectite, and chlorite. The close proximity of the tailings ponds to the Athabasca River and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission require that the ponds be reclaimed to a natural landscape before mine closure. In addition to its impact on fine tailings reclamation, clay mineralogy plays a role in extraction froth flotation and emulsion stability during froth treatment. The mineralogy of the froth solids was found to be different from the mineralogy of the middlings and tailings solids. 39 refs., 6 tabs., 6 figs.

  18. Sources of particulate matter components in the Athabasca oil sands region: investigation through a comparison of trace element measurement methodologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Phillips-Smith

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The province of Alberta, Canada, is home to three oil sands regions which, combined, contain the third largest deposit of oil in the world. Of these, the Athabasca oil sands region is the largest. As part of Environment and Climate Change Canada's program in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring program, concentrations of trace elements in PM2. 5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter were measured through two campaigns that involved different methodologies: a long-term filter campaign and a short-term intensive campaign. In the long-term campaign, 24 h filter samples were collected once every 6 days over a 2-year period (December 2010–November 2012 at three air monitoring stations in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. For the intensive campaign (August 2013, hourly measurements were made with an online instrument at one air monitoring station; daily filter samples were also collected. The hourly and 24 h filter data were analyzed individually using positive matrix factorization. Seven emission sources of PM2. 5 trace elements were thereby identified: two types of upgrader emissions, soil, haul road dust, biomass burning, and two sources of mixed origin. The upgrader emissions, soil, and haul road dust sources were identified through both the methodologies and both methodologies identified a mixed source, but these exhibited more differences than similarities. The second upgrader emissions and biomass burning sources were only resolved by the hourly and filter methodologies, respectively. The similarity of the receptor modeling results from the two methodologies provided reassurance as to the identity of the sources. Overall, much of the PM2. 5-related trace elements were found to be anthropogenic, or at least to be aerosolized through anthropogenic activities. These emissions may in part explain the previously reported higher levels of trace elements in snow

  19. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CFRAW) : overview and progress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciborowski, J.; Dixon, D.G.; Foote, L.; Liber, K.; Smits, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    Seven oil sand mining partners and 5 university labs have joined forces to study the effects of mine tailings and process waters on development, health and function of wetland communities formed in post-mining landscapes. The collaborative effort, know as the carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW), aims to identify the materials and strategies most effective and economical in producing a functioning reclamation landscape. This presentation reported on part of the study that tested predictions about how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions of reference wetland systems. It provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to assess how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It was assumed that stockpiling constructed wetlands with peat or topsoil would accelerate succession and community development. Although the bitumen and the naphthenic acids found in constructed wetlands are initially toxic, they may serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade. This study also assessed the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands. Additional studies are examining how the productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are being compared to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values in food web compartments indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age. The values are used to determine how this influences community development, food web structure and complexity, and the

  20. Evaluating officially reported polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region with a multimedia fate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parajulee, Abha; Wania, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Emissions of organic substances with potential toxicity to humans and the environment are a major concern surrounding the rapid industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR). Although concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in some environmental samples have been reported, a comprehensive picture of organic contaminant sources, pathways, and sinks within the AOSR has yet to be elucidated. We sought to use a dynamic multimedia environmental fate model to reconcile the emissions and residue levels reported for three representative PAHs in the AOSR. Data describing emissions to air compiled from two official sources result in simulated concentrations in air, soil, water, and foliage that tend to fall close to or below the minimum measured concentrations of phenanthrene, pyrene, and benzo(a)pyrene in the environment. Accounting for evaporative emissions (e.g., from tailings pond disposal) provides a more realistic representation of PAH distribution in the AOSR. Such indirect emissions to air were found to be a greater contributor of PAHs to the AOSR atmosphere relative to reported direct emissions to air. The indirect pathway transporting uncontrolled releases of PAHs to aquatic systems via the atmosphere may be as significant a contributor of PAHs to aquatic systems as other supply pathways. Emission density estimates for the three PAHs that account for tailings pond disposal are much closer to estimated global averages than estimates based on the available emissions datasets, which fall close to the global minima. Our results highlight the need for improved accounting of PAH emissions from oil sands operations, especially in light of continued expansion of these operations. PMID:24596429

  1. Nitrogen and sulphur deposition and the growth of Sphagnum fuscum in bogs of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A. VILE

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available One of the consequences of ongoing development of the oil sands reserve in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada (56° 39' N, 111° 13' W is an increase in emissions of nitrogen (N and sulphur (S, with an attendant increases in regional atmospheric N and S deposition. Regional land cover across northeastern Alberta is a mixture of Boreal Mixedwood, Boreal Highlands, and Subarctic areas. Peatlands occupy between 22 and 66% of these natural regions, and the land cover of bogs varies between 6.7% in the Mixedwood Region to 46% in the Subarctic Region. Ombrotrophic bog ecosystems may be especially sensitive to atmospheric deposition of N and S. Across 10 ombrotrophic bog sites in the AOSR over four years (2005– 2008, we found no evidence of elevated deposition of NH4 +-N, NO3 –-N, total inorganic nitrogen (TIN; NH4 +-N plus NO3 –-N, or SO4 2–-S, with values measured using ion exchange resin collectors averaging 0.61 ± 04, 0.20 ± 0.01, 0.81 ± 0.04, and 1.14 ± 0.06 kg ha–1 y–1, respectively. Vertical growth and net primary production of Sphagnum fuscum, an indicator of elevated deposition, did not differ consistently across sites, averaging 11.8 ± 0.2 mm y–1 and 234 ± 3.3 g m–2 y–1, respectively, over the four years. Neither vertical growth nor net primary production of S. fuscum was correlated with growing season atmospheric N or S deposition. Our data provide a valuable benchmark of background values for monitoring purposes in anticipation of increasing N and S deposition over a broader geographic region within the AOSR.

  2. Syncrude's Aurora Mine : the key to future Athabasca oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kershaw, D.

    1998-01-01

    Syncrude's newest mine, the Aurora mine is located 35 km northeast of Syncrude's existing Mildred Lake plant, across the Athabasca River. It has a potential to produce more than 2.5 billion barrels of bitumen. Aurora will eventually consist of two surface mines, the Aurora North and Aurora South. Mining and extraction will occur at Aurora with the resulting bitumen transported as a froth by pipeline back to the existing plant for upgrading to Syncrude Sweet Blend. A total of 120 km of pipeline will be used. Syncrude has developed a new method of sending oilsand from its Athabasca deposit to the extraction plant. The company plans to phase out the dragline, bucketwheel reclaimer, and conveyor ore mining and delivery system in favour of shovel, truck, and hydrotransport technology. The advantages of hydrotransport include significant energy savings and considerably less plant infrastructure. A hydrotransport prototype is at work at Syncrude's base mine where it is responsible for 15 per cent of the production

  3. Contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources to ambient ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands and north-western Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whaley, Cynthia H.; Makar, Paul A.; Shephard, Mark W.; Zhang, Leiming; Zhang, Junhua; Zheng, Qiong; Akingunola, Ayodeji; Wentworth, Gregory R.; Murphy, Jennifer G.; Kharol, Shailesh K.; Cady-Pereira, Karen E.

    2018-02-01

    Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) is a short-lived pollutant that plays an important role in aerosol chemistry and nitrogen deposition. Dominant NH3 emissions are from agriculture and forest fires, both of which are increasing globally. Even remote regions with relatively low ambient NH3 concentrations, such as northern Alberta and Saskatchewan in northern Canada, may be of interest because of industrial oil sands emissions and a sensitive ecological system. A previous attempt to model NH3 in the region showed a substantial negative bias compared to satellite and aircraft observations. Known missing sources of NH3 in the model were re-emission of NH3 from plants and soils (bidirectional flux) and forest fire emissions, but the relative impact of these sources on NH3 concentrations was unknown. Here we have used a research version of the high-resolution air quality forecasting model, GEM-MACH, to quantify the relative impacts of semi-natural (bidirectional flux of NH3 and forest fire emissions) and direct anthropogenic (oil sand operations, combustion of fossil fuels, and agriculture) sources on ammonia volume mixing ratios, both at the surface and aloft, with a focus on the Athabasca Oil Sands region during a measurement-intensive campaign in the summer of 2013. The addition of fires and bidirectional flux to GEM-MACH has improved the model bias, slope, and correlation coefficients relative to ground, aircraft, and satellite NH3 measurements significantly.By running the GEM-MACH-Bidi model in three configurations and calculating their differences, we find that averaged over Alberta and Saskatchewan during this time period an average of 23.1 % of surface NH3 came from direct anthropogenic sources, 56.6 % (or 1.24 ppbv) from bidirectional flux (re-emission from plants and soils), and 20.3 % (or 0.42 ppbv) from forest fires. In the NH3 total column, an average of 19.5 % came from direct anthropogenic sources, 50.0 % from bidirectional flux, and 30.5 % from forest fires. The

  4. Contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources to ambient ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands and north-western Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Whaley

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric ammonia (NH3 is a short-lived pollutant that plays an important role in aerosol chemistry and nitrogen deposition. Dominant NH3 emissions are from agriculture and forest fires, both of which are increasing globally. Even remote regions with relatively low ambient NH3 concentrations, such as northern Alberta and Saskatchewan in northern Canada, may be of interest because of industrial oil sands emissions and a sensitive ecological system. A previous attempt to model NH3 in the region showed a substantial negative bias compared to satellite and aircraft observations. Known missing sources of NH3 in the model were re-emission of NH3 from plants and soils (bidirectional flux and forest fire emissions, but the relative impact of these sources on NH3 concentrations was unknown. Here we have used a research version of the high-resolution air quality forecasting model, GEM-MACH, to quantify the relative impacts of semi-natural (bidirectional flux of NH3 and forest fire emissions and direct anthropogenic (oil sand operations, combustion of fossil fuels, and agriculture sources on ammonia volume mixing ratios, both at the surface and aloft, with a focus on the Athabasca Oil Sands region during a measurement-intensive campaign in the summer of 2013. The addition of fires and bidirectional flux to GEM-MACH has improved the model bias, slope, and correlation coefficients relative to ground, aircraft, and satellite NH3 measurements significantly.By running the GEM-MACH-Bidi model in three configurations and calculating their differences, we find that averaged over Alberta and Saskatchewan during this time period an average of 23.1 % of surface NH3 came from direct anthropogenic sources, 56.6 % (or 1.24 ppbv from bidirectional flux (re-emission from plants and soils, and 20.3 % (or 0.42 ppbv from forest fires. In the NH3 total column, an average of 19.5 % came from direct anthropogenic sources, 50.0 % from bidirectional flux, and 30

  5. Estimation of vanadium water quality benchmarks for the protection of aquatic life with relevance to the Athabasca Oil Sands region using species sensitivity distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Stephanie; Liber, Karsten

    2017-11-01

    Elevated vanadium (V) concentrations in oil sands coke, which is produced and stored on site of some major Athabasca Oil Sands companies, could pose a risk to aquatic ecosystems in northern Alberta, Canada, depending on its future storage and utilization. In the present study, V toxicity was determined in reconstituted Athabasca River water to various freshwater organisms, including 2 midge species (Chironomus dilutus and Chironomus riparius; 4-d and 30-d to 40-d exposures) and 2 freshwater fish species (Oncorhynchus mykiss and Pimephales promelas; 4-d and 28-d exposures) to facilitate estimation of water quality benchmarks. The acute toxicity of V was 52.0 and 63.2 mg/L for C. dilutus and C. riparius, respectively, and 4.0 and 14.8 mg V/L for P. promelas and O. mykiss, respectively. Vanadium exposure significantly impaired adult emergence of C. dilutus and C. riparius at concentrations ≥16.7 (31.6% reduction) and 8.3 (18.0% reduction) mg/L, respectively. Chronic toxicity in fish presented as lethality, with chronic 28-d LC50s of 0.5 and 4.3 mg/L for P. promelas and O. mykiss, respectively. These data were combined with data from the peer-reviewed literature, and separate acute and chronic species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were constructed. The acute and chronic hazardous concentrations endangering only 5% of species (HC5) were estimated as 0.64 and 0.05 mg V/L, respectively. These new data for V toxicity to aquatic organisms ensure that there are now adequate data available for regulatory agencies to develop appropriate water quality guidelines for use in the Athabasca Oil Sands region and elsewhere. Until then, the HC5 values presented in the present study could serve as interim benchmarks for the protection of aquatic life from exposure to hazardous levels of V in local aquatic environments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3034-3044. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  6. Beyond Naphthenic Acids: Environmental Screening of Water from Natural Sources and the Athabasca Oil Sands Industry Using Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Mark P; Peru, Kerry M; Fahlman, Brian; Hewitt, L Mark; Frank, Richard A; Headley, John V

    2015-09-01

    There is a growing need for environmental screening of natural waters in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada, particularly in the differentiation between anthropogenic and naturally-derived organic compounds associated with weathered bitumen deposits. Previous research has focused primarily upon characterization of naphthenic acids in water samples by negative-ion electrospray ionization methods. Atmospheric pressure photoionization is a much less widely used ionization method, but one that affords the possibility of observing low polarity compounds that cannot be readily observed by electrospray ionization. This study describes the first usage of atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (in both positive-ion and negative-ion modes) to characterize and compare extracts of oil sands process water, river water, and groundwater samples from areas associated with oil sands mining activities. When comparing mass spectra previously obtained by electrospray ionization and data acquired by atmospheric pressure photoionization, there can be a doubling of the number of components detected. In addition to polar compounds that have previously been observed, low-polarity, sulfur-containing compounds and hydrocarbons that do not incorporate a heteroatom were detected. These latter components, which are not amenable to electrospray ionization, have potential for screening efforts within monitoring programs of the oil sands.

  7. Variation in immune function, body condition, and feather corticosterone in nestling Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on reclaimed wetlands in the Athabasca oil sands, Alberta, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jane Harms, N.; Fairhurst, Graham D.; Bortolotti, Gary R.; Smits, Judit E.G.

    2010-01-01

    In the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, mining companies are evaluating reclamation using constructed wetlands for integration of tailings. From May to July 2008, reproductive performance of 40 breeding pairs of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), plus growth and survival of nestlings, was measured on three reclaimed wetlands on two oil sands leases. A subset of nestlings was examined for i) feather corticosterone levels, ii) delayed-type hypersensitivity response, and iii) innate immune function. Nestlings on one of two wetlands created with oil sands process affected material (OSPM) were heavier and had greater wing-lengths, and mounted a stronger delayed-type hypersensitivity response compared those on the reference wetland. Corticosterone was significantly higher in male nestlings on one of two OSPM-containing wetland compared to the reference wetland. Body condition of 12-day-old female nestlings was inversely related to feather corticosterone. Under ideal weather conditions, reclaimed wetlands can support healthy populations of aerially-insectivorous birds. - Under ideal weather conditions, tree swallow nestlings on reclaimed OSPM-affected wetlands are in good body condition and mount strong cell-mediated immune responses.

  8. Cover systems in the Athabasca oil sands : a summary of the Green Bullet and ten years of reclamation research at Syncrude Canada Ltd.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Kane, M. [O' Kane Consultants Inc., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-02-15

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed the use of a dry cover system over oil sand tailings as land reclamation strategy. Dry covers can range from a single layer of earthen material to several layers of different material types, including native soils, non-reactive tailings or waste rock, geosynthetic materials, and oxygen consuming organic materials. The 3 prototype covers used in the Athabasca deposit in northern Alberta include peat, glacial till and sedge-sphagnum open bog (SSOB). The hydraulic role of the covers was described. This presentation also described how the physical reclamation works, with particular reference to how the area is contoured to ensure proper drainage. Soil and vegetation assessments are undertaken to ensure the reclamation amendments are achieving the goals of the reclamation plan. tabs., figs.

  9. Cover systems in the Athabasca oil sands : a summary of the Green Bullet and ten years of reclamation research at Syncrude Canada Ltd

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Kane, M.

    2010-01-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed the use of a dry cover system over oil sand tailings as land reclamation strategy. Dry covers can range from a single layer of earthen material to several layers of different material types, including native soils, non-reactive tailings or waste rock, geosynthetic materials, and oxygen consuming organic materials. The 3 prototype covers used in the Athabasca deposit in northern Alberta include peat, glacial till and sedge-sphagnum open bog (SSOB). The hydraulic role of the covers was described. This presentation also described how the physical reclamation works, with particular reference to how the area is contoured to ensure proper drainage. Soil and vegetation assessments are undertaken to ensure the reclamation amendments are achieving the goals of the reclamation plan. tabs., figs.

  10. Recent Warming, Rather than Industrial Emissions of Bioavailable Nutrients, Is the Dominant Driver of Lake Primary Production Shifts across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie C Summers

    Full Text Available Freshwaters in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR are vulnerable to the atmospheric emissions and land disturbances caused by the local oil sands industry; however, they are also affected by climate change. Recent observations of increases in aquatic primary production near the main development area have prompted questions about the principal drivers of these limnological changes. Is the enhanced primary production due to deposition of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus from local industry or from recent climatic changes? Here, we use downcore, spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a (VRS-chla profiles (including diagenetic products from 23 limnologically-diverse lakes with undisturbed catchments to characterize the pattern of primary production increases in the AOSR. Our aim is to better understand the relative roles of the local oil sands industry versus climate change in driving aquatic primary production trends. Nutrient deposition maps, generated using geostatistical interpolations of spring-time snowpack measurements from a grid pattern across the AOSR, demonstrate patterns of elevated total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and bioavailable nitrogen deposition around the main area of industrial activity. However, this pattern is not observed for bioavailable phosphorus. Our paleolimnological findings demonstrate consistently greater VRS-chla concentrations compared to pre-oil sands development levels, regardless of morphological and limnological characteristics, landscape position, bioavailable nutrient deposition, and dibenzothiophene (DBT-inferred industrial impacts. Furthermore, breakpoint analyses on VRS-chla concentrations across a gradient of DBT-inferred industrial impact show limited evidence of a contemporaneous change among lakes. Despite the contribution of bioavailable nitrogen to the landscape from industrial activities, we find no consistency in the spatial pattern and timing of VRS-chla shifts with an industrial fertilizing signal

  11. The importance of atmospheric base cation deposition for preventing soil acidification in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaun A. Watmough; Colin J. Whitfield; Mark E. Fenn

    2014-01-01

    Industrial activities in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada have resulted in greatly elevated emissions of SO2 and N (NOx and NH3) and there are concerns over possible widespread ecosystem acidification. Acid sensitive soils in the region are common and have very low base cation weathering rates...

  12. Emissions databases for polycyclic aromatic compounds in the Canadian Athabasca oil sands region - development using current knowledge and evaluation with passive sampling and air dispersion modelling data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Xin; Cheng, Irene; Yang, Fuquan; Horb, Erin; Zhang, Leiming; Harner, Tom

    2018-03-01

    Two speciated and spatially resolved emissions databases for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) were developed. The first database was derived from volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions data provided by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) and the second database was derived from additional data collected within the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM) program. CALPUFF modelling results for atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, and dibenzothiophenes (DBTs), obtained using each of the emissions databases, are presented and compared with measurements from a passive air monitoring network. The JOSM-derived emissions resulted in better model-measurement agreement in the total PAH concentrations and for most PAH species concentrations compared to results using CEMA-derived emissions. At local sites near oil sands mines, the percent error of the model compared to observations decreased from 30 % using the CEMA-derived emissions to 17 % using the JOSM-derived emissions. The improvement at local sites was likely attributed to the inclusion of updated tailings pond emissions estimated from JOSM activities. In either the CEMA-derived or JOSM-derived emissions scenario, the model underestimated PAH concentrations by a factor of 3 at remote locations. Potential reasons for the disagreement include forest fire emissions, re-emissions of previously deposited PAHs, and long-range transport not considered in the model. Alkylated PAH and DBT concentrations were also significantly underestimated. The CALPUFF model is expected to predict higher concentrations because of the limited chemistry and deposition modelling. Thus the model underestimation of PACs is likely due to gaps in the emissions database for these compounds and uncertainties in the methodology for estimating the emissions. Future work is required that focuses on improving the PAC emissions estimation and

  13. Emissions databases for polycyclic aromatic compounds in the Canadian Athabasca oil sands region – development using current knowledge and evaluation with passive sampling and air dispersion modelling data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Qiu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Two speciated and spatially resolved emissions databases for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR were developed. The first database was derived from volatile organic compound (VOC emissions data provided by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA and the second database was derived from additional data collected within the Joint Canada–Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM program. CALPUFF modelling results for atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, alkylated PAHs, and dibenzothiophenes (DBTs, obtained using each of the emissions databases, are presented and compared with measurements from a passive air monitoring network. The JOSM-derived emissions resulted in better model–measurement agreement in the total PAH concentrations and for most PAH species concentrations compared to results using CEMA-derived emissions. At local sites near oil sands mines, the percent error of the model compared to observations decreased from 30 % using the CEMA-derived emissions to 17 % using the JOSM-derived emissions. The improvement at local sites was likely attributed to the inclusion of updated tailings pond emissions estimated from JOSM activities. In either the CEMA-derived or JOSM-derived emissions scenario, the model underestimated PAH concentrations by a factor of 3 at remote locations. Potential reasons for the disagreement include forest fire emissions, re-emissions of previously deposited PAHs, and long-range transport not considered in the model. Alkylated PAH and DBT concentrations were also significantly underestimated. The CALPUFF model is expected to predict higher concentrations because of the limited chemistry and deposition modelling. Thus the model underestimation of PACs is likely due to gaps in the emissions database for these compounds and uncertainties in the methodology for estimating the emissions. Future work is required that focuses on improving the PAC

  14. Salinity and solvent effects on the characterization of naphthenic acids from Athabasca oil sands using electrospray ionization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Headley, J.; Peru, K.; Barrow, M.; Derrick, P.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the salinity and solvent effects on the characterization of naphthenic acids (NA) in oil sands. The mass spectra of NA were obtained using an electrospray ionization method combined with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer. The study showed that while monocarboxylic compounds (C n H 2n+z O 2 ) in the z=-4, -6, and -12 of the 2,3 and 6-ring NA in the carbon number range of 13 to 19 were prevalent in the dichloromethane and acetonitrile co-solvent systems, the addition of salt resulted in a reduction of the observed species, the complete elimination of dicarboxylic acids, and an 80 per cent reduction in O 3 species with similar carbon number range and z values. The dicarboxylic acids were also less toxic than monocarboxylic acids. Results of the study will be used to refine methods of remediating oil sands and process water contaminated soils.

  15. Emergence, growth, and dispersal of Chironomidae in reclaimed wetlands in the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kennedy, K.; Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Concerns over the environmental impacts of oil sands extraction in northeastern Alberta has increased as the industry continues to expand. This study examined if the emergence, growth, and dispersal of Chironomidae differ in reclaimed wetlands constructed with oil sands process materials (OSPM) when compared with growth in reference wetlands. Five floating 30 cm diameter halo traps were deployed in various wetlands for a 24 hour period. Exuviae trapped in the surface water film were then collected, identified, and counted. Chironomids grown in laboratories from egg masses collected from 2 OSPM-affected wetlands and 2 reference wetlands were paired according to geographic proximity under controlled conditions for 1 generation. Chironomid larval growth was quantified in situ in the wetlands by reciprocally transferring second instar, second generation culture larva. The dispersal of the larvae was quantified by tabulating the number of adults caught in sticky insect traps located along 3 radially-arranged transects in each wetland. A preliminary analysis has suggested that fewer chironomids emerged from the OSPM-affected wetlands. No differences in dispersal distance between the OSPM-affected and reference wetlands were observed.

  16. Emergence, growth, and dispersal of Chironomidae in reclaimed wetlands in the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennedy, K.; Ciborowski, J.

    2010-01-01

    Concerns over the environmental impacts of oil sands extraction in northeastern Alberta has increased as the industry continues to expand. This study examined if the emergence, growth, and dispersal of Chironomidae differ in reclaimed wetlands constructed with oil sands process materials (OSPM) when compared with growth in reference wetlands. Five floating 30 cm diameter halo traps were deployed in various wetlands for a 24 hour period. Exuviae trapped in the surface water film were then collected, identified, and counted. Chironomids grown in laboratories from egg masses collected from 2 OSPM-affected wetlands and 2 reference wetlands were paired according to geographic proximity under controlled conditions for 1 generation. Chironomid larval growth was quantified in situ in the wetlands by reciprocally transferring second instar, second generation culture larva. The dispersal of the larvae was quantified by tabulating the number of adults caught in sticky insect traps located along 3 radially-arranged transects in each wetland. A preliminary analysis has suggested that fewer chironomids emerged from the OSPM-affected wetlands. No differences in dispersal distance between the OSPM-affected and reference wetlands were observed.

  17. Paleolimnological assessment of nutrient enrichment on diatom assemblages in a priori defined nitrogen- and phosphorus-limited lakes downwind of the Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen R. Laird

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available As the industrial footprint of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR continues to expand, concern about the potential impacts of pollutants on the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems need to be assessed. An emerging issue is whether recent increases in lake production downwind of the development can be linked to AOSR activities, and/or whether changing climatic conditions are influencing lake nutrient status. To decipher the importance of pollutants, particularly atmospheric deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr, and the effects of climate change as potential sources of increasing lake production, lakes from both within and outside of the nitrogen deposition zone were analyzed for historical changes in diatom assemblages. Lake sediment cores were collected from a priori defined nitrogen (N - and phosphorus (P - limited lakes within and outside the N plume associated with the AOSR. Diatom assemblages were quantified at sub-decadal resolution since ca. 1890 to compare conditions prior to oil sands expansion and regional climate warming, to the more recent conditions in each group of lakes (Reference and Impacted, N- and P-limited lakes. Analyses of changes in assemblage similarity and species turnover indicates that changes in diatom assemblages were minimal both within and across all lake groups.  Small changes in percent composition of planktonic taxa, particularly small centric taxa (Discostella and Cyclotella species and pennate taxa, such as Asterionella formosa and Fragilaria crotonensis, occurred in some of the lakes. While these changes were consistent with potential climate effects on algal growth, water column stability and other factors; the timing and direction of biotic changes were variable among sites suggesting that any apparent response to climate was lake dependent. The absence of a consistent pattern of diatom changes associated with receipt of reactive nitrogen or intrinsic nutrient-limitation status of the lake

  18. Assessment of multi-trophic changes in a shallow boreal lake simultaneously exposed to climate change and aerial deposition of contaminants from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, Jamie C; Kurek, Joshua; Rühland, Kathleen M; Neville, Erin E; Smol, John P

    2017-08-15

    The Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) has been intensely developed for industrial bitumen extraction and upgrading since the 1980s. A paucity of environmental monitoring prior to development raises questions about baseline conditions in freshwater systems in the region and ecological responses to industrial activities. Further, climatic changes prompt questions about the relative roles of climate and industry in shaping aquatic ecosystems through time. We use aquatic bioindicators from multiple trophic levels, concentrations of petrogenic contaminants (dibenzothiophenes), and spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a preserved in well-dated sediments of a closed-basin, shallow lake ~50km away from the main area of industry, in conjunction with climate observations, to assess how the biotic assemblages of a typical AOSR lake have changed during the past ~75years. We examine the contributions of the area's stressors in structuring aquatic communities. Increases in sedimentary measures of petrogenic contaminants provide clear evidence of aerial contaminant deposition from local industry since its establishment, while climate records demonstrate consistent warming and a recent period of reduced precipitation. Quantitative comparisons of biological assemblages from before and after the establishment of regional industry find significant (pshallow systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Reproductive performance and neonatal development of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on reclaimed mine sites on the Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keshwani, H.; Hersikorn, B.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    The ability of reclaimed wetlands created from oil sand tailings to support populations of tree swallows was examined. Nests were provided on the sites of interest to allow swallows to breed, raise their young and feed on flying insects from local wetlands. In order to determine if the bird's health was affected by stressors such as contaminants accumulated through the diet, this study examined reproductive performance and neonatal development of the birds. Two experimental wetlands differing in age were used in this study, notably a 15 year old and 3 year old wetland. Reproduction was measured by clutch size, egg mass, hatchability and offspring survival. Neonatal development was assessed through body measurements, taken on 12 day old nestlings. It was shown that the reproductive success of the adults, and clutch size did not differ between the sites. However, initiation of breeding was earlier at the younger reclamation site. Neonatal development was different between sites, but body mass was not. Birds at the younger site exhibited accelerated tail and wing feather maturation, but birds on the mature site had a larger skeletal size. These findings may be attributed to different dietary, nutritional, and/or endocrine modulating substances moving through the food chain. It was noted that insect density and diversity may have been influenced by different altitudes and vegetation cover at the 2 sites.

  20. Developing and Applying Control Charts to Detect Change Water Chemistry Parameters Measured in the Athabasca River Near the Oil Sands: A Tool for Surveillance Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arciszewski, Tim J; Hazewinkel, Rod R; Munkittrick, Kelly R; Kilgour, Bruce W

    2018-05-10

    Control charting is a simple technique to identify change and is well-suited for use in water quality programs. Control charts accounting for co-variation associated with discharge and time were used to explore example and representative variables routinely measured in the Athabasca River near the oil sands area for indications of change, including 5 major ions (chloride, sodium, sulphate, calcium, magnesium), 5 total metals (aluminum, iron, thallium, molybdenum, vanadium) and total suspended solids (TSS). Regression equations developed from reference data (1988-2009) were used to predict observations and calculate residuals from later test observations (2010-2016). Evidence of change was sought in the deviation of residual errors from the test period compared to the patterns expected and defined from probability distributions of the reference residuals using the Odds Ratio. In most cases, the patterns in test residuals were not statistically different from those expected from the reference period, especially when data was examined annually. However, some differences were apparent and more differences were apparent as data accumulated and was analysed over time. In sum, the analyses suggest higher concentrations than predicted in most major ions, but the source of the changes is uncertain. In contrast, most metals were lower than expected and may be related to changing deposition patterns of materials or weathering of minerals during construction activities of the 2000's which influence the reference data used. The analyses also suggest alternative approaches may be necessary to understand change in some variables. Despite this, the results support the use of control charts to detect changes in water chemistry parameters and the value of the tool in surveillance phases of long-term and adaptive monitoring programs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  1. An enhanced approach for the use of satellite-derived leaf area index values in dry deposition modeling in the Athabasca oil sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Mervyn; Cho, Sunny; Spink, David; Pauls, Ron; Desilets, Michael; Shen, Yan; Bajwa, Kanwardeep; Person, Reid

    2016-12-15

    In the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) of Northern Alberta, the dry deposition of sulphur and nitrogen compounds represents a major fraction of total (wet plus dry) deposition due to oil sands emissions. The leaf area index (LAI) is a critical parameter that affects the dry deposition of these gaseous and particulate compounds to the surrounding boreal forest canopy. For this study, LAI values based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite imagery were obtained and compared to ground-based measurements, and two limitations with the satellite data were identified. The satellite LAI data firstly represents one-sided LAI values that do not account for the enhanced LAI associated with needle leaf geometry, and secondly, underestimates LAI in winter-time northern latitude regions. An approach for adjusting satellite LAI values for different boreal forest cover types, as a function of time of year, was developed to produce more representative LAI values that can be used by air quality sulphur and nitrogen deposition models. The application of the approach increases the AOSR average LAI for January from 0.19 to 1.40, which represents an increase of 637%. Based on the application of the CALMET/CALPUFF model system, this increases the predicted regional average dry deposition of sulphur and nitrogen compounds for January by factors of 1.40 to 1.30, respectively. The corresponding AOSR average LAI for July increased from 2.8 to 4.0, which represents an increase of 43%. This increases the predicted regional average dry deposition of sulphur and nitrogen compounds for July by factors of 1.28 to 1.22, respectively. These findings reinforce the importance of the LAI metric for predicting the dry deposition of sulphur and nitrogen compounds. While satellite data can provide enhanced spatial and temporal resolution, adjustments are identified to overcome associated limitations. This work is considered to have application for other deposition model studies where

  2. Characterization of Athabasca lean oil sands and mixed surficial materials: Comparison of capillary electrophoresis/low-resolution mass spectrometry and high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLennan, Matthew S; Peru, Kerry M; Swyngedouw, Chris; Fleming, Ian; Chen, David D Y; Headley, John V

    2018-05-15

    Oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada, requires removal and stockpiling of considerable volumes of near-surface overburden material. This overburden includes lean oil sands (LOS) which cannot be processed economically but contain sparingly soluble petroleum hydrocarbons and naphthenic acids, which can leach into environmental waters. In order to measure and track the leaching of dissolved constituents and distinguish industrially derived organics from naturally occurring organics in local waters, practical methods were developed for characterizing multiple sources of contaminated water leakage. Capillary electrophoresis/positive-ion electrospray ionization low-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CE/LRMS), high-resolution negative-ion electrospray ionization Orbitrap mass spectrometry (HRMS) and conventional gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (GC/FID) were used to characterize porewater samples collected from within Athabasca LOS and mixed surficial materials. GC/FID was used to measure total petroleum hydrocarbon and HRMS was used to measure total naphthenic acid fraction components (NAFCs). HRMS and CE/LRMS were used to characterize samples according to source. The amounts of total petroleum hydrocarbon in each sample as measured by GC/FID ranged from 0.1 to 15.1 mg/L while the amounts of NAFCs as measured by HRMS ranged from 5.3 to 82.3 mg/L. Factors analysis (FA) on HRMS data visually demonstrated clustering according to sample source and was correlated to molecular formula. LRMS coupled to capillary electrophoresis separation (CE/LRMS) provides important information on NAFC isomers by adding analyte migration time data to m/z and peak intensity. Differences in measured amounts of total petroleum hydrocarbons by GC/FID and NAFCs by HRMS indicate that the two methods provide complementary information about the nature of dissolved organic species in a soil or water leachate samples. NAFC molecule class O x S y is a possible tracer for LOS

  3. The influence of managed versus natural hydrologic regimes on the hydrochemical patterns in a constructed wetland in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biagi, K.; Oswald, C.; Nicholls, E.; Carey, S.

    2017-12-01

    Bitumen extraction via surface mining in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) results in permanent alteration of the landscape once rich in boreal forest and wetlands. As part of their legal requirements, oil companies must reclaim disturbed landscapes into functioning ecosystems, and to date only two pilot wetland-peatland systems have been constructed. Peatland reclamation is challenging as they must be completely reconstructed with few guidelines or previous work in this region. Furthermore, the variable sub-humid climate and salinity of waste-materials are obstacles to the success of peatland creation. In 2012, Syncrude Canada Ltd. constructed a 52 ha upland-wetland system, the Sandhill Fen Watershed (SFW), which was designed with a pump and underdrain system to provide freshwater and enhance drainage to limit salinization from underlying waste materials that have elevated electrical conductivity (EC) and Na+. The objective of this research is to understand the hydrochemical response of a constructed wetland to variations in hydrological management with respect to sources, flow pathways and major chemical transformations of water in the three years following commissioning. EC, major ions and stable isotopes were collected using a combination of high frequency and discrete water sampling from 2013-2015. Results indicate that high activity of both inflow and outflow pumps in 2013 kept the EC relatively low, with most wetland sites 1000 µS/cm in 2014 and >2000 µS/cm in 2015. Most wetland sites remained Ca+2 dominant where Ca+2 and Na+ averaged 200 and 130 mg/L, respectively. However, the most notable change in 2014 and 2015 was the emergence of several Na+ "hotspots" in the margins where Na+ concentrations averaged 450 mg/L while Ca+2 averaged 250 mg/L. Stable isotope data confirm that the "hotspots" match the underlying waste water and provide evidence of its upward transport and seepage under a natural hydrologic regime. Minimizing salinization is critical

  4. Oil sands tailings management project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Godwalt, C. [Alberta WaterSMART, Calgary, AB (Canada); Kotecha, P. [Suncor Energy Inc, Calgary, AB (Canada); Aumann, C. [Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures, Alberta Governement, AB (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    The Oil sands leadership initiative (OSLI) works with the Government of Alberta on the development of the oil sands industry, considering environmental, economical and social aspects. Water management was identified as one of most important areas to focus on. Alberta WaterSMART was requested to support the development and the management of projects resulting from the work done or underway in this field. The development of a regional water management solution stood out as the most interesting solution to obtain significant results. In the Athabasca Region, oil sands producers work independently on their water sourcing and disposal with particular attention to fresh water conservation and economics. The Athabasca River represents a source for mines and distant saline aquifers are the target of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operators. As part of a four-phase project aiming to study the environmental and economic footprint (EEF) benefit of alternatives for Athabasca oil sands production water supply and disposal, the purpose of the tailings water management project was to identify tailings treatment technologies that are ready to be implemented, and to design and evaluate solutions in order to improve regional oil sands production water sourcing and disposal. Alternatives were evaluated based on their total EEF, applying a lifecycle assessment methodology with a particular attention on the quantification of important performance indicators. 25 refs., 8 tabs., 40 figs.

  5. Oil sands tailings management project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godwalt, C.; Kotecha, P.; Aumann, C.

    2010-11-01

    The Oil sands leadership initiative (OSLI) works with the Government of Alberta on the development of the oil sands industry, considering environmental, economical and social aspects. Water management was identified as one of most important areas to focus on. Alberta WaterSMART was requested to support the development and the management of projects resulting from the work done or underway in this field. The development of a regional water management solution stood out as the most interesting solution to obtain significant results. In the Athabasca Region, oil sands producers work independently on their water sourcing and disposal with particular attention to fresh water conservation and economics. The Athabasca River represents a source for mines and distant saline aquifers are the target of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operators. As part of a four-phase project aiming to study the environmental and economic footprint (EEF) benefit of alternatives for Athabasca oil sands production water supply and disposal, the purpose of the tailings water management project was to identify tailings treatment technologies that are ready to be implemented, and to design and evaluate solutions in order to improve regional oil sands production water sourcing and disposal. Alternatives were evaluated based on their total EEF, applying a lifecycle assessment methodology with a particular attention on the quantification of important performance indicators. 25 refs., 8 tabs., 40 figs.

  6. Athabasca tar sand reservoir properties derived from cores and logs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woodhouse, R.

    1976-01-01

    Log interpretation parameters for the Athabasca Tar Sand Lease No. 24 have been determined by careful correlation with Dean and Stark core analysis data. Significant expansion of Athabasca cores occurs as overburden pressure is removed. In the more shaly sands the core analysis procedures remove adsorbed water from the clays leading to further overestimation of porosity and free water volume. Log interpretation parameters (R/sub w/ = 0.5 ohm . m and m = n = 1.5) were defined by correlation with the weight of tar as a fraction of the weight of rock solids (grain or dry weight fraction of tar). This quantity is independent of the water content of the cores, whereas porosity and the weight of tar as a fraction of the bulk weight of fluids plus solids (bulk weight fraction) are both dependent on water content. Charts are provided for the conversion of bulk weight fraction of fluids to porosity; grain weight fraction of fluids to porosity; log derived porosity and core grain weight tar to water saturation. Example results show that the core analysis grain weight fraction of tar is adequately matched by the log analyses. The log results provide a better representation of the reservoir fluid volumes than the core analysis data

  7. Using biofilms and grazing chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) to determine primary production, nitrogen stable isotopic baseline and enrichment within wetlands differing in anthropogenic stressors and located in the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederick, K.; Ciborowski, J.J. [Windsor Univ., Windsor, ON (Canada); Wytrykush, C.M. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation reported on a study that investigated the effects of oil sands process materials (OSPM) and construction disturbances on primary production and nitrogen stable isotope enrichment in reclaimed and reference wetlands at oil sands mines in the Athabasca basin. Productivity and food web analyses were instrumental in evaluating the succession and viability of reclaimed wetlands. Primary production was estimated through chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations and biomass. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stable isotope ratios were used to identify energy sources, storage and the magnitude and direction of energy transfer within food webs. The objectives were to determine primary productivity, the N baseline, and N enrichment from biofilms and grazing invertebrates colonizing artificial substrates immersed in the water column of two OSPM-affected, two constructed reference and two natural reference wetlands. The lower biomass and Chl a concentrations in OSPM-affected and constructed wetlands suggests that both anthropogenic disturbance and OSPM have an adverse effect on primary productivity and overall wetland function.

  8. Oil sands development update

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    A detailed review and update of oil sands development in Alberta are provided covering every aspect of the production and economic aspects of the industry. It is pointed out that at present oil sands account for 28 per cent of Canadian crude oil production, expected to reach 50 per cent by 2005. Based on recent announcements, a total of 26 billion dollars worth of projects are in progress or planned; 20 billion dollars worth of this development is in the Athabasca area, the remainder in Cold Lake and other areas. The current update envisages up to 1,800,000 barrels per day by 2008, creating 47,000 new jobs and total government revenues through direct and indirect taxes of 118 billion dollars. Provinces other than Alberta also benefit from these development, since 60 per cent of all employment and income created by oil sands production is in other parts of Canada. Up to 60 per cent of the expansion is for goods and services and of this, 50 to 55 per cent will be purchased from Canadian sources. The remaining 40 per cent of the new investment is for engineering and construction of which 95 per cent is Canadian content. Aboriginal workforce by common consent of existing operators matches regional representation (about 13 per cent), and new developers are expected to match these standards. Planned or ongoing development in environmental protection through improved technologies and optimization, energy efficiency and improved tailings management, and active support of flexibility mechanisms such as emission credits trading, joint implementation and carbon sinks are very high on the industry's agenda. The importance of offsets are discussed extensively along with key considerations for international negotiations, as well as further research of other options such as sequestration, environmentally benign disposal of waste, and enhanced voluntary action

  9. Seismic modeling of fluvial-estuarine deposits in the Athabasca oil sands using ray-tracing techniques, Steepbank River area, northeastern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langenberg, C. W.; Hein, F. J. [Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Lawton, D.; Cunningham, J. [Calgary Univ., Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2002-03-01

    Seismic reflection characteristics of contrasting channel geometries in a five-section portion of the Steepbank River are modeled using ray-tracing techniques. Outcrop lithofacies associations are used to create a seismic model that can be used as a subsurface analog of other similar oil-sands successions. At least four channel complexes based on stratal bounding surfaces, arrangement of lithofacies, and consistent paleoflow patterns have been identified. The lower part of each channel complex contains trough crossbedded sandstone, exhibiting high porosity and permeability. These sandstones were deposited in channel axes and are the highest grade bitumen deposits in the area. The upper parts of the channels contain significantly lower bitumen saturation values due to common interbedded mudstone. Nearby wells contain cored and logged intervals that are similar to exposed outcrops in the riverbank. Overall modeling results indicate that channel complexes can be imaged seismically, given data of sufficient quality and frequency. Bitumen grade may be predicted in these seismic lines, which has important consequences for bitumen exploration and extraction in the Steepbank River region. 64 refs., 26 figs.

  10. Japan's involvement in oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sugiura, T.

    1994-01-01

    According to Japanese national policy, exploration and development by Japanese companies in overseas countries are promoted in order to ensure stable oil supplies. Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (JACOS), part of the JAPEX group, was established during the 1978 world oil crisis to explore and develop Canadian oil sand resources in accordance with Japan's national policy. The JAPEX group, including JACOS, has invested $123 million in oil sands projects in Alberta. JAPEX's first involvement in oil sands was in the Primrose Project operated by Norcen in the Cold Lake area. Five years of cyclic steam stimulation pilot tests did not produce sufficiently good results to justify further operation. The second involvement was the PCEJ Project, a joint effort by four companies that are participating in a bitumen recovery test project in the Athabasca Deposit. JACOS holds 2,452 km 2 of oil sands leases in Alberta. Tests conducted since 1978 in the PCEJ Project include multiwell steam injection pilot tests, some of which showed promise. JACOS is also participating in steam assisted gravity drainage projects and in federal/provincial research programs. Obstacles identified in developing Alberta oil sands are the lack of a bitumen pipeline to Edmonton and the insufficient length of oil sands leases (currently 10 years), given the difficulties of oil sand development. 10 figs

  11. Athabasca--special report No. 2, sand behavior key to operation size

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daly, W J

    1966-09-01

    Before production of the crude oil from the Athabasca tar sands could be initiated, a feasibility and economic study based on field test work was made. It was concluded that the project was technically feasible and a plant could be constructed for approximately $137 million, but that the engineering design must be preceded by a field test program, laboratory work, and by ground surveys. A test program, using the hot water recovery process and sized to handle 3 tons of sand per hour, was begun in Oct. 1963. As the test program proceeded, the unit was frequently renovated as capacity was increased from 3 tons to finally 10 tons per hour. Included in the tests was the determination of the effect that raw bitumen pools (indicated by the government coring program) would have on production operations. It was determined that no problems would arise from this situation because no such pools could be found and were considered not to be in existence. The test model was successful in clearly illustrating the principles to use in the overall layout, which is approximately 50% complete.

  12. [Imperial Oil's Cold Lake oil sands operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dingle, H. B.

    1999-01-01

    Imperial Oil Limited's Cold Lake oil sands resources, production and operations in Alberta are discussed. Cold Lake is the company's largest single asset and its largest source of crude oil production. In 1998, Cold Lake accounted for just under half of Imperial's total liquid production, averaging more than 135,000 barrels of bitumen a day. Despite the very difficult operating conditions experienced by the oil sands industry in 1998, Imperial Oil's Cold Lake operations generated a positive cash flow and earnings. Just as important, the near and long-term potential of Cold Lake property continues to be strong, even with the tough market conditions today and the foreseeable future. Proved reserves at the end of 1997 were 1.3 billions barrels, equal to about 24 years of current production, but even more important is Imperial's resource base in the Athabasca region, which represents 150 years of production at current rates. Although production forecasts for the near future are are revised downward because of production shut-in due to low prices, the company is confident of its long-term prospects mainly because of existing infrastructure, superior reservoir quality, 30 years worth of operating improvements and established bitumen-blend markets. Details of the company's future Cold Lake development plans are discussed. The need to continue technology development, which has been at the core of the industry's growth in the past and will continue to be the key to the future, are emphasized

  13. Effects of well placement and intelligent completions on SAGD in a full-field thermal-numerical model for Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akram, F. [Society of Petroleum Engineers, Canadian Section, Calgary, AB (Canada)]|[Schlumberger Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    This paper described a simulation study conducted to compare traditional and targeted, or smart, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) processes in ultra-heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs. Simulations were conducted using a Schlumberger Petrel and ECLIPSE thermal simulator. A reservoir model was used to determine steam requirements and production strategies in multiple well pairs. A fiscal model was used to evaluate SAGD project costs as well as to determine incremental costs for each completion strategy. Results of the study showed that while the efficient use of steam did not yield higher recovery rates, the expected value of the projects was improved. Process and operational controls were investigated. Strategies considered in the study included the smart completion strategy designed to target optimal steam injection areas and avoiding continuous zones of low permeability or shale barriers. Three completion designs were simulated and results were then run through the fiscal model in order to determine the financial impacts of the methods. Five year forecasts were generated for all completion designs. The smart design yielded a 5 per cent cost improvement over other designs, and yielded 442 MSTB less bitumen over the 5 year period. It was concluded that the smart design generated an incremental CAD $1.8 mm discounted cash flow at a capitalized cost of 10 per cent. 6 refs., 3 tabs., 11 figs.

  14. Nuclear energy in the oils sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arsenault, J.E.

    2014-01-01

    The major Canadian oil sands are located in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with most production from the strata along the Athabasca River in Alberta. The economically recoverable oil sands reserves are estimated to be 168 billion barrels which at a current production rate of 1.8 million barrels per day (2012), are projected to last a very long time. Canada has been blessed with vast energy resources which make it potentially energy-independent and able to provide significant exports but there are concerns that their development cannot be managed in a wholly acceptable manner. Comparable concerns have been applied to nuclear energy in the past and in recent times to the oil sands. The technologies associated with these energy sources have always been controversial because they are at the confluence of economics and politics where finding a balance between risk and reward is difficult. So it should be no surprise that when these technologies get linked together in certain proposals their prospect for success is doubly difficult. The possible use of nuclear energy for production of oil from the oil sands dates back to the late 1950s, when an experiment to mine the oil by detonating an underground nuclear device was proposed. It was predicted that the heat and pressure released from such a device would create a large cavern into which oil would flow, and from where it would be pumped to the surface. Almost at the same time, oil sands research using conventional sources of energy had culminated with the development of practical refining processes, essentially those still in use today. These methods require large amounts of heat energy in the form of hot water and steam. In this century nuclear energy was proposed as the source for the heat required by the oil sands production processes. To date neither of these nuclear proposals for oil sands projects have been successful, because the economic and political balance could not be struck. (author)

  15. Nuclear energy in the oils sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arsenault, J.E.

    2014-09-15

    The major Canadian oil sands are located in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with most production from the strata along the Athabasca River in Alberta. The economically recoverable oil sands reserves are estimated to be 168 billion barrels which at a current production rate of 1.8 million barrels per day (2012), are projected to last a very long time. Canada has been blessed with vast energy resources which make it potentially energy-independent and able to provide significant exports but there are concerns that their development cannot be managed in a wholly acceptable manner. Comparable concerns have been applied to nuclear energy in the past and in recent times to the oil sands. The technologies associated with these energy sources have always been controversial because they are at the confluence of economics and politics where finding a balance between risk and reward is difficult. So it should be no surprise that when these technologies get linked together in certain proposals their prospect for success is doubly difficult. The possible use of nuclear energy for production of oil from the oil sands dates back to the late 1950s, when an experiment to mine the oil by detonating an underground nuclear device was proposed. It was predicted that the heat and pressure released from such a device would create a large cavern into which oil would flow, and from where it would be pumped to the surface. Almost at the same time, oil sands research using conventional sources of energy had culminated with the development of practical refining processes, essentially those still in use today. These methods require large amounts of heat energy in the form of hot water and steam. In this century nuclear energy was proposed as the source for the heat required by the oil sands production processes. To date neither of these nuclear proposals for oil sands projects have been successful, because the economic and political balance could not be struck. (author)

  16. Oil sands tax expenditures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ketchum, K; Lavigne, R.; Plummer, R.

    2001-01-01

    The oil sands are a strategic Canadian resource for which federal and provincial governments provide financial incentives to develop and exploit. This report describes the Oil Sands Tax Expenditure Model (OSTEM) developed to estimate the size of the federal income tax expenditure attributed to the oil sands industry. Tax expenditures are tax concessions which are used as alternatives to direct government spending for achieving government policy objectives. The OSTEM was developed within the business Income Tax Division of Canada's Department of Finance. Data inputs for the model were obtained from oil sands developers and Natural Resources Canada. OSTEM calculates annual revenues, royalties and federal taxes at project levels using project-level projections of capital investment, operating expenses and production. OSTEM calculates tax expenditures by comparing taxes paid under different tax regimes. The model also estimates the foregone revenue as a percentage of capital investment. Total tax expenditures associated with investment in the oil sands are projected to total $820 million for the period from 1986 to 2030, representing 4.6 per cent of the total investment. 10 refs., 2 tabs., 7 figs

  17. Oil sands supply outlook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunbar, R.

    2004-01-01

    In March 2004, The Canadian Energy Research Institute released a report on the expected future supply from Alberta's oil sands. The report indicates that the future for the already well-established oil sands industry is promising, particularly given the outlook for oil prices. The challenges facing the industry include higher industry supply costs and the need for innovative commercial and technological solutions to address the risks of irregularities and changes in crude oil prices. In 2003, the industry produced 874 thousand barrels per day of synthetic crude oil and unprocessed crude bitumen. This represents 35 per cent of Canada's total oil production. Current production capacity has increased to 1.0 million barrels per day (mbpd) due to new projects. This number may increase to 3.5 mbpd by 2017. Some new projects may be deferred due to the higher raw bitumen and synthetic crude oil supply costs. This presentation provided supply costs for a range of oil sands recovery technologies and production projections under various business scenarios. tabs., figs

  18. Semipermeable membrane devices concentrate mixed function oxygenase inducers from oil sands and refinery wastewaters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parrott, J.L.; Hewitt, L.M.

    2002-01-01

    The health of fish in the Athabasca River was examined to determine the effects of both natural and anthropogenic oil sands exposure on liver mixed function oxygenase (MFO) enzymes. Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMD) were used to concentrate bioavailable compounds that may result in MFO induction. The SPMDs were used for a period of 2 weeks in the Steepbank River as well as in oil refinery wastewater and intake ponds. They were then tested to see if they induced ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in hepatoma cells, a cell line derived from a liver cancer of a small fish. SPMDs from the wastewater pond contained potent EROD inducers in fish liver cells. SPMDs from the Athabasca River exhibited some EROD inducers, but they were 1/100 as potent as those of the refinery wastewater. The characteristics of MFO inducers from refinery wastewater were different from natural inducers from the oil sands in the Athabasca and Steepbank Rivers. For instance, log Kow was less than 5 for refinery wastewater, but it was greater than 5 for Athabasca River wastewater and from natural oil sands exposure. In the case of the Steepbank River, the pattern of MFO induction was similar to the MFO induction seen in wild fish.The highest MFO inducers were found to be in the area of the mine, suggesting and anthropogenic pollution source. The less potent inducers were in the area of the natural and undisturbed oil sands. Very few inducers were found outside of the oil sands formation

  19. Advanced testing and characterization of shear modulus and deformation characteristics of oil sand materials

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available and Pressures,” Can. Geotech. J., Vol. 24, 1987, pp. 1–10. [5] Samieh, A.M. and Wong, R.C.K., “Deformation of Athabasca Oil Sand in Triaxial Compression Tests at Low Effective Stresses under Varying Boundary Conditions,” Can. Geotech. J., Vol.34, 1997, pp.... 985– 990. [6] Samieh, A.M. and Wong, R.C.K., “Modeling the Responses of Athabasca Oil Sand in Triaxial Compression Tests at Low Pressure,” Can. Geotech. J., Vol. 35, 1998, pp. 395–406. [7] AASHTO Standard T265, 2009, “Laboratory Determination...

  20. Comparative analysis of fiscal terms for Alberta oil sands and international heavy and conventional oils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Meurs, P.

    2007-01-01

    There are considerable differences between international heavy oil and Alberta oil sands projects, notably the high viscosity of the bitumen in the oil sands reservoirs. The oil sands bitumen do not flow to wells without heating the bitumen, thereby adding to the already high cost of Alberta oil sand operations. This report provided an economic comparison of Alberta oil sands and international heavy oil projects. It also included a brief scoping review to compare with conventional oil regimes. Full exploration costs including the costs of dry holes were allocated to conventional oil operations in order to obtain a proper comparison. This investigation included the costs of dry holes. The report was a follow up to an earlier study released on April 12, 2007 on the preliminary fiscal evaluation of Alberta oil sand terms. The report provided an economic framework and described project selection. It then provided a discussion of production, costs and price data. Four adjusted projects were presented and compared with Alberta. The Venezuelan royalty formula was also discussed. Last, the report provided a detailed fiscal analysis. Comparisons were offered with Cold Lake and Athabasca Mine. A review of some other fiscal systems applicable to conventional oil were also outlined. It was concluded that Alberta oil sands developments are very competitive. It would be possible to modestly increase government revenues, without affecting the international competitive position of Alberta with respect to conventional oil. There is also some possibility to increase the base royalty on the Alberta oil sands without losing competitiveness. tabs., figs

  1. Canada's oil sands : opportunities and challenges to 2015 : an update

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-06-01

    This report updated an energy market assessment compiled and published by the National Energy Board (NEB) in 2004. Major changes resulting from recent developments in the oil sands industry were presented. The report was compiled from a series of informal meetings and discussions with a cross-section of oil sands stakeholders. Influences on recent oil sands development and production growth included market development and pipelines; rising capital and labour costs; operating costs; environmental impact management; high crude oil prices; rising global energy demand; technology innovations; and a more stable investment climate. A comparison of key assumptions between the current analysis and the 2004 report was presented, along with estimates of operating and supply costs for various types of oil sands recovery methods. Potential markets for oil sands production were reviewed. Environmental and socio-economic impacts on the industry included the larger than anticipated water withdrawals from the Athabasca River for mining operations; and uncertainties over land reclamation methods. The industry has also been impacted by a limited supply of skilled workers in Alberta. It was observed that the potential for building cogeneration capacity has decreased since the 2004 report. It was concluded that the oil sands industry will continue to grow rapidly, but the rate of development will depend on the balance that is reached between the opposing forces that affect the oil sands. Natural gas costs, high oil prices, air emissions management issues and water usage will continue to be of concern. 6 tabs., 7 figs

  2. Production of oil from Intermountain West tar sands deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glassett, J.M.; Glassett, J.A.

    1976-03-01

    Six tar sand deposits in the Intermountain West, each containing more than one billion barrels of oil in place, are identified. All of these deposits are in eastern Utah and contain a total of twenty-eight billion barrels of oil. The names of the six deposits arranged in descending order of desirability for large-scale surface-mining oil recovery operations are as follows: Sunnyside, Tar Sand Triangle, Asphalt Ridge, P.R. Spring, Circle Cliffs, and Hill Creek. An overview of each deposit is presented including geology, surface-mining variables, chemical processing variables, environmental aspects, and economics. A comparison of Utah tar sands and Athabasca, Alberta, Canada tar sands is also presented.

  3. Petro-Canada's oil sands supply outlook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sangster, B.

    2004-01-01

    A report by the Canadian Energy Research Institute suggests that by 2017, production from the Athabasca Oil Sands could reach as high as 3.5 million barrels per day (mbpd), or it could be as low as 1.1 mbpd. This uncertainty in production is due to several variables such as capital costs, project size, reservoir quality, pipeline capacity and workforce productivity. Other factors that influence production include marginal economics, markets and prices, investor confidence, stakeholder concerns and the Kyoto Protocol. The production level that will be achieved by 2017 will depend on how industry address these emerging issues. The author discussed these issues in detail with particular reference to the approach that Petro-Canada has taken to address the challenges. Suggestions to reduce the potential impacts of these challenges were also presented. tabs., figs

  4. Post-Secondary Learning Priorities of Workers in an Oil Sands Camp in Northern Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahy, Patrick J.; Steel, Nancy

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports results to date of a three-year project by Athabasca University, intended to determine the education and training needs and interests of employees in a work camp in northern Alberta's oil sands. (Future reports will address results of efforts to provide programming suiting the needs identified, and the uptake, satisfaction,…

  5. Ecotoxicological impacts of effluents generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and oil sands lixiviation on Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Debenest, T., E-mail: tdebenest@yahoo.fr [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Turcotte, P. [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Gagne, F., E-mail: francois.gagne@ec.gc.ca [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Gagnon, C.; Blaise, C. [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada)

    2012-05-15

    The exploitation of Athabasca oil sands deposits in northern Alberta has known an intense development in recent years. This development has raised concern about the ecotoxicological risk of such industrial activities adjacent to the Athabasca River. Indeed, bitumen extraction generated large amounts of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) which are discharged in tailing ponds in the Athabasca River watershed. This study sought to evaluate and compare the toxicity of OSPW and oil sands lixiviate water (OSLW) with a baseline (oil sands exposed to water; OSW) on a microalgae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, at different concentrations (1.9, 5.5, 12.25, 25 and 37.5%, v/v). Chemical analyses of water-soluble contaminants showed that OSPW and OSLW were enriched in different elements such as vanadium (enrichment factor, EF = 66 and 12, respectively), aluminum (EF = 64 and 15, respectively), iron (EF = 52.5 and 17.1, respectively) and chromium (39 and 10, respectively). The toxicity of OSPW on cells with optimal intracellular esterase activity and chlorophyll autofluorescence (viable cells) (72 h-IC 50% < 1.9%) was 20 times higher than the one of OSW (72 h-IC 50% > 37.5%, v/v). OSLW was 4.4 times less toxic (IC 50% = 8.5%, v/v) than OSPW and 4.5 times more toxic than OSW. The inhibition of viable cell growth was significantly and highly correlated (<-0.7) with the increase of arsenic, beryllium, chromium, copper, lead, molybdenum and vanadium concentrations. The specific photosynthetic responses studied with JIP-test (rapid and polyphasic chlorophyll a fluorescence emission) showed a stimulation of the different functional parameters (efficiency of PSII to absorb energy from photons, size of effective PSII antenna and vitality of photosynthetic apparatus for energy conversion) in cultures exposed to OSPW and OSLW. To our knowledge, our study highlights the first evidence of physiological effects of OSPW and OSLW on microalgae.

  6. The Alberta oil sands story

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1974-01-01

    This report serves as a detailed introduction to the Alberta oil sands and their development. It includes a description of the oil sands deposits, an outline of crude bitumen recovery and upgrading processes, the role of Alberta Energy Company in oil sands development, environmental aspects, manpower requirements for oil sands development, research needs, and further oil sands projects. Presently proven recoverable reserves in the oil sands amount to 26.5 billion bbl of synthetic crude. Production from the Syncrude plant (125,000 bbl/d capacity) is expected to begin in 1977, followed by a Shell Canada operation around 1980. The provincial government will participate in the oil sand industry through its joint venture participation in Syncrude and its 50% share in Alberta Energy Company; the latter company participates in related aspects of the Syncrude project, such as pipelines. The result of Alberta's participation in the industry will mean that, directly or indirectly, the province will realize 60% of the total profits. The job creation potential of oil sands projects is estimated to be extensive, with a direct and indirect work force supported by oil sands activities possibly reaching 180,000 persons by the year 2000. Research needs have been identified, particularly in the area of in-situ thermal recovery technology, and the creation of the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority has been authorized in order to meet these needs. Although current reserves are sufficient to support 20-30 synthetic crude plants, a number of factors will limit expansion of the industry. 8 figs., 5 tabs.

  7. Advanced characterisation of organic matter in oil sands and tailings sands used for land reclamation by Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS).

    OpenAIRE

    Mareike Noah; Andrea Vieth-Hillebrand; Heinz Wilkes

    2012-01-01

    The Athabasca region of northern Alberta, Canada, is home to deposits of oil sands containing vast amounts (~ 173 billion barrels) of heavily biodegraded petroleum. Oil sands are recovered by surface mining or by in situ steam injection. The extraction of bitumen from oil sands by caustic hot water processing results in large volumes of fluid tailings, which are stored in on-site settling basins. There the tailings undergo a compaction and dewatering process, producing a slowly densifying sus...

  8. Reports on 1974 result of Sunshine Project. Research on tar sand and oil shale; 1974 nendo tar sand oyobi oil shale ni kansuru chosa kenkyu seika hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1975-04-04

    The purpose of this research is to grasp the policy of the oil sand resource countries, the properties and existing conditions of the resources, effects of the oil sand resources on a long term energy supply/demand, etc., and to clarify the meaning and position of the researches on the development of oil sand resources in the future energy policy of Japan. The quantities of oil sand resources are mostly in the process of investigation except Alberta province of Canada and are estimated to be two trillion barrels. The quantity for which strip mining is possible is about 90 billion barrels, which are mostly located in the Athabasca region. The oil sand holding countries take a policy of positively developing oil sand. No barriers are particularly provided against the introduction of foreign technology and capital. Where the prospects are possible for the development of oil sand are Canada and Venezuela. R and D should be emphasized on the refining of bitumen and the extraction method within the oil reservoir. The investment per b/d is about 15-20 thousand dollars, which is likely to be more than twice as much as for the North Sea oilfields. The properties and quality of the synthetic crude oil are superior while the risk of exploitation is small; therefore, oil sand will be competitive with crude oil in the future. (NEDO)

  9. The use of stable isotopes to trace oil sands constituents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farwell, A.J.; Nero, V.; Dixon, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the biological effects of oil sands mining operations on aquatic ecosystems. The study focused on the Athabasca oil sand deposit, the largest of 4 deposits in northern Alberta. In particular, the study examined the cycling of oil sand constituents in Benthic invertebrates collected from test pits at Syncrude Canada Ltd.. The invertebrates were similar in size, but different in the quantity of process-affected water or mature fine tailings containing residual bitumen. Dragonflies and damselflies in particular, showed trends of depletion for the carbon 13 isotope and enrichment in nitrogen 15 isotope in pits where levels of process affected water was high. The depletion of carbon 13 isotope suggests that oil sand constituents assimilate into the benthic food chain. The greatest carbon 13 depletion, which was approximately 27 per cent, was found to be in test pits with high turbidity. This implies that oil sands constituents degrade microbially instead of by photosynthetic production. All benthic invertebrate group demonstrated an incremental enrichment in nitrogen 15 isotope from the control pit to the pit with greatest levels of mature fine tailings

  10. Oil sands and the environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seeley, R. [Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada). Calgary Research Centre

    2004-07-01

    Oil sands are a significant resource for Alberta and Canada with continuing growth opportunity. There is a need to ensure sustainable development of the oil sands resources from a social, economic and environmental perspective. The industry has succeeded in terms of proven reserves, technology advancements, reduced operating costs, reliability and market accessibility. Some of the major challenges facing the industry include high capital cost, infrastructure, social services and keeping pace with growth. This presentation outlined the proactive measures that the oil sands industry has taken to manage environmental issues such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, greenhouse gases, water management and land reclamation. tabs., figs.

  11. Alberta oil sands royalty regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asgarpour, S.

    2004-01-01

    The long term objective of the Oil Sands Business Unit of Alberta Energy is to pave the way for Alberta's bitumen production to reach 3 million barrels per day by 2020. This presentation described the national government's role in resource development. It was emphasized that since the Crown is the owner of the oil sands resource, it would benefit by providing strategic leadership and by generating a larger royalty base. The oil sands fiscal regime was described with reference to generic royalty, risk sharing, investment, and project economics. Business rule principles were also outlined along with criteria for project expansions. Both upstream and downstream challenges and opportunities were listed. 4 figs

  12. Preliminary fiscal evaluation of Alberta oil sands terms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Meurs, P.

    2007-01-01

    The cost of oil sands projects varies significantly. While costs have escalated considerably over the past few years, oil prices have gone significantly higher. This report provided an economic evaluation of the current fiscal terms applicable to Alberta oil sands. The analysis was done to evaluate the profitability of oil sand projects to investors under current conditions based on the generic royalty regime based on bitumen values. The objective of the royalty review was to determine whether Albertans received a fair share from their oil and gas resources. It discussed the wide variety of oil sands projects in Alberta using five case studies as examples. Cases involving steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations were assessed for both the Athabasca Mine and Cold Lake. The report provided a discussion of the economic assumptions including economic cases as well as production, costs and price data. It then provided the preliminary results of the economic-fiscal evaluation from the investor perspective including profitability indicators; international comparisons; internal rate of return; and net present value. The government perspective was also discussed with reference to attractiveness indicators; royalties as a percentage of bitumen values; and non-discounted and discounted government take. A royalty and tax feature analysis was also provided. Several issues for possible further review were also presented. tabs

  13. Geophysics comes of age in oil sands development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bauman, P. [WorleyParsons Komex, Calgary, AB (Canada); Birch, R.; Parker, D.; Andrews, B. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada). Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

    2008-07-01

    This paper discussed geophysical techniques developed for oil sands exploration and production applications in Alberta's oil sands region. Geophysical methods are playing an important role in mine planning, tailings containment, water supply, and land reclamation activities. Geophysics techniques are used to estimate the volume of muskeg that needs to be stripped and stored for future reclamation activities as well as to site muskeg piles and delineate the thickness of clay Clearwater formations overlying Cretaceous oil-bearing sands. 2-D electrical resistivity mapping is used to map river-connected deep bedrock Pleistocene paleovalleys in the region. Geophysical studies are also used to investigate the interiors of dikes and berms as well as to monitor salt migration within tailings piles. Sonic and density logs are used to create synthetic seismograms for mapping the Devonian surface in the region. The new applications included the calculation of bitumen saturation from surface sands and shales; muskeg thickness mapping; and non-intrusive monitoring of leachate plumes. Geophysical techniques included 2-D electrical resistivity imaging; transient electromagnetic (EM) technologies; ground penetrating radar; and high-resolution seismic reflections. Polarization, surface nuclear magnetic resonance and push-probe sensing techniques were also discussed. Techniques were discussed in relation to Alberta's Athabasca oil sands deposits. 4 refs.

  14. The effect of oil sands tailings pond sediments on embryo-larval walleye (Sander vitreus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, J C; Turcotte, D; Tumber, V; Peru, K M; Wang, Z; Yang, C; Headley, J V; Parrott, J L

    2017-10-01

    Walleye (Sander vitreus) are a commercially important North American fish species that inhabit the Athabasca River. This river flows through the Athabasca oil sands where natural sources of bitumen erode from the McMurray formation. Little information is available on responses of walleye embryos to oil sands tailings pond sediments in a laboratory setting. The current study describes the design and implementation of a daily-renewal bioassay to assess the potential effects of tailings pond sediments from the Athabasca oil sands area on walleye development. Developing walleye embryos were exposed to increasing concentrations of two tailings pond sediments (collected in the Athabasca oil sands area) until the completion of yolk absorption in control fish. Sediments from the tailings pond represent a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkylated PAHs. During the 31 day exposure, the walleye were examined for mortalities, weight, length and developmental abnormalities to provide an initial evaluation of the effects of the oil sands tailings pond sediments. Walleye embryo survival differed between the tailings pond sediments, and survival decreased with increasing sediment concentration. Alkylated PAH content differed between the two tailings pond sediments and lower embryo survival corresponded to higher total and alkylated PAH content. Tailings pond sediment-exposed walleye exhibited a delay in development, as well as increased percentages of larvae with heart and yolk sac edema, and cranial and spinal malformations. These abnormalities in development are often associated with PAH and alkylated PAH exposure. This study provides an exposure design that can be used to assess sediment toxicity to early developmental stages of a fish species not commonly tested in the lab, and lays the groundwork for future studies with this and other difficult-to-culture species. These results offer information on the potential effects of tailings pond sediments

  15. Centennial review-forecast--oil sands, shales spar for markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pamenter, C B

    1967-09-01

    The relationship between possible developments of tar sands and oil shale deposits to the future of the oil and gas industry is examined. The Athabasca tar sands are estimated to contain 85 billion bbl of synthetic crude oil which can be exploited using currently available mining equipment and proven techniques. Another 240 billion bbl of synthetic crude are potentially available through in-situ extraction methods. Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. is using an extraction procedure which involves a surface mining operation, extraction and processing of the bitumen, and product shipments via a 266-mile pipeline. This procedure will be used to produce 45,000 bpd of synthetic crude and 300 ton per day of sulfur. Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Shell Canada Ltd. both have applied to the Alberta government for permission to operate 100,000-bpd operations. Syncrudes is a mining operation and Shell plans to use in-situ extraction. A number of companies have conducted research projects concerning shale oil recovery. The majority of these projects have been aimed at improving mining operations. In-situ retorting of kerogen and extraction of oil has also received consideration.

  16. An approach to managing cumulative effects to groundwater resources in the Alberta oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fennell, J.; Forrest, Francine; Klebek, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    In the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta, oil sands activity has raised many concerns over how mining and extracting processes might affect groundwater quality and quantity. The groundwater management framework was developed by Alberta Environment to address these concerns by identifying and managing the potential environmental effects of oil sands activity on groundwater in a science-based manner. This paper develops the framework using risk identification and performance monitoring. The decision-making approach was conducted using decision support tools such as modeling, monitoring and management. Results showed the complexity and variability of groundwater conditions in the Athabasca region and pointed out that knowledge in this area is still developing. This paper presented how the groundwater management framework was developed and pointed out that it will have to be updated as new information arrives.

  17. Geophysical applications for oil sand mine tailings management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parker, D.; Bauman, P. [WorleyParsons, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Geophysical techniques are applied throughout a mine's life cycle to facilitate siting, constructing and monitoring of tailings dumps and ponds. This presentation described 3 case studies from the Athabasca region in northeast Alberta that demonstrated some of the concerns associated with oil sand mine tailings, and the information that geophysical surveys can provide. The objectives of these studies were to determine the lateral and depth extents of elevated conductivities of soil and groundwater that have high salt concentration from the tailings sand pore fluid. Due to high chloride concentrations within the tailings material, salt within the root zone may affect vegetation. A terrain conductivity survey was designed to map the lateral extents of salinity impact, while an electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) survey was used to delineate the tailings sand leachate at depth. The proper management of oil sand tailings facilities is vital to the life cycle of a mine. It was concluded that geophysical techniques can be instrumental in managing several engineering and environmental challenges, from Pleistocene channel mapping, to tailings pond settling characteristics, to reclaiming tailings sands. 1 ref., 7 figs.

  18. Mass spectrometry of oil sands naphthenic acids : degradation in OSPW and wetland plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Headley, J. [Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Water Science and Technology Directorate

    2009-07-01

    This presentation discussed mass spectrometry of oil sands naphthenic acids and the degradation in OSPW and wetland plants. It presented background information on the Athabasca oil sands and naphthenic acids which involve a mixture of alkanes and cycloalkane carboxylic acids with aliphatic side chains. The presentation also discussed mass spectrometry with electrospray operating in negative ion modes. Loop injection, external standard methods and solid phase extraction were reviewed along with improved analysis by removing background ions. Other topics that were presented included hydroponic test systems and wetland plant toxicity, growth and transpiration. It was concluded that dissipation included species containing oxygen, ozone, O{sub 4}, and O{sub 5}. tabs., figs.

  19. A foundation for the future: building an environmental monitoring system for the oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dowdeswell, L.; Dillon, P.; Ghoshal, S.; Miall, A.; Rasmussen, J.; Smol, J.P.

    2010-12-01

    In September, 2010, important concerns regarding the impacts of oil sand industry on the environment in the Lower Athabasca River Basin resulted in the creation of the oil sands advisory panel. This panel was set up to examine and evaluate the existing system for research and monitoring and identify strengths and weaknesses regarding water monitoring in the Lower Athabasca River Basin and connected waterways. In this report, the panel provides important elements to guide the monitoring of water quality and quantity. The panel has identified several organizations or individuals contributing to the research and monitoring of the Athabasca River system but also points out in the document that the research has not yet led to a consensus regarding the impacts of oil sands development on the environment. It has also been observed that no standardized data management system has been put in place to facilitate the access to data for interested parties. Important weaknesses in the existing monitoring system were identified by the panel. The advisory panel recommended the implementation of a credible and transparent, comprehensive and adaptive monitoring program, through a collaborative work between relevant jurisdictions and stakeholders. 50 refs.

  20. Ambient air quality predictions in the Athabasca oil sands region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    This report presents dispersion modelling predictions for SO 2 , NOx, CO, HC and particulate matter (PM), which complement regional monitoring observations. The air quality simulation models provide a scientific means of relating industrial emissions to changes in ambient air quality. The four models applied to the emission sources in the region were: (1) SCREEN3, (2) ISC3BE, (3) ADEPT2, and (4) the box model. Model predictions were compared to air quality guidelines. It was concluded that the largest SO 2 concentrations were associated with intermittent flaring, and with the Suncor Powerhouse whose emissions are continuous. 45 refs., 36 tabs., 40 figs

  1. Regional sustainable development strategy for the Athabasca Oil Sands area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-07-01

    The Regional Sustainable Development Strategy (RSDS) provides a framework for balancing development with environmental protection. This provisional direction for sustainable resource management was confirmed in a March 1999 policy document. It is as follows: the use of Alberta's natural resources shall be sustainable, the management of Alberta's natural resources shall support and promote the Alberta economy, Alberta's environment shall be protected, resources shall be managed on an integrated basis, and Alberta's natural resources shall be managed for multiple benefits. The focus of the RSDS is to address the need to balance resource development and environmental protection. The report covers: an overview, the Regional Sustainable Development Strategy and the RSDS management model. Blueprints for action concerning the impacts of oilsands development are provided under 14 themes, including 1) cumulative impacts on wildlife, fish habitat and populations, surface and groundwater quality and 2) human health effects of air emissions and effects of air emissions on wildlife and vegetation. The RSDS will apply provincial and federal policy, legislation, standards and programs in a regional context, including principles in the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Harmonization Accord

  2. An introduction to conservation and reclamation at Alberta's mineable oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richens, T. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This paper presented a balanced view of the conservation and reclamation issues and challenges facing oil sands development in Alberta. Bitumen is recovered by truck and shovel in the shallow oil sands of the Athabasca region. The deeper deposits in the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake regions are accessed primarily using a system of horizontal wells and steam to extract the bitumen from the sand and pump it to the surface. Individual in-situ operations have a smaller environmental impact than mines, and do not produce tailings ponds. However, the footprint of in-situ facilities will accumulate over time because of the potential for extensive future development. The key issues facing conservation and reclamation in the mineable oil sands were discussed. Summary statistics on land disturbed and reclaimed in the region were also provided. The challenges facing reclamation activities include long timeframes; large scale, regional planning and integration; competing land use goals; revegetation; byproduct management; and tailings and process-affected water. Multi-stakeholder forums have proven to be the key to the progression of monitoring, research and development and the sharing of knowledge and information. Frameworks have been developed for the assessment of pre-disturbed and reclaimed soil capability specific to the oil sands region. Additional resources are also available, such as guidelines for the reclamation of terrestrial and wetland habitats that represent the best management practices for reclamation research in revegetation, soil salvage, stockpiling and placement, tailings reclamation, end pit lakes, wetlands and biodiversity. 16 refs., 1 fig.

  3. Rheology of oil sands slurries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chow, R.; Zhou, J. [Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Mineral Oil Sands Unit; Wallace, D. [Dean Wallace Consulting Inc., Beaumont, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    This study focused on integrating rheology and colloid science to improve recovery of bitumen in surface mined oil sands. Factors that influence recovery, such as conditions of particle interaction, solids concentration and shear rate, were reviewed. In an effort to understand the rheological behaviour of clay-in-water suspensions, an elaborate procedure was developed to separate an inter-bedded clay layer from a site at Albian Sands Energy Inc. The variables were water chemistry, solids concentration, and shear rate. The research study was conducted at the Alberta Research Council with the support of the CONRAD Extraction Group. A controlled stress rheometer was used to provide the quantitative evaluations of the clay slurry properties. The research results indicate that the viscoelastic properties of the slurry are highly influenced by the shear history of the slurry, solids content, calcium concentration, and sample aging. Shear thinning behaviour was observed in all slurry samples, but the slurry viscosity increased with test time for a given shear rate. In order to classify the slurries, a method was developed to distinguish the gel strength. The slurries were then classified into 3 distinct patterns, including no gel, weak gel and strong gel. The evolution of the experimental protocols were described along with the current stability maps that correlate the domains of the gel strength according to the solids concentration, calcium ion content, and shear rate. It was concluded that the rheological properties of oil sands slurries influence bitumen recovery in commercial surface-mined oil sands operations. tabs., figs.

  4. Mobil Oil Canada : Kearl Oil Sands Mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

    The upgrader design at Mobil's Kearl Oil Sands Mine were described. Included were feed characteristics, upgrader products, process schemes and their overall economics and upgrader technologies in use, including coking, deasphalting, hydrocracking, hydrotreating and visbreaking. Advantages and disadvantages of the upgrader technologies were highlighted. As far as the product is concerned, much of it is destined to U.S. refineries that are equipped to process the material. The Kearl Oil Sands Mine upgrading facility will likely use a combination of coker/hydrotreating, which is a well proven process for high value products that has been used in all five of Mobil's refineries in the U.S., and visbreaker/deasphalting, which has shown promise in bench-scale testing, but at present still has some potential commercial difficulties. Foremost among these are the high softening product of asphalt from visbroken products, questionable commercial feasibility of the low yield of pitch, and problems in the disposal of asphalt. Severe visbreaking also yields unstable products. Details of Mobil Canada's oil sands project were also summarized 2 tabs., 9 figs

  5. Developing new markets for oil sands products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crandall, G.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a review by Purvin and Gertz of western Canadian crude oil supply. This energy consulting firm provides advise to the energy sector. It suggests that oil sands production will surpass declining conventional production. Oil sands supply includes bitumen, synthetic crude oil (SCO), and diluent. It is forecasted that oil sands will increase from 42 per cent of western supply in 2002 to 78 per cent in 2015. The potential of Alberta's oil sands was discussed along with a recent study of refined products and petrochemicals from bitumen. Upgrading, refining and petrochemical case studies were presented. The author examined if a Canadian oil sands upgrading project with high capital costs can be competitive with competing projects in the United States and internationally. In addition to supply and demand issues, the presentation examined infrastructure capability and market potential in the United States. The economic potential and risks of preferred business cases compared to upgrading to SCO were also evaluated. 15 figs

  6. Delayed coking studies on Athabasca bitumen and Cold Lake heavy oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Govindhakannan, J.; Khulbe, C. [National Centre for Upgrading Technology, Devon, AB (Canada); Natural Resources Canada, Devon, AB (Canada). CanmetENERGY

    2009-07-01

    This poster highlighted the results of a study that quantified the delayed coking product yields of Athabasca bitumen and Cold Lake heavy oil. It also investigated the effect of operating pressure and feed rates on product yield and quality. The effect of pressure on conversion of sulphur and nitrogen was also examined. Experimental results revealed that the yield of liquid products decreases and the yields of coke and gases increase as the operating pressure increases. Sulphur and nitrogen conversions increase with increasing pressure. In this study, the yield and quality of delayed coking products were not influenced by the variation in feed rates. It was concluded that feed rate changes do not significantly affect the yield and quality of delayed coking products because the residual liquid and coke trapped in the coker drum reside there for a duration that approaches infinity, compared to much smaller average residence time for vapor-phase compounds. tabs., figs.

  7. Geotechnical properties of crude oil contaminated sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puri, V.K.; Das, B.M.; Cook, E.E.; Shin, E.C.

    1994-01-01

    Contamination of soil due to an oil spill influences its subsequent engineering behavior. An investigation was conducted to study the effect of crude oil contamination on compaction characteristics, shear strength, one-dimensional compression, and coefficient of permeability. Water permeability was also determined by using commercial grade motor oils as contaminants. The test results indicate that the compaction characteristics are influenced by oil contamination. The angle of internal friction of sand (based on total stress condition) decreases due to presence of oil within the pore spaces in sand. One dimensional compression characteristics of sand are significantly influenced by oil contamination resulting in a decrease in the value of constrained modulus with increase in the degree of oil contamination compared to the case of dry sand. Water permeability was observed to be a function of the initial viscosity and the degree of saturation due to the contaminating oil

  8. Sphagnum mosses from 21 ombrotrophic bogs in the athabasca bituminous sands region show no significant atmospheric contamination of "heavy metals".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shotyk, William; Belland, Rene; Duke, John; Kempter, Heike; Krachler, Michael; Noernberg, Tommy; Pelletier, Rick; Vile, Melanie A; Wieder, Kelman; Zaccone, Claudio; Zhang, Shuangquan

    2014-11-04

    Sphagnum moss was collected from 21 ombrotrophic (rain-fed) peat bogs surrounding open pit mines and upgrading facilities of Athabasca bituminous sands in Alberta (AB). In comparison to contemporary Sphagnum moss from four bogs in rural locations of southern Germany (DE), the AB mosses yielded lower concentrations of Ag, Cd, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Tl, similar concentrations of Mo, but greater concentrations of Ba, Th, and V. Except for V, in comparison to the "cleanest", ancient peat samples ever tested from the northern hemisphere (ca. 6000-9000 years old), the concentrations of each of these metals in the AB mosses are within a factor of 3 of "natural, background" values. The concentrations of "heavy metals" in the mosses, however, are proportional to the concentration of Th (a conservative, lithophile element) and, therefore, contributed to the plants primarily in the form of mineral dust particles. Vanadium, the single most abundant trace metal in bitumen, is the only anomaly: in the AB mosses, V exceeds that of ancient peat by a factor of 6; it is therefore enriched in the mosses, relative to Th, by a factor of 2. In comparison to the surface layer of peat cores collected in recent years from across Canada, from British Columbia to New Brunswick, the Pb concentrations in the mosses from AB are far lower.

  9. Development of a bioassay to assess the toxicity of oil sands sediments to pike (Esox lucius)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcotte, D.; Yuan, H.; Tumber, V.; Parrott, J. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Raine, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Pike (Esox lucius) are a commercially sought fish species that inhabit the Athabasca River, which flows through the Athabasca oil sands. The fish are exposed to natural sources of bitumen from the McMurray formation. This study was conducted to design and implement a daily-renewal bioassay to assess the toxicity of oil sands to this fish species and to obtain information regarding the development of pike exposed to bitumen. Eggs were collected and fertilized with milt from spawning wild pike captured from Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. The fertilized eggs were exposed to different concentrations of sediments or culture water only (negative controls) until complete yolk absorption of control fish, approximately 15 days post-hatch. For the rest of the experiment, brine shrimp were fed to the walleye embryos every day after hatching. The developing fish were examined for morphological deformities, survival, hatching success, and changes in weight and length. The research findings indicated that pike is less sensitive than walleye and fathead minnow to the toxicity of oil sands sediments.

  10. Dynamic simulation of cable shovel specific energy in oil sands excavation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Awuah-Offei, K. [Missouri-Rolla Univ., Rolla, MO (United States). School of Materials, Energy and Earth Resources; Frimpong, S. [Missouri-Rolla Univ., Rolla, MO (United States). Dept. of Mining Engineering, Mining and Nuclear Engineering; Askari-Nasab, H. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering

    2005-07-01

    Oil sand excavation requires the use cable shovels which constitute one of the major costs in surface mining operations. Random occurrences of shales and limestones within the Athabasca oil sands formation result in varying shovel diggability and stress loading of the boom-crowd-dipper-teeth assembly which reduces digging efficiency. This inefficient use of cable shovels negatively affects the return on capital investment in these otherwise effective machines. In the Athabasca oil sands, varying stress loading has the potential to increase shovel downtime and increase maintenance costs. This paper presented a newly developed cable shovel simulator that uses shovel kinematics and dynamics, dynamic cutting resistance and payload models. It can model the specific energy needed to overcome the resistance to machine motion and material digging. The comprehensive model considers both machine motion and machine-formation interaction forces. It also provides a comprehensive theoretical assessment of shovel performance. The model is useful to mining engineers when examining both the machine operating parameters and material parameters that influence shovel performance. The study showed that bulk density is the most important material property influencing diggability. Operator preferences also influence the specific energy of excavation. 12 refs., 2 tabs., 6 figs.

  11. Fuel options for oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wise, T.

    2005-01-01

    This presentation examined fuel options in relation to oil sands production. Options include steam and hydrogen (H 2 ) for upgrading; natural gas by pipeline; bitumen; petroleum coke; and coal. Various cost drivers were also considered for each of the fuel options. It was noted that natural gas has high energy value but the capital cost is low, and that coke's energy value is very low but the capital cost is high. A chart forecasting energy prices was presented. The disposition of Western Canada's northern gas situation was presented. Issues concerning rail transportation for coal were considered. Environmental concerns were also examined. A chart of typical gas requirements for 75,000 B/D oil sands projects was presented. Issues concerning steam generation with gas and mining cogeneration with gas fuel and steam turbines were discussed, as well as cogeneration and H 2 with gas fuels and steam turbines. Various technology and fuel utility options were examined, along with details of equipment and processes. Boiler technologies were reviewed by type as well as fuel and steam quality and pressure. Charts of cogeneration with gas turbine and circulation fluid bed boilers were presented. Gasification processes were reviewed and a supply cost basis was examined. Cost drivers were ranked according to energy, operating considerations and capital investment. Results indicated that fuel costs were significant for gas and coal. Capital costs and capital recovery charge was most significant with coal and gasification technology. Without capital recovery, cash costs favour the use of bitumen and coke. Gasification would need lower capital and lower capital recovery to compete with direct burning. It was concluded that direct burning of bitumen can compete with natural gas. With price volatility anticipated, dual fuel capability for bitumen and gas has merit. Petroleum coke can be produced or retrieved from stockpiles. Utility supply costs of direct burning of coke is

  12. Phytoremediation of Alberta oil sand tailings using native plants and fungal endophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repas, T.; Germida, J.; Kaminskyj, S.

    2012-04-01

    Fungal endophytes colonize host plants without causing disease. Some endophytes confer plant tolerance to harsh environments. One such endophyte, Trichoderma harzianum strain TSTh20-1, was isolated from a plant growing on Athabasca oil sand tailings. Tailing sands are a high volume waste product from oil sand extraction that the industry is required to remediate. Tailing sands are low in organic carbon and mineral nutrients, and are hydrophobic due to residual polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Typically, tailing sands are remediated by planting young trees in large quantities of mulch plus mineral fertilizer, which is costly and labour intensive. In greenhouse trials, TSTh20-1 supports growth of tomato seedlings on tailing sands without fertilizer. The potential use of TSTh20-1 in combination with native grasses and forbs to remediate under field conditions is being assessed. Twenty-three commercially available plant species are being screened for seed germination and growth on tailing sands in the presence of TSTh20-1. The best candidates from this group will be used in greenhouse and small scale field trials. Potential mechanisms that contribute to endophyte-induced plant growth promotion, such as plant hormone production, stress tolerance, mineral solubilization, and uptake are also being assessed. As well, TSTh20-1 appears to be remarkably frugal in its nutrient requirements and the possibility that this attribute is characteristic of other plant-fungal endophytes from harsh environments is under study.

  13. Bringing Context to the Oil Sands Debate: understanding the role of nature versus man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, J.; Gibson, J. J.; Birks, S. J.; YI, Y.; Jasechko, S.; Moncur, M. C.

    2013-12-01

    The Canadian oil sands represent an important resource to the national economy, and a strategic supply-line to the United States of America. These hydrocarbon deposits reside beneath a vast area in northern Alberta, and have been exposed to the environment for millennia as a result of erosion by the Athabasca River and its tributaries. Further complexity to the geochemical setting occurs due to the existence of faulted pathways extending from deeper, highly saline, Devonian intervals to surface. Situated within this natural setting are large waste management structures used to contain mine tailings and oil sands produced water. Many of these structures are situated in close proximity to aquatic receptors and have the potential to affect local water quality due to seepage losses. As such, these structures are coming under increasing scrutiny as a potential source of environmental impact. Discharge of oil sands contaminants to the rivers, and the accumulation of these materials in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, has been cited as a factor leading to adverse health effects at downstream communities. However, the role that natural discharge of contaminants plays has never been fully acknowledged. To address this critical gap, a reconnaissance of the Athabasca River was conducted. Areas of elevated terrain conductivity (detected by EM31 survey) were identified both in background locations and areas suspected of industrial releases. Water samples were collected from various sites and from multiple depth intervals (up to 3 m) within the hyporheic zone of the river sediments. This was achieved using drive-point wells. Each sample was then analyzed for a comprehensive suite of parameters including: i) major ions; ii) dissolved trace elements; iii) dissolved organics; and iv) selected stable and radiogenic isotopes. Results of the investigation identified large areas (in excess of 10km) of groundwater discharge to the Athabasca River well outside the influence of oil sands

  14. Supercritical solvent extraction of oil sand bitumen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imanbayev, Ye. I.; Ongarbayev, Ye. K.; Tileuberdi, Ye.; Mansurov, Z. A.; Golovko, A. K.; Rudyk, S.

    2017-08-01

    The supercritical solvent extraction of bitumen from oil sand studied with organic solvents. The experiments were performed in autoclave reactor at temperature above 255 °C and pressure 29 atm with stirring for 6 h. The reaction resulted in the formation of coke products with mineral part of oil sands. The remaining products separated into SARA fractions. The properties of the obtained products were studied. The supercritical solvent extraction significantly upgraded extracted natural bitumen.

  15. Determination of trace elements in GPC fractions of oil-sand asphaltenes by INAA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobs, F.S.; Bachelor, F.W.; Filby, R.H.

    1984-01-01

    Asphaltene samples precipitated from Athabasca and Cold Lake oil-sand bitumens were separated into 12 fractions of varying molecular weight by preparative gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Each fraction was then analyzed by analytical GPC and visible spectrometry. Concentrations of As, Ce, Co, Cr, Eu, Ga, Hf, Hg, La, Ni, Sb, Sc, Se, Sm, Tb, Th, U, V, Zn, and Zr in the fractions were determined by neutron activation analysis. Molecular weights of the Athabasca fractions are generally higher than the corresponding Cold Lake fractions. Between 58% and 90% of the metal contents occur in the high molecular weight fractions of both asphaltenes. Except for V and Cr, which show biomodel distributions, all the elements have decreasing concentrations as the molecular weight of the fraction decreases. High molecular weight fractions, constituting about 55% of the whole asphaltenes, contain nonporphyrin bound vanadium compounds. It is estimated that 27% and 31% of V present in Athabasca and Cold Lake asphaltenes respectively occur as porphyrin type compounds, including vanadyl prophyrins released from the asphaltene micelle during the separation and vanadyl porphyrins bearing high-molecular-weight substituents

  16. Geochemical characteristics of oil sands fluid petroleum coke

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nesbitt, Jake A.; Lindsay, Matthew B.J.; Chen, Ning

    2017-01-01

    The geochemical characteristics of fluid petroleum coke from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of northern Alberta, Canada were investigated. Continuous core samples were collected to 8 m below surface at several locations (n = 12) from three coke deposits at an active oil sands mine. Bulk elemental analyses revealed the coke composition was dominated by C (84.2 ± 2.3 wt%) and S (6.99 ± 0.26 wt%). Silicon (9210 ± 3000 mg kg"−"1), Al (5980 ± 1200 mg kg"−"1), Fe (4760 ± 1200 mg kg"−"1), and Ti (1380 ± 430 mg kg"−"1) were present in lesser amounts. Vanadium (1280 ± 120 mg kg"−"1) and Ni (230 ± 80 mg kg"−"1) exhibited the highest concentrations among potentially-hazardous minor and trace elements. Sequential extractions revealed potential for release of these metals under field-relevant conditions. Synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction revealed the presence of Si and Ti oxides, organically-complexed V and hydrated Ni sulfate, and provided information about the asphaltenic carbon matrix. X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy at the V and Ni K-edges revealed that these metals were largely hosted in porphyrins and similar organic complexes throughout coke grains. Minor differences among measured V and Ni K-edge spectra were largely attributed to slight variations in local coordination of V(IV) and Ni(II) within these organic compounds. However, linear combination fits were improved by including reference spectra for inorganic phases with octahedrally-coordinated V(III) and Ni(II). Sulfur and Fe K-edge XANES confirmed that thiophenic coordination and pyritic-ilmenitic coordination are predominant, respectively. These results provide new information on the geochemical and mineralogical composition of oil sands fluid petroleum coke and improve understanding of potential controls on associated water chemistry. - Highlights: • Oil sands fluid petroleum coke contains wide range of major, minor and

  17. Use of pre-industrial floodplain lake sediments to establish baseline river metal concentrations downstream of Alberta oil sands: a new approach for detecting pollution of rivers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiklund, Johan A; Hall, Roland I; Farwell, Andrea J; George Dixon, D; Wolfe, Brent B; Edwards, Thomas WD

    2014-01-01

    In the Alberta oil sands region, insufficient knowledge of pre-disturbance reference conditions has undermined the ability of the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) to detect pollution of the Athabasca River, because sampling began three decades after the industry started and the river naturally erodes oil-bearing strata. Here, we apply a novel approach to characterize pre-industrial reference metal concentrations in river sediment downstream of Alberta oil sands development by analyzing metal concentrations in sediments deposited in floodplain lakes of the Athabasca Delta during 1700–1916, when they were strongly influenced by Athabasca River floodwaters. We compared results to metal concentrations in surficial bottom sediments sampled by RAMP (2010–2013) at downstream sites of the Athabasca River and distributaries. When normalized to lithium content, concentrations of vanadium (a metal of concern in the oil sands region) and other priority pollutants (Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn) in nearly all of the RAMP river sediment samples lie below the upper 95% prediction interval linearly extrapolated from the river-derived lake sediments. Assuming the RAMP protocols obtained recently deposited sediment, this indicates that the metal concentrations in downstream Athabasca River sediment have not increased above pre-disturbance levels. Reference conditions derived from the lake sediment data were used to develop profiles of metal residual concentrations versus time for the RAMP river sediment data, which provides an excellent tool for decision-makers to identify and quantify levels of metal pollution for any given sample, and to monitor for future trends. We recommend that the approach be applied to resurrect the utility of RAMP data at other river sampling locations closer to the development, and for ongoing risk assessment. The approach is also readily transferable to other rivers where insufficient pre-disturbance reference data impairs an ability to

  18. Hydrotreating of heavy gas oil derived from Athabasca bitumen using NiMo/Al2O3 catalyst containing boron and phosphorus : effects of process conditions on the product selectivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferdous, D.; Dalai, A.K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Adjaye, J. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Edmonton Research Centre

    2004-07-01

    In response to concerns regarding the depletion of conventional oil reserves, there has been much interest in modifying the hydrotreating process for upgrading tar sands and shale oils for producing transportation fuels. Oil sand bitumens and their derived products have a high level of nitrogen which deactivates the catalysts used in fluid catalytic cracking and hydrocracking. A better catalyst is needed to efficiently remove nitrogen from oil sand-derived gas oils. In this study, a trickle-bed reactor containing NiMo/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalysts with boron and phosphorous was used to remove the sulfur and nitrogen from heavy gas oils derived from Athabasca bitumen. The operating conditions of the reactor in terms of temperature and pressure were described. Sulfur and nitrogen conversion was found to increase substantially with the boron catalysts. Gasoline selectivity also increased with an increase in temperature. However, a change in operating conditions did not significantly affect the net content of the gas oil fraction. This study also compared the results of using either the boron or phosphorous catalyst.

  19. Growing markets to sustain oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wise, T.H.

    2003-01-01

    The utilization of Alberta bitumen for the clean fuels market depends on upgrading, transportation, and refining processes. Forecasts show that oil sands production, which includes synthetic crude oil (SCO), will surpass declining conventional production in Western Canada. Several issues pose a challenge to the oil sands processing industry. The producers' market is affected by crude oil prices, market expansion options, diluent availability/cost, supply cost competitiveness, and regional processing. The common market issues include light/heavy crude prices, oil sands crude qualities, prices of oil sands crudes, pipeline infrastructure, and competitive supplies. The issues facing the refiners are: refining margins, security of crude supply, refined product quality, and competitive product supply. A brief review of markets for Canadian crude oil, including synthetic crude, was provided. The share of the Midwest market by Alberta must be retained and increased. The market expansion options were reviewed for both downstream (refining) and upstream (upgrading) operations. To reach more distant markets such as Southern Midwest, Washington, and California, new pipeline capacity would be required. The market is nearly saturated for Canada's heavy oil supply. More upgrading will be required as bitumen production increases. Market growth is still possible for Canada's SCO but according to forecasts, the market could also become saturated. To increase demand and allow supplies to grow, SCO prices may fall below light crude prices. It was noted that a balance must be achieved in order for producers to increase production and for refiner/upgraders to expand their conversion capacity. tabs., figs

  20. Market opportunities and challenges for oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wise, T.H.

    2004-01-01

    The use of Alberta bitumen as a clean fuel depends on upgrading, transportation, and refining processes. Forecasts show that oil sands production, which includes synthetic crude oil (SCO), will surpass declining conventional production from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. The challenges facing the oils sands processing industry include: crude oil prices which affect the producer's market; market expansion options; diluent availability/cost; supply cost competitiveness; and, regional processing. The common market issues include light/heavy crude prices, oil sands crude qualities, prices of oil sands crudes, pipeline infrastructure, and competitive supplies. The issues facing the refiners are: refining margins, security of crude supply, refined product quality, and competitive product supply. It was noted that Alberta must retain or increase its share of the Midwest market. The market expansion options were reviewed for both downstream (refining) and upstream (upgrading) operations. New pipeline capacity is needed to reach more distant markets such as Southern Midwest, Washington, and California. The market is nearly saturated for Canada's heavy oil supply. More upgrading will be required as bitumen production increases. Market growth is still possible for Canada's SCO but according to forecasts, the market could also become saturated. To increase demand and allow supplies to grow, SCO prices may fall below light crude prices. It was noted that a balance must be achieved in order for producers to increase production and for refiner/upgraders to expand their conversion capacity. 13 figs

  1. Mitigating in situ oil sands carbon costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Theriault, D.J.; Peterson, J. [Laricina Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Heinrichs, H. [Canadian Chemical Technology Inc., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Carbon capture and sequestration is a complex problem with a variety of dimensions that need to be considered. The political, social, and regulatory pressures are forcing carbon costs on the oil sands industry in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of oil sands operations. This paper reviewed the political, social, and regulatory pressures and obligations for the in-situ oil sands industry. It presented the views and insights of Laricina Energy on the carbon challenge. It also described the initiatives that Laricina Energy is taking to manage these imperatives and outlined the challenges the industry is facing. The purpose of the paper was to encourage dialogue and collaboration by the oil sands industry. The paper also described the dimensions of the carbon problem and how the industry can contribute to a solution. Last, the paper reviewed the parameters of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas containment and storage issues. It was concluded that the regulatory and policy requirements need to be clarified so that industry understands the new business landscape as well as the requirements that influence the economics of in-situ oil sands development. 7 refs., 7 figs.

  2. Hydrotreating and hydrocracking of Athabasca bitumen derived heavy gas oils using NiMo catalyst supported on titania modified alumina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferdous, D.; Bakhshi, N.N.; Dalai, A.K.; Adjaye, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Catalysis and Chemical Reaction Engineering Laboratories]|[Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    Different NiMo catalysts supported on titania modified Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} were synthesized and characterized in an effort to study the hydrodenitrigenation (HDN) and hydrodesulfurization (HDS) of different gas oils derived from Athabasca bitumen. The Al{sub x}O{sub 3} supports were modified by incorporating up to 9 wt per cent titanium (Ti). All modified supports as well as fresh and spent catalysts were characterized by BET surface area, pore volume and pore diameter, XRD, TPR, TPD and SEM. A trickle-bed reactor using 3 different gas oils from the Athabasca bitumen was used to test the initial activity of these catalysts. The 3 oils were light gas oil (LGO), heavy gas oil (HGO) and blended gas oil having 50 per cent LGO and 50 per cent HGO. The study showed that nitrogen conversion increased for all the gas oils when Ti was incorporated into the alumina. With an increase in Ti concentrations from 0 to 6 wt per cent, nitrogen conversion increased from 57-69.5 wt per cent, 75-80.2 wt per cent, 83-91.5 wt per cent and for LGO, HGO and blended, respectively. Nearly 86 wt per cent sulphur conversion was obtained for all Ti concentrations for LGO, while HGO and blended sulphur conversions were in the range of 96-97 wt per cent. Detailed hydrotreating and hydrocracking of HGO was then performed using the 6 wt per cent Ti modified catalyst because it achieved the maximum nitrogen conversion. This paper also presented the temperature, pressure and liquid hourly space velocity for this catalyst along with the maximum nitrogen and sulphur conversions. Results were compared with those of commercial catalysts. tabs., figs.

  3. Heavy mineral concentration from oil sand tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chachula, F.; Erasmus, N. [Titanium Corp. Inc., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This presentation described a unique technique to recover heavy minerals contained in the froth treatment tailings produced by oil sand mining extraction operations in Fort McMurray, Alberta. In an effort to process waste material into valuable products, Titanium Corporation is developing technology to recover heavy minerals, primarily zircon, and a portion of bitumen contained in the final stage of bitumen processing. The process technology is being developed to apply to all mined oil sands operations in the Fort McMurray region. In 2004, Titanium Corporation commissioned a pilot research facility at the Saskatchewan Research Council to test dry oil sands tailings. In 2005, a bulk sampling pilot plant was connected to the fresh oil sands tailings pipeline on-site in Fort McMurray, where washed sands containing heavy minerals were processed at a pilot facility. The mineral content in both deposited tailings and fresh pipeline tailings was assessed. Analysis of fresh tailings on a daily basis identified a constant proportion of zircon and higher levels of associated bitumen compared with the material in the deposited tailings. The process flow sheet design was then modified to remove bitumen from the heavy minerals and concentrate the minerals. A newly modified flotation process was shown to be a viable processing route to recover the heavy minerals from froth treatment tailings. 8 refs., 9 tabs., 12 figs.

  4. Oil sand synfuel production using nuclear energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnert, H.

    1984-10-01

    The importance of oil sand as a primary energy carrier is illustrated. The oil sand mining project 'synfuel' in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, is described. On the basis of a layout of an In-situ-process different possibilities of introducing nuclear energy to the process are described. This leads to an increase of the product yield, leading finally to a doubling of the energy output compared to the reference layout. The introduction of nuclear energy contributes to the reduction of emissions, in particular to the emission of carbon dioxide in the conversion process. (orig.)

  5. Asian interests in Alberta oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du Plessis, D.; Laureshen, C.

    2004-01-01

    The growing Asian interest in Alberta's oil sands and import opportunities was discussed along with the feasibility of marketing bitumen to Asia. Asia is an obvious new market for Canadian heavy oil and bitumen due to an increasing demand for petroleum products in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. This paper examined the following three criteria that will determine the success of any initiative to move Canadian crude oil to Asian-Pacific markets: (1) a sustainable supply from Alberta; a pipeline to transport the crude to a deepwater port on the west coast; and, a guaranteed market at the other end. The basis for Asian interest in Alberta's oil sands is the sustainable secure supply of oil for growing Asian markets; heavy dependence on supplies from the Middle East; the desire to diversify supply sources; and, opportunities to invest in oil sands developments. Examples of Asian (Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China) missions to Alberta were presented along with the challenges of getting products to market with reference to Enbridge's new market access plan, Terasen's staged capacity expansion for heavy crudes and refined products, and sea transport from Prince Rupert. The paper also included graphs depicting world GDP; incremental increase in world primary energy demand by fuel for 2000 to 2020; world oil demand by region; oil demand by region in Asia; oil demand and supply in northeast Asia (Japan, China, Korea) and dependence level on Middle Eastern oil; oil demand and supply in China; China's petroleum production and consumption; refined products market forecast for 2000 to 2020; 2002 crude oil imports to Asia; 2004 refining capacity; product quality comparisons; cost competitive study; and energy policy objectives for China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. 19 figs

  6. Gasification of oil sand coke: review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furimsky, E. [IMAF Group, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    1998-08-01

    The production of synthetic crude from the tar sands in Western Canada has been steadily increasing. Most of the delayed coke produced by Suncor is combusted on site, whereas all fluid coke produced by Syncrude is stockpiled.The database on the chemical and physical properties of the oil sand coke, including the composition and fusion properties of the mineral matter, has been established. The reactivity of the coke was determined by oxygen chemisorption, fixed bed and fluid bed bench scale gasification and pilot plant gasification. The reactivity of the oil sand coke for gasification is rather low and comparable to high rank coals, such as anthracite. Slurrability tests revealed that a solid concentration in water, approaching 70 wt%, can be achieved. Gasification is the front runner among clean technologies for the conversion of carbonaceous solids to useful products. Several commercial gasifiers are available to cover the wide range of severity. Because of the low reactivity of oil sands coke, high severity conditions are required to achieve high gasification conversion. Such conditions can be attained in entrained bed gasifiers. Gasifiers employing both dry and slurry feeding systems are suitable. A high efficiency, low SO{sub x} and NO{sub x} emissions, as well as a low solid waste production are among the key advantages of the gasification technology compared with thecompeting technologies. Commercial gasification of oil sands coke is delayed because of the availability of natural gas on the site of the upgrading plants. Potential for the transportation of the oil sand coke to USA for electricity generation using the integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology was evaluated. 27 refs., 17 figs., 9 tabs.

  7. Oil sands market and transportation solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandahl, R.

    2004-01-01

    This presentation outlined the immense potential of the western Canadian oil sands reserves. Recoverable reserves have been estimated at 180 billion barrels, with production forecasts estimated at 5 million barrels per day by 2030. Resource development is occurring at a time when the world's largest oil importer is increasing supplies through concern for security of supply. The second and third largest oil importers in the world are experiencing economic and energy demand growth. These factors underscore the motivation for rapid growth of the Western Canadian Oil Sands reserves. One of the challenges that must be addressed is to ensure that incremental markets for the increased production are accessed. Another challenge is to ensure adequate infrastructure in terms of pipeline capacity to ensure deliverability of the product. tabs., figs

  8. Fish gill responses to pollutants from oil sands mining-associated waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, L.E.J.; Willfang, S.; Lamb, M.P.; Nero, V.; Farwell, A.J.; Dixon, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    The processing of Athabasca Deposit oil sands results in large amounts of liquid wastes associated with oil sand tailings. In addition to containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), these waste waters are high in salinity and naphthenic acids which may be toxic to aquatic biota and their effects must be clarified. This study presents a suite of tests for in-depth and quick analysis of tailings water toxicity and contributes to the assessment of environmental risk. Yellow perch, fathead minnows, and rainbow trout were exposed to reclamation ponds where both in vivo and in vitro evaluation of crude and individual naphthenic acids and salts were conducted to examine their effect on fish gills which are very susceptible to contaminants. The fish exposed to the reclamation ponds showed higher incidence of gill pathological changes than control fish in Mildred Lake, a reservoir lake whose waters are diverted for use in oil sands extraction. Notable gill histopathological changes were observed when fish were exposed in vivo to sulfate/chloride salts and to abietic acid. Changes in membrane integrity, lysosomal activity and general morphology were observed when fished were exposed in vitro to salts, commercial napthenic acids or crude naphthenic extracts from the reclamation ponds

  9. Profiling oil sands mixtures from industrial developments and natural groundwaters for source identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Richard A; Roy, James W; Bickerton, Greg; Rowland, Steve J; Headley, John V; Scarlett, Alan G; West, Charles E; Peru, Kerry M; Parrott, Joanne L; Conly, F Malcolm; Hewitt, L Mark

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify chemical components that could distinguish chemical mixtures in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) that had potentially migrated to groundwater in the oil sands development area of northern Alberta, Canada. In the first part of the study, OSPW samples from two different tailings ponds and a broad range of natural groundwater samples were assessed with historically employed techniques as Level-1 analyses, including geochemistry, total concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs) and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS). While these analyses did not allow for reliable source differentiation, they did identify samples containing significant concentrations of oil sands acid-extractable organics (AEOs). In applying Level-2 profiling analyses using electrospray ionization high resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) and comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOF/MS) to samples containing appreciable AEO concentrations, differentiation of natural from OSPW sources was apparent through measurements of O2:O4 ion class ratios (ESI-HRMS) and diagnostic ions for two families of suspected monoaromatic acids (GC × GC-TOF/MS). The resemblance between the AEO profiles from OSPW and from 6 groundwater samples adjacent to two tailings ponds implies a common source, supporting the use of these complimentary analyses for source identification. These samples included two of upward flowing groundwater collected <1 m beneath the Athabasca River, suggesting OSPW-affected groundwater is reaching the river system.

  10. Oil sands tailings preliminary ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    Chemical data collected from various oil sands soil-tailings mixtures were used to determine the ecological risk that such tailings would pose to terrestrial wildlife at the surface of a reclaimed site. A methodology that could be used to evaluate the risks posed by various reclamation options (for dry land only) was proposed. Risks associated with other reclamation options, such as wet landscapes or deeper in-pit disposal, were not evaluated. Ten constituents (eight organic and two inorganic) were found to pose a threat to terrestrial biota. The relative contribution of different exposure pathways (water and food ingestion, incidental soil ingestion, inhalation) were studied by probabilistic models. Some physical and chemical reclamation alternatives which involve incorporating oil sands tailings in the landscape to produce a surface that could sustain a productive ecosystem, were described. 53 refs., 15 tabs., 3 figs

  11. Tailings dewatering in the oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Longo, S.; Labelle, M. [Golder Paste Technology, Sudbury, ON (Canada); Wislesky, I. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Alberta's Directive 074 was established to reduce fluid tailings produced during oil sands extraction processes. This PowerPoint presentation examined some of the dewatering strategies available for oil sands operators and provided recommendations for implementing a dewatering plan. Sites must be evaluated in order to determine their chemistry, mineralogy, and the total quantity of material to be handled. The availability of potential additives must also be considered. Process technologies must be selected in relation to the operator's depositional strategy. Each site will require its own unique dewatering and depositional strategy. Dewatering technologies include thickening; in-line flocculation; centrifuge; co-mingling; and various new technologies such as electro-osmosis. Laboratory testing programs include index tests, primary stream thickening, and mini-pilot plant testing. The performance of various testing formats was evaluated. Thickening and depositional techniques were reviewed. tabs., figs.

  12. Development of a bioassay using walleye (Sander vitreus) to assess the toxicity of oil sands sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcotte, D.; Yuan, H.; Tumber, V.; Parrott, J. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Raine, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This study examined the effects of sediments from the Athabasca oil sands area on fish development and survival. Walleye (Sander vitreus) which inhabit the Athabasca River are exposed to natural sources of bitumen eroding from the McMurray formation. This study described the design and implementation of a daily-renewal bioassay to evaluate the potential effects of toxicants on walleye development. Eggs were collected and fertilized with milt from spawning wild walleye captured from Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. The fertilized eggs were exposed to different concentrations of sediments or culture water only (negative controls) until complete yolk absorption of control fish. The walleye embryos were fed brine shrimp daily after hatching and the developing fish were examined for morphological deformities, survival, hatching success, and changes in weight and length between treatments. Organics concentrations in fish tissues and water were measured when possible. Fathead minnows and northern pikes will also be exposed to the same sediments in order to compare the relative sensitivity of the three species.

  13. Naphtha evaporation from oil sands tailings ponds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kasperski, K.; Munoz, V.; Mikula, R. [Natural Resources Canada, Devon, AB (Canada). CANMET Western Research Centre

    2010-07-01

    The environmental impacts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil sands tailings ponds must be considered when evaluating new oil sands mining and extraction operations. Studies have suggested that only 40 percent of the solvent sent to tailings ponds is available to the environment, while the rest is irreversibly trapped. The recovery of hydrocarbons from oil sands froth process water is low. This PowerPoint presentation discussed a method of distinguishing between water and hydrocarbons at low temperatures. Samples were heated to 246 degrees C at 15 degrees C and held for 10 minutes. Heating was then resumed at 750 degrees C and held for 10 minutes in a pyrolysis phase, then cooled and reheated with an oxygen addition. The method demonstrated that the diluent distribution between the solids and water phases is misinterpreted as diluent that will evaporate, and diluent that will not evaporate. The study concluded by suggesting that the definition of recoverable and unrecoverable hydrocarbon should be re-termed as easily recoverable, and difficult to recover. tabs., figs.

  14. Insight conference reports : Western Canada oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This conference presented issues of concern to the Canadian oil sands industry. Focal points included supply and the potential for market growth as well as opportunities and challenges faced by the industry in the current market. Various projects were discussed, including the Northern Lights and Fort Hill projects. Reserves and resource booking procedures were examined, as well as issues concerning the streamlining of regulatory barriers and various approaches to the Kyoto Protocol and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Oil sands portfolios were reviewed as well as issues concerning the recovery of titanium and zircon, the economics of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) options and innovations in technology and sub-surface risk assessment for in-situ projects. Transportation initiatives were examined as well as pipeline issues and storage infrastructure development. Issues concerning financing as well as the economic environment of the oil sands industry were also discussed. The conference featured 20 presentations, of which 5 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs, figs

  15. First results from the oil sands passive air monitoring network for polycyclic aromatic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Jasmin K; Harner, Tom; Su, Ky; Mihele, Cristian; Eng, Anita

    2015-03-03

    Results are reported from an ongoing passive air monitoring study for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada. Polyurethane foam (PUF) disk passive air samplers were deployed for consecutive 2-month periods from November 2010 to June 2012 at 17 sites. Samples were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, dibenzothiophene and its alkylated derivatives (DBTs). Relative to parent PAHs, alkylated PAHs and DBTs are enriched in bitumen and therefore considered to be petrogenic markers. Concentrations in air were in the range 0.03-210 ng/m(3), 0.15-230 ng/m(3) and 0.01-61 ng/m(3) for ∑PAHs, ∑alkylated PAHs and ΣDBTs, respectively. An exponential decline of the PAC concentrations in air with distance from mining areas and related petrogenic sources was observed. The most significant exponential declines were for the alkylated PAHs and DBTs and attributed to their association with mining-related emissions and near-source deposition, due to their lower volatility and greater association with depositing particles. Seasonal trends in concentrations in air for PACs were not observed for any of the compound classes. However, a forest fire episode during April to July 2011 resulted in greatly elevated PAH levels at all passive sampling locations. Alkylated PAHs and DBTs were not elevated during the forest fire period, supporting their association with petrogenic sources. Based on the results of this study, an "Athabasca PAC profile" is proposed as a potential source marker for the oil sands region. The profile is characterized by ∑PAHs/∑Alkylated PAHs = ∼0.2 and ∑PAHs/∑DBTs = ∼5.

  16. Oil sands to the rescue: oil sand microbial communities can degrade recalcitrant alkyl phenyl alkanoic acids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitby, Corinne [University of Essex (Canada)], email: cwhitby@essex.ac.uk

    2011-07-01

    Almost half of all global oil reserves are found as biodegraded heavy oils found in vast tar sand deposits located in North and South America and these account for 47% of Canadian oil production. Oil sand extraction generates large amounts of toxic waste water, known as oil sand process waters (OSPW), that are stored in large tailing ponds that contain toxic compounds like naphthenic acids (NAs). The presence of NAs creates problems like toxicity, corrosion, and the formation of calcium napthenate deposits which block pipelines and other infrastructure and need to be removed. This paper presents oil sand microbial communities that can degrade these NAs. The approach is to apply new aliphatic and aromatic NAs as substrates to supplement and identify NA degrading microbes and also to identify the metabolites produced and explain NA degradation pathways and the functional genes involved. The chemistry and the processes involved are explained. From the results, it is suggested that pure cultures of P. putida KT2440 be used against NAs.

  17. Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2013-09-01

    For those who support U.S. oil sands development, the Canadian oil sands industry is often identified as a model the U.S. might emulate, yielding financial and energy security benefits. For opponents of domestic oil sands development, the Canadian oil sands experience illustrates the risks that opponents of development believe should deter domestic policymakers from incenting U.S. oil sands development. This report does not seek to evaluate the particular underpinnings of either side of this policy argument, but rather attempts to delve into the question of whether the Canadian experience has relevance as a foundational model for U.S. oil sands development. More specifically, this report seeks to assess whether and how the Canadian oil sands experience might be predictive or instructive in the context of fashioning a framework for a U.S. oil sands industry. In evaluating the implications of these underpinnings for a prospective U.S. oil sands industry, this report concentrates on prospective development of the oil sands deposits found in Utah.

  18. Gill histopathology of goldfish exposed to oil sands processed-waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nero, V.; Farwell, A.J.; Dixon, D.G.; Lee, L.E.J.

    2002-01-01

    Large volumes of processed wastewater are generated through the oil extraction process at Alberta's Athabasca oil sand deposit. These wastewaters are very toxic to aquatic biota because they are high in salinity and consist of napthenic acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In this study, goldfish were caged in 3 different experimental ponds in order to evaluate the biological effects of aquatic reclamation alternatives for process-affected waters. The first pond was a control pond, while the other 2 ponds consisted of known and varying chemicals. The fish were exposed to the ponds for 19 days. Those in the pond with elevated levels of napthenic acids and high salinity exhibited severe gill histopathological changes. Alterations included epithelial hyperplasia resulting in severe lamellar fusion, chloride cell hyperplasia, and lamellar edema, all of which were believed to be defense responses of the fish. Additional severe gill alterations were also observed that may indicate the direct negative effects of oil sands processed-water on fish. Exposed goldfish also showed signs of necrosis and degenerative changes resulting in desquamation of the epithelial surfaces of the gill, which are symptoms seen in free-range exposure of yellow perch, a native fish species, at the same sites and exposure times

  19. Gill histopathology of goldfish exposed to oil sands processed-waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nero, V.; Farwell, A.J.; Dixon, D.G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology; Lister, A.; Van Der Kraak, G.J. [Guelph Univ., ON (Canada); Lee, L.E.J. [Wilfred Laurier Univ., Waterloo, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    2002-07-01

    Large volumes of processed wastewater are generated through the oil extraction process at Alberta's Athabasca oil sand deposit. These wastewaters are very toxic to aquatic biota because they are high in salinity and consist of napthenic acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In this study, goldfish were caged in 3 different experimental ponds in order to evaluate the biological effects of aquatic reclamation alternatives for process-affected waters. The first pond was a control pond, while the other 2 ponds consisted of known and varying chemicals. The fish were exposed to the ponds for 19 days. Those in the pond with elevated levels of napthenic acids and high salinity exhibited severe gill histopathological changes. Alterations included epithelial hyperplasia resulting in severe lamellar fusion, chloride cell hyperplasia, and lamellar edema, all of which were believed to be defense responses of the fish. Additional severe gill alterations were also observed that may indicate the direct negative effects of oil sands processed-water on fish. Exposed goldfish also showed signs of necrosis and degenerative changes resulting in desquamation of the epithelial surfaces of the gill, which are symptoms seen in free-range exposure of yellow perch, a native fish species, at the same sites and exposure times.

  20. Isotope-based partitioning of streamflow in the oil sands region, northern Alberta: Towards a monitoring strategy for assessing flow sources and water quality controls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.J. Gibson

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Study region: This study is based on the rapidly developing Athabasca Oil Sands region, northeastern Alberta. Study focus: Hydrograph separation using stable isotopes of water is applied to partition streamflow sources in the Athabasca River and its tributaries. Distinct isotopic labelling of snow, rain, groundwater and surface water are applied to estimate the contribution of these sources to streamflow from analysis of multi-year records of isotopes in streamflow. New hydrological insights for the region: The results provide new insight into runoff generation mechanisms operating in six tributaries and at four stations along the Athabasca River. Groundwater, found to be an important flow source at all stations, is the dominant component of the hydrograph in three tributaries (Steepbank R., Muskeg R., Firebag R., accounting for 39–50% of annual streamflow. Surface water, mainly drainage from peatlands, is also found to be widely important, and dominant in three tributaries (Clearwater R., Mackay R., Ells R., accounting for 45–81% of annual streamflow. Fairly limited contributions from direct precipitation illustrate that most snow and rain events result in indirect displacement of pre-event water by fill and spill mechanisms. Systematic shifts in regional groundwater to surface-water ratios are expected to be an important control on spatial and temporal distribution of water quality parameters and useful for evaluating the susceptibility of rivers to climate and development impacts. Keywords: Stable isotopes, Hydrograph separation, Groundwater, Surface water, Snowmelt, Oil sands

  1. Low enthalpy geothermal for oil sands (LEGO)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-01

    Geothermal energy is generated by the slow decay of radioactive materials within the Earth. Geothermal energy resources include the water from hot springs used for heating; the withdrawal of high temperature steam from deep wells; and the use of stable ground or water temperatures near the Earth's surface to heat or cool buildings or in industrial processes. Heat pumps are used to transfer heat or water from the ground into buildings in winter. This paper discussed low enthalpy geothermal options for oil sands processes in order to reduce the use of natural gas and emissions from greenhouse gases (GHGs). The study was also conducted to aid in the development of a portfolio of renewable energy options for the oil and gas sector. The study estimated the costs and benefits of operating a shallow geothermal borehole cluster for meeting a portion of process heat demands for the Nexen's Albian mine. The costs and benefits of operating thermo-chillers integrated with a shallow geothermal borehole cluster for waste heat mitigation were also evaluated. The study showed that geothermal designs can be used to meet a portion of oil sands process heat and cooling demands. Mining operators may reduce carbon emissions and energy costs for process heat demands by installing closed loop borehole heat exchangers. Geothermal heat storage capacity can also be used to increase the efficiency of thermal chillers. It was concluded that pilot plant studies would contribute to a better understanding of the technology. tabs., figs.

  2. A First Assessment of the Elemental Composition of Atmospheric Aerosols in the Canadian Oil Sands Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dabek-Zlotorzynska E.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Canadian Oil Sands, which comprise 97% of Canada’s 176 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, are located beneath 140,200 km2 of boreal forests, prairies and wetlands, and are the second largest known deposit of crude oil in the world. As such, this region has experienced rapid industrial development, which resulted also in increasing industrial air emissions, primarily from bitumen upgrading and mine vehicle fleet operations. This rapid development has led to concerns regarding health risk to humans, and other terrestrial and aquatic wildlife associated with exposure to toxic contaminants, especially metals and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs particularly along the Athabasca River and its watershed. Canada’s Minister of the Environment announced that Environment Canada (EC will jointly lead, in collaboration with Government of Alberta and relevant stakeholders, the development and implementation of an enhanced monitoring system in the Oil Sands region to provide information on the state of the air, water, land andbiodiversity. This work presents preliminary data on the first assessment of elemental composition of fine particulate matter (particles<2.5 mm in diameter; PM2.5 at 3 air quality sites in close proximity to Oil Sands processing activities. Since December 2010, integrated 24 hour air samples were collected every sixth day on a 47-mm Teflon filters using Thermo Fisher Partisol 2000-FRM samplers operated by the National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS network that involves EC and the Canadian provinces and territories. All samples including laboratory, travel and field blanks were subjected to gravimetric determination of PM2.5 mass and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF analysis for 46 elements. Since ED-XRF is a non-destructive technique, PM2.5 samples were subsequently analyzed for 37 trace elements including rare earth elements using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS combined with microwave

  3. Next-Generation Sequencing Assessment of Eukaryotic Diversity in Oil Sands Tailings Ponds Sediments and Surface Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Maria; Richardson, Elisabeth; Tan, BoonFei; Walker, Giselle; Dunfield, Peter F; Bass, David; Nesbø, Camilla; Foght, Julia; Dacks, Joel B

    2016-11-01

    Tailings ponds in the Athabasca oil sands (Canada) contain fluid wastes, generated by the extraction of bitumen from oil sands ores. Although the autochthonous prokaryotic communities have been relatively well characterized, almost nothing is known about microbial eukaryotes living in the anoxic soft sediments of tailings ponds or in the thin oxic layer of water that covers them. We carried out the first next-generation sequencing study of microbial eukaryotic diversity in oil sands tailings ponds. In metagenomes prepared from tailings sediment and surface water, we detected very low numbers of sequences encoding eukaryotic small subunit ribosomal RNA representing seven major taxonomic groups of protists. We also produced and analysed three amplicon-based 18S rRNA libraries prepared from sediment samples. These revealed a more diverse set of taxa, 169 different OTUs encompassing up to eleven higher order groups of eukaryotes, according to detailed classification using homology searching and phylogenetic methods. The 10 most abundant OTUs accounted for > 90% of the total of reads, vs. large numbers of rare OTUs (< 1% abundance). Despite the anoxic and hydrocarbon-enriched nature of the environment, the tailings ponds harbour complex communities of microbial eukaryotes indicating that these organisms should be taken into account when studying the microbiology of the oil sands. © 2016 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2016 International Society of Protistologists.

  4. Understanding the relationship : bitumen production and the Athabasca River

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daughney, S. [Hatch Ltd., Mississauga, ON (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation discussed oil sands activities in relation to water use and the Athabasca River. Surface mining uses truck and shovel methods to extract shallow oil sands deposits comprised of bitumen, connate water, coarse sands, and clays. The process involves the use of significant amounts of fresh water. The bitumens are slurried at turbulent conditions in a hydrotransport line which directs the bitumens towards a froth treatment process and diverts coarse sand and fine tailings. The tailings are stored in ponds or used to construct dykes. Water trapped with tailings materials cannot be recycled, and must be replaced from fresh sources. Various consolidate and non-consolidated tailings strategies are being developed to address mature fine tailings (MFT) accumulations. Generic water balance analyses are conducted in order to determine the distribution of site water inputs and losses as well as to determine river water use intensity. A water management framework and tailings performance criteria has been developed for the lower Athabasca River. The framework has been designed to determine cautionary thresholds for the river. River water withdrawals are cumulative for all industries. Intakes may be restricted by 2012. Water from storage must be used to supplement available flow from the river. It was concluded that strategies must also be developed to meet tailings disposal requirements. tabs., figs.

  5. Integrated oil sands tailings pond water treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Z. [Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed research currently being conducted to treat oil sands tailings pond water (TPW). The treatment of TPW is challenged by the high level of naphthenic acids (NAs), the slow settling rate of fine particulate materials, and the complex chemistry of the water. The treatment process consisted of bioflocculation, sludge blanket assisted clarification, ozonation, and oil sands coke assisted hybrid biodegradation. The aggregation and adsorption process bound small particles and cells together while also ensuring the passive uptake of pollutants using microbial masses. The mixed liquor then passed through a sludge blanket to ensure enhanced particle capture. An ozonation process was used to increase the biodegradability of the TPW as well as to increase the biodegradability of the residual NAs after ozonation. The process used a hybrid bioreactor that consisted of both suspended and fixed microbial communities. The coke served as a biofilm carrier for the waste. Further studies are being conducted to investigate the efficiency and capability of the process. tabs., figs.

  6. Enabling technologies for oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bailey, R.T.

    1998-01-01

    A review of oil sands production and expansion possibilities in Alberta were presented. The enabling technologies for oil sands projects include mining (bucketwheels, draglines, trucks, shovels conveyors, slurry hydrotransport); extraction (conditioning tumblers, pipelines, tanks, hot water, caustic, cold water, frothers); froth cleaning (centrifuges, solvent treatment); tailings (tailings ponds, consolidated tailings); and upgrading (coking, hydrotreating for SCO, hydrocracking and multiple products). The enabling technologies for in situ production include cyclic steam stimulation for vertical wells, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) for dual horizontal wells, and cold production with wormholes. This paper described the recovery potentials of each of these processes. It also discussed the role of government and industry in research and cooperative research involving both the private and public sectors. Examples of each of these were described such as SAGD, the OSLO cold water extraction process, The consolidated tailings (CT) project, the low energy extraction process (slurry production, hydrotransport, pipeline conditioning and warm water extraction), and research in fine tailings, to demonstrate that although objectives may differ, government and industry research objectives are complementary

  7. Oil sands tailings leachability and toxicity evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gulley, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    Fine tailings disposal and reclamation is a major issue facing the oil sands mining and extraction industry. Government regulations dictate that reclamation must return the site to a level of self-sustaining biological capability which approximates the natural condition. A two-phase laboratory program has been completed to investigate the suitability of alternative reclamation materials. For the first phase of the study, chemical and toxicological analyses were carried out on 13 different reclamation and reference materials (solid phase and extractions). Seedling emergence, nematode maturation, algal growth and bacterial luminescence for leachate samples showed a range of sensitivities in response to the tested materials, although phytotoxicity tests were generally the most sensitive. With the exception of one test material, high toxicity ratings were consistent with that expected from the chemical data. The second phase of the study focused on the evaluation of chemical and toxicological conditions in leachate water generated using bench-scale column percolation tests. Leachate water equivalent to 10 pore volume replacements was generated and temporal variations in toxicity and chemistry monitored. Similar to phase 1 findings, phytotoxicity tests were the most sensitive tests to leachate waters. For most materials tested, most toxicity was removed after 2--3 porewater replacements. More persistent toxicity was noted for samples containing bitumen (e.g., fine tails and oil sands). No clear correspondence was noted between chemical concentrations and toxicity in leachate waters

  8. Non-aqueous heavy oil extraction from oil sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bohnert, George [National Nuclear Security Administration (United States)

    2011-07-01

    The Kansas City plant operated by Honeywell has a long history of working with DOE NNSA on engineering and manufacturing services supporting national security requirements. The plant has developed a non-aqueous method for heavy oil extraction from oil sands. This method is environmentally friendly as it does not use any external body of water, which would normally be contaminated in the conventional method. It is a 2 phase process consisting of terpene, limonene or alpha pinene, and carbon dioxide. The CO2 and terpene phases are both closed loop systems which minimizes material loss. The limonene and alpha pinene are both naturally derived solvents that come from citrus sources or pine trees respectively. Carbon dioxide is an excellent co-solvent with terpene. There is also a possibility for heat loss recovery during the distillation phase. This process produces clean dry sand. Laboratory tests have concluded that this using non-aqueous liquids process works effectively.

  9. Considerations when ranking stochastically modeled oil sands resource models for mining applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Etris, E.L. [Society of Petroleum Engineers, Canadian Section, Calgary, AB (Canada)]|[Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada); Idris, Y.; Hunter, A.C. [Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Alberta's Athabasca oil sands deposit has been targeted as a major resource for development. Bitumen recovery operations fall into 2 categories, namely mining and in situ operations. Mining recovery is done above ground level and consists of open pit digging, disaggregation of the bitumen-saturated sediment through crushing followed by pipeline transport in a water-based slurry and then separation of oil, water and sediment. In situ recovery consists of drilling wells and stimulating the oil sands in the subsurface with a thermal treatment to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen and allow it to come to the surface. Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is the most popular thermal treatment currently in use. Resource models that simulate the recovery process are needed for both mining and in situ recovery operations. Both types can benefit from the advantages of a stochastic modeling process for resource model building and uncertainty evaluation. Stochastic modeling provides a realistic geology and allows for multiple realizations, which mining operations can use to evaluate the variability of recoverable bitumen volumes and develop mine plans accordingly. This paper described the processes of stochastic modelling and of determining the appropriate single realization for mine planning as applied to the Fort Hills oil sands mine which is currently in the early planning stage. The modeling exercise was used to estimate the in-place resource and quantify the uncertainty in resource volumes. The stochastic models were checked against those generated from conventional methods to identify any differences and to make the appropriate adaptations. 13 refs., 3 tabs., 16 figs.

  10. Dewatering Behaviour of Fine Oil Sands Tailings : An Experimental Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Oil sands tailings are a warm aqueous suspension of sand, silt, clay, residual bitumen and naphtha. The tailings are hydraulically transported and stored in tailing ponds where they segregate, with the sand settling from suspension forming beaches and the remaining tailings flowing to the middle of

  11. Stakeholder relations in the oil sands : managing uncertainty

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-05-15

    Alberta's oil sands are now at the crossroads of a series of significant and complex global issues that will require careful negotiation by all stakeholders involved in the oil sands industry. This paper discussed methods of managing uncertainty and risk related to the oil sands industry's agenda for the future. Oil sands developers must continue to secure permission from communities and other key stakeholders in order to develop oil sand projects. Stakeholder relations between oil sands operators, First Nations, and Metis Nation communities must ensure that respect is maintained while environmental impacts are minimized and long-term economic benefits are secured for all parties. Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) must ensure that oil sands resources are developed responsibly, and that environmental standards are maintained. Seven key shifts in stakeholder relations resulting from the recent economic crisis were identified. These included (1) withdrawal from the multi-stakeholder process, (2) increased focus on government to demonstrate policy leadership, (3) a stronger push from ENGOs to express environmental concerns, (4) global lobby and public relations efforts from ENGOs, (5) companies retreating to local community stakeholders, (6) more active demands from First Nations and Metis Nations groups, and (7) companies challenging ENGO campaigns. The study concluded by suggesting that government leadership is needed to clear policy and regulatory frameworks for Canada's oil sands.

  12. Geophysical mapping of the occurrence of shallow oil sands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Oil sands are known to be an alternate source of energy and of great economic value. To map the occurrence of shallow oil sand deposits in Idiopopo, Okitipupa area in Ondo state southwestern Nigeria, vertical electric sounding (VES) in 11 stations along 3 profiles were carried out using the Schlumberger configuration.

  13. Alberta oil sands crudes : upgrading and marketing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashar, M.

    2008-01-01

    Open pit mining and in situ techniques, such as steam stimulation, are used to recover Alberta's bitumen and heavy oil resources, which have higher viscosities than conventional hydrocarbons. The bitumen is typically upgraded to synthetic crude oil (SCO). In the simplest processing scheme, the bitumen is blended with diluent for ease in pipeline transport and then processed at refineries with upgrading facilities. The bitumen is also upgraded to light SCO at world-scale upgraders in Alberta. The SCO is then processed at refineries in downstream markets. The 2 categories of upgrading, notably primary and secondary upgrading, were described in this article along with technology options for both categories. Slurry hydrocracking is regarded as the most interesting emerging residual fuel upgrading technology. It combines special catalyst mixes with the latest slurry reactor designs as well as innovative catalyst capture and recycle schemes to produce very high conversions and potentially superior upgrading economics. The increase in volume and rate of SCO from Alberta provides refiners in the oil sands marketing sector an unprecedented choice of opportunities to improve profitability. Key trends indicate that production will increase substantially from 2008 to 2030. 5 figs

  14. Alberta oil sands crudes : upgrading and marketing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashar, M. [Suncor Energy, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2008-05-15

    Open pit mining and in situ techniques, such as steam stimulation, are used to recover Alberta's bitumen and heavy oil resources, which have higher viscosities than conventional hydrocarbons. The bitumen is typically upgraded to synthetic crude oil (SCO). In the simplest processing scheme, the bitumen is blended with diluent for ease in pipeline transport and then processed at refineries with upgrading facilities. The bitumen is also upgraded to light SCO at world-scale upgraders in Alberta. The SCO is then processed at refineries in downstream markets. The 2 categories of upgrading, notably primary and secondary upgrading, were described in this article along with technology options for both categories. Slurry hydrocracking is regarded as the most interesting emerging residual fuel upgrading technology. It combines special catalyst mixes with the latest slurry reactor designs as well as innovative catalyst capture and recycle schemes to produce very high conversions and potentially superior upgrading economics. The increase in volume and rate of SCO from Alberta provides refiners in the oil sands marketing sector an unprecedented choice of opportunities to improve profitability. Key trends indicate that production will increase substantially from 2008 to 2030. 5 figs.

  15. Big picture thinking in oil sands tailings disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boswell, J. [Thurber Engineering Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed methods of disposing oil sands tailings. Oil sands operators are currently challenged by a variety of legislative and environmental factors concerning the creation and disposal of oil sands tailings. The media has focused on the negative ecological impact of oil sands production, and technical issues are reducing the effect of some mitigation processes. Operators must learn to manage the interface between tailings production and removal, the environment, and public opinion. The successful management of oil sand tailings will include procedures designed to improve reclamation processes, understand environmental laws and regulations, and ensure that the cumulative impacts of tailings are mitigated. Geotechnical investigations, engineering designs and various auditing procedures can be used to develop tailings management plans. Environmental screening and impact assessments can be used to develop sustainable solutions. Public participation and environmental mediation is needed to integrate the public, environmental and technical tailings management strategies. Operators must ensure public accountability for all stakeholders. tabs., figs.

  16. Measurements of oxygenated volatile organic compounds in the oil sands region of Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Li, S. M.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K. L.; Wang, D. K.; Staebler, R. M.; Liu, P.; O'Brien, J.; Mittermeier, R.; Liggio, J.

    2014-12-01

    Oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere, and represent an important fraction of volatile organic compounds. Additionally some OVOC species may pose health risks. OVOCs can affect the oxidative and radiative budget of the atmosphere since they are precursors to ground level ozone, hydroxyl radicals and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). OVOCs such as methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, crotonaldehyde, methylvinylketone (MVK), methylethylketone (MEK) and acrolein can be emitted from anthropogenic and biogenic sources. Additionally, they are the secondary products of the photo-oxidation of hydrocarbons (biogenic and anthropogenic). Understanding the magnitude of these sources is a prerequisite for accurate representations of radical cycling, ozone production and SOA formation in air quality models. The sources of OVOCs in the Alberta Oil Sands (OS) region have not previously been well characterized. In the summer of 2013, airborne measurements of various OVOCs were made in the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) was used to measure methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, crotonaldehyde, MVK, MEK, acrolein as well as other hydrocarbons. Emission ratios (ER) for several OVOCs (relative to carbon monoxide; CO) were used to estimate direct anthropogenic emissions from OS industrial sources, while the calculated OH radical exposures were used to estimate the production and removal of secondary anthropogenic OVOCs. The results indicate that OVOCs such as acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde and MVK have both primary and secondary anthropogenic and biogenic sources. However, species such as methanol and acrolein are from biogenic and anthropogenic sources, respectively. The results of this work will help to characterize sources of OVOCs and the factors influencing their atmospheric fate in the Oil Sands region.

  17. Performance of NiWP/Al2O3 catalyst for hydroprocessing of light gas oils derived from Athabasca bitumen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owusu-Boakye, A.; Ferdous, D.; Dalai, A.K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Adjaye, J. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Edmonton Research Centre

    2004-07-01

    The quality of diesel fuel in terms of cetane number and coloring is diminished if it has a high content of aromatics which cause the formation of undesirable emissions in exhaust gases. These compounds typically occur as mono, di, tri and polyaromatics. In response to strict environmental regulations, middle distillates now have fewer aromatics. Sulphur and nitrogen compounds in diesel fuels also cause the formation of SOx and NOx in the atmosphere, but the aromatic hydrogenation of diesel fuels is more complex than any of the hydrodesulphurization (HDS) or hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) processes. The NiWP/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalyst in a trickle-bed reactor was used under a range of temperature and pressure conditions to study the reactivity of vacuum, atmospheric and hydrocracked light gas oils produced from Athabasca bitumen. The hydrogen feed ratio was kept constant and product samples from different feedstocks were analyzed with respect to sulfur, nitrogen and aromatic content. The study also included a comparison of gasoline selectivity and kinetic parameters for HDS and HDN reactions for the feed materials.

  18. Sulfur biogeochemistry of oil sands composite tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warren, Lesley; Stephenson, Kate [Earth Sciences, McMaster University (Canada)], email: warrenl@mcmaster.ca; Penner, Tara [Syncrude Environmental Research (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    This paper discusses the sulfur biogeochemistry of oil sands composite tailings (CT). The Government of Alberta is accelerating reclamation activities on composite tailings. As a CT pilot reclamation operation, Syncrude is currently constructing the first freshwater fen. Minor unpredicted incidents with H2S gas released from the dewatering process associated with these reclamations have been reported. The objective of this study is to ascertain the connection between microbial activity and H2S generation within CT and to assess the sulfur biogeochemistry of untreated and treated (fen) CT over seasonal and annual timescales. The microbial geochemical interactions taking place are shown using a flow chart. CT is composed of gypsum, sand, clay and organics like naphthenic acids and bitumen. Sulfur and Fe cycling in mining systems and their microbial activities are presented. The chemistry and the processes involved within CT are also given along with the results. It can be said that the diverse Fe and S metabolizing microorganisms confirm the ecology involved in H2S dynamics.

  19. Effects of oil sands sediments on fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parrott, J.; Colavecchia, M.; Hewitt, L.; Sherry, J.; Headley, J.; Turcotte, D.; Liber, K.

    2010-01-01

    This paper described a collaborative project organized by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Panel of Energy Research and Development (PERD) with researchers from Environment Canada and the University of Saskatchewan. The 4-year study was conducted to assess the toxicity of oil sands sediments and river waters, and reclamation ponds and sediments on laboratory-raised fish. Three sediments from rivers were evaluated for their potential to cause adverse impacts on fathead minnow eggs and larvae for a period of 18 days. The study monitored hatching, larval survival, development, and growth. Naphthenic acids (NA), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals were measured in the sediments to determine if the compounds can be correlated with observed toxicity. The study will also assess walleye eggs exposed to sediments, and in situ fish exposures. Toxicity identification and evaluation (TIE) studies will be conducted to isolate the fractions that may affect fish development and growth.

  20. The state of oil sands wetland reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The state of oil sand and wetlands reclamation was the subject of this presentation. Wildlife habitat and response, plant community and production, and microbial biology were examples of research areas surrounding this body of knowledge. Hydrological research and landscape ecology were discussed along with peatlands and marshes such as the Corvette and the Kia. A few examples of what has been learned in the area of wetlands reclamation was presented. Other topics were also discussed, such as timeframes, pragmatic policy approaches, reclamation costs, research needs and some ideas on maturing the field. It was concluded that environmental conditions change with time and area because of time, chemistry, physics, stoichiometry, as well as biotic mediation and facilitation. figs.

  1. Bison and the oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pauls, R.W.

    1998-01-01

    Syncrude's Mildred Lake oil sands development project is located within the central boreal mixed wood forest in an area supporting traditional land uses, including trapping and harvesting of wildlife and plant materials by Fort McKay First Nation residents, in a community within 10 km of the Syncrude development. Reclamation requirements and standards in Alberta specify that the reclamation process must restore a landscape capability equivalent to, or better than that existing before disturbance. Syncrude is committed to complying with all provincial requirements and guidelines in all aspects of its business, including land reclamation. A five year research program has been established to determine the feasibility of reclaiming a portion of the landscape to support wood bison and bison subspecies once indigenous to this area. The current project may be expanded as a pilot commercial ranching venture to explore its commercial viability as a business venture by the Fort McKay First nations

  2. The Canadian oil sands--a sticky future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowtan, S A

    1977-01-01

    The oil sands have been known for 200 yr but only over the last decade have they been recognized as a potential major energy source for Canada. The study looks at the present GCOS plant, and briefly discusses Canada's future energy requirements and how she might fill those requirements from conventional and nonconventional sources, such as the Frontier areas, oil sands mining, oil sands in situ, and heavy oil. The economics and the future of these sources and the environment necessary for their development are analyzed.

  3. Aging effects on oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Ismael, N.F.

    1997-01-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from the destruction of oil wells and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf Wa/r. A laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical properties of this material and the effect of aging on their properties. Tests included direct shear, triaxial, and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. The influence of aging was examined by testing uncontaminated sand after aging for one, three, and six months in natural environmental conditions. The results indicated increased strength and stiffness due to aging and a reduction of the oil content due to evaporation of volatile compounds. The factors that influence the depth of oil penetration in compacted sand columns were also examined including the type of oil, relative density, and the amount of fines

  4. Sustainable water management in Alberta's oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byers, Bill; Usher, Robyn; Roach, Andrea [CH2M HILL, Englewood, CO (United States); Lambert, Gord; Kotecha, Prit [Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary (Canada)

    2012-07-01

    The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers forecast published in 2011 predicts that oil production from oil sands will increase by 50% in the next 3 years and double by 2020. This rate of growth will result in significant pressure on water resources; water use per barrel of oil sands production is comparable to other energy resources - about 2.5 barrels of fresh water per barrel of oil produced are used by mining operations and 0.5 barrels by in-situ operations. Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) was the first company to develop the oil sands in northern Alberta and holds one of the largest oil sands positions in Canada. In 2010, Suncor announced plans to increase production to more than 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020, which it plans to achieve through oil sands production growth of approximately 10% per year. Because water supply and potential impacts to water quality are critical to its future growth, in 2010-2011 Suncor conducted a risk assessment to identify water-related business risks related to its northern Alberta operations. The assessment identified more than 20 high level business risks in strategic water risk areas including water supply, water reuse, storm water management, groundwater, waste management and river water return. The risk assessment results prompted development of a strategic roadmap to guide water stewardship across Suncor's regional operations. The roadmap describes goals, objectives, and specific activities for each of six key water risk areas, and informs prioritization and selection of prospective water management activities. Suncor is not only exploring water within its own boundaries, but is also collaborating with other oil sands producers to explore ways of integrating its water systems through industry consortia; Suncor is a member of the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative and of the recently formed Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, among others. (author)

  5. Oil sands economic impacts Canada : CERI report : backgrounder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-09-01

    Oil sands production now accounts for 1 out of every 2 barrels of supply in Western Canada. It is anticipated that Alberta's oil sands sector will experience significant growth over the next few decades. This paper provided an outline of the challenges and economic impacts resulting from oil sands development in Canada. Alberta's oil sands reserves are estimated at 175 billion barrels that are deemed economically recoverable using current technology. At current production levels, reserves will sustain production of 2.5 million barrels per day for the next 200 years. A study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) has forecast $100 billion in investment for the 2000-2020 period. Numerous companies hold leases and are planning new projects. A number of recent advances in oil sands technology are expected to further reduce costs as development matures. A royalty and tax regime that provides long-term fiscal certainty is a key factor that supports current oil sands growth forecasts. The CERI study has indicated that economic spinoffs from oil sands development relate to employment generated outside of Alberta, and that the largest percentage of government revenue accrues to the federal government. However, development may be constrained because the pace of growth in the sector may exceed underlying infrastructure related to roads, housing and municipal services. An adequate workforce of qualified trades and technical and professional people is also crucial. Several pipeline projects have been proposed to deliver oil sands crudes to new markets over the next decade. It was concluded that the billions of dollars invested in oil sands in Alberta will contribute to the economic prosperity of the entire country. 11 figs

  6. Geotechnical properties of oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Eid, W.K.; Ismael, N.F.

    1995-01-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from exploded oil wells, burning oil fires, the destruction of oil storage tanks, and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf War. An extensive laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical characteristics of this material. Testing included basic properties, compaction and permeability tests, and triaxial and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. Contaminated specimens were prepared by mixing the sand with oil in the amount of 6% by weight or less to match field conditions. The influence of the type of oil, and relative density was also investigated by direct shear tests. The results indicated a small reduction in strength and permeability and an increase in compressibility due to contamination. The preferred method of disposal of this material is to use it as a stabilizing material for other projects such as road construction

  7. Geotechnical properties of oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Eid, W.K.; Ismael, N.F. [Kuwait Univ., Safat (Kuwait). Dept. of Civil Engineering

    1995-05-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from exploded oil wells, burning oil fires, the destruction of oil storage tanks, and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf War. An extensive laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical characteristics of this material. Testing included basic properties, compaction and permeability tests, and triaxial and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. Contaminated specimens were prepared by mixing the sand with oil in the amount of 6% by weight or less to match field conditions. The influence of the type of oil, and relative density was also investigated by direct shear tests. The results indicated a small reduction in strength and permeability and an increase in compressibility due to contamination. The preferred method of disposal of this material is to use it as a stabilizing material for other projects such as road construction.

  8. Oil sands: Strategies for future development - An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yildirim, E.

    1995-01-01

    The Alberta Chamber of Resources developed a Task Force in 1993 to promote oil sands development, and to identify and publicize the social and economic benefits of oil sands operations. Formation, mission of the National Task Force, impediments and opportunities for development were summarized. Attributes of oil sands, benefits of their development, impediments to development, strategic development and potential growth scenarios were discussed. Cooperation between government and industry was deemed essential. Recommendations included development of a bitumen pipeline network, provision of incentives to encourage development, encouragement of risk and reward sharing between bitumen producers and up graders, and diversification of products and by-products. 7 figs., 12 refs

  9. Modelling the behavior of an oil saturated sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evgin, E.; Altaee, A.; Lord, S.; Konuk, I.

    1990-01-01

    The experiments carried out in an earlier study show the oil contamination affects the strength and deformation characteristics of a crushed quartz sand. In the present study, a mathematical soil model is used to simulate the mechanical behavior of the same sand. The model parameters are determined for both clean and oil contaminated soil. Simulations are made for the stress-strain behavior of the soil in drained and undrained conventional traixial compression tests. In order to illustrate the effect of changes in the soil properties on the behavior of an engineering structure, a finite element analysis is carried out. In this paper comparative results are presented to show the differences in the behavior of a foundation resting on a clean sand, on an oil contaminated sand, and on a sand contaminated locally

  10. Economic impacts of Alberta's oil sands, volume 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Timilsina, G.R.; LeBlanc, N.; Walden, T.

    2005-01-01

    In 2004, the international media recognized Alberta's oil sands as part of the global oil reserves, thereby establishing Canada as second to Saudi Arabia as potential oil producing nations. The economic impacts of Alberta's oil sands industry on economies were assessed at regional, provincial and international levels for the 2000 to 2020 period. A customized input-output model was used to assess economic impacts, which were measured in terms of changes in gross domestic product; employment and labour income; and, government revenues. Cumulative impacts on employment by sector and by jurisdiction were also presented. An investment of $100 billion is expected through 2020, resulting in production of crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil outputs valued at about $531 billion. The impact of the oil sands industry on local employment was also evaluated. It was shown that activities in the oil sands industry will lead to significant economic impact in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the rest of Canada. Alberta's local economy would be the main beneficiary of oil sands activities with nearly 3.6 million person years employment created in Alberta during the 2000 to 2020. Another 3 million person years employment would be created in other Canadian provinces and outside Canada during the same time period. A sensitivity analysis on the responsiveness to oil prices and the removal of various constraints incorporated in the main analysis was also presented. The federal government will be the largest recipient of revenues generated to to oil sands activities. The results of the study were compared with that of the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies. This first volume revealed the results of the study while the second volume includes the data and detailed results. 48 refs., 57 tabs., 28 figs

  11. Potential effects of climate change on hydrology in the oil sands region of Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biftu, G.F.; Beersing, A.; Kalinga, O.A.; Pandit, K.N.

    2007-01-01

    The potential effects of climate change must be incorporated within environmental assessments of oil and gas developments. This paper evaluated the findings of a study examining the potential impacts of climate change on watershed hydrology in the oil sands region of Alberta. Components of the study included a review of trends in climate parameters and their effect on hydrology, as well as statistical analyses of precipitation, temperature and stream flow data of the Athabasca River at both the local and regional scale. The influences of tributary streams were also examined. Results of the study demonstrated that air temperatures have been steadily rising over the past few decades. Recorded annual precipitation also increased during the spring and summer months, and decreased during the winter and fall. Annual mean flows decreased. Results suggested that wet and dry cycles tended to exaggerate trends when only partial segments of the cycles were analyzed. The analysis of flows in the tributary streams indicated a that mean and peak flows were also decreasing. However, an increase in peak winter flows was observed. It was concluded that there is a large degree of uncertainty in the predictions of the hydrologic effects of climate change. 17 refs., 6 tabs

  12. Air quality monitoring in the Canadian oil sands. Tests of new technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Platt, Ulrich; Seitz, Katja; Buxmann, Joelle [Heidelberg Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Environmental Physics; Thimm, Harald F. [Thimm Petroleum Technologies Inc., Calgary (Canada)

    2012-12-15

    Modern bitumen recovery processes, such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), minimize the environmental footprint of oil recovery in terms of land disturbance and water demands. However, as a corollary, air monitoring becomes more difficult. In particular air quality monitoring for sulphur and nitrogen oxides, as currently practiced, suffers from significant limitations in remote regions, such as the Canadian Oil Sands Areas. Current techniques require the placement of monitoring trailers in accessible locations, but the electrical power or even access for optimal location for trailers is not always given. In addition, the trailers are capable of monitoring air quality only at the location of their deployment. There would be an advantage in deploying monitoring techniques that require minimal power (e.g. car battery, solar cell) and are capable of measuring air quality at a distance from the place of deployment. In the autumn of 2008, a trial of DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) was undertaken in Northern Alberta and Northern Saskatchewan, at four SAGD plants in various stages of development. Results of this study, and a discussion of the technology, will be given. Advantages and limitations of DOAS for deployment in Athabasca will be discussed. In general it was found that SO{sub 2} results showed remarkably low degrees of contamination, while NO{sub 2} concentrations were more noticeable. (orig.)

  13. Characterization of oils sands thickened tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, J.D.; Jeeravipoolvarn, S.; Donahue, R.; Ozum, B. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    2008-07-01

    This presentation discussed the characterization of oils sands thickened tailings. The problem statement was defined as the fact that many laboratory procedures to characterize fine tailings do not take into account the extraction process, and instead use standardized laboratory tests. The purpose of this presentation was to demonstrate how different extraction processes affect the fine tailings geotechnical properties and water chemistry. Properties that were characterized included particle size analysis from hydrometer-sieve tests; per cent clay from methylene blue tests; per cent clay from mineralogy tests; Atterberg limits; water chemistry; and morphology by scanning electron microscopy. The presentation discussed the origin of fines (silt and clay) in tailings; where fine particles come from; tailings materials; mineralogy of tailings; the hydrometer-sieve test on fine tailings and thickened tailings; and the methylene blue test. It was concluded that the great majority of clay minerals in the tailings come from the clay-shale discontinuous seams and layers. For thickened tailings, the dispersed and non-dispersed hydrometer tests show considerable difference in the amount of clay size material. tabs., figs.

  14. Technical support document for the regional sustainable development strategy for the Athabasca Oil Sands Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-07-01

    The Regional Sustainable Development Strategy (RSDS) builds on the current environmental and resource management system in Alberta, and it features a framework for: providing support for continued economic development in the region that addresses environmental needs and resource sustainability; creating an enhanced management framework that will adapt to the changing needs of the area which will guide government environmental and resource managers; developing a strong foundation of environmental information and science to assist in making decisions on sustainable resource and environmental management in the region; and creating a way to identify priority regional environmental issues and to organize the science and monitoring work needed to comprehend those issues. Blueprints for action were identified to attack issues within three group categories. The first category, which is based on information gaps and urgency, includes sustainable ecosystems, cumulative impacts on wildlife, soil and plant species diversity, effects of air emissions on human health, wildlife and vegetation, and bioaccumulation of heavy metals. The second category, which is based on information gaps and work underway, includes access management, cumulative impacts on fish habitat and populations, effects of tailings ponds emissions, effects of acid deposition on sensitive receptors, and impacts on surface water quality. The third category, which is based on information gaps, work underway and lower level of urgency, includes end pit lake water quality, impacts on surface water quantity, and impacts on groundwater quantity and quality

  15. A Primer on Alberta’s Oil sands Royalties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Dobson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Fulfilling its campaign promise, the new NDP government announced a review of Alberta’s royalty framework in June 2015. The province receives royalty revenue from three main sources – natural gas, crude oil, and oil sands. Since the 2009-10 fiscal year the largest contributor to Alberta’s royalty revenues has been the oil sands. If you want a sense of how important oil sands royalties have been for Alberta’s finances, consider this: In the 2014–15 fiscal year, the government collected just over $5 billion from oil sands royalties. These royalties covered over 10 per cent of the province’s operational expenses of $48.6 billion in the same fiscal year. Over the last six fiscal years the oil sands have contributed an average of 10 per cent of revenues to provincial coffers. This makes oil sands royalties the fourth largest contributor behind personal income taxes (23 per cent, federal transfers (13 per cent and corporate income taxes (11 per cent. But how many Albertans really understand how the royalty system works? What do we mean when we say “royalty”? How does the Alberta Government calculate royalties on oil sands producers? If the system is going to change, it’s important that Albertans understand how the current system works. That is what this paper is designed to do. For Albertans to properly judge the impact of new policy, they need a solid understanding of the current policy environment. We all know that oil prices have dropped and oil sands producers are losing profitability. As such, changes to the royalty system could have a deep and profound impact on the sector. Here are some of the issues this primer will study: • Pre-payout projects vs. post-payout projects, in other words, the classification of projects for royalty purposes based on whether the cumulative costs of a project exceed its cumulative revenues • Monthly payment of royalties vs. annual payment • Understanding the unit price of bitumen and how that

  16. The oil sands: A new energy vision for Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    Canada's oil sands deposits were considered to offer huge potential for wealth generation and enduring social benefits. This report showed that putting in action the plan developed by the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies would help unlock this potential and realize the benefits; the forecast called for a doubling or tripling of oil sands production over the next 25 years. The plan should also predicted an increase in investments in oil sands since the fiscal regime would be stable and the product would be in increasing demand. New capital investment should generate significant environmental, social and economic benefits. The real outcome would be increased national prosperity, since further growth in investment would translate into thousands of skilled jobs across Canada, expansion of government revenues, and improvements to Canada's trade balance. 1 ill

  17. The oil sands: A new energy vision for Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    Canada`s oil sands deposits were considered to offer huge potential for wealth generation and enduring social benefits. This report showed that putting in action the plan developed by the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies would help unlock this potential and realize the benefits; the forecast called for a doubling or tripling of oil sands production over the next 25 years. The plan should also predicted an increase in investments in oil sands since the fiscal regime would be stable and the product would be in increasing demand. New capital investment should generate significant environmental, social and economic benefits. The real outcome would be increased national prosperity, since further growth in investment would translate into thousands of skilled jobs across Canada, expansion of government revenues, and improvements to Canada`s trade balance. 1 ill.

  18. Investigating the Microbial Degradation Potential in Oil Sands Fluid Fine Tailings Using Gamma Irradiation: A Metagenomic Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanMensel, Danielle; Chaganti, Subba Rao; Boudens, Ryan; Reid, Thomas; Ciborowski, Jan; Weisener, Christopher

    2017-08-01

    Open-pit mining of the Athabasca oil sands has generated large volumes of waste termed fluid fine tailings (FFT), stored in tailings ponds. Accumulation of toxic organic substances in the tailings ponds is one of the biggest concerns. Gamma irradiation (GI) treatment could accelerate the biodegradation of toxic organic substances. Hence, this research investigates the response of the microbial consortia in GI-treated FFT materials with an emphasis on changes in diversity and organism-related stimuli. FFT materials from aged and fresh ponds were used in the study under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Variations in the microbial diversity in GI-treated FFT materials were monitored for 52 weeks and significant stimuli (p tailings biogeochemistry and the impacts of GI treatment on microorganisms as an effect for targeting toxic organics. The outcomes of this study highlight the potential for this approach to accelerate stabilization and reclamation end points. Graphical Abstract.

  19. Oil sands and heavy oil development issues and prospects under a Liberal government

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shiry, J.

    1993-01-01

    A short review is presented of some of the factors affecting development of the western Canadian oil sands and heavy oil deposits to the year 2000. The Alberta oil sands resource has at least 1 trillion bbl of recoverable oil. At current prices, technology is the key to reducing costs to a more economic level. Cash operating costs have halved to $15/bbl over the past decade and the oil sands companies have programs to halve that figure again. A problem is the rising cost of natural gas as a fuel, which could jeopardize further development of both oil sand and heavy oil resources. In Saskatchewan, over 25 billion bbl of heavy oil are estimated to be in place. The biggest question is what percentage can be recovered; again, technology such as horizontal wells, 3-dimensional seismic, and steam assisted recovery is playing an important role. Concerns are expressed about the intentions of the new Liberal government concerning oil sand/heavy oil development, especially on the issues of foreign investment, exports, and environmental policy. A Liberal energy policy is not likely to allow U.S. direct investment in an oil sands plant to be tied to export of production, and the energy- and emissions-intensive nature of the oil sand/heavy oil industry will tend to make environmental approvals difficult

  20. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1992-08-01

    The University of Utah tar sand research and development program is concerned with research and development on Utah is extensive oil sands deposits. The program has been intended to develop a scientific and technological base required for eventual commercial recovery of the heavy oils from oil sands and processing these oils to produce synthetic crude oil and other products such as asphalt. The overall program is based on mining the oil sand, processing the mined sand to recover the heavy oils and upgrading them to products. Multiple deposits are being investigated since it is believed that a large scale (approximately 20,000 bbl/day) plant would require the use of resources from more than one deposit. The tasks or projects in the program are organized according to the following classification: Recovery technologies which includes thermal recovery methods, water extraction methods, and solvent extraction methods; upgrading and processing technologies which covers hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and hydropyrolysis; solvent extraction; production of specialty products; and environmental aspects of the production and processing technologies. These tasks are covered in this report

  1. Saskatchewan's place in the Canadian oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schramm, L.L. [Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Kramers, J.W. [Owl Ventures Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Isaacs, E.E. [Alberta Energy Research Inst., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This paper provided a detailed description of the oil sands geology and physical properties and highlighted some of the novel recovery technologies that are being developed for shallow in-situ reservoirs in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Canada's oil sands are well known around the world, with Alberta's mined and in-situ oil sands reservoirs being well developed with mature commercial technologies. Shallow in-situ oil sands located in both Saskatchewan and Alberta will be the next frontier in Canadian petroleum development. Shallow reservoirs will need to be developed with new environmentally sound in-situ technologies that will reduce the use of steam and fresh water, and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Research and development programs are currently underway to develop and demonstrate such new technologies. It was concluded that innovation has been the key to developing the immense and complex technology oil contained in Canada's heavy oil reservoirs and also in its shallow and deep in-situ oil sands reservoirs. Promising technologies include the solvent vapour extraction and hybrid thermal solvent extraction processes that are being developed and demonstrated in large-scale three-dimensional scaled physical models and associated numerical simulation models. Electrical heating and gravity stable combustion are other examples of technologies that could play a significant role in developing these resources. 88 refs., 3 tabs., 8 figs.

  2. Experimental study of simultaneous Athabasca bitumen recovery and upgrading using ultradispersed catalysts injection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashemi, R.; Pereira, P. [University of Calgary (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    As the demand for oil is continuously increasing, the need for unconventional resources is rising. Oil extraction from bitumen and heavy oil reservoirs requires advanced techniques in order to decrease the viscosity of the oil. To increase the recovered original oil in place (OOIP) of a reservoir and decrease refining costs, new techniques to upgrade oil in situ are being developed. The current study investigates the use of ultra-dispersed (UD) submicronic catalysts to decrease oil viscosity. The experiment involved the injection of the catalyst and hydrogen gas in a sand pack saturated with Athabasca bitumen. Analysis was carried out by building recovery curves, and by comparing the oil recovery from the catalyzed process with that of catalyst-free processes. The study demonstrated that the oil recovered from the new technique had higher API gravity and lower viscosity, indicating the success of the in situ upgrading process.

  3. Value of Canadian oil sands... to the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pugliaresi, Lucian

    2011-01-01

    Since the beginning of the recession in late 2007, the American economy has been subject to great change, affecting the way energy is produced and consumed. The structure of oil imports and exports has changed significantly and U.S. imports are now primarily from Canada. The current study shows how and why the U.S. has become dependent on imports of oil from the Canadian oil sands. Oil from Canadian oil sands is transported to different Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) via the Keystone pipeline. As imports from Canada increased, the U.S. refinery sector was restructured. Small refineries were closed while larger refineries were expanded and investment was made to increase their processing capacity. The increased import and processing of oil from the Canadian oil sands led to an advantageous decrease in oil prices. If the Keystone XL project were to be approved, the pipeline would increase the area with access to the means of transporting oil, allowing the increasing demand for oil to be met and, potentially, stabilizing world oil prices.

  4. Opportunities for CANDU for the Alberta oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopwood, J.M.; Bock, D.; Miller, A.; Kuran, S.; Keil, H.; Fiorino, L.; Hau, K.; Zhou, X.; Dunbar, R.B.

    2003-01-01

    The Alberta oil sands bitumen deposits comprise of one of the largest sources hydrocarbon in the world, and have emerged as the fastest growing, soon to be dominant, source of crude oil in Canada. The oil industry has made great strides in improving the effectiveness of gathering this resource. In particular, alternatives to open-pit mining have been developed which enable in-site recovery of underground deposits with a minimum of environmental disruption. The main challenge that remains is the large quantity of energy needed in the process of extracting the oil and upgrading it to commercial levels. For a typical in-situ extraction project, about 18% of the energy content of the oil produced is used up in the extraction process, while a further 5% is used in generating hydrogen to upgrade the bitumen to synthetic crude oil. Looking ahead, even as improvements in energy use efficiency, (and hydrocarbon use efficiency) counterbalance the increases in hydrocarbon demand from economic growth (particularly in the developing world), Canada and Alberta recognize that the oil sands resource will be needed, and both support the development of this resource in an environmentally responsible way. The large energy requirement for the oil sands extraction process represents a challenge with regard to both environmental impact and security of supply. The use of natural gas, the current energy supply, has impacts in terms of air quality (via NOX and other emissions) and also represents a large greenhouse gas emissions component. As the oil sands industry expands, the availability of natural gas also becomes a concern, as does price and price stability. With this background, the opportunity for nuclear reactors to provide an economical, reliable, virtually zero-emission source of energy for the oil sands becomes very important. Over the last few years, developments in oil sands extraction technology, and developments in CANDU technology through the Advanced CANDU Reactor, (ACR

  5. North American Oil Sands: History of Development, Prospects for the Future

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Humphries, Marc

    2008-01-01

    .... Since 2004, when a substantial portion of Canada's oil sands were deemed economic, Canada, with about 175 billion barrels of proved oil sands reserves, has ranked second behind Saudi Arabia in oil reserves...

  6. Sulphur output from oil sands : dramatically changing Alberta's sulphur balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Aquin, G.

    2008-01-01

    This paper discussed sulphur production from Alberta's gas and oil sands industries. While sulfur derived from natural gas production in the province is expected to decline as natural gas reserves diminish, Alberta's oil sands contain high amounts of sulphur. It is not yet known how much sulphur will be produced from the province's oil sands facilities. Alberta had considerable stockpiles of sulphur in the 1970s. By 1980, inventories began to decline. By 1996, output had increased to 7.1 million tonnes. Alberta's sulphur inventory reached 9.7 million tonnes following the collapse of the Soviet Union's government mandated fertilizer industry. In 2006, sulphur supplies in Alberta reached 12 million tonnes. Reduced global output has now lowered sulphur stockpiles. Increases in sulphur prices tend to reduce market demand, and lower prices will not typically change the volume of sulphur produced as a byproduct of oil and gas operations. Bitumen-derived sulphur output is expected to exceed gas-derived sulphur output in the near future. Sulphur from oil sands processing is expected to increase by 5 million tonnes by 2017. Increased sulphur production levels in Alberta will present a significant challenge for all sectors of the hydrocarbon industry. It was concluded that developing a plan for storing, selling or disposing of the sulphur will help to ensure the profitability of oil sands operations

  7. Alberta's oil sands fiscal system : historical context and system performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-01-01

    This report described the fiscal system applied to Alberta's oil sands. It is the first technical report forming part of a series designed to provide information and to invite comment as part of the Government of Alberta's public review of the fiscal system applied to the province's oil and gas resources. Specifically, this report assessed the robustness of Alberta's oil sands fiscal system and assessed how the regime balanced the risks and rewards to both investors and Albertans across a range of expected and probable economic outcomes. The report provided an explanation of the history and context of Alberta's royalty regime and included a case-by-case approach. It also provided a discussion of the oil sands fiscal system description. Next, it described the methodology employed for the analysis of the oil sands fiscal system. It also provided the assumptions for 5 scenario cases and presented the fiscal map approach for assessing project economics and fiscal system performance. Last, summary observations were presented. It was found that the oil sands fiscal system is very flexible for adverse economic conditions and much less so for highly profitable conditions. tabs., figs

  8. Advanced characterisation of organic matter in oil sands and tailings sands used for land reclamation by Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noah, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Wilkes, H.

    2012-04-01

    The Athabasca region of northern Alberta, Canada, is home to deposits of oil sands containing vast amounts (~ 173 billion barrels) of heavily biodegraded petroleum. Oil sands are recovered by surface mining or by in situ steam injection. The extraction of bitumen from oil sands by caustic hot water processing results in large volumes of fluid tailings, which are stored in on-site settling basins. There the tailings undergo a compaction and dewatering process, producing a slowly densifying suspension. The released water is recycled for extraction. The fine tailings will be reclaimed as either dry or wet landscapes. [1] To produce 1 barrel of crude oil, 2 tons of oil sand and 2 - 3 tons of water (including recycled water) are required. [2] Open pit mining and the extraction of the bitumen from the oil sands create large and intense disturbances of different landscapes. The area currently disturbed by mining operations covers about 530 km2 and the area of tailing ponds surpasses 130 km2. An issue of increasing importance is the land remediation and reclamation of oil sand areas in Canada and the reconstruction of these disturbed landscapes back to working ecosystems similar to those existing prior to mining operations. An important issue in this context is the identification of oil sand-derived organic compounds in the tailings, their environmental behaviour and the resulting chances and limitations with respect to land reclamation. Furthermore the biodegradation processes that occur in the tailings and that could lead to a decrease in hazardous organic compounds are important challenges, which need to be investigated. This presentation will give a detailed overview of our compositional and quantitative characterisation of the organic matter in oil sand, unprocessed and processed mature fine tailings samples as well as in tailings sands used as part of land reclamation. The analytical characterisation is based on the extraction of the soluble organic matter, its

  9. Canadian oil sands : supply and potential for market growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crandall, G.

    2004-01-01

    Canadian oil sands recoverable reserves rank second only to Saudi Arabia and present enormous potential, particularly through technological gains. This paper discussed the market potential for oil sands both globally and in North America. It was estimated that oil sands production would eventually surpass declining conventional production, increasing from 42 per cent of Western supply in 2002 to 78 per cent in 2015. Recoverable reserves were an estimated 174 billion barrels, with cumulative production at 4 billion barrels between 1967 to 2003. Statistics of U.S. and Canadian markets for crude oil were presented to the year 2020. A flow chart of oil sands products and market outlets was presented, as well as details of existing and potential markets for Canadian crude oil. Oil sands product dispositions were outlined, with the prediction that Asia may emerge as an incremental market. World crude oil production statistics were presented by type. World residual supply and demand estimates were presented, including details of conversion capacity and requirements for residual processing capacity in refineries and field upgraders. American refinery feedstocks were presented by type, with the identification of an increase in heavy crude runs. It was noted that recent pricing provided a strong incentive to add refining conversion capacity to process heavy oil. An outline of a study completed for the Alberta government and industry was presented, in which upgrading to light synthetic crude was determined as a base case. The value added to process bitumen beyond upgrading was discussed in relation to the upgrading of American refineries to process bitumen blends and synthetic crude. Potential cases for upgrading bitumen were presented, along with a comparison of capital costs. An overall economic comparison of projects was provided. Various measures to maximize markets for oil sands products in Alberta were presented. It was suggested that U.S. markets should absorb more new

  10. A new era of opportunity for Canada's oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-06-01

    The enormous potential for wealth that is offered by Canada's oil sands deposits was discussed. Alberta's oil sands contain more recoverable oil than all the reserves of Saudi Arabia - but they have barely been developed. They are a natural resource of sufficient size, scale and competitive advantage to be of great benefit to the economy. The National Oil Sands Task Force has invested billions of dollars in the project and believes that the industry can triple production over the next 25 years. Benefits to Canadians will include an estimated 44,000 new jobs across the country, $97 billion increase in revenue for all levels of government, and $100 billion increase in consumer disposable incomes. In order to realize these socio-economic benefits, some important improvements were recommended to insure industry efficiency and growth. Some of the recommendations included increased investment in science and technology, as a key component of development. 1 tab., 4 figs

  11. How confident is Fort McKay that industry can reclaim oil sand development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fitzpatrick, C.

    2004-01-01

    This presentation described how traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) can provide valuable information for both the reclamation design and assessment of oil sand development in Fort McKay. Conservation is valued by the Fort McKay First Nations communities who claim that current reclamation methods are too slow, and that the land is not being brought back to its original use with the uniqueness of the boreal landscape. Elders have noted that each year the water level in the Athabasca River is lower. The blowing tailings and coke dust are causing trees to dye and driving animals away. There is concern that the animals that remain may not be safe to eat. The Fort McKay First Nation community has stated that it will view reclamation as a success only when it functions with proof over many generations. The major concerns include: salt in the water draining from reclaimed areas; salt in the soils of reclaimed area; muskeg cannot be recreated; and, the issue of whether cranberry, blueberry and streambank forest areas can be recreated, along with traditional medicinal plants. Other concerns include the loss of rivers such as the Beaver Creek and Tar River, and that the water in reclaimed areas may not be suitable for animals to live in or to drink. tabs., figs

  12. How confident is Fort McKay that industry can reclaim oil sand development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitzpatrick, C. [Fort McKay First Nations, AB (Canada)

    2004-02-05

    This presentation described how traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) can provide valuable information for both the reclamation design and assessment of oil sand development in Fort McKay. Conservation is valued by the Fort McKay First Nations communities who claim that current reclamation methods are too slow, and that the land is not being brought back to its original use with the uniqueness of the boreal landscape. Elders have noted that each year the water level in the Athabasca River is lower. The blowing tailings and coke dust are causing trees to dye and driving animals away. There is concern that the animals that remain may not be safe to eat. The Fort McKay First Nation community has stated that it will view reclamation as a success only when it functions with proof over many generations. The major concerns include: salt in the water draining from reclaimed areas; salt in the soils of reclaimed area; muskeg cannot be recreated; and, the issue of whether cranberry, blueberry and streambank forest areas can be recreated, along with traditional medicinal plants. Other concerns include the loss of rivers such as the Beaver Creek and Tar River, and that the water in reclaimed areas may not be suitable for animals to live in or to drink. tabs., figs.

  13. From oil sands to transportation fuels, to electricity, to hydrogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yildirim, E.

    1993-01-01

    The Alberta Chamber of Resources programs and initiatives on oil sands and heavy oil, and strategies for revitalizing oilsands development in Alberta are described. The regional upgrader and satellite production facilities concept, and technology requirements for mineable oil sands by the year 2010 are discussed. Strategic alliances in furtherence of oil sands research and development and the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies are described. Changes in requirements for transportation fuels due to stricter regulations and environmental initiatives will cause a trend to lighter fuels with more hydrogen content, less aromatics, nitrogen, sulfur and metals. A preferred refinery configuration will be able to process heavier crudes and synthetic crudes, have no heavy fuel oil product, low sulfur products, low aromatics with high octane, and low operating cost. A regional or central facility that combines the processing capabilities of a bitumen upgrader with the process units of a refinery is preferred. Advantages of this concept are: value addition to the feedstock is maximized; dependence on refineries is eliminated; restriction on synthetic crude oil volumes due to capacity limitations at refineries is eliminated; directly marketable finished products are produced; more stringent quality specifications are satisfied; and the synergies between upgrading and refining improve overall economics of processing. It is recommended that the concept of regional upgraders be adopted for Alberta, strategic alliances be encouraged, incentives for bitumen production be provided, and a bitumen pipeline network be developed. 12 refs

  14. Water management challenges and perspective for surface oil sands operations in North Eastern Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacKinnon, M.

    2009-01-01

    Oil sands waters has many sources, such as raw water inputs (import water and hydrologic waters); oil sands ore water such as formation water; and oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) such as produced water and released water from tailings. This presentation demonstrated the importance of water to oil sands operations and indicated how oil sands processing affects water quality. Water imports to meet oil sands needs is a topic of particular interest. Other topics that were presented included water properties changing during oil sands operations; tailings management and the effects on water quality; oil sands tailings and water management and the impact on water quality of the region; how oil sands processing affected water quality; and current tailings approach and proposed new tailings methods and the effects on water composition. Post extraction changes in OSPW and the potential impacts of engineered tailings were also discussed. It was concluded that water treatment options must meet water management objectives. figs.

  15. Dust is the dominant source of "heavy metals" to peat moss (Sphagnum fuscum) in the bogs of the Athabasca Bituminous Sands region of northern Alberta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shotyk, William; Bicalho, Beatriz; Cuss, Chad W; Duke, M John M; Noernberg, Tommy; Pelletier, Rick; Steinnes, Eiliv; Zaccone, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Sphagnum fuscum was collected from twenty-five ombrotrophic (rain-fed) peat bogs surrounding open pit mines and upgrading facilities of Athabasca Bituminous Sands (ABS) in northern Alberta (AB) in order to assess the extent of atmospheric contamination by trace elements. As a control, this moss species was also collected at a bog near Utikuma (UTK) in an undeveloped part of AB and 264km SW of the ABS region. For comparison, this moss was also collected in central AB, in the vicinity of the City of Edmonton which is approximately 500km to the south of the ABS region, from the Wagner Wetland which is 22km W of the City, from Seba Beach (ca. 90km W) and from Elk Island National Park (ca. 45km E). All of the moss samples were digested and trace elements concentrations determined using ICP-SMS at a commercial laboratory, with selected samples also analyzed using instrumental neutron activation analysis at the University of Alberta. The mosses from the ABS region yielded lower concentrations of Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Tl, and Zn compared to the moss from the Edmonton area. Concentrations of Ni and Mo in the mosses were comparable in these two regions, but V was more abundant in the ABS samples. Compared with the surface vegetation of eight peat cores collected in recent years from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, the mean concentrations of Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Tl and Zn in the mosses from the ABS region are generally much lower. In fact, the concentrations of these trace elements in the samples from the ABS region are comparable to the corresponding values in forest moss from remote regions of central and northern Norway. Lithophile element concentrations (Ba, Be, Ga, Ge, Li, Sc, Th, Ti, Zr) explain most of the variation in trace metal concentrations in the moss samples. The mean concentrations of Th and Zr are greatest in the moss samples from the ABS region, reflecting dust inputs to the bogs from open pit mines, aggregate

  16. Alberta Oil Sands Equity annual report, 1992-93. Partnership and progress in Alberta's oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    Alberta Oil Sands Equity (AOSE) manages the Alberta government's equity investments in oil sands and heavy oil projects. AOSE is a 16.74% participant in the Syncrude Project, a 10% participant in the OSLO (Other Six Leases Operation) Commercial Project and the OSLO New Ventures project, and a 24.17% participant in the Lloydminster Bi-Provincial Upgrader. Syncrude produces ca 12% of Canadian crude oil requirements, and AOSE's share yielded $44 million profit for 1992/93, slightly higher than the the $43.3 million the previous year. The OSLO Commercial Project is a proposed commercial oil sands plant with a mine site and extraction plant to be located north of Fort McMurray, and an upgrading facility to be situated north of Edmonton. Work on this project was suspended in early 1992. The OSLO New Ventures project will handle the exploration and development of the remaining five oil sands leases plus the southern portion of Lease 31. As of March 31, 1993, the project owners were considering a commercial demonstration project utilizing dredging and cold-water extraction processes. Two of the owners are unable to provide funding and discussions are under way to resolve the matter and move the program forward. The Lloydminster Bi-Provincial Upgrader opened Noveber 20, 1992, and production has reached 41,000 bbl/d, or 89% of design capacity. The upgrader will increase the value of heavy crude oil and thereby increase its demand. 5 figs., 3 tabs

  17. Oil sands terrestrial habitat and risk modeling for disturbance and reclamation - Phase I report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Welham, C. [FORRx Consulting Inc., Belcarra, BC (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    The main purpose of this study is to build a framework that includes risk management and strategic decision-making to assess the impact of natural and industrial disturbance on ecosystem products and services and on the existence of habitat for terrestrial species in Alberta's Lower Athabasca planning region. This will include an evaluation of the impact of disturbance, conservation and reclamation activities associated with oil sands development both at the lease and regional levels. The basecase scenario, established in Phase I, includes a dendrochronology study of the link between climate and tree growth in the sub boreal region that comprises oil sands mining, an analysis of habitat availability for 10 wildlife species compared with reclamation activities on the Kearl Lake mine, and an examination of the potential for development of high levels of water stress in recent reclamation plantations at the Kearl Lake mine. Four tree species of the subboreal forests of Alberta and Saskatchewan were considered for the dendrochronology study: the white spruce or Picea glauca, the black spruce or Picea mariana, the jack pine or Pinus banksiana, and the trembling aspen or Populus tremuloides. This study shows that the water stress observed during the year has restricted the radial growth of white spruce and a link has been established between radial growth and increasing season precipitation and summer temperatures. The purposes of the habitat suitability analysis were to list habitats suitability models that could be applied to Alberta boreal forests, distinguish the parameters used in those models that can be simulated with an ecosystem simulation model, simulate the reclamation prescriptions detailed in the Kearl Lake EIA documents with the ecosystem simulation model and generate output suitable for populating each habitat suitability model. The establishment of ecologically viable reclamation plans in the oil sands region can be hard to manage regarding the

  18. Engaging Canadians: national oil sands dialogues - A background paper

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carson, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    It is expected that the world's energy demand will grow significantly between now and the year 2050. Hydrocarbons will have an important role to play in meeting this increasing demand and unconventional sources such as oil sands will become more and more important. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has been engaged in a dialogue process to examine the environmental, economic and social impacts of the oil sands industry and the aim of this background paper is to provide stakeholders with some context. The paper highlights the fact that although the oil sands industry gives rise to environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants, land disturbance and water use, the environmental performance of the industry has been improving in recent years thanks to new technologies.

  19. Proceedings of the 2. international oil sands tailings conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-01

    The tailings produced by oil sands extraction processes pose significant threats to the surrounding environment in addition to releasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. Recent directives have been established to reduce the amount of tailings produced at oil sands operations, and to ensure that tailings ponds are reclaimed in the most effective manner. This conference provided a forum for researchers and industry experts to discuss issues related to the management and reclamation of oil sands tailings. New technologies for dewatering tailings ponds were presented, and methods of analyzing the chemical properties of tailings were reviewed. The conference was divided into the following 7 sessions: (1) tailings properties, (2) tailings dewatering, (3) new concepts, (4) water and chemistry, (5) soft tailings stabilization and reclamation, (6) water treatment, and (7) new concepts 2. The conference featured 44 presentations, all of which have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs.

  20. Indoor and outdoor SO{sub 2} in a community near oil sand extraction and production facilities in northern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kindzierski, W.B.; Ranganathan, H.K.S. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    2006-07-01

    In order to examine whether the proximity to several oil sand operations in the Athabasca region has affected the air quality in nearby communities, a baseline study measuring indoor and outdoor sulphur dioxide (SO{sub 2}) levels was conducted in Fort McKay, a small native community located in northern Alberta. The study involved deploying a passive sampling device for 96 hours at 30 randomly chosen homes over a 6 week period such that 75 per cent of homes were sampled during weekdays and 25 per cent during weekends. The common living area of each home (kitchen or family room) was sampled indoors. Outdoor passive samplers were attached to a sampling stand under a shelter in the yard. This article presented an introduction to oil sands development in the region and discussed the link between SO{sub 2} emissions and outdoor air pollution. The passive sampling monitors and study methods were described. Last, the article discussed the results of the study and provided a discussion of quality assurance and quality control; indoor and outdoor SO{sub 2} levels; and air exchange measurements. It was concluded that the results of the testing to determine accuracy and precision of the monitors were both within 35 per cent based on a 96 hour average measurement, which are considered very low and consistent with levels observed elsewhere in Alberta. 43 refs., 5 tabs., 4 figs.

  1. Bio-physicochemical effects of gamma irradiation treatment for naphthenic acids in oil sands fluid fine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boudens, Ryan; Reid, Thomas; VanMensel, Danielle; Sabari Prakasanm, M.R. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Canada); Ciborowski, Jan J.H. [Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Canada); Weisener, Christopher G., E-mail: weisener@uwindsor.ca [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Canada)

    2016-01-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are persistent compounds that are components of most petroleum, including those found in the Athabasca oil sands. Their presence in freshly processed tailings is of significant environmental concern due to their toxicity to aquatic organisms. Gamma irradiation (GI) was used to reduce the toxicity and concentration of NAs in oil sands process water (OSPW) and fluid fine tailings (FFT). This investigation systematically studied the impact of GI on the biogeochemical development and progressive reduction of toxicity using laboratory incubations of fresh and aged tailings under anoxic and oxic conditions. GI reduced NA concentrations in OSPW by up to 97% in OSPW and in FFT by 85%. The GI-treated FFT exhibited increased rates of biogeochemical change, dependent on the age of the tailings source. Dissolved oxygen (DO) flux was enhanced in GI-treated FFT from fresh and aged source materials, whereas hydrogen sulfide (HS{sup −}) flux was stimulated only in the fresh FFT. Acute toxicity to Vibrio fischeri was immediately reduced following GI treatment of fresh OSPW. GI treatment followed by 4-week incubation reduced toxicity of aged OSPW to V. fischeri. - Highlights: • Gamma irradiation substantially reduced concentrations of ecotoxic naphthenic acids • Acute toxicity was reduced in gamma irradiated process water • Gamma irradiated tailings exhibited increased rates of microbial respiration.

  2. River modeling and multi-level fish health assessment to evaluate impacts from oil sands water releases (Part 2)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaw, R.; Swanson, S.M.; Lagimodiere, M.; Gulley, J.

    1995-01-01

    A multi-level, multi-scale approach was used to assess potential impacts to fish health from oil sands water releases. The method used to arrive at predicted impacts involved assembling experimental data on the effects of chronic exposure to oil sands wastewaters on biochemical, physiological and whole-organism endpoint. This information was used to determine no effect levels (NOELs) and lowest effect levels (LOELs) for the suite of fish health parameters used in laboratory experiments (primarily biochemical and physiological measurement endpoints). LOELs and NOELs were compared to modeled concentrations of wastewater in the Athabasca River for five time snapshots. For each time period, concentrations were predicted based on mean annual flows and 7Q10 flows (low flows). This comparison was used to predict impacts on biochemical/physiological endpoints. Impacts on at the whole-organism and population-level were determined by comparing what the laboratory data would predict with what was observed in the field. This process was used to draw a conclusion regarding the health and sustainability of fish populations

  3. Study on the basic properties of Indonesian oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Qing; Jiang, Qian-qian; Bai, Jing-ru; Sun, Jian; Liu, Hong-peng [Northeast Dianli Univ., Jilin (China). Inst. of Energy and Power Engineering

    2013-07-01

    The basic properties of three Indonesian oil sands have been investigated. The results show that since the high content of volatile, heating value and oil yield, Indonesian oil sands could be combusted for power generation and retorting for oil refining. Moreover, oil sand ash with the low content of fixed carbon and high content of CaO, could not only be used as solid heat carrier during retorting, but also comprehensively used as construction material. Based on the thermogravimeric analysis (TGA), pyrolysis and combustion behaviors have been identified. As for pyrolysis, 350-520 C could be regarded as the major oil-producing region, the apparent activation energy E is not a constant obtained by distributed activation energy model (DAEM). For combustion, 620-800 C is the high-temperature oxidation (HTO) stage. TG-DTG extrapolation method was applied to determine the combustion characteristics parameters such as ignition temperature, burn-out temperature, combustion stability and combustion reactivity, and finally gave a comparison with those of oil shale and coal.

  4. Bituminous sands : tax issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, B.

    2004-01-01

    This paper examined some of the tax issues associated with the production of bitumen or synthetic crude oil from oil sands. The oil sands deposits in Alberta are gaining more attention as the supplies of conventional oil in Canada decline. The oil sands reserves located in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River areas contain about 2.5 trillion barrels of highly viscous hydrocarbons called bitumen, of which nearly 315 billion barrels are recoverable with current technology. The extraction method varies for each geographic area, and even within zones and reservoirs. The two most common extraction methods are surface mining and in-situ extraction such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS); low pressure steam flood; pressure cycle steam drive; steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD); hot water flooding; and, fire flood. This paper also discussed the following general tax issues: bituminous sands definition; bituminous sands leases and Canadian development expense versus Canadian oil and gas property expense (COGPE); Canadian exploration expense (CEE) for surface mining versus in-situ methods; additional capital cost allowance; and, scientific research and experimental development (SR and ED). 15 refs

  5. Marketing opportunities and challenges for Canada's oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This report demonstrated that effective marketing of Canadian oil sands products has been vital to the success of the industry in the past. Future success was expected to depend on having efficient transportation systems for the industry's products, unrestricted access to markets, and a range of products can competitively meet the needs of specific markets and customs. 9 ills

  6. Mining aspects of hard to access oil sands deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephenson, G.; Wright, D.; Lukacs, Z. [Norwest Corp., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    While a variety of oil sands mining technologies have been explored since the 1960s, the oil sands industry has generally favoured truck and shovel mining as a proven, low-cost mining solution. However, surface mining economics are affected by the price of bitumen, haul distances, tailings storage and geotechnical constraints. Maintenance, labour and the cost of replacing tires and ground engaging tools also have a significant impact on the economics of surface mining. Large volumes of water are used in surface mining, and remediation of surface mined areas can take hundreds of years. Damage to machinery is common as oil sands are abrasive and adhere to equipment. This presentation examined recent technologies developed to improve the economics of surface mining. Various extraction and tailings technologies were reviewed. Issues concerning the integration of mining and extraction processes were discussed. Various monitoring tools were evaluated. A review of new underground mining options included outlines of: longwall mining; sub-level caving; tunnel boring; and room and pillar extraction techniques. A generalized regional geology was presented. It was concluded that the oil sands surfacing mining industry should concentrate on near-term research needs to improve the performance and economics of proven technologies. Screening studies should also be conducted to determine the focus for the development of underground technologies. refs., tabs., figs.

  7. Performance monitoring of electric shovels digging oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patnayak, S. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Natural Resources Engineering Facility; Tannant, D.D. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering; Parsons, I. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Edmonton Research Centre; Del Valle, V. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    Some of the largest available mining equipment is used for oil sand mining operations. However, the performance of electric cable shovels varies with the diggability characteristics of the ground. In particular, oil sands diggability with cable shovels depends on structural geology, the depositional environment and geotechnical parameters. This paper described some of the key shovel performance indicators such as dig cycle time, digging energy and digging power. In winter, frost penetration can also affect oil sands diggability. The challenge of hard digging in oil sands is often addressed by blasting or ripping, which increases the cost of production and impedes productivity. The shovel performance is also influenced by other parameters such as operator skills, bucket and tooth design and shovel dipper trajectory. This paper demonstrated that hoist and crowd motor voltages and currents are useful in identifying the beginning and end of dig cycles. Performance indicators such as dig cycle time, hoist motor energy and power, and crowd motor energy and power were considered to assess material diggability. It was suggested that hoist power represents the ground diggability better than other performance indicators. 5 refs., 1 tab., 10 figs.

  8. Canada's oil sands: nuclear power in an integrated energy economy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isaacs, E. [Alberta Energy Research Inst., Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This paper discusses the role of nuclear power in Canada's oil sands industry. It outlines the oil sands resource in Alberta and the various industrial projects to recover the oil from the tar sands. It points to continuing innovation in technology since the 1930's. The hydrogen required for upgrading bitumen is made from natural gas. Finally, it discusses the next wave of oil sands production technologies.

  9. Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spinti, Jennifer [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Birgenheier, Lauren [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Deo, Milind [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Facelli, Julio [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Hradisky, Michal [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Kelly, Kerry [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Miller, Jan [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); McLennan, John [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Ring, Terry [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Ruple, John [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Uchitel, Kirsten [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2015-09-30

    This report summarizes the significant findings from the Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources program sponsored by the Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory. There were four principle areas of research; Environmental, legal, and policy issues related to development of oil shale and oil sands resources; Economic and environmental assessment of domestic unconventional fuels industry; Basin-scale assessment of conventional and unconventional fuel development impacts; and Liquid fuel production by in situ thermal processing of oil shale Multiple research projects were conducted in each area and the results have been communicated via sponsored conferences, conference presentations, invited talks, interviews with the media, numerous topical reports, journal publications, and a book that summarizes much of the oil shale research relating to Utah’s Uinta Basin. In addition, a repository of materials related to oil shale and oil sands has been created within the University of Utah’s Institutional Repository, including the materials generated during this research program. Below is a listing of all topical and progress reports generated by this project and submitted to the Office of Science and Technical Information (OSTI). A listing of all peer-reviewed publications generated as a result of this project is included at the end of this report; Geomechanical and Fluid Transport Properties 1 (December, 2015); Validation Results for Core-Scale Oil Shale Pyrolysis (February, 2015); and Rates and Mechanisms of Oil Shale Pyrolysis: A Chemical Structure Approach (November, 2014); Policy Issues Associated With Using Simulation to Assess Environmental Impacts (November, 2014); Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience (September, 2013); V-UQ of Generation 1 Simulator with AMSO Experimental Data (August, 2013); Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Resource Management Plan Constraints, and Land Exchanges

  10. Synthesis, characterization and performance of NiMo catalysts supported on titania modified alumina for the hydroprocessing of different gas oils derived from Athabasca bitumen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferdous, D.; Bakhshi, N.N.; Dalai, A.K. [Catalysis and Chemical Reactor Engineering Laboratories, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Sask. (Canada); Adjaye, J. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton Research Center, No. 9421, 17th Avenue, Edmonton, Alta. (Canada)

    2007-03-08

    In this work, a series of NiMo/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalyst was prepared using different Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} supports modified by titania (0-9 wt%). All modified supports and fresh catalysts were characterized by BET surface area, pore volume and pore diameter measurement, TPR, TPD, XRD, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy analyses. The initial activity of these catalysts were tested in a trickle-bed reactor using three different gas oils such as light gas oil (LGO), blended gas oil (blended: 50% LGO and 50% HGO) and heavy gas oil (HGO), all derived from Athabasca bitumen. Little structural change in alumina was observed with the incorporation of titania. XRD analysis showed the well dispersion of Ni and Mo on the support. Titania in alumina increased the formation of polymolybdenum oxide on the catalyst as evident from TPR and Raman analyses. Weak-intermediate-strong acid sites on the catalyst were observed at all titania concentrations. The Lewis and Bronsted acidity on the catalyst surface increased with the increase in titania concentration from 0 to 9 wt%. Nitrogen conversion increased from 57 to 71 wt%, from 83 to 93 wt% and from 75 to 80 wt% for LGO, blended and HGO, respectively and also sulfur conversion of LGO increased from 86 to 92 wt% when titania concentration was increased from 0 to 9 wt%. For blended and HGO, sulfur conversion was in the range 96-99 wt% at all titania concentrations. (author)

  11. Literature search on the environmental impacts of tar sands operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkholz, D.; Prendergast, S.

    1990-09-01

    An extensive review is presented of the literature on the chemistry and biological impacts of current and potential effluents and discharges from oil sands plants on the Athabasca River. The pollutant compounds of interest included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, methyl homologues and metabolites, polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles, polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles, and naphthenic acids. Topics of interest include chemical methods for identifying and quantitating the above compounds and their metabolites, their sources and release rates, their toxicity to native fish of the Athabasca system, and their degradation in the natural environment. 376 refs., 4 figs., 26 tabs

  12. Alberta Oil Sands Equity annual report, 1991-92. Partnership and progress in Alberta's oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    Alberta Oil Sands Equity (AOSE) manages the Alberta government's equity investments in oil sands and heavy oil projects. AOSE is a 16.74% participant in the Syncrude Project, a 10% participant in the OSLO (Other Six Leases Operation) Commercial Project and the OSLO New Ventures project, and a 24.17% participant in the Lloydminster Bi-Provincial Upgrader. Syncrude produces over 11% of Canadian crude oil requirements, and AOSE's share yielded $43.3 million profit for 1991/92, down significantly from the $82.1 million the previous year due to lower oil prices. The OSLO Commercial Project is a proposed commercial oil sands plant with a mine site and extraction plant to be located north of Fort McMurray, and an upgrading facility to be situated north of Edmonton. Work on this project was suspended in early 1992. The OSLO New Ventures project will handle the exploration and development of the remaining five oil sands leases plus the southern portion of Lease 31. As of March 31, 1992, the project owners were considering a commercial demonstration project utilizing dredging and cold-water extraction processes. Two of the owners are unable to provide funding and discussions are under way to resolve the matter and move the program forward. The Lloydminster Bi-Provincial Upgrader was nearly 90% complete in March 1992 and full startup is expected in November 1992; engineering work was completed in March 1991. The upgrader will increase the value of heavy crude oil and thereby increase its demand. 4 figs., 4 tabs

  13. As long as the rivers flow: Athabasca River knowledge, use and change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Candler, C.; Olson, R.; Deroy, S.

    2010-11-01

    This document is a report supported by specific information gathered by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN), and takes part in an Athabasca River Use and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) study conducted in 2010. The main objective was to provide a written submission, based on evidence, in order to effectively notify the crown about plans for managing industrial water withdrawals from the lower Athabasca River. The First Nations used the same methods, wrote their community reports as distinguished stand-alone documents and made the choice to present the ACFN and MCFN data in parallel with each other within the same document. The study provides information on the knowledge and uses of the Athabasca River by the community members. Context and background for the study can be found in the part A. It comprises a short discussion of the Treaty No.8 of 1899, the latter confirming the rights of First Nation people. The importance of boat transportation for the community members is mentioned, and a summary of the methods is given. The results of the ACFN and MCFN studies are given in part B and C. The reduction of the quantity and quality of the river has affected the practice of ACFN and MCFN aboriginal and treaty rights. The community perceptions of the changes of the river and how it has influenced their lifestyle is discussed. Some uses of the Athabasca river have been lost because of concerns regarding contamination associated with oil sands operations. The last part of the document provides an analysis of results and suggests two thresholds that define the ability of ACFN and MCFN members to practice their rights and access their territories. This document ends with recommendations for implementation of these thresholds. 22 refs., 12 maps.

  14. As long as the rivers flow: Athabasca River knowledge, use and change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Candler, C.; Olson, R.; Deroy, S. [Firelight Group Research Cooperative, Victoria, BC (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    This document is a report supported by specific information gathered by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN), and takes part in an Athabasca River Use and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) study conducted in 2010. The main objective was to provide a written submission, based on evidence, in order to effectively notify the crown about plans for managing industrial water withdrawals from the lower Athabasca River. The First Nations used the same methods, wrote their community reports as distinguished stand-alone documents and made the choice to present the ACFN and MCFN data in parallel with each other within the same document. The study provides information on the knowledge and uses of the Athabasca River by the community members. Context and background for the study can be found in the part A. It comprises a short discussion of the Treaty No.8 of 1899, the latter confirming the rights of First Nation people. The importance of boat transportation for the community members is mentioned, and a summary of the methods is given. The results of the ACFN and MCFN studies are given in part B and C. The reduction of the quantity and quality of the river has affected the practice of ACFN and MCFN aboriginal and treaty rights. The community perceptions of the changes of the river and how it has influenced their lifestyle is discussed. Some uses of the Athabasca river have been lost because of concerns regarding contamination associated with oil sands operations. The last part of the document provides an analysis of results and suggests two thresholds that define the ability of ACFN and MCFN members to practice their rights and access their territories. This document ends with recommendations for implementation of these thresholds. 22 refs., 12 maps.

  15. Sustainable use of oil sands for geotechnical construction and road building

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Oil sands are natural deposits of bituminous sand materials that are mined and processed for crude oil. They are routinely used in oil sand fields for building temporary and sometimes permanent roads serving mining and hauling activities. Although...

  16. Oil sands from Sao Paulo State, Brazil and La Brea de Chumpi, Peru: a geologic perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kramers, John W [Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Santos, Paulo R. dos [Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas (IPT), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Gianello, Pedro T [Petroleos del Peru, Lima (Peru)

    1987-12-31

    This work describes two `non-conventional` oil sands occurrences in Peru and Brazil. The study of such occurrences has pointed out the fact that oil sands are found in widely varying geological situations and that not all oil sands have origins similar to the supergiant `conventional` deposits in Canada and Venezuela. 3 refs., 9 figs.

  17. Macro-economic benefits of an expanded oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    Probable impact of benefits of expanded oil sands development on employment and government revenues were analyzed. Investment in proposed oil sands facilities was forecast to create about 1 million person-years of direct and indirect employment. Forty percent of employment gains would be created in Alberta, with remaining positions mostly in Ontario and Quebec. Government taxes, royalties, reduced debts interest costs and revenues to municipalities, hospitals and pension plans would increase by $97 billion (1994 dollars) between 1995 and 2025. Additional benefits would include increases in average Canadian disposable incomes, substitution of imported with domestic oil, and expansion of gross domestic product in Alberta by 5%. Some variation may be expected because of accuracy of assumptions that were made in the analysis, but the character of the results were not expected to change

  18. In situ viscosity of oil sands using low field NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, J.; Moon, D.; Kantzas, A.

    2005-01-01

    In heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs, oil viscosity is a vital piece of information that will have great bearing on the chosen EOR scheme and the recovery expected. Prediction of in situ viscosity with a logging tool would he very beneficial in reservoir characterization and exploitation design. Low field NMR is a technology that has shown great potential as a tool for characterizing hydrocarbon properties in heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs. An oil viscosity correlation has previously been developed that is capable of providing order of magnitude viscosity estimates for a wide range of oils taken from various fields in Alberta. This paper presents tuning procedures to improve the NMR predictions for different viscosity ranges, and extends the NMR viscosity model to in situ heavy oil in unconsolidated sands. The results of this work show that the NMR oil peak can be de-convoluted from the in situ signals of the oil and water, and the bulk viscosity correlation that was developed for bulk oils can he applied to predict the in situ oil viscosity. These results can be translated to an NMR logging tool algorithm, allowing for in situ measurements of oil viscosity at the proper reservoir conditions. (author)

  19. Fluidization Behavior of Oil-Contaminated Sand.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartman, Miloslav; Trnka, Otakar; Pohořelý, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 61, 2 (2007) , s. 93-97 ISSN 0366-6352 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA4072201 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40720504 Keywords : fluidized bed * hydrodynamics * oil pollution Subject RIV: CI - Industrial Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Impact factor: 0.367, year: 2007

  20. Oil sands development in a carbon constrained world

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDougall, J. [Alberta Research Council, Devon, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    The challenges facing oilsands development in Alberta were discussed in this PowerPoint presentation. In 2005, 71 per cent of Alberta's export value was derived from energy and mining. The author addressed the issue that resource based economies have rarely succeeded in the long term. He then demonstrated how such economies could capture value from technology. The primary focus was on the goal to develop and adapt greenhouse gas (GHG) transformational technologies that will break the link between hydrocarbon energy use and GHG emissions. The role of oil sands in this endeavour was also discussed. Alberta's oil sands are the world's largest hydrocarbon resource, with 315 b bbls proven reserves, and 2.5 t bbls potential reserves. As an important economic driver for Alberta, oil sands production is expected to grow significantly in the next 2 decades. Since bitumen production is more energy intensive than conventional oil, the industry is faced with the challenge of sustainable development. Concentrated GHG emissions create opportunities to proceed with long-term oil sands development with a sustainable level of GHG emissions, but technology and infrastructure are needed to take advantage of them. Current carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) storage projects in Alberta were highlighted. The economic potential of geological storage of CO{sub 2} through acid gas injection or deep disposal was discussed in terms of enhanced oil recovery, enhanced coalbed methane recovery, enhanced gas recovery and cost avoidance of CO{sub 2} per tonne. It was emphasized that a long-term vision and commitment is needed to balance with short term problems solving and longer-term strategic agendas. tabs., figs.

  1. Athabasca--special report No. 1, we are progressing on schedule

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moss, A E

    1966-09-01

    Since April of 1964 when the government of Alberta gave permission for the production of crude oil from the Athabasca Tar Sands, construction of a $240 million oil sands venture has been progressing according to schedule. This plant will be capable of processing 45,000 bbl of crude oil per day and will require the mining of approximately 135,000 tons of material per day. The scheduled completion date for this project is Sept. 1967. This huge project consists of the construction of various plant units and service facilities, preparation of the mine for production, construction of a highway and a multi- million dollar bridge, and the design and construction of a 16-in. pipeline 266 miles in length. A shortage of experienced engineers, supervisors, and skilled tradesmen has been the largest problem. In spite of the many problems encountered, approximately 50% of the construction has now been completed and the plant will be completed on schedule.

  2. Preliminary fingerprinting analysis of Alberta oil sands and related petroleum products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, C.; Wang, Z.D.; Hollebone, B.; Brown, C.E.; Yang, Z.Y.; Landriault, M.; Fieldhouse, B.

    2009-01-01

    This paper reported on a study that presented a preliminary quantitative chemical characterization of Alberta oil sands and many other related Alberta oils such as oil sand bitumen, Cold Lake bitumen, Albian heavy synthetic crude, and Alberta Mixed sweet blend. The rapid increase in production of the Alberta oil sands has resulted in unprecedented environmental concern. The mining, extraction and production of oil sands such resulted in huge consumption of water resources, huge emission of greenhouse gas and large number of tailings ponds. In addition, accidental spills in the transportation and usage of oil sands will potentially cause considerable impact on the environment. It is therefore essential to have the ability to characterize Alberta oil sands and their oil products. The specific chemical properties of the oil sands bitumen must be known. Therefore, this study collected quantitative data on the concentration and distribution profiles of target compounds in Alberta oil sands and its petroleum products. The chemical fingerprints of 5 Alberta oil sands and their related petroleum products were studied using gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (GC/FID) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The characterized hydrocarbons were n-alkanes; target alkylated PAHs and other EPA priority PAHs; biomarker terpanes and steranes; and bicyclic sesquiterpanes. The information acquired during this study will provide the basis for oil-oil correlation and differentiation in future environmental applications relevant to oil sands. 24 refs., 6 tabs., 4 figs.

  3. Oil-sands giants leaving smaller environmental footprints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stonehouse, D.

    1999-01-01

    Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada are both investing billions of dollars to increase production at their mining facilities near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The two oil-sand giants will be spending a good portion of their investment (almost $1 billion) to improve their environmental performance. Both companies are focusing on reducing their energy use to cut production costs and to reduce carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions. Currently, oil-sand mining accounts for the largest industrial use of electricity in Alberta. This produces tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases such as CO 2 which has been linked to global warming. By year 2006, all of Syncrude's processing equipment will be replaced by energy-efficient equipment. Shovel/truck/hydrotransport will replace the dragline/bucket-wheel/conveyor system used in the past. New technology designed to improve bitumen recovery and increase upgrading processing yields is also expected to decrease emissions by 5 million tonnes per year. Syncrude will also construct a $60 million gas turbine generator for its Aurora project. Sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) emissions which cause acid rain, are also on the decline at both Syncrude and Suncor. Suncor will reduce its energy use through the construction of a $315 million cogeneration plant which will generate 220 MV of electricity for its operations, along with waste heat that will be used to separate the heavy oil from the sand. The cogeneration plant will be 45 per cent more efficient that current operations. Both companies have planted millions of trees and shrubs to reclaim nearly 3,000 hectares of land. The tailings from oil-sand mining are currently being captured in settling basins. Both companies have long range plans for dealing with tailings. The first is called water capping which involves layering fresh water over tailing deposits to create a lake. The second is called composite tails, which involves mixing the tailings with gypsum and sand to make them settle faster

  4. Response to Oil Sands Products Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    clothing , and eye protection. The MSDS for natural gas condensate for Oneok (2009) warns that condensate, being denser than air, will accumulate in...with shovels and clippers and plastic bags collecting all this stuff.” Detergents were ineffective, Hamilton said (Schulte, 2013). 3.4.5 Lack of...oil, are pumped to these basins—or ponds— where settling occurs and water is recycled for reuse in the process. When the ponds are no longer required

  5. More oil sand cooperation between Canada and Venezuela

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-07-01

    Venezuela has pioneered the production of heavy oil, according to Dr. A. Guzman-Reyes, director general of hydrocarbons for the Venezuelan government. The first heavy oil production began in Venezuela 60 yr ago and the oil industry has steadily improved methods of producing and handling heavy oil. The country's producing fields are capable of yielding almost one million barrels of heavy oil daily, although actual production, largely because of market limitations, is about 650,000 bpd. Canada's daily heavy oil production, including the 60,000 bbl of synthetic crude produced daily by the Great Canadian Oil Sands plant, is about 200,000 bbl. Dr. Guzman-Reyes stated that Venezuela intends to rapidly develop heavy oil production and upgrade facilities to maintain its export markets. The national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, plans to invest 4 times the amount spent on oil development over the last 60 yr during the next 10 yr, a total of $3 billion by 1980.

  6. Process for separating and recovering oil from oil-sands, etc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preller, H

    1921-02-24

    A process for separating and recovering oil from oil-sands, bitumen from oil-chalk, oil-shale, and coal, according to Patent 400,122, is described. It is characterized in that the mined material falling on account of its weight is exposed to the running hot water in circulation through the wash-chamber and the clarifying chamber arranged separate or built on (circulation) being obtained by pumps or injectors in a regulatable motion.

  7. Laboratory observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Robert L.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Penko, Allison; Long, Joseph W.

    2018-04-27

    Sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) form when weathered oil reaches the surf zone and combines with suspended sediments. The presence of large SOAs in the form of thick mats (up to 10 centimeters [cm] in height and up to 10 square meters [m2] in area) and smaller SOAs, sometimes referred to as surface residual balls (SRBs), may lead to the re-oiling of beaches previously affected by an oil spill. A limited number of numerical modeling and field studies exist on the transport and dynamics of centimeter-scale SOAs and their interaction with the sea floor. Numerical models used to study SOAs have relied on shear-stress formulations to predict incipient motion. However, uncertainty exists as to the accuracy of applying these formulations, originally developed for sand grains in a uniformly sorted sediment bed, to larger, nonspherical SOAs. In the current effort, artificial sand and oil agglomerates (aSOAs) created with the size, density, and shape characteristics of SOAs were studied in a small-oscillatory flow tunnel. These experiments expanded the available data on SOA motion and interaction with the sea floor and were used to examine the applicability of shear-stress formulations to predict SOA mobility. Data collected during these two sets of experiments, including photographs, video, and flow velocity, are presented in this report, along with an analysis of shear-stress-based formulations for incipient motion. The results showed that shear-stress thresholds for typical quartz sand predicted the incipient motion of aSOAs with 0.5–1.0-cm diameters, but were inaccurate for aSOAs with larger diameters (>2.5 cm). This finding implies that modified parameterizations of incipient motion may be necessary under certain combinations of aSOA characteristics and environmental conditions.

  8. A modelling framework for reclamation planning of oil sands mines in northern Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaw, R.D.; Hamilton, H.R.; MacKinnon, M.D.; Gulley, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    The Reclamation Landscape Model Development Project was initiated in 1991 to develop a modelling framework to assist in oil sands mine reclamation planning. The initial year focused on developing a suite of computer simulation models suitable for evaluating hydrodynamic, water quality and biological conditions of fine-tails bottom lakes that would be capped with a layer of fresh water. That modelling framework was further refined in 1992--93 by incorporating probabilistic capabilities, developing of secondary production and food-chain components, and implementing of a model to simulate contaminant concentrations in the Athabasca River. In 1993--94 the emphasis expanded from a focus solely on developing tools for evaluating wet landscape options to developing an integrated modelling framework capable of evaluating both wet and dry landscape reclamation options. Major components completed in 1993--94 included development of a dry landscape module that includes surface runoff, groundwater seepage, air vapor and bioaccumulation components, a wetlands module to assist in evaluating treatment potential and for optimizing design of wetlands units, and a risk analysis module for quantifying risks to human health and ecological receptors. The Reclamation Landscape Model is a compartment modelling system that consists of a number of stand-alone computer programs that can be run in conjunction with one another or separately. The computer programs that simulate contaminant-fate processes range from simple empirical models to complex, mechanistic, three-dimensional, dynamic models, which are capable of predicting contaminant concentrations in water, soil, air and biota for a wide range of reclamation landscape units. Most of the component models have probabilistic capabilities

  9. Reclamation and closure of an oil sands tailings facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobkowicz, J. [Thurber Engineering Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Morgenstern, N. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed methods of ensuring the successful reclamation of oil sands tailings facilities. Tailings should be reclaimed as mining proceeds in order to avoid an excessive accumulation of fluid fine tailings (FFT). The volume of mature fine tailings (MFT) in ponds should be limited in order to ensure effective tailings management. The reclaimed landforms should have good geotechnical stability and be comprised of self-sustaining native vegetation. Strength is needed to allow for timely capping and initial reclamation, and stiffness is required to minimize future settlement and to allow for the construction of a closure landscape. Reclamation strategies were presented for fines-dominated tailings; sand-depleted tailings; and sand-dominated tailings. Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) criteria for tailings reclamation were discussed, and various monitoring and performance assessment strategies were presented. tabs., figs.

  10. Source Apportionment of Background PAHs in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (Alberta, Canada) Using Molecular Level Radiocarbon Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jautzy, Josué J; Ahad, Jason M E; Hall, Roland I; Wiklund, Johan A; Wolfe, Brent B; Gobeil, Charles; Savard, Martine M

    2015-08-04

    The downstream accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD), an ecologically important landscape, is a key issue of concern given the rapid development of the oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Canada. In addition to PAHs derived from industrial activity (i.e., oil sands mining) within the Athabasca watershed, however, forest fires and erosion of fossil fuel deposits within both the Athabasca and Peace watersheds are two potentially important natural sources of PAHs delivered to the PAD. Consequently, evaluating the environmental impact of mining activities requires a quantitative understanding of natural, background PAHs. Here, we utilize molecular-level natural-abundance radiocarbon measurements on an amalgamated sediment record from a Peace River flood-susceptible oxbow lake in the northern Peace sector of the PAD to quantitatively discriminate sources of naturally occurring alkylated PAHs (fossil and modern biomass). A radiocarbon mass balance quantified a predominantly natural petrogenic source (93% petrogenic, 7% forest fire) for alkylated PAHs during the past ∼50 years. Additionally, a significant petrogenic component determined for retene, a compound usually considered a biomarker for softwood combustion, suggests that its use as a unique forest fire indicator may not be suitable in PAD sediments receiving Peace watershed-derived fluvial inputs.

  11. The energy efficiency of oil sands extraction: Energy return ratios from 1970 to 2010

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, Adam R.; Englander, Jacob; Bharadwaj, Sharad

    2013-01-01

    It has been argued that the oil sands industry is not energy efficient: comparatively large energy inputs are required per unit of energy output from oil sands operations. Unfortunately, quantitative work to date in this area has suffered from poor data availability and uncertain methods. We apply a new methodology and new dataset to compute ERRs (energy return ratios) for the oil sands industry. We collected monthly oil sands energy consumption and output data from 1970 to 2010. Current oil sands operations have mine mouth NERs (net energy returns) of about 6 GJ output per GJ of energy consumed and point of use energy returns of about 3 GJ/GJ. Long-term trends show oil sands operations becoming significantly more efficient: point of use NER increased from about 1 GJ/GJ in 1970 to 3 GJ/GJ in 2010. These energy returns are lower than those observed in historical conventional oil operations, but low energy returns are not likely to hinder development of oil sands operations due to the large resource in place and the ability for largely self-fueled pathways to return significant amounts of energy to society for every unit of external energy supplied. - Highlights: • Oil sands operations have become significantly more energy efficient over the history of the industry. • Oil sands production is largely fueled with energy from the bitumen resource itself, making external energy returns high. • Oil sands production is still significantly less efficient than conventional oil production

  12. Recent advancements in the geotechnical characterization of oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharp, J. [Conetec, Richmond, BC (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The technical aspects of soft oil sands tailings in-situ geotechnical site investigations were discussed. Geotechnical studies are conducted to determine containment structure stability as well as to determine volumetric and mass balances. The results of the studies are used in tailings management plans and construction activities. Flow penetrometers, field vane shear tests, and Gamma-CPTu tests are used in in-situ oil sands tailings geotechnical studies in order to determine pore pressure dissipation, and measure shear strength. Ball penetration tests are conducted to determine tailings strength. Methods of interpreting data from the tests were presented, and data from the tests were also compared and evaluated. Recommended procedures for strength screening were presented. Statistical methods for determining tailings behaviour types were outlined. The study showed that Gamma-CPTu data can be used to obtain reasonable preliminary estimates of solids and fines when combined with tailings behaviour type analyses. tabs., figs.

  13. Surface and groundwater management in the oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dixon, D.G.; Barker, J.

    2004-02-01

    A study was conducted to examine the sublethal effects of oil sands constituents on gill and liver histopathology and fish reproduction. Field studies of food web dynamics were conducted using stable isotopes, including oil sands constituents degradation isotope studies. The objective was to determine changes in food web dynamics associated with reclamation methods and maturity using stable isotopes. The study related changes in toxicity to changes in ground and surface naphthenic acids concentration and composition. It also demonstrated the natural attenuation of toxic chemicals as they travel through groundwater to potential surface water receptors. A methodology was developed to assess the natural attenuation capacity for future situations involving process-affected groundwater of different chemistry with different critical potential contaminants such as sulphides, metals, and specific organics. The mobility and natural attenuation of process water chemicals migrating in groundwater was also assessed. tabs., figs

  14. Field observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalyander, Patricia (Soupy); Long, Joseph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; McLaughlin, Molly R.; Mickey, Rangley C.

    2015-01-01

    Oil that comes into the surf zone following spills, such as occurred during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout, can mix with local sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs), at times in the form of mats a few centimeters thick and tens of meters long. Smaller agglomerates that form in situ or pieces that break off of larger mats, sometimes referred to as surface residual balls (SRBs), range in size from sand-sized grains to patty-shaped pieces several centimeters (cm) in diameter. These mobile SOAs can cause beach oiling for extended periods following the spill, on the scale of years as in the case of DWH. Limited research, including a prior effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigating SOA mobility, alongshore transport, and seafloor interaction using numerical model output, focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. To address this data gap, we constructed artificial sand and oil agglomerates (aSOAs) with sand and paraffin wax to mimic the size and density of genuine SOAs. These aSOAs were deployed in the nearshore off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida, during a field experiment to investigate their movement and seafloor interaction. This report presents the methodology for constructing aSOAs and describes the field experiment. Data acquired during the field campaign, including videos and images of aSOA movement in the nearshore (1.5-meter and 0.5-meter water depth) and in the swash zone, are also presented in this report.

  15. A science and technology strategy for Canada's oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This report showed that science and technology are the basis for all current oil sands operations. Study proved that technological breakthroughs were essential for future grassroots investment. Assuming that the price of oil would remain in the range of 15 to 20 dollars a barrel, new technologies would be the key lever to economically sound commercial development. Technologies should reduce capital, operating as well as transportation costs. It was urged that, in the development of new technologies, emphasis should be put on technologies that eliminate or bypass entire sections of the current cost structure

  16. Plant Community and Nitrogen Deposition as Drivers of Alpha and Beta Diversities of Prokaryotes in Reconstructed Oil Sand Soils and Natural Boreal Forest Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescott, Cindy E.; Renaut, Sébastien; Terrat, Yves; Grayston, Sue J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Athabasca oil sand deposit is one of the largest single oil deposits in the world. Following surface mining, companies are required to restore soil-like profiles that can support the previous land capabilities. The objective of this study was to assess whether the soil prokaryotic alpha diversity (α-diversity) and β-diversity in oil sand soils reconstructed 20 to 30 years previously and planted to one of three vegetation types (coniferous or deciduous trees and grassland) were similar to those found in natural boreal forest soils subject to wildfire disturbance. Prokaryotic α-diversity and β-diversity were assessed using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The β-diversity, but not the α-diversity, differed between reconstructed and natural soils. Bacteria associated with an oligotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in natural forest soils, whereas bacteria associated with a copiotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in reconstructed soils. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea were most abundant in reconstructed soils planted with grasses. Plant species were the main factor influencing α-diversity in natural and in reconstructed soils. Nitrogen deposition, pH, and plant species were the main factors influencing the β-diversity of the prokaryotic communities in natural and reconstructed soils. The results highlight the importance of nitrogen deposition and aboveground-belowground relationships in shaping soil microbial communities in natural and reconstructed soils. IMPORTANCE Covering over 800 km2, land disturbed by the exploitation of the oil sands in Canada has to be restored. Here, we take advantage of the proximity between these reconstructed ecosystems and the boreal forest surrounding the oil sand mining area to study soil microbial community structure and processes in both natural and nonnatural environments. By identifying key characteristics shaping the structure of soil microbial communities, this study improved our understanding of

  17. Plant Community and Nitrogen Deposition as Drivers of Alpha and Beta Diversities of Prokaryotes in Reconstructed Oil Sand Soils and Natural Boreal Forest Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masse, Jacynthe; Prescott, Cindy E; Renaut, Sébastien; Terrat, Yves; Grayston, Sue J

    2017-05-01

    The Athabasca oil sand deposit is one of the largest single oil deposits in the world. Following surface mining, companies are required to restore soil-like profiles that can support the previous land capabilities. The objective of this study was to assess whether the soil prokaryotic alpha diversity (α-diversity) and β-diversity in oil sand soils reconstructed 20 to 30 years previously and planted to one of three vegetation types (coniferous or deciduous trees and grassland) were similar to those found in natural boreal forest soils subject to wildfire disturbance. Prokaryotic α-diversity and β-diversity were assessed using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The β-diversity, but not the α-diversity, differed between reconstructed and natural soils. Bacteria associated with an oligotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in natural forest soils, whereas bacteria associated with a copiotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in reconstructed soils. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea were most abundant in reconstructed soils planted with grasses. Plant species were the main factor influencing α-diversity in natural and in reconstructed soils. Nitrogen deposition, pH, and plant species were the main factors influencing the β-diversity of the prokaryotic communities in natural and reconstructed soils. The results highlight the importance of nitrogen deposition and aboveground-belowground relationships in shaping soil microbial communities in natural and reconstructed soils. IMPORTANCE Covering over 800 km 2 , land disturbed by the exploitation of the oil sands in Canada has to be restored. Here, we take advantage of the proximity between these reconstructed ecosystems and the boreal forest surrounding the oil sand mining area to study soil microbial community structure and processes in both natural and nonnatural environments. By identifying key characteristics shaping the structure of soil microbial communities, this study improved our understanding of how

  18. Oil sands mine planning and waste management using goal programming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ben-Awuah, E.; Askari-Nasab, H. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Mining Optimization Laboratory

    2010-07-01

    A goal programming method was used to plan waste management processes at an oil sands mine. This method requires the decision maker (DM) to set goals. Mine planning is used to determine a block extraction schedule that maximizes net present value (NPV). Due to land restrictions, tailings facilities are sited within the pit area and dykes are used to contain the tailings. Many of the materials used to construct the dykes come from the mining operation. The mine plan scheduled both ore and dyke material concurrently. Dykes were constructed simultaneously as the mine phase advanced. A model was used to classify an oil sands block model into different material types. A mixed integer goal programming (MIGP) method was used to generate a strategic schedule. Block clustering techniques were used to large-scale mine planning projects. The method was used to verify and validate synthetic and real case data related to the cost of mining all material as waste, and the extra cost of mining dyke material. A case study of an oil sands project was used to demonstrate the method. The study showed that the developed model generates a smooth and uniform strategic schedule for large-scale mine planning projects. tabs., figs.

  19. Oil sands mine planning and waste management using goal programming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ben-Awuah, E.; Askari-Nasab, H.; Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB

    2010-01-01

    A goal programming method was used to plan waste management processes at an oil sands mine. This method requires the decision maker (DM) to set goals. Mine planning is used to determine a block extraction schedule that maximizes net present value (NPV). Due to land restrictions, tailings facilities are sited within the pit area and dykes are used to contain the tailings. Many of the materials used to construct the dykes come from the mining operation. The mine plan scheduled both ore and dyke material concurrently. Dykes were constructed simultaneously as the mine phase advanced. A model was used to classify an oil sands block model into different material types. A mixed integer goal programming (MIGP) method was used to generate a strategic schedule. Block clustering techniques were used to large-scale mine planning projects. The method was used to verify and validate synthetic and real case data related to the cost of mining all material as waste, and the extra cost of mining dyke material. A case study of an oil sands project was used to demonstrate the method. The study showed that the developed model generates a smooth and uniform strategic schedule for large-scale mine planning projects. tabs., figs.

  20. Oil sands mine pit wall design and performance at Syncrude

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cameron, R.; Danku, M; Purhar, G. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This study conducted slope stability analyses in order to compare pit performance at an oil sands mine with results from computerized simulations using conventionally known soil parameters. Ranges included fully-drained to fully-saturated piezometric conditions; full-peak strength conditions; fully-softened peak conditions; residual shear strength conditions; and undrained shear strength considerations. Pit wall designs were reviewed and a history of marine clay layers at the mine was presented. Assumed overburden fall-down limits were considered. Shovel overburden slope angles were calculated. An analysis of the review suggested that steeper pit walls provide less room for error and have a higher rate of failures. Incised pleistocene channels, joint and fracture areas as well as higher piezometric level areas also impacted on slope performance. Failed areas influenced ore volumes and led to productivity reductions below 50 per cent. It was concluded that the overburden portions of the oil sands mine ranged between 4H:1V to 5H:1V due to haul roads and the timing of top-bench pushbacks. Future plans for the mine must consider ore inventories, haul road requirements; running surface requirements; and ramping accesses. Future slopes at the oil sands mine will be buttressed with overburden and tailings storage areas, while longer-term slopes will be flattened. 6 refs., 2 tabs., 11 figs.

  1. Proceedings of the oil sands and heavy oil technologies conference and exhibition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-01-01

    This conference provided a forum for oil sands industry leaders to review the current and future state of technology in this frontier environment. Presentations were delivered by key personnel involved in groundbreaking projects with a renewed focus on oil sands technology and equipment, viewed from the strategic level with case studies and reports on application technologies designed to optimize oil sands operations. The presentations addressed a wide range of issues related to the environmental impacts of oil sands processing facilities, including innovative water and wastewater solutions for heavy oil producers for bitumen mining, in-situ and upgrading facilities. New advances in sulphur treatment technologies were highlighted along with technologies designed to increase the energy efficiency and energy consumption rates of upgrader and processing facilities. Advances in carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) capture and storage systems were also discussed along with geopolitical and economic evaluations of the future of the oil sands industry. The conference featured 59 presentations, of which 48 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  2. Proceedings of the Canadian oil sands forum 2007 : creating excellence through innovation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-01-01

    The supply from Canada's oil sands industry is growing at an accelerated pace. This conference was intended for professionals in the oil sands industry seeking updated information on oil sands developments, transportation issues and future market challenges and opportunities. It was attended by a broad range of industry participants who addressed some of the critical issues involved in developing oil sands projects. Despite market opportunities which have resulted in a fast pace of development and continually evolving project plans, there are challenges and uncertainties that must be overcome in order to achieve projected levels of supply growth. It was noted that the business environment in the oil sands industry is continually changing in terms of current supply/market/refining situations and new market developments. The conference also addressed how capital cost and mega-project management issues are being addressed. Expanding market opportunities for Canada's growing oil sands supply were highlighted along with latest developments related to upgrading strategies. Market experts also discussed issues related to synthetic crude, heavy oil markets and the supply and demand of diluents. The sessions were entitled: challenges and opportunities in oil sands; oil sands business outlook; latest project development updates; integration of Canadian oil sands with U.S. refining; and, technology and oil sands innovations.The conference featured 16 presentations, of which 6 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs

  3. Upgrader alley : oil sands fever strikes Edmonton

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Griffiths, M.; Dyer, S.

    2008-01-01

    Large-scale industrial complexes called upgraders are similar to oil refineries. Several upgraders are planned for the area just northeast of Edmonton, known as Upgrader Alley. Concerns have been expressed over the potential congestion and environmental impacts of these upgraders. Upgraders will also attract other industry, and the cumulative effects of development will have major impacts on the region, its people and the natural environment. The report provided an overview of Upgrader Alley, with reference to what is driving development; upgrading issues; what Upgrader Alley will look like; and how much water Upgrader Alley needs. The report also discussed impacts on the land, air quality, and greenhouse gases. Water demand issues were discussed with reference to impacts on the North Saskatchewan River, water levels, water quality, a water management framework, and groundwater resources. Cumulative impacts were also presented. It was concluded that if all the projects for which applications had been submitted were approved, the rapid pace of growth in Upgrader Alley would mimic that of Fort McMurray. If the rate of development were somewhat slower, there would be more time to develop and implement plans to reduce the impacts. 189 refs., 6 tabs., 14 figs

  4. Applications of Nuclear Energy to Oil Sands and Hydrogen Production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffey, R.B.; Miller, A.; Kuran, S.

    2011-01-01

    Many novel and needed applications of nuclear energy arise in today's energy-hungry, economically challenged world, and in solving tomorrow's search for a globally carbon-constrained and sustainable energy supply. Not only can nuclear power produce low cost electricity, it can provide co-generation of process heat, desalinated water, and hydrogen with negligible greenhouse gas emissions. In each of these new applications, nuclear energy is competing against, or displacing conventional and established use of natural gas or coal in thermal power plants and boilers. Therefore, there must be a compelling case, in terms of supply certainty, stability, safety, security, and acceptability. In addition, a synergistic relation must exist or be created with the existing power and energy markets, the use of windpower, and the needs for low-cost supply with negligible greenhouse gas emissions and carbon 'footprint'. The development of Canada's oil sands resource depends on a substantial energy input for extraction and upgrading. So far, this input has been supplied by natural gas, a resource that (a) is a premium fuel; (b) has constrained availability; and (c) produces significant CO 2 emissions. For the oil sands extraction process, natural gas is the current energy source used to generate the steam for in-situ heating, the power to drive the separation equipment, and the hydrogen for varying degrees of upgrading before piping. Nothwithstanding the current imbalance between supply and demand for gas within North America, the very demand of the oil sands for prodigious amounts of natural gas has itself the potential to force higher prices and create supply constraints for natural gas. Rooted in the energy equivalence of oil and gas, there is a long-established link between American gas prices whereby one bbl of oil is worth 7 GJ of natural gas. Temporary supply/demand imbalances apart, only cheap oil can maintain cheap gas. Only the improbability of cheap oil will maintain low

  5. The tar sands of the USA : with permits now in hand, a Calgary company is a cash injection away from producing oil from America's first oilsands mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaremko, D.

    2010-06-15

    A Canadian company has recently received approval to develop large oil sands mining operations in Utah. Earth Energy Resources is now raising the finances required to commercialize its operations in the state. Utah's oil sands reserves are currently estimated at between 20 to 32 billion barrels. However, the impacts of oil sands operations are of concern to some environmental groups, who worry that Utah will become a duplicate of Alberta's Athabasca region. The planned project is a 2000 barrel-per-day pilot project. Regulators in Utah have received negative responses from the public after advertising the potential project in local newspapers, and demonstrations have been held in the state's capital. Oil sands are already being developed at 2 installations in Utah, with the bitumen currently being sold as asphalt products. The state is also home to significant oil shale reserves. Operators in the region plan to design compact, well-contained mines in order to maintain transportability. 3 figs.

  6. Process of extracting oil from stones and sands. [heating below cracking temperature and above boiling point of oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergfeld, K

    1935-03-09

    A process of extracting oil from stones or sands bearing oils is characterized by the stones and sands being heated in a suitable furnace to a temperature below that of cracking and preferably slightly higher than the boiling-point of the oils. The oily vapors are removed from the treating chamber by means of flushing gas.

  7. Hydraulic fracture considerations in oil sand overburden dams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cameron, R.; Madden, B.; Danku, M. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This paper discussed hydraulic fracture potential in the dry-filled temporary dams used in the oil sands industry. Hydraulic fractures can occur when reservoir fluid pressures are greater than the minimum stresses in a dam. Stress and strain conditions are influenced by pore pressures, levels of compaction in adjacent fills as well as by underlying pit floor and abutment conditions. Propagation pressure and crack initiation pressures must also be considered in order to provide improved hydraulic fracture protection to dams. Hydraulic fractures typically result in piping failures. Three cases of hydraulic fracture at oil sands operations in Alberta were presented. The study showed that hydraulic fracture failure modes must be considered in dam designs, particularly when thin compacted lift of dry fill are used to replace wetted clay cores. The risk of hydraulic fractures can be reduced by eliminating in situ bedrock irregularities and abutments. Overpressure heights, abutment sloping, and the sloping of fills above abutments, as well as the dam's width and base conditions must also be considered in relation to potential hydraulic fractures. It was concluded that upstream sand beaches and internal filters can help to prevent hydraulic fractures in dams in compacted control zones. 5 refs., 16 figs.

  8. Characterization of napthenic acids in oil sands process-affected waters using fluorescence technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, L.; Alostaz, M.; Ulrich, A.

    2009-01-01

    Process-affected water from oil sands production plants presents a major environmental challenge to oil sands operators due to its toxicity to different organisms as well as its corrosiveness in refinery units. This abstract investigated the use of fluorescence excitation-emission matrices to detect and characterize changes in naphthenic acid in oil sands process-affected waters. Samples from oil sands production plants and storage ponds were tested. The study showed that oil sands naphthenic acids show characteristic fluorescence signatures when excited by ultraviolet light in the range of 260 to 350 mm. The signal was a unique attribute of the naphthenic acid molecule. Changes in the fluorescence signature can be used to determine chemical changes such as degradation or aging. It was concluded that the technology can be used as a non-invasive continuous water quality monitoring tool to increase process control in oil sands processing plants

  9. The fate of particulate emissions from an isolated power plant in the oil sands area of western Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrie, L.A.

    1980-01-01

    The nature and fate of particulate emissions from an isolated power plant in the Athabasca oil sands area of western Canada are investigated on the basis of measurements of particulate elemental concentrations in the air 80 km from the source late one winter, and close to the source early the next summer, of dry deposition patterns of particulate sulfur and heavy metals in the early summer, and of total (wet and dry) deposition patterns of major ions and metals during two winters. Results of plume chemistry studies to investigate SO 2 oxidation during summer and winter and of fly-ash analyses for heavy metals are also used. It is found that: (1) many elements in particulate matter deposited around the plant originate primarily from a different source in summer and in winter (2) deposition near the source is more alkaline than in outlying areas, (3) wet and dry deposition of acidic oxides of sulfur and nitrogen from the power-plant emissions appear to be the main source of snowpack acidification in downwind areas, and (4) acidic compounds can be transported over long distances before being removed

  10. Process for separating and recovering oil from oil-sands, etc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preller, H

    1920-07-14

    A process for separating and recovering oil from oil-sands, bitumen from oil-chalk, oil shale, and coal is characterized in that the material to be separated feeds, by a self-acting feeding arrangement, to a system with slowly rotating drums alternating in different directions and thereby it is exposed to the action of hot water running opposite to the rotation, direction of the drum, with addition of extraction-medium, so that the light material is washed out and rises to the top. It is carried off, while the heavy material sinks to the bottom and, by bucket-conveyor is removed.

  11. Saskatchewan's place in Canadian oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schramm, L.L. [Saskatchewan Research Council, Regina, SK (Canada); Kramers, J.W. [Owl Ventures Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Isaacs, E.E. [Alberta Energy Research Inst., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    The current daily bitumen and synthetic crude production from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin is 180,000 m{sup 3}, which represents approximately 40 percent of crude oil produced in Canada. In a time of peaking conventional oil production, the search for new oil reserves has led to unconventional in-situ bitumen and heavy oil resources, including shallow in-situ resources. The great difficulty in producing bitumen and managing water flows in such reservoirs will require innovative approaches and increasingly environmentally sustainable practices. This paper presented an overview of shallow in-situ oil sands and the novel recovery technologies that are being developed that will reduce the use of steam and fresh water, and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Research and development programs are currently underway to develop and demonstrate such new technologies. Promising technologies include the solvent vapour extraction and hybrid thermal solvent extraction processes that are being developed and demonstrated in large-scale three-dimensional scaled physical models and associated numerical simulation models. Electrical heating and gravity stable combustion are other examples of technologies that could play a significant role in developing these resources. 81 refs., 3 tabs., 8 figs.

  12. Successful water management for the oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braun, B.

    2003-01-01

    Water is a key requirement to produce oil from thermal oil sands projects. Historically, water was considered as a renewable resource that could be used when necessary. Water use is currently examined in a wider context. Canadian Natural Resources Limited has used fresh water for thermal projects in the past, including its thermal operations at Primrose and Wolf Lake. However, technical advancements have made it possible to use recycled water. This allows companies to survive within their licenses while increasing production. Other advances include the use of brackish water, and innovations such as using depleted reservoir sections to store water to increase the use of recycled water. It was noted that brackish water resources need to be mapped and understood in greater detail. The objective is to use brackish water at a cost equal to, or less, than fresh water

  13. Threshold Considerations and Wetland Reclamation in Alberta's Mineable Oil Sands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Foote

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Oil sand extraction in Alberta, Canada is a multibillion dollar industry operating over 143 km² of open pit mining and 4600 km² of other bitumen strata in northern boreal forests. Oil production contributes to Canada-wide GDP, creates socio-cultural problems, provides energy exports and employment, and carries environmental risks regarding long-term reclamation uncertainties. Of particular concern are the implications for wetlands and water supply management. Mining of oil sands is very attractive because proven reserves of known quality occur in an accessible, politically stable environment with existing infrastructure and an estimated 5.5 billion extractable barrels to be mined over the next five decades. Extraction occurs under a set of limiting factors or thresholds including: limited social tolerance at local to international levels for externalities of oil sand production; water demands > availability; limited natural gas supplies for oil processing leading to proposals for hydroelectric dams and nuclear reactors to be constructed; difficulties in reclaiming sufficient habitat area to replace those lost. Replacement of the 85 km² of peat-forming wetlands forecast to be destroyed appears unlikely. Over 840 billion liters of toxic fluid byproducts are currently held in 170 km² of open reservoirs without any known process to purify this water in meaningful time frames even as some of it leaches into adjacent lands and rivers. Costs for wetland reclamation are high with estimates of $4 to $13 billion, or about 6% of the net profits generated from mining those sites. This raises a social equity question of how much reclamation is appropriate. Time frames for economic, political, and ecological actions are not well aligned. Local people on or near mine sites have had to change their area use for decades and have been affected by industrial development. Examining mining effects to estimate thresholds of biophysical realities, time scales

  14. Energy infrastructure modeling for the oil sands industry: Current situation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazzaroni, Edoardo Filippo; Elsholkami, Mohamed; Arbiv, Itai; Martelli, Emanuele; Elkamel, Ali; Fowler, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A simulation-based modelling of energy demands of oil sands operations is proposed. • Aspen simulations used to simulate delayed coking-based upgrading of bitumen. • The energy infrastructure is simulated using Aspen Plus achieving self-sufficiency. • Various scenarios affecting energy demand intensities are investigated. • Energy and CO_2 emission intensities of integrated SAGD/upgrading are estimated. - Abstract: In this study, the total energy requirements associated with the production of bitumen from oil sands and its upgrading to synthetic crude oil (SCO) are modeled and quantified. The production scheme considered is based on the commercially applied steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) for bitumen extraction and delayed coking for bitumen upgrading. In addition, the model quantifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the production of energy required for these operations from technologies utilized in the currently existing oil sands energy infrastructure. The model is based on fundamental engineering principles, and Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus simulations. The energy demand results are expressed in terms of heat, power, hydrogen, and process fuel consumption rates for SAGD extraction and bitumen upgrading. Based on the model’s output, a range of overall energy and emission intensity factors are estimated for a bitumen production rate of 112,500 BPD (or 93,272 BPD of SCO), which were determined to be 262.5–368.5 MJ/GJ_S_C_O and 14.17–19.84 gCO_2/MJ_S_C_O, respectively. The results of the model indicate that the majority of GHG emissions are generated during SAGD extraction (up to 60% of total emissions) due to the combustion of natural gas for steam production, and the steam-to-oil ratio is a major parameter affecting total GHG emissions. The developed model can be utilized as a tool to predict the energy demand requirements for integrated SAGD/upgrading projects under different operating conditions, and

  15. Mud-farming of fine oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Y.; Tol van, F.; Paassen van, L.; Everts, B.; Mulder, A. [Delft Univ. of Technology, Delft (Netherlands). Dept. of Geotechnology

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed an experimental mud-farming technique for fine oil sands tailings. The technique was based on a sub-areal drying technique for dredging sludge developed in the Netherlands for Rotterdam harbour sediments. Between 1960 and 1985, the sludge was deposited in confined disposal sites on land. The sludge was converted to usable clay between 1970 and 1980. The polluted portion of the sludge is stored in a man-made disposal site. The sludge was deposited in thin layers. Stagnant water was then removed. The mud was then dewatered and reused. The sludge was furrowed with amphirol and disc wheels in order to accelerate the ripening process. The dredged material was re-used in a clay factory. The technique was applied to oil sands tailings in order to understand the suction behaviour, sedimentation behaviour, and precipitation deficit of the tailings. State changes of the sludge were monitored. No clear sedimentation phase was identified prior to consolidation. A comparison of material properties showed that the total amount of water to be extracted was more than the Rotterdam sludge, but the suction behaviour was similar. The precipitation deficit from mid-April until September will require a customized deposition strategy. Details and photographs of the experimental studies were included. tabs., figs.

  16. Understanding AL-PAM assisted oil sands tailings treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, L.; Maham, Y.; Masliyah, J.; Xu, Z. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering

    2010-07-01

    Technologies currently used to treat oil sands tailings include the composite tailings (CT) process and the thickened tailings (TT) or paste technology process. This PowerPoint presentation discussed a flocculation and filtration method used to produce stackable tailings deposits. Magnafloc 1011 and AL-PAM additions were used as part of the filtration technique to produce very dry filter cakes. The effect of AL-PAM molecular weight and aluminum content on tailings treatments was investigated as well as the effect of tailings characteristics on the performance of flocculant-assisted tailings filtration processes. The AL-PAM molecular structure was studied. An experimental study was conducted to determine the effect of various polymer additions on fresh tailings from an oil sands plant. The study showed that the optimum dosage for settling and filtration was lower for higher molecular weight AL-PAM. A higher aluminum content was beneficial for settling. Increases in the aluminum content did not improve filtration rates, but reduced optimal dosages. Step-by-step details of the supernatant filtration process were provided, as well as photographs of the laboratory study. tabs., figs.

  17. Polymer aids for settling and filtration of oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, X. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering; Energy Resources Conservation Board, Calgary, AB (Canada). Oil Sands Section; Xu, Z.; Masliyah, J.H. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering

    2008-07-01

    Oil sand tailings are segregated into coarse and fine tailings. High volumes of toxic fluids and tailings are created in the process. Tailings ponds are an environmental risk with high operating and maintenance costs. Current commercial technologies uses chemical additions to create recycled water and composite tailings (CT). Researchers are now investigating centrifuged and dry mature fine tailings (MFT). Filtration processes with flocculants are used to separate the tailings into warm recycle water and dried cakes that can be used in reclamation processes. Studies are being conducted to find a polymer than can effectively flocculate and filter whole oil sands tailings. The filtration procedure uses pressure to produce released water. Polymers include magnafloc and Al-PAM polymer concentrations are used in slurry masses. Tests have been conducted to determine the settling rates of the polymers. The tests showed that Al-PAM filtered the tailings effectively. Paraffinic froth treatment tests have also been conducted to determine settling rates. A cake produced with froth treatment tailings of Al-PAM 400 ppm had a water content 42.5 wt per cent. The tests showed that while Magnafloc 1011 is a good settling aid, but a poor filtration addition. Al-PAM aided in both the flocculation and filtration processes. Higher Al-PAM dosages are needed for froth treatment tailings processes. It was concluded that dry cakes are produced with the addition of Al-PAM. tabs., figs.

  18. Predicting wear of hydrotransport pipelines in oil sand slurries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Been, J.; Lu, B.; Wolodko, J. [Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Kiel, D. [Coanda Research and Development Corp., Burnaby, BC (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    An overview of erosion and corrosion methods and techniques was presented. Wear to pipelines is influenced by slurry flow and chemistry; solids loading; and electrochemical interactions. While several experimental techniques have been developed to rank the performance of different pipeline materials, experiments do not currently provide accurate quantitative prediction of pipeline wear in the field. Rotating cylinder electrodes (RCE) and jet impingement methods are used to study the effect of flow velocity on corrosion rate. Slurry pot erosion-corrosion testers are used to rank materials for use in more dilute, less turbulent slurries. Coriolois slurry erosion testers are used to rank the erosion resistance of different pipeline materials. A pilot-scale flow loop is now being constructed by the Alberta Research Council (ARC) in order to replicate wet erosion phenomena in oil sands applications. The flow loop will be used to simulate the field conditions of oil sands pipelines and develop predictive wear data and models. Coulombic shear stress and characteristic wall velocities have been determined using a 2-layer model designed to represent flow as 2 distinct layers. To date, the flow loop pilot study has demonstrated that wear rates in smaller diameter flow loops are not significantly different than larger diameter field installations. Preliminary calculations have demonstrated that the flow loop can be used to accurately simulate the hydrodynamics and wear typically experienced in field slurry flows. 67 refs., 2 tabs., 7 figs.

  19. Fuel alternatives for oil sands development - the nuclear option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bock, D [Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Mississauga, ON (Canada); Donnelly, J K

    1996-12-31

    Currently natural gas is the fuel of choice in all oil sand developments. Alberta sources of hydrocarbon based fuels are large but limited. Canadian nuclear technology was studied as a possible alternative for providing steam for the deep commercial in situ oil sand projects which were initiated over ten years ago. Because the in situ technology of that time required steam at pressures in excess of 10 MPa, the nuclear option required the development of new reactor technology, or the use of steam compressors, which was not economical. The current SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage) technology requires steam at pressures of less than 5 MPa, which is in the reach of existing Canadian nuclear technology. The cost of supplying steam for a SAGD in situ project using a CANDU 3 nuclear reactor was developed. The study indicates that for gas prices in excess of $2.50 per gigajoule, replacing natural gas fuel with a nuclear reactor is economically feasible for in situ projects in excess of 123 thousand barrels per day. (author). 9 refs., 3 tabs., 12 figs.

  20. Identification of causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puttaswamy, N.; Liber, K.

    2010-01-01

    The potential causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity were investigated. Chronic 7-day toxicity tests were conducted to demonstrate that oil sands coke leachates (CL) are acutely toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia (C. dubia). CLs were generated in a laboratory to perform toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) tests in order to investigate the causes of the CL toxicity. The coke was subjected to a 15-day batch leaching process at 5.5 and 9.5 pH values. The leachates were then filtered and used for chemical and toxicological characterization. The 7-day estimates for the C. dubia survival were 6.3 for a pH of 5.5 and 28.7 per cent for the 9.5 CLs. The addition of EDTA significantly improved survival and reproduction in a pH of 5.5 CL, but not in a pH of 9.5 CL. The toxicity of the pH 5.5 CL was removed with a cationic resin treatment. The toxicity of the 9.5 pH LC was removed using an anion resin treatment. Toxicity re-appeared when nickel (Ni) and vanadium (V) were added back to the resin-treated CLs. Results of the study suggested that Ni and V were acting as primary toxicants in the pH 5.5 CL, while V was the primary cause of toxicity in the pH 9.5 CL.

  1. Fuel alternatives for oil sands development - the nuclear option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bock, D.; Donnelly, J.K.

    1995-01-01

    Currently natural gas is the fuel of choice in all oil sand developments. Alberta sources of hydrocarbon based fuels are large but limited. Canadian nuclear technology was studied as a possible alternative for providing steam for the deep commercial in situ oil sand projects which were initiated over ten years ago. Because the in situ technology of that time required steam at pressures in excess of 10 MPa, the nuclear option required the development of new reactor technology, or the use of steam compressors, which was not economical. The current SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage) technology requires steam at pressures of less than 5 MPa, which is in the reach of existing Canadian nuclear technology. The cost of supplying steam for a SAGD in situ project using a CANDU 3 nuclear reactor was developed. The study indicates that for gas prices in excess of $2.50 per gigajoule, replacing natural gas fuel with a nuclear reactor is economically feasible for in situ projects in excess of 123 thousand barrels per day. (author). 9 refs., 3 tabs., 12 figs

  2. Oil Sands Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) 5 year report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fawcett, K.

    2003-05-01

    This 5 year report outlined and examined the activities of the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) from its introduction in 1997 up to 2001. The RAMP is a multi-stakeholder program comprised of industry and government representatives as well as members of aboriginal groups and environmental organizations. The objectives of RAMP are to monitor aquatic environments in the oil sands region in order to allow for assessment of regional trends and cumulative effects, as well as to provide baseline data against which impact predictions of recent environmental impact assessments can be verified. Scientific programs conducted as part of RAMP during the 5-year period included water quality and sediment quality analyses; fish monitoring; benthic communities monitoring; water quality and aquatic vegetation analyses of wetlands; and hydrology and climate monitoring. RAMP's programs have expanded annually in scope as a result of increased oil sands development in the region. This report provided outlines of RAMP's individual program objectives and organizational structures, as well as details of all studies conducted for each year. Data were collected for all major study areas were presented, and program methodologies for assessing and identifying trends were outlined. refs., tabs., figs

  3. Robotics and automation for oil sands bitumen production and maintenance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipsett, M.G. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    2008-07-01

    This presentation examined technical challenges and commercial challenges related to robotics and automation processes in the mining and oil sands industries. The oil sands industry has on-going cost pressures. Challenges include the depths to which miners must travel, as well as problems related to equipment reliability and safety. Surface mines must operate in all weather conditions with a variety of complex systems. Barriers for new technologies include high capital and operating expenses. It has also proven difficult to integrate new technologies within established mining practices. However, automation has the potential to improve mineral processing, production, and maintenance processes. Step changes can be placed in locations that are hazardous or inaccessible. Automated sizing, material, and ventilation systems are can also be implemented as well as tele-operated equipment. Prototypes currently being developed include advanced systems for cutting; rock bolting; loose rock detection systems; lump size estimation; unstructured environment sensing; environment modelling; and automatic task execution. Enabling technologies are now being developed for excavation, haulage, material handling systems, mining and reclamation methods, and integrated control and reliability. tabs., figs.

  4. Influence of Oil Saturation Upon Spectral Induced Polarization of Oil Bearing Sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The presence of oil in an unconsolidated granular porous material such as sand changes both the resistivity of the material and the value of the phase shift between the low-frequency current and the voltage. The resistivity and the phase angle can be written as a complex-valued r...

  5. Fate and behavior of oil sands naphthenic acids in a pilot-scale treatment wetland as characterized by negative-ion electrospray ionization Orbitrap mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajaero, Chukwuemeka; Peru, Kerry M; Simair, Monique; Friesen, Vanessa; O'Sullivan, Gwen; Hughes, Sarah A; McMartin, Dena W; Headley, John V

    2018-08-01

    Large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) are generated during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands in the Athabasca region of northeastern Alberta, Canada. As part of the development of treatment technologies, molecular characterization of naphthenic acids (NAs) and naphthenic acid fraction compounds (NAFC) in wetlands is a topic of research to better understand their fate and behavior in aquatic environments. Reported here is the application of high-resolution negative-ion electrospray Orbitrap-mass spectrometry for molecular characterization of NAs and NAFCs in a non-aerated constructed treatment wetland. The effectiveness of the wetlands to remove OSPW-NAs and NAFCs was evaluated by monitoring the changes in distributions of NAFC compounds in the untreated sample and non-aerated treatment system. After correction for measured evapotranspiration, the removal rate of the classical NAs followed approximately first-order kinetics, with higher rates observed for structures with relatively higher number of carbon atoms. These findings indicate that constructed wetland treatment is a viable method for removal of classical NAs in OSPW. Work is underway to evaluate the effects of wetland design on water quality improvement, preferential removal of different NAFC species, and reduction in toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Methane Fluxes and Consumption in an Oil Sands Tailings End Pit Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, G. F.; Goad, C.; Arriaga, D.; Risacher, F.; Morris, P.; Lindsay, M. B.; Mumford, K. G.; Warren, L. A.

    2017-12-01

    End pit lakes are engineered freshwater lakes designed to reclaim land impacted by surface mining activities via establishment of a functioning ecosystem where biogeochemical cycling mitigates release of hazardous components either by stabilization or biodegradation. End pit lakes provide unique opportunities to gain insight into microbial nutrient cycling under extreme levels of impact that can be applicable to a range of levels of anthropogenic impacts and issues. This study focuses on microbial CH4 cycling in the underlying fluid fine tailings (FFT) and surface waters of Base Mine Lake (BML), the first full demonstration of end pit lake reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of northern Alberta, Canada. Over two field seasons (2015 and 2016) BML was thermally stratified, turning over in spring and fall. Oxygen concentrations in the epilimnion (70 to 80 % saturation) decreased steeply through the metalimnion to 3% saturation in the hypolimnion. Conversely, CH4 concentrations were highest in the hypolimnion of BML (25 to 140 µM) with the highest values being observed at the FFT/Water interface. Concentrations decreased to 1-2 µM at the metalimnion and further decreased to < 0.5 µM in the epilimnion. CH4 δ13C in FFT porewater indicated production via fermentative pathways. FFT settlement and dewatering of 0.73 to 1.0 m/yr results in advection of an estimated 1x107 to 2x107 moles/yr CH4 into the surface water, circa an order of magnitude greater than the 3x106 moles/year estimated for molecular diffusion. Calculated fluxes of dissolved CH4 from the FFT into the hypolimnion were 4 orders of magnitude higher than those from the hypolimnion to the metalimnion, indicating a significant sink for CH4 within the hypolimnion limiting upward dissolved CH4 transport. Dissolution of CH4 from bubbles released from the FFT may be contributing to the observed epilimnion concentrations. CH4 δ13C in the hypolimnion showed only minimal enrichment with decreasing

  7. The distribution and migration of sodium from a reclaimed upland to a constructed fen peatland in a post-mined oil sands landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessel, Eric D; Ketcheson, Scott J; Price, Jonathan S

    2018-07-15

    Post-mine landscape reclamation of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region requires the use of tailings sand, an abundant mine-waste material that often contains large amounts of sodium (Na + ). Due to the mobility of Na + in groundwater and its effects on vegetation, water quality is a concern when incorporating mine waste materials, especially when attempting to construct groundwater-fed peatlands. This research is the first published account of Na + redistribution in groundwater from a constructed tailings sand upland to an adjacent constructed fen peat deposit (Nikanotee Fen). A permeable petroleum coke layer underlying the fen, extending partway into the upland, was important in directing flow and Na + beneath the peat, as designed. Initially, Na + concentration was highest in the tailings sand (average of 232mgL -1 ) and lowest in fen peat (96mgL -1 ). Precipitation-driven recharge to the upland controlled the mass flux of Na from upland to fen, which ranged from 2 to 13tons Na + per year. The mass flux was highest in the driest summer, in part from dry-period flowpaths that direct groundwater with higher concentrations of Na + into the coke layer, and in part because of the high evapotranspiration loss from the fen in dry periods, which induces upward water flow. With the estimated flux rates of 336mmyr -1 , the Na + arrival time to the fen surface was estimated to be between 4 and 11years. Over the four-year study, average Na + concentrations within the fen rooting zone increased from 87 to 200mgL -1 , and in the tailings sand decreased to 196mgL -1 . The planting of more salt-tolerant vegetation in the fen is recommended, given the potential for Na + accumulation. This study shows reclamation designs can use layered flow system to control the rate, pattern, and timing of solute interactions with surface soil systems. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Nearshore dynamics of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalyander, P. Soupy; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Long, Joseph W.; McLaughlin, Molly R.

    2015-01-01

    Weathered oil can mix with sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) that can cause beach re-oiling for years after a spill. Few studies have focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. In this study, artificial SOAs (aSOAs) were created and deployed in the nearshore, and shear stress-based mobility formulations were assessed to predict SOA response. Prediction sensitivity to uncertainty in hydrodynamic conditions and shear stress parameterizations were explored. Critical stress estimates accounting for large particle exposure in a mixed bed gave the best predictions of mobility under shoaling and breaking waves. In the surf zone, the 10-cm aSOA was immobile and began to bury in the seafloor while smaller size classes dispersed alongshore. aSOAs up to 5 cm in diameter were frequently mobilized in the swash zone. The uncertainty in predicting aSOA dynamics reflects a broader uncertainty in applying mobility and transport formulations to cm-sized particles.

  9. Oil sands tailings technology : understanding the impact to reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mamer, M. [Suncor Energy Inc., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed tailings management techniques at oil sands mines and their effects on reclamation schedules and outcomes. The layer of mature fine tailings (MFT) that forms in tailings ponds does not settle within a reasonable time frame, requiring more and larger tailings ponds for storing MFT. Consolidated tailings (CT) technology was developed to accelerate the consolidation of MFT, although the process nonetheless takes decades. CT is produced from mixing tailings sand, gypsum, and MFT to create a mixture that will consolidate more quickly and release water. However, CT production is tied to the extraction process, making it applicable only when the plant is operational, and a precise recipe and accurate injection are required for CT to work. In tailings reduction operations (TRO), a new approach to tailings management, MFT is mixed with a polymer flocculant, deposited in thin layers, and allowed to dry. TRO has a significant advantage over CT in that the latter takes up to 30 years to consolidate to a trafficable surface compared to weeks for TRO. TRO allows MFT to be consumed more quickly than it is produced, reducing need to build more tailings ponds, operates independent of plant operations, accelerates the reclamation time frame, and offers enhanced flexibility in final tailings placement sites. TRO also creates a dry landscape, to which well established reclamation techniques can be applied. Dried MFT is a new material type, and research is exploring optimum reclamation techniques. 2 figs.

  10. Trace metals in heavy crude oils and tar sand bitumens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.G.

    1990-11-28

    Fe, Ni, and V are considered trace impurities in heavy crude oils and tar sand bitumens. In order to understand the importance of these metals, we have examined several properties: (1) bulk metals levels, (2) distribution in separated fractions, (3) size behavior in feeds and during processing, (4) speciation as a function of size, and (5) correlations with rheological properties. Some of the results of these studies show: (1) V and Ni have roughly bimodal size distributions, (2) groupings were seen based on location, size distribution, and Ni/V ratio of the sample, (3) Fe profiles are distinctively different, having a unimodal distribution with a maximum at relatively large molecular size, (4) Fe concentrations in the tar sand bitumens suggest possible fines solubilization in some cases, (5) SARA separated fractions show possible correlations of metals with asphaltene properties suggesting secondary and tertiary structure interactions, and (6) ICP-MS examination for soluble ultra-trace metal impurities show the possibility of unexpected elements such as U, Th, Mo, and others at concentrations in the ppB to ppM range. 39 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.

  11. HDN and HDS of different gas oils derived from Athabasca bitumen over phosphorus-doped NiMo/{gamma}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} carbides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sundaramurthy, V.; Dalai, A.K. [Catalysis and Chemical Reaction Engineering Laboratories, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask. S7N 5A9 (Canada); Adjaye, J. [Syncrude Edmonton Research Centre, Edmonton, Alta. T6N 1H4 (Canada)

    2006-10-26

    A series of phosphorous-doped {gamma}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} supported Ni-Mo bimetallic carbide catalysts (PNiMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) with 0-4.5wt.% Ni, 13wt.% Mo and 2.5wt.% P were synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, pulsed CO chemisorption, surface area measurement, X-ray diffraction (XRD), near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), DRIFT spectroscopy of CO adsorption and H{sub 2} temperature programmed reduction. XRD indicated the formation of pure {beta}-Mo{sub 2}C phase in these catalysts, whereas the near edge X-ray absorption fine structure of C K-edge confirmed the formation of carbidic carbons. DRIFT spectra of adsorbed CO revealed that Ni or P addition to Mo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalyst not only increases the number of surface Mo sites, but also promotes the reducibility of Mo. The partial sulfidation of Mo{sub 2}C phase in the presence of H{sub 2}S/H{sub 2} gas mixture at 370{sup o}C was evidenced by DRIFTS of adsorbed CO. The HDN and HDS activities of these PNiMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalysts were performed in a trickle bed reactor using light gas oil (LGO) and heavy gas oil (HGO) derived from Athabasca bitumen at 8.8MPa and compared with the unpromoted Mo carbide (Mo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}), P doped Mo carbide (PMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) and Ni promoted Mo carbide (NiMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}). The P doped Ni-Mo bimetallic carbide catalysts showed enhanced HDN activity compared to the Mo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}, NiMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} and PMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalysts. The maximum N and S conversions, respectively, were obtained over PNiMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} and NiMo{sub 2}C/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalysts containing 2.5wt.% Ni. (author)

  12. Strategic marketing opportunities for Suncor OSG [Oil Sands Group

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrothers, S.

    1993-01-01

    Suncor's Oil Sands Group (OSG) is in a unique position to provide advantages to its customers, producing a light, sweet resid-free crude at a time when North American production of this valuable type of oil is in decline. While the per-barrel production cost of synthetic crude has been high historically, the OSG has recently committed to over US$300 million in capital investments which will reduce unit costs to conventional levels. Adding to this, the plant is located on a reserve that, even with existing technology, could feed the plant virtually indefinitely. Three aggressive strategic initiatives which will enhance the value of the products are being undertaken. The product slate diversification initiative involves significantly expanding the production slate to include premium products that are customized to meet customer needs. The product quality initiative will address product characteristics that are unattractive to some end users. The transportation initiative will ensure reliable and timely delivery of a wide variety of OSG products to an expanded customer base. 1 fig

  13. Upgrading oil sands bitumen with FLUID COKING and FLEXICOKING technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamienski, P.; Phillips, G. [ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., Fairfax, VA (United States); McKnight, C.; Rumball, B. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation described EMRE's Fluid Coking and Flexicoking technologies that are well suited for upgrading Alberta's heavy crudes and oil sands bitumen into pipelineable crudes or synthetic crudes, which can be further processed into transportation fuels. The Fluid Coking technology uses a fluidized bed reactor that thermally converts the heavy oils into light gases, liquids and coke. The metals and much of the sulphur are concentrated in the coke. Combustion of the coke provides process heat and the remaining coke is sold or stored on site for later recovery. Syncrude Canada currently operates 3 Fluid Coking units in northern Alberta. Flexicoking extends fluid coking by integrating air gasification to produce a carbon monoxide/hydrogen rich fuel gas that helps meet fuel and energy requirements of bitumen recovery and upgrading. The yields of light gas and liquids are similar to those of the Fluid Coking process. The partial combustion of coke provides the process heat for the thermal conversion and gasification steps. The remaining coke is gasified and desulphurized using Flexsorb technology. At present, there are 5 Flexicoking units in operation around the world. Interest in the technology is growing, particularly in locations with large demand for clean fuel or electricity. It is also suitable for steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations in Alberta. This presentation outlined the operating principles of the Flexicoking integrated gasification system and compared it with more expensive oxygen gasification processes. tabs., figs.

  14. [Research on Oil Sands Spectral Characteristics and Oil Content by Remote Sensing Estimation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Jin-feng; Xing, Li-xin; Pan, Jun; Shan, Xuan-long; Liang, Li-heng; Fan, Rui-xue

    2015-04-01

    Visible and near infrared spectroscopy is a proven technology to be widely used in identification and exploration of hydrocarbon energy sources with high spectral resolution for detail diagnostic absorption characteristics of hydrocarbon groups. The most prominent regions for hydrocarbon absorption bands are 1,740-1,780, 2,300-2,340 and 2,340-2,360 nm by the reflectance of oil sands samples. These spectral ranges are dominated by various C-H overlapping overtones and combination bands. Meanwhile, there is relatively weak even or no absorption characteristics in the region from 1,700 to 1,730 nm in the spectra of oil sands samples with low bitumen content. With the increase in oil content, in the spectral range of 1,700-1,730 nm the obvious hydrocarbon absorption begins to appear. The bitumen content is the critical parameter for oil sands reserves estimation. The absorption depth was used to depict the response intensity of the absorption bands controlled by first-order overtones and combinations of the various C-H stretching and bending fundamentals. According to the Pearson and partial correlation relationships of oil content and absorption depth dominated by hydrocarbon groups in 1,740-1,780, 2,300-2,340 and 2,340-2,360 nm wavelength range, the scheme of association mode was established between the intensity of spectral response and bitumen content, and then unary linear regression(ULR) and partial least squares regression (PLSR) methods were employed to model the equation between absorption depth attributed to various C-H bond and bitumen content. There were two calibration equations in which ULR method was employed to model the relationship between absorption depth near 2,350 nm region and bitumen content and PLSR method was developed to model the relationship between absorption depth of 1,758, 2,310, 2,350 nm regions and oil content. It turned out that the calibration models had good predictive ability and high robustness and they could provide the scientific

  15. A Canadian perspective on the supply costs, production and economic impacts from oil sands development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McColl, D.; Masri, M.

    2008-01-01

    This article provided a synopsis of oil sands research recently conducted at the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI). The production profiles and capital expenditures that CERI has projected for oil sands projects were explored along with the macroeconomic benefits associated with oil sands development. In addition to rising capital and operating costs, bitumen producers are challenged by labour shortages and environmental concerns. However, CERI warrants continued growth in production from the oil sands industry, given the current high price state of the global oil market and security of supply concerns from oil importing countries. This article also provided background information and analysis to assess the implications of future development. The projected growth in the oil sands industry creates demands for infrastructure, housing, health care, education, and business services. The economic impacts were measured at the local, provincial, national and global levels in terms of changes in gross domestic product; changes in employment; and, changes in government revenues. It was concluded that with continued investment and development, Alberta's oil sands resource is expected to continue to produce oil for decades, and would eventually achieve 6 MMbpd production. 8 refs., 3 tabs., 10 figs

  16. Surface structure and oxidation reactivity of oil sand coke particles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fairbridge, C.; Palmer, A.D.; Ng, S.H.; Furimsky, E.

    1987-05-01

    Fractions of particles of varying mean diameter were isolated from coke obtained from the fluid coking of Athabasca bitumen. Correlations were established between the rate of oxygen sorption and the apparent surface area as measured by carbon dioxide adsorption. The rate of oxygen sorption, r/sub o/, could be related to particle radius, R, by r/sub o/ varying with R/sup D/ T over a range of particle size where D is the fractal dimension of the coke. The existence of such correlations may be related to the iterative processes which form the particles. 14 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. The eye of the beholder : oil sands calamity or golden opportunity?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McColl, D.

    2009-02-01

    Alberta's oil sands deposits are one of the largest hydrocarbon deposits in the world, and the oil sands industry has become a significant driving force in the Canadian economy. However, development in the region has slowed as a result of the recent economic downturn. This paper discussed the future of the oil sands industry, and argued that excess global oil supplies will need to be consumed before the industry fully recovers. Increased liquidity and higher oil prices are also required in order to help the industry recover. Oil sands data were aggregated and classified according to their various stages of development. Projections of bitumen production were based on the summation of all announced projects. Assumptions were adjusted to reflect current and likely near-term future outlooks for oil sands development. Results of the study indicated that the pace of development is expected to slow. Current leases will be developed at a slower pace. Prices in excess of $70 will be required for the industry to continue expanding as well as to generate a rate of return that can be reinvested into the Canadian economy. It was concluded that opportunities for current oil sands operators and new project proponents should take advantage of lower prices to source materials and equipment. 3 figs

  18. Kyoto, the oil sands and the GHG emissions market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vickers, P.

    2004-01-01

    This paper reviews uncertainties in the oil sands industry in relation to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and the Kyoto Protocol. Other issues contributing to uncertainties in the industry were also discussed, including water and natural gas issues, refinery capacity and markets, price and exchange rates as well as capital availability and project cost overruns. The potential economic impact of the Kyoto Protocol on oil sands was outlined with prices per barrel. Government regulations were examined in the context of the evolving expectations of the Canadian public. U.S. actions on climate change were examined at the federal and state level. Emissions trading systems were reviewed with reference to a post 2012 regime. The 2005 budget was discussed, along with the Canadian legislative agenda and domestic offsets program, as well as the regulatory agenda in June of 2005. Post 2012 issues were examined, including discussions on the next commitment period, with reference to the fact that there was no support for new commitments among developing countries but that domestic pressures was building in the U.S. for air and climate regulations. Pressures from shareholders and the scientific community were discussed. Emissions trading in the European Union was reviewed. Stabilization goals will mean significant cuts to emissions in order to accommodate growth. Scenario planning and climate change uncertainties were also reviewed. The benefits of scenario planning in complex situations were outlined and were seen to encourage the development of strategic options. Issues concerning environmental stewardship and possible responses by the Unites States were discussed. Three scenarios were outlined: that climate change is not man-made and all the problems will go away; that technology will evolve to accommodate changes; and that policy will be insensitive to the economy, technology will lag and the energy sector will be faced with much higher costs. Various risk management

  19. Canada's oil sands: nuclear power in an integrated energy economy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isaacs, E. [Alberta Energy Research Inst., Alberta (Canada)

    2008-06-15

    At a time of the expansive global growth in energy demand and the peaking of conventional oil, the Canadian Oil Sands have emerged as the largest new reserves to supply oil to world markets. Bitumen production in 2006 averaged 1.25 million barrels per day (an increase of 13% over 2005 and an 88% increase since 2000). If this trend continues Canada will be positioned as one of the world's premier suppliers of oil for many decades to come. The Oil Sands are one of the world's most challenging and complex oil resources. They require considerable amount of energy, water and land area to produce, resulting in contaminated tailings ponds, air emissions of concern and copious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As the need to protect the environment and reduce GHG emissions moves higher on the public agenda Canada's ability to grow the energy supplies from oil sands will be severely tested. This paper focuses on the current and emerging methods and innovations that can be applied to produce these unconventional resources to value-added products with a decreasing impact on the environment. The paper will also describe the benefits and challenges for nuclear energy in the oil sands as a solution to the need for substitutes for natural gas in oil sands production and upgrading and in meeting Canada's GHG emission targets. (author)

  20. Ecohydrology applications to ecosystem reconstruction after oil-sand mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Carl; Devito, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    Oil-sand deposits in northeast Alberta, Canada comprise some of the world's largest oil reserves. Open-pit mining of these resources leads to waste-rock piles, tailings ponds and open pits that must be reclaimed to "equivalent landscape capability", with viable forests and wetlands, using only native vegetation. Understanding ecohydrological processes in natural systems is critical for designing the necessary landforms and landscapes. A challenge is the cold, sub-humid climate, with highly variable precipitation. Furthermore, there are competing demands, needs or uses for water, in both quantity and quality, for reclamation and sustainability of forestlands, wetlands and end-pit lakes. On average there is a potential water deficit in the region, yet wetlands cover half of the undisturbed environment. Water budget analyses demonstrate that, although somewhat unpredictable and uncontrollable, the magnitude and timing of water delivery largely control water storage and conservation within the landscape. The opportunity is to design and manipulate these reconstructed landscapes so that water is stored and conserved, and water quality is naturally managed. Heterogeneous geologic materials can be arranged and layered, and landforms sculpted, to minimize runoff, enhance infiltration, and promote surface and subsurface storage. Similarly, discharge of poor quality water can be minimized or focused. And, appropriate vegetation choices are necessary to conserve water on the landscape. To achieve these ends, careful attention must be paid to the entire water budget, the variability in its components, interconnections between hydrologic units, in both space and time, and coupled vegetation processes. To date our knowledge is guided primarily by natural analogues. To move forward, it is apparent that numerous priorities and constraints, which are potentially competing, must be addressed. These include geotechnical and operational requirements, material limitations or excesses

  1. Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation of Canadian oil sands to future markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarnoczi, Tyler

    2013-01-01

    Oil sands transportation diversification is important for preventing discounted crude pricing. Current life cycle assessment (LCA) models that assess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from crude oil transportation are linearly-scale and fail to account for project specific details. This research sets out to develop a detailed LCA model to compare the energy inputs and GHG emissions of pipeline and rail transportation for oil sands products. The model is applied to several proposed oils sands transportation routes that may serve as future markets. Comparison between transportation projects suggest that energy inputs and GHG emissions show a high degree of variation. For both rail and pipeline transportation, the distance over which the product is transported has a large impact on total emissions. The regional electricity grid and pump efficiency have the largest impact on pipeline emissions, while train engine efficiency and bitumen blending ratios have the largest impact on rail transportation emissions. LCA-based GHG regulations should refine models to account for the range of product pathways and focus efforts on cost-effective emission reductions. As the climate-change impacts of new oil sands transportation projects are considered, GHG emission boundaries should be defined according to operation control. -- Highlights: •A life cycle model is developed to compare transportation of oil sands products. •The model is applied to several potential future oil sands markets. •Energy inputs and GHG emissions are compared. •Model inputs are explored using sensitivity analysis. •Policy recommendations are provided

  2. Canada's oil sands, opportunities and challenges to 2015 : an energy market assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-05-01

    The National Energy Board monitors the supply of all energy commodities in Canada along with the demand for Canadian energy commodities in domestic and export markets. This report provides an assessment of the current state of the oil sands industry and the potential for growth. It also identifies the major issues and challenges associated with the development of Canada's oil sands, one of the world's largest hydrocarbon resources. Initial production of Canada's oil sands began in 1967. The resource has become more economic to develop in recent years due to higher energy prices and new technologies. The economic potential of Canada's oil sands has been recognized internationally. Canadian oil sands production in 2004 will surpass 160,000 cubic metres per day. By 2015, production is expected to more than double to meet market demands. The challenges facing the industry include higher natural gas prices, capital cost overruns and environmental impacts. The major factors that affect the rate of oil sands development include natural gas supply, energy demand, oil and gas pricing, markets and pipelines, environmental considerations, emerging technologies, geopolitical issues, and labour. This report includes key findings for the following four key components: economic potential and development of the resource base; markets and pipelines; environmental and socio-economic impacts; and, potential spin-off developments in the electricity and petrochemical industries. 26 tabs., 53 figs

  3. Carbon dioxide sequestration in oil sands tailings streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikula, R.; Afara, M.; Namsechi, B.; Demko, B.; Wong, P. [Natural Resources Canada, Devon, AB (Canada). CANMET Western Research Centre

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed the use of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) as an oil sands tailings process aid and investigated its role in maximizing recycle water availability by rapid consolidation of the transition zone. The potential for CO{sub 2} sequestration was also investigated. CO{sub 2} composite tailings (CT) pilot plants were discussed and the results of cylinder tests and water chemistry analyses were presented. Issues related to physical entrapment, ionic trapping, and mineral trapping were discussed. The study showed that carbonic acid lowers pH, dissolving calcite and dolomite. Aluminum hydroxide groups on the clay surface reacted to produce water and Al{sup 3+} and Na+. Increased bicarbonate and calcium resulted in precipitated calcite. The reduction of a transition zone from 6 to 3 meters increased the available recycle water by 15 mm{sup 3} in a 5 km{sup 2} recycle water pond. Optimum CO{sub 2} additions to whole tailings are now being investigated. tabs., figs.

  4. Wildlife inventory of oil sand leases 12, 13 and 34

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skinner, D.L.

    1996-01-01

    Results of a preliminary study to assess wildlife abundance and distribution on Syncrude's proposed oil sand leases 12, 13 and 34 were presented. The objective of the study was to determine the relative abundance and habitat preferences of different wildlife species. Aerial and track count surveys were conducted in winter. The abundance of hooved animals was determined using an aerial survey of the entire Syncrude area which is composed of conifer-dominated lowlands. Results of the surveys showed that wildlife abundance in the study area was typical of the Fort McMurray region. Thirteen habitat types were identified, including 2 types of upland deciduous forest, mixed wood forest, 4 types of coniferous forest, 2 types of wetland community, 3 types of riparian community and cleared peatland. The distribution of mammals in the study area was presented. This included distribution of hooved animals, small herbivores, large carnivores, small carnivores, and other furbearers. The habitat utilization of each wildlife species was discussed. Several habitat types were preferred by at least one species. Very few species were associated with deciduous and mixed wood forest. It was noted that winter track counts may not be indicative of habitat preferences and distribution during other important periods such as breeding and natal seasons. 69 refs., 12 tabs., 13 figs

  5. Siemens fuel gasification technology for the Canadian oil sands industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morehead, H. [Siemens Energy Inc., Orlando, FL (United States). IGCC and Gasification Sales and Marketing

    2010-07-01

    The Siemens fuel gasification (SFG) technology can be used to gasify a range of feedstocks, including petcoke, hard coal, lignite, and low-ranking fuels such as biomass and refinery residuals. The technology has recently been applied to a number of projects over the last 3 years. This paper discussed some of the issues related to the technology and it's use at a start-up facility in China. Five entrained-flow gasifiers with a thermal capacity of 500 MW are being installed at a coal gasification plant in northwestern China. The technology's use in hydrogen, steam and power production applications for the oil sands industry was also discussed. Issues related to feedstock quality, process characteristics, and equipment requirements for commercial gasifier systems were reviewed. The paper concluded by observing that improvements in gasification technology will make coal and petcoke gasification feasible options for power generation. IGCC is the most advanced and cost-effective technology for reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants. Gasification-based plants are also able to capture carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) for storage and sequestration. Details of the Siemens gasification test center in Germany were also included. 1 tab., 4 figs.

  6. Production of high quality water for oil sands application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beaudette-Hodsman, C.; Macleod, B. [Pall Corp., Mississauga, ON (Canada); Venkatadri, R. [Pall Corp., East Hills, NY (United States)

    2008-10-15

    This paper described a pressurized microfiltration membrane system installed at an oil sands extraction site in Alberta. The system was designed to complement a reverse osmosis (RO) system installed at the site to produce the high quality feed water required by the system's boilers. Groundwater in the region exhibited moderate total suspended solids and high alkalinity and hardness levels, and the RO system required feed water with a silt density index of 3 or less. The conventional pretreatment system used at the site was slowing down production due to the severe fouling of the RO membranes. The new microfiltration system contained an automated PVDF hollow fiber microfiltration membrane system contained in a trailer. Suspended particles and bacteria were captured within the filter, and permeate was sent to the RO unit. Within 6 hours of being installed, the unit was producing water with SDI values in the range of 1.0 to 2.5. It was concluded that the microfiltration system performed reliably regardless of wide variations in feed water quality and flow rates. 3 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs.

  7. Review of four major environmental effects monitoring programs in the oil sands region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lott, E.O.; Jones, R.K.

    2010-10-01

    The lack of knowledge on current environmental effects monitoring programs for the mineable oil sands region generates a low public confidence in environment health monitoring and reporting programs for the oil sands operations. In 2010, the Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN) supervised a study reviewing the major environmental effects monitoring programs that are underway in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Four main environmental effects monitoring and reporting organizations existing in the oil sands area were engaged to describe their programs through this study: Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP), Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA). These different organizations have specific roles in providing information, data and understanding of ecosystem effects. A one page visual summary of environmental effects monitoring in the oil sands area resulted from the information received from these organizations and detailed fact sheets were presented for each one of the programs. The report of this study also presents seven other environmental monitoring initiatives or organizations such as Alberta Environment and Environment Canada environmental effects monitoring program. The main observation that emerged from the review was the lack of detailed understanding shown by the stakeholders regarding the monitoring activities performed in the oil sands area. There is a lack of communication of the different programs that are conducted in the region. The study also pointed out that no efforts were put in cross-linking the various programs to be assured that every concerns related to environmental effects associated with oil sands operations were addressed. A better understanding of environmental effects and an improvement in public confidence in the data and its interpretation would probably be observed with the establishment of a

  8. Evaluating the oil sands reclamation process: Assessing policy capacity and stakeholder access for government and non-governmental organizations operating in Alberta's oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Tyler

    By employing interpretive policy analysis this thesis aims to assess, measure, and explain policy capacity for government and non-government organizations involved in reclaiming Alberta's oil sands. Using this type of analysis to assess policy capacity is a novel approach for understanding reclamation policy; and therefore, this research will provide a unique contribution to the literature surrounding reclamation policy. The oil sands region in northeast Alberta, Canada is an area of interest for a few reasons; primarily because of the vast reserves of bitumen and the environmental cost associated with developing this resource. An increase in global oil demand has established incentive for industry to seek out and develop new reserves. Alberta's oil sands are one of the largest remaining reserves in the world, and there is significant interest in increasing production in this region. Furthermore, tensions in several oil exporting nations in the Middle East remain unresolved, and this has garnered additional support for a supply side solution to North American oil demands. This solution relies upon the development of reserves in both the United States and Canada. These compounding factors have contributed to the increased development in the oil sands of northeastern Alberta. Essentially, a rapid expansion of oil sands operations is ongoing, and is the source of significant disturbance across the region. This disturbance, and the promises of reclamation, is a source of contentious debates amongst stakeholders and continues to be highly visible in the media. If oil sands operations are to retain their social license to operate, it is critical that reclamation efforts be effective. One concern non-governmental organizations (NGOs) expressed criticizes the current monitoring and enforcement of regulatory programs in the oil sands. Alberta's NGOs have suggested the data made available to them originates from industrial sources, and is generally unchecked by government

  9. An investigation of the potential for in situ bioremediation of oil sands tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herman, D.C.; Costerton, J.W.; Fedorak, P.M.; Mackinnon, M.D.

    1993-01-01

    Oil sand tailings water has been shown to be acutely toxic to aquatic organisms. Naphthenic acids have been shown to be the primary source of this toxicity within oil sand tailings waste. The potential for in-situ bioremediation of oil sand tailings was investigated by determining the ability of indigenous bacteria to biodegrade naphthenic acids. A mixed bacterial culture enriched from oil sand tailings was found to be capable of growth on a commercially available naphthenic acid mixture. When sodium naphthenates (30 mg/l) were added to a minimal salts medium and inoculated with the mixed bacterial culture, gas chromatography revealed that many components of the naphthenic acid mixture were biodegraded within eight days of incubation. The same culture was also tested against the naphthenic acid fraction extracted directly from oil sand tailings. The tailings extract was diluted into the minimal salts medium in sealed flasks and inoculated with the enrichment culture. The production of CO 2 indicated microbial mineralization of components within the oil sands extract. Microtox analysis determined that microbial activity resulted in a reduction in the acute toxicity of the tailings extract. 5 refs., 3 figs

  10. A role for nuclear energy in the recovery of oil from the tar sands of Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puttagunta, V.R.; Sochaski, R.O.; Robertson, R.F.S.

    1976-12-01

    Techniques of oil recovery from the tar sands and the energy requirements of this operation are described. Fossil fuels, and CANDU reactors are examined as competitive sources of energy for the tar sands plants. The CANDU-OCR reactor appears to have the necessary flexibility to fit into many of the possible methods of recovering oil from the tar sands. Cost comparisons of fossil and nuclear sources show that, for the supply of process steam, the nuclear source is competitive under the criteria of debt financing or low discount rates on capital, continued escalation, and long plant capital write-off period. (author)

  11. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Annual report, July 1991--July 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1992-08-01

    The University of Utah tar sand research and development program is concerned with research and development on Utah is extensive oil sands deposits. The program has been intended to develop a scientific and technological base required for eventual commercial recovery of the heavy oils from oil sands and processing these oils to produce synthetic crude oil and other products such as asphalt. The overall program is based on mining the oil sand, processing the mined sand to recover the heavy oils and upgrading them to products. Multiple deposits are being investigated since it is believed that a large scale (approximately 20,000 bbl/day) plant would require the use of resources from more than one deposit. The tasks or projects in the program are organized according to the following classification: Recovery technologies which includes thermal recovery methods, water extraction methods, and solvent extraction methods; upgrading and processing technologies which covers hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and hydropyrolysis; solvent extraction; production of specialty products; and environmental aspects of the production and processing technologies. These tasks are covered in this report.

  12. Properties of palm oil fuel ash cement sand brick containing pulverized cockle shell as partial sand replacement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mat Aris, S.; Muthusamy, K.; Uzer, A.; Ahmad, S. Wan

    2018-04-01

    Environmental pollution caused by the disposal of solid wastes generated from both palm oil industry and cockle shell trade has motivated researches to explore the potential of these wastes. Integrating these wastes in production of construction material is one of the ways to reduce amount of waste thrown at dumping area. Thus, the present investigation investigates the performance of palm oil fuel ash (POFA) cement sand brick containing pulverized cockle shell as partial fine aggregate replacement. All mixes used contain 20% of POFA as partial cement replacement. Total of six mixes were prepared by adding a range of pulverized cockle shell that is 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% as partial sand replacement. The mixes were prepared in form of brick. All the water cured samples were tested for compressive strength and flexural strength until 28 days. Findings show that brick produced using 20% pulverized cockle shell exhibit the highest compressive strength and flexural strength also the lowest water absorption value.

  13. Inversion of Airborne Electromagnetic Data: Application to Oil Sands Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristall, J.; Farquharson, C. G.; Oldenburg, D. W.

    2004-05-01

    . We provide an example that involves the interpretation of an airborne time-domain electromagnetic data-set from an oil sands exploration project in Alberta. The target is the layer that potentially contains oil sands. This layer is relatively resistive, with its resistivity increasing with increasing hydrocarbon content, and is sandwiched between two more conductive layers. This is quite different from the classical electromagnetic geophysics scenario of looking for a conductive mineral deposit in resistive shield rocks. However, inverting the data enabled the depth, thickness and resistivity of the target layer to be well determined. As a consequence, it is concluded that airborne electromagnetic surveys, when combined with inversion procedures, can be a very cost-effective way of mapping even fairly subtle conductivity variations over large areas.

  14. The splitting of P and NG and oil sands rights: an historical perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coombs, F. D. [Alberta Department of Energy, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    1997-12-31

    Changes in the Mines and Minerals Act of Alberta are described to illustrate the evolution of the priorities and thinking over time that led to the present administration of oil sands and natural gas as separate minerals. Natural gas was first excluded from the definition of bituminous sands in 1955. The definition of bituminous sands was changed in 1957 to include natural gas once again. In a further change in 1978, both petroleum and natural gas were excluded from the definition of oil sands. More changes followed in 1984, when petroleum was added back into the definition, leaving natural gas as the only mineral excluded from the definition of oil sands. The 1984 change was triggered by changes in the Oil Sands Conservation Act. It is the current definition, which includes `sands and other rock materials containing crude bitumen, and any other mineral substances, other than natural gas, in association with that crude bitumen`. It was a resource conservation issue in the past, and it is a conservation issue today, although much influenced by changes in technology and increased knowledge and understanding of the relevant factors. 2 tabs.

  15. Policy Analysis of Water Availability and Use Issues for Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruple, John [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Keiter, Robert [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2010-03-01

    Oil shale and oil sands resources located within the intermountain west represent a vast, and as of yet, commercially untapped source of energy. Development will require water, and demand for scarce water resources stands at the front of a long list of barriers to commercialization. Water requirements and the consequences of commercial development will depend on the number, size, and location of facilities, as well as the technologies employed to develop these unconventional fuels. While the details remain unclear, the implication is not – unconventional fuel development will increase demand for water in an arid region where demand for water often exceeds supply. Water demands in excess of supplies have long been the norm in the west, and for more than a century water has been apportioned on a first-come, first-served basis. Unconventional fuel developers who have not already secured water rights stand at the back of a long line and will need to obtain water from willing water purveyors. However, uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of some senior water claims combine with indeterminate interstate river management to cast a cloud over water resource allocation and management. Quantitative and qualitative water requirements associated with Endangered Species protection also stand as barriers to significant water development, and complex water quality regulations will apply to unconventional fuel development. Legal and political decisions can give shape to an indeterminate landscape. Settlement of Northern Ute reserved rights claims would help clarify the worth of existing water rights and viability of alternative sources of supply. Interstate apportionment of the White River would go a long way towards resolving water availability in downstream Utah. And energy policy clarification will help determine the role oil shale and oil sands will play in our nation’s future.

  16. Dewatering behavior of fine oil sands tailings : A summary of laboratory results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Y.; van Tol, A.F.; van Paassen, L.A.; Vardon, P.J.; Sego, D.C.; Wilson, G.W.; Beier, N.A.

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the disposal technology for fine oil sands tailings, the appropriate engineering properties of the tailings should be ascertained. A laboratory study was conducted by Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) on the geotechnical properties and dewatering behavior of the fine oil

  17. Sulphur output from oil sands : dramatically changing Alberta's sulphur balance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D' Aquin, G. [Con-Sul Inc., Bigfork, MT (United States)

    2008-07-01

    This paper discussed sulphur production from Alberta's gas and oil sands industries. While sulfur derived from natural gas production in the province is expected to decline as natural gas reserves diminish, Alberta's oil sands contain high amounts of sulphur. It is not yet known how much sulphur will be produced from the province's oil sands facilities. Alberta had considerable stockpiles of sulphur in the 1970s. By 1980, inventories began to decline. By 1996, output had increased to 7.1 million tonnes. Alberta's sulphur inventory reached 9.7 million tonnes following the collapse of the Soviet Union's government mandated fertilizer industry. In 2006, sulphur supplies in Alberta reached 12 million tonnes. Reduced global output has now lowered sulphur stockpiles. Increases in sulphur prices tend to reduce market demand, and lower prices will not typically change the volume of sulphur produced as a byproduct of oil and gas operations. Bitumen-derived sulphur output is expected to exceed gas-derived sulphur output in the near future. Sulphur from oil sands processing is expected to increase by 5 million tonnes by 2017. Increased sulphur production levels in Alberta will present a significant challenge for all sectors of the hydrocarbon industry. It was concluded that developing a plan for storing, selling or disposing of the sulphur will help to ensure the profitability of oil sands operations.

  18. Examination of oil sands projects : gasification, CO{sub 2} emissions and supply costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, K. [Energy Resources Conservation Board, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Non-conventional resources such as Alberta's oil sands are experiencing increased global interest because of the decline in global conventional oil and natural gas reserves. Bitumen extraction and upgrading is an energy intensive process. This paper provided a general discussion of Alberta's oil sands reserves, production and energy requirements. The paper discussed the application of different technologies to the oil sands, and in particular, the use of gasification as a method to produce bitumen-derived synthesis gas. Two oil sands projects currently under construction and implementing gasification technology were briefly described. The paper also provided a comparison of emission intensities from projects that employ gasification leading to a forecast of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from the oil sands. The impact of Alberta's legislation and the federal framework on greenhouse gas emissions were also examined. Last, the paper discussed a supply cost methodology to compare an integrated extraction and upgrading project using gasification versus a similar project using a conventional steam methane reforming process (SMR). It was concluded that after comparing carbon dioxide emission intensities across different types of projects, the type of project that would be most heavily impacted by greenhouse gas emissions penalties was an in-situ extraction with an upgrading project that employed gasification technology. 36 refs., 5 tabs., 12 figs., 1 appendix.

  19. An investigation of problematic solids in oil sands processing : separation and characterization of organic matter strongly bound to oil sands solids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCracken, T.; Woods, J.R.; Kung, J.; Fu, D.; Kingston, D.; Kotlyar, L.S. [National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Inst. for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology; Sparks, B.D. [V. Bede Technical Associates, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Some of the solid fractions in Athabasca oilsands are associated with strongly bound organic matter that is insoluble in toluene, a solvent commonly used to extract bitumen. The presence of toluene insoluble organic matter (TIOM) increases oil wettability of solids which may adversely affect the release of bitumen from the oilsands. Some of the solid material from the coking operation may be carried over to downstream operations where it can cause fouling. This study used supercritical fluid extraction with methanol to remove TIOM from oilsands after extraction of bitumen by toluene. The methanol extract (ME) is soluble in toluene and was analyzed. Results were compared with corresponding bitumen fractions prepared using a modified HPLC SARA separation technique. Number average molecular weights for the ME were similar to those for resins separated from bitumen. The study also showed that the number of alkyl substituents on aromatic ring systems and the lengths of paraffinic straight chains for resins and ME samples were similar, with only minor differences in terms of H/C atomic ratios and aromaticities. The ME was more polar than the resin and asphaltene fractions, which may explain the selective adsorption of this fraction. tabs., figs.

  20. Insight conference reports : western Canada oil sands summit : meeting North America's energy needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    This conference focused on exploration and development of oil sands in western Canada, with particular reference to market opportunities and challenges for oil sands exploitation in Alberta, risk management in large resource development projects, pipeline issues, investment issues, and asset life cycle management. Some presentations also addressed regulatory regimes, royalty regimes, taxes, resource potential, research activities, environmental impacts, and offshore prospects. Both industry and government have an interest in ensuring resources are developed in a sustainable manner. The influence of the Kyoto Protocol on oil sands development and the greenhouse gas emissions market was also addressed along with joint venture issues and a comparison of extra-heavy crude oil projects in Venezuela and Canada. The conference featured 20 presentations, of which 8 have been indexed separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  1. Advanced CANDU reactor: an optimized energy source of oil sands application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopwood, J.M.; Bock, D.; Miller, A.; Kuran, S.; Keil, H.; Fiorino, L.; Duffey, R.; Dunbar, R.B.

    2003-01-01

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is developing the ACR-700 TM (Advanced CANDU Reactor-700 TM ) to meet customer needs for reduced capital cost, shorter construction schedule, high capacity factor while retaining the benefits of the CANDU experience base. The ACR-700 is based on the concept of CANDU horizontal fuel channels surrounded by heavy water moderator. The major innovation of this design is the use of slightly enriched uranium fuel in a CANFLEX bundle that is cooled by light water. This ensures: higher main steam pressures and temperatures providing higher thermal efficiency; a compact and simpler reactor design with reduced capital costs and shorter construction schedules; and reduced heavy water inventory compared to existing CANDU reactors. ACR-700 is not only a technically advanced and cost effective solution for electricity generating utilities, but also a low-cost, long-life and sustainable steam source for increasing Alberta's Oil Sand production rates. Currently practiced commercial surface mining and extraction of Oil Sand resources has been well established over the last three decades. But a majority of the available resources are somewhat deeper underground require in-situ extraction. Economic removal of such underground resources is now possible through the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) process developed and proto-type tested in-site. SAGD requires the injection of large quantities of high-pressure steam into horizontal wells to form reduced viscosity bitumen and condensate mixture that is then collected at the surface. This paper describes joint AECL studies with CERI (Canadian Energy Research Institute) for the ACR, supplying both electricity and medium-pressure steam to an oil sands facility. The extensive oil sands deposits in northern Alberta are a very large energy resource. Currently, 30% of Canda's oil production is from the oil sands and this is expected to expand greatly over the coming decade. The bitumen deposits in the

  2. Study of greenhouse gases reduction alternatives for the exploitation of non conventional oil sands in Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouchonneau, Deborah [Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP), Paris (France)

    2008-07-01

    High energy prices and greenhouse gases reduction represent the main challenges the current worldwide energetic situation has to face. As a consequence, paradox strategies can be highlighted: oil prices are sufficiently high to exploit non conventional oil resources, like extra heavy oils and oil sands. But the production of these resources emits larger GHG than the conventional oil path and implies other major environmental issues (water management, risks of soil pollution, destruction of the boreal forest), incompatible with the rules validated by the protocol of Kyoto. At the light of the new greenhouse gases reduction regulation framework announced by the Canadian Federal government, this work focuses on the study of greenhouse gases reduction alternatives applied to the non conventional oil sands exploitation in Canada. (author)

  3. Finite element analysis of a model scale footing on clean and oil contaminated sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evgin, E.; Boulon, M.; Das, B.M.

    1995-01-01

    The effects of oil contamination on the behavior of a model scale footing is determined. Tests are carried out with both clean and oil contaminated sand. The data show that the bearing capacity of the footing is reduced significantly as a result of oil contamination. A finite element analysis is performed to calculate the bearing capacity of the footing and the results are compared with the experimental data. The significance of using an interface element in the analysis is discussed

  4. Clean energy and hydrogen for oil sands development with CANDU SCWR nuclear reactors and Cu-Cl cycles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Z.L.; Naterer, G.F.; Gabriel, K.S.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, the unique capabilities and advantages of SCWR technology for cleaner oil sands development are discussed from two perspectives: lower temperature steam generation by supercritical water for steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), and hydrogen production for oil sands upgrading by coupling SCWR with the thermochemical copper-chlorine (Cu-Cl) cycle. The heat requirements for bitumen extraction from the oil sands and the hydrogen requirements for bitumen upgrading are evaluated. A conceptual layout of SCWR coupled with oil sands development is presented. The reduction of CO 2 emissions due to the use of SCWR and thermo chemical hydrogen production cycle is also analyzed. (author)

  5. Process water treatment in Canada's oil sands industry : 1 : target pollutants and treatment objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, E.W.

    2008-01-01

    The continuous recycling of tailings pond water in the oil sands industry has contributed to an overall decline in water quality used for bitumen recovery, general water consumption, and remedial activities. This paper reviewed process water quality and toxicity data from 2 long-term oil sands operations. The aim of the study was to determine potential roles for water treatment and provide benchmarks for the selection of candidate water treatment technologies in the oil sands region of Alberta. An overview of the oil sands industry was provided as well as details of bitumen recovery processes. The study examined target pollutants and exceedances identified in environmental and industrial water quality guidelines. The study demonstrated that the salinity of tailings pond water increased at a rate of 75 mg per litre per year between 1980 and 2001. Increases in hardness, chloride, ammonia, and sulphates were also noted. Naphthenic acids released during bitumen extraction activities were determined as the primary cause of tailings pond water toxicity. A summary of recent studies on experimental reclamation ponds and treatment wetlands in the oil sands region was included. 19 refs., 4 tabs., 11 figs

  6. 3D Finite Element Analysis of PWA-Oil Sand Terrain System Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Li

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A simulator for analyzing the interaction between the oil sand terrain and a pipe wagon articulating (PWA system has been developed in this paper. An elastic-plastic oil sand model was built based on the finite element analysis (FEA method and von Mises yield criterion using the Algor mechanical event simulation (MES software. The three-dimensional (3D distribution of the stress, strain, nodal displacement, and deformed shape of the oil sands was animated at an environmental temperature of 25°C. The 3D behavior of the oil sand terrain was investigated with different loading conditions. The effect of the load and contact area on the stress and nodal displacement was analyzed, respectively. The results indicate that both the max stress and max nodal displacement increase with the load varying from 0 to 3.6+7 N and decrease with the contact area varying from 2 to 10 m2. The method presented in this paper forms the basis for evaluating the bearing capacity of oil sand ground.

  7. New technology for producing petrochemical feedstock from heavy oils derived from Alberta oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oballa, M.; Simanzhenkov, V.; Clark, P.; Laureshen, C.; Plessis du, D.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presented the results of a study demonstrating the feasibility of producing petrochemical feedstock or petrochemicals from vacuum gas oils derived from oil sands. A typical bitumen upgrader flow scheme was integrated with several new technologies and coupled with an ethane/propane cracker. Technologies included steam cracking, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC); and the catalytic pyrolysis process (CPP). The scheme was then integrated with the Nova Heavy Oil Cracking (NHC) technology. The NHC process uses a reactor to perform catalytic cracking followed by a main tower that separates gas and liquid products. Aromatic ring cleavage (ARORINCLE) technology was explored as a method of catalytic treatment. Experimental runs were conducted in a laboratory scale fixed bed reactor. A stacked catalyst bed was used, followed by a zeolite-based noble metal catalyst. Examples from process run results were presented. Results indicated that the NHC technology should be used on an FCC unit technology platform. The ARORINCLE technology was considered for use on a hydrotreating unit technology platform. Once the catalysts are fully developed and demonstrated, the economics of the technologies will be enhanced through the construction of world-scale complexes integrating upgrading, refining and petrochemical plants. refs., tabs., figs

  8. Transformation of heavy gas oils derived from oil sands to petrochemical feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du Plessis, D.; Laureshen, C. [Alberta Energy Research Inst., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    Alberta's petrochemical industry is primarily based on ethane. However, ethane could potentially impede future growth of Alberta's petrochemical industry because of increasing cost and diminishing supplies. Alternately, the rapidly growing oil sands production could provide abundant new feedstocks. Different integration schemes and technologies were evaluated in this study. Research on converting bitumen-derived heavy gas oil into petrochemical feedstock has resulted in the development of two novel technologies and process integration schemes, notably the NOVA heavy oil laboratory catalyst (NHC) process and the aromatic ring cleavage (ARORINCLE) process. This paper described progress to date on these two projects. The paper presented the experimental results for each scheme. For the ARORINCLE process, results were discussed in terms of the effect of process parameters on the hydrogenation step; effect of process parameters on the ring cleavage step; and integrating the upgrading and petrochemical complex. Early laboratory stage results of these two technologies were found to be encouraging. The authors recommended that work should progress to larger scale demonstration of the NHC and ARORINCLE technologies., 13 refs., 2 tabs., 5 figs.

  9. BioTiger{sup TM} : a natural microbial product for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brigmon, R.L.; Berry, C.J.; Milliken, C.E.; Jones, W. [Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC (United States)

    2008-07-01

    This presentation discussed the feasibility of using BioTiger{sup TM} technology to increase hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands. This enhanced ex situ oil recovery processes was initially developed and used by the United States Department of Energy for bioremediation of soils contaminated with oil, but it may also be used to optimize bitumen separation. BioTiger was described as being a unique microbial consortia that has resulted from nearly a decade of extensive microbiology screening and characterization of samples collected from an old waste lagoon. The technology offers rapid and complete degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons and produces new surfactants. It is tolerant of both chemical and metal toxicity and has good activity at high temperatures at extreme pH levels. A flotation test protocol with oil sands from Fort McMurray, Alberta was used for the BioTiger evaluation. A comparison of hot water extraction/flotation test of the oil sands performed with BioTiger showed a 50 per cent improvement in separation as measured by gravimetric analysis. BioTiger is well suited for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands because it performs well at high temperatures. 8 figs.

  10. BIOTIGER, A NATURAL MICROBIAL PRODUCT FOR ENHANCED HYDROCARBON RECOVERY FROM OIL SANDS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brigmon, R; Topher Berry, T; Whitney Jones, W; Charles Milliken, C

    2008-05-27

    BioTiger{trademark} is a unique microbial consortia that resulted from over 8 years of extensive microbiology screening and characterization of samples collected from a century-old Polish waste lagoon. BioTiger{trademark} shows rapid and complete degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, produces novel surfactants, is tolerant of both chemical and metal toxicity and shows good activity at temperature and pH extremes. Although originally developed and used by the U.S. Department of Energy for bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils, recent efforts have proven that BioTiger{trademark} can also be used to increase hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands. This enhanced ex situ oil recovery process utilizes BioTiger{trademark} to optimize bitumen separation. A floatation test protocol with oil sands from Ft. McMurray, Canada was used for the BioTiger{trademark} evaluation. A comparison of hot water extraction/floatation test of the oil sands performed with BioTiger{trademark} demonstrated a 50% improvement in separation as measured by gravimetric analysis in 4 h and a five-fold increase at 25 hr. Since BioTiger{trademark} performs well at high temperatures and process engineering can enhance and sustain metabolic activity, it can be applied to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons from oil sands or other complex recalcitrant matrices.

  11. The growth and photosynthesis of Typha in oil sands process affected material and water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Hornung, J. [Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    Aquatic plants such as cattail contribute substantially to the energy flow in wetlands. Since Typha (cattail) plants acquire and cycle carbon and nutrients through wetlands, their growth and recycling of captured nutrients are an important part of natural, healthy wetland ecosystems. Cattail are pervasive and satisfy many of the criteria to be used as indicators of wetland integrity. This study investigated if cattail growth and carbon accrual were influenced by oil sands process materials (OSPM) such as consolidated tailings (CT). The purpose was to facilitate land reclamation initiatives by evaluating the impact that constituents of oil sands process material have on aquatic plant growth. The study was conducted at Suncor's experimental trenches. Six lined basins were used, of which 3 were filled with natural water and 3 were filled with trench water. Cattail were planted in different growth medium combinations, including CT over CT; soil over soil; soil over CT; and soil over sterilized sand. All leaf lengths and widths were measured along with the photosynthesis of the leaves and root and plant biomass at planting and after 2-years growth. A larger leaf area was observed under oil sands process influence, which may indicate increased carbon accrual above ground. Leaf area data suggested that CT affected plants are quite productive. The study also indicated that oil sands affected water may reduce plant fitness, and therefore could influence the overall oil sands reclamation timelines. Conversely, cattail grown in soil capped process affected material had a much larger leaf area compared to those grown in soil capped sand, most likely due to the higher levels of ammonia in process affected material.

  12. Oil sands geologists in an industry-school partnership : a resource and teaching opportunity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dudley, J.S.; Doram, T.

    1999-01-01

    The province of Alberta has developed a credit course within their Career and Technology Studies Program on the earth science of oil sands for senior high school science students. The course helps students learn to apply basic sciences to earth science through workplace site visits, resource material and team work. This paper described the increasing demand for, and success of, industry-high school partnerships, and provided special emphasis on the Bowness Senior High School-Imperial Oil partnership in Calgary, Alberta. Imperial Oil Resources is a major producer of oil sands and an employer of earth scientists in a variety of careers in which a wide range of technologies is applied. Students enrolled in the credit study program visit the Imperial Oil Resources Research Centre on five different occasions to gain skills and qualities sought by the workplace including communication, adaptability, team work, and science literacy and its application. 9 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs

  13. Improvement of Dune Sands by Residual Oil in Order to Use in Construction of Lagoons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alborz Hajian nia

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This research which is based on experimental work, devoted to study the improvement and stabilization of dune sands in order to create strong layer and stabilize slope and floor construction of sewage Lagoons. Materials used stabilizing these soils are residual oil from the refinery. To confirm the effectiveness of the use of residual oil to improve the mechanical properties of the sand, various samples with different percentages were tested. In besides, the geotechnical and environmental tests were done. Results demonstrate that samples made with 5% oil have highest shear and unconfined compaction strength. It revealed that in compare with natural samples, cohesion and loading capacity highly increased and permeability decrease well. Percentage of fine aggregate, minerals and durability of oil in soil material were also investigated. Finally, effects of sewage on the samples were analyzed, and performance the oils were evaluated in order to use in lagoons.

  14. Log analysis in the shallow oil sands of the San Joaquin Valley, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vohs, J.B.

    1976-01-01

    Many fields in the San Joaquin Valley of California produce oil from a depth of 2,500 ft or less. During the period of primary production in these fields, evaluation of potential pay intervals from logs was restricted to examination of ES logs and correlation. With the introduction of secondary and tertiary recovery techniques the need for more and better answers, more quickly available, became apparent. However, several log-analysis problems had to be resolved. Formation evaluation using well logs was complicated by the shaliness of the sand intervals, the low and variable salinity of the formation waters, and the presence of low-pressure-gas (depleted) zones in many of the shallow sands. Solutions to these problems have required more modern logging programs and interpretation techniques. Logs available for the evaluation of these sands are the dual induction-laterolog, the compensated formation density log, the compensated neutron log, and the microlaterolog or proximity log. With this suite of logs it is possible to determine the shale content, porosity, saturation in the flushed zone, and water saturation of the sand, and to locate the low-pressure-gas sands and depleted zones. In cases where freshwater and oil are interlayered, it is possible to tell which sands contain oil and which contain only water. Because a quick interpretation is required, wellsite techniques are called for. These will be described

  15. Applications in the oil sands industry for Particlear{sup R} silica microgel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moffett, B. [DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise, Wilmington, DE (United States)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation demonstrated the use of Particlear{sup R} silica microgel in the oil sands industry. The silica-based coagulant is an amorphous silicon dioxide microgel solution. The surface area of a football field can be obtained using 2.7 grams of the substance. The coagulation mechanism is achieved by charge neutralization and inter-particle bridging. The microgel is manufactured at the point of use from commodity chemicals, water, and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}). Applications for the microgel include potable water treatment, paper retention, and animal processing wastewater. In the oil sands industry, Particlear{sup R} can be used in tailings flocculation, thickened tailings drying, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) water treatment, and enhanced bitumen recovery. It was concluded that the microgel can be used in many oil sands processing and liquid-solid separation processes in order to remove dissolved solids and organics and increase the rate of solids dewatering. tabs., figs.

  16. Sustainable use of oil sands for geotechnical construction and road building

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available of the three oil sand samples. Oil Sand ID w [%] wb [%] D10 D30 D50 D60 Cu Cc SE-09 1.4 8.5 0.07 0.12 0.17 0.19 2.9 1.17 SE-14 3.2 13.3 0.08 0.14 0.18 0.21 2.8 1.24 AU-14 2.2 14.5 0.09 0.17 0.22 0.27 3.0 1.19 w = water content; wb = bitumen content; Di... = grain size (mm) corresponding to i-percent passing by mass; Cu = coefficient of uniformity; Cc = coefficient of curvature. Sample Preparation The oil sand samples were prepared for the laboratory testing program using an Industrial Process...

  17. Integrated sulphur management : gas, oil sands, reclamation and the challenges of fluctuating demand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pineau, R.

    2009-01-01

    International Commodities Export Corporation is a privately held company that provides fully integrated service offerings to add maximum value in designing, building, owning, and operating sulphur assets. The company also offers in-house, engineering, procurement and project management, as well as supply management, transportation and distribution services. It also has expertise in marine transportation. This presentation discussed integrated sulphur management, with particular focus on gas, oil sands, reclamation and the challenges of fluctuating demand. The presentation provided an overview of the sulphur market and oil sands sulphur. Key considerations for oil sands producers were also presented. The challenges of fluctuating demand include price and volume considerations; logistics; geography and distance to market; export/offshore versus domestic/United States; seasonal considerations; and an inelastic sulphur market. The presentation concluded with a status update of ICEC's initiative and the advantages of Prince Rupert, an economically viable export infrastructure to producers without onsite forming facilities. figs

  18. Effect of bioremediation agents on oil biodegradation in medium-fine sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croft, B.C.; Swannell, R.P.J.; Grant, A.L.; Lee, K.

    1995-01-01

    A spill of weathered Arabian light crude oil on an intertidal sand zone was simulated in the laboratory. Respirometry, chemical, and microbiological methods were employed to assess the effectiveness of two bioremediation agents: a slow-release inorganic (Max Bac) and an oleophilic organic fertilizer (Inipol EAP22). Inipol EAP22 stimulated additional CO 2 evolution, and significantly increased both the total chemoheterotrophic population and the number of hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms. At the end of the experiment, the residual oil extracted from the Inipol-treated sand was significantly more biodegraded, based on the application of the conserved biomarkers (phytane and 17α, 21β hopane), than that removed from the other sand columns, albeit by a relatively small amount. The results suggested that Inipol EAP22 stimulated the chemoheterotrophic and hydrocarbon-degrading microbial population and, after a lag phase, encouraged oil biodegradation in fine sandy sediments subjected to a vertical tidal cycle

  19. In situ recovery of oil from Utah tar sand: a summary of tar sand research at the Laramie Energy Technology Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchant, L.C.; Westhoff, J.D.

    1985-10-01

    This report describes work done by the United States Department of Energy's Laramie Energy Technology Center from 1971 through 1982 to develop technology for future recovery of oil from US tar sands. Work was concentrated on major US tar sand deposits that are found in Utah. Major objectives of the program were as follows: determine the feasibility of in situ recovery methods applied to tar sand deposits; and establish a system for classifying tar sand deposits relative to those characteristics that would affect the design and operation of various in situ recovery processes. Contents of this report include: (1) characterization of Utah tar sand; (2) laboratory extraction studies relative to Utah tar sand in situ methods; (3) geological site evaluation; (4) environmental assessments and water availability; (5) reverse combustion field experiment, TS-1C; (6) a reverse combustion followed by forward combustion field experiment, TS-2C; (7) tar sand permeability enhancement studies; (8) two-well steam injection experiment; (9) in situ steam-flood experiment, TS-1S; (10) design of a tar sand field experiment for air-stream co-injection, TS-4; (11) wastewater treatment and oil analyses; (12) economic evaluation of an in situ tar sand recovery process; and (13) appendix I (extraction studies involving Utah tar sands, surface methods). 70 figs., 68 tabs.

  20. Study on trace and rare earth elements in Indonesian oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bai, Jing-ru; Wang, Qing; Liu, Hong-peng; Bai, Zhang [Northeast Dianli Univ., Jilin (China). Engineering Research Centre

    2013-07-01

    Major, trace elements and rare earth and mineral composition of the oil sand samples (ST1, ST2, ST3) and the oil sand retorting residue (semi-coke: SC1, SC2, SC3) from Indonesian were determined by XFS, ICP-MS and XRD methods. The trace elements content in oil sand is pretty much the same thing in Earth's Clarke value. The trace element is abundantly in earth's Clarke, in oil sand yet, for Ti, Mn, Ba, Sr, but these elements are lower enrichment. However, the Cr (EF = 16.8) and Mo (EF = 11.8) are ''enrichment'' in ST1; the Ni (EF =10.5), Se (EF = 17.5), Sr (EF = 28.7), Mo (EF = 106.5), Sc (EF = 12.8) and U (EF = 43.2) are ''enrichment'' in ST2; the Se (EF = 12.6), Sr (EF = 18.4), Mo (EF = 47.5), and U (EF = 27.8) are ''enrichment'' in ST3. Calculations show that trace elements in sime-coke have lower evaporation rate during Fischer Assay. Trace elements in raw oil sand are so stable that trace elements can't move easily to other pyrolysis product but enrich to sime-coke. After retorting, more elements are EF > 10, such as B, V, Ni, As, Se, Sr, Mo, Hg, Cs and U. It is essential to take the pollution produced by trace elements in sime-coke during the sime-coke utilization into consideration. The REEs content had a high correlation with the ash in oil sand. The REE is closely related to terrigenous elastic rocks.

  1. Effects of oil sands effluent on cattail and clover: photosynthesis and the level of stress proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowe, A.U.; Han, B.; Kermode, A.R.; Bendell-Young, L.I.; Plant, A.L. [Simon Fraser University, Burnaby (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2001-07-01

    The oil sands industry located in northeastern Alberta, Canada, generates large volumes of effluent characterized by a high level of dissolved ions and naphthenic acids. The dikes used to store the effluent seep, creating wetlands which are subsequently invaded by obligate wetland flora such as cattail (Typha latifolia L.). The appearance of these wetlands prompted the oil sands industry to consider wetlands as part of their reclamation strategy. However, to ensure long-term viability of such wetlands, the response of the flora to the industrial effluent needed to be determined. To this end, apparent photosynthesis (APS), the level of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBisCo) large subunit, dehydrin-related polypeptides, and protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) were evaluated in cattail and alsike clover plants (Trifolium hybridum L.) exposed to the oil sands effluent. APS measured in plants impacted by oil sands effluent was significantly higher than that of plants in the non-impacted off-site location. Among the on-site locations, plants growing in the natural wetlands site had higher APS compared to all other sites. The level of RuBisCo was not increased in cattail or clover growing in effluent-contaminated sites indicating that enhanced photosynthesis was not due to greater levels of this enzyme. Dehydrin-related polypeptides were detected only in the roots of cattail and were absent in clover. The polypeptide profile was altered in cattail exposed to oil sands effluent indicating that they were responding to an osmotic stress. The level of PDI was unaffected in the leaves of cattail regardless of the nature of the effluent to which they were exposed. Overall, the data indicate that cattail and clover are adapted to the oil sands effluent, although further studies are needed to assess their long-term ability to survive in the presence of this anthropogenic stress. (Author)

  2. Tar sands showdown : Canada and the new politics of oil in an age of climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clarke, T.

    2009-01-01

    This book outlined the social and environmental issues facing the oil sands industry in Canada, including economic sovereignty, energy security, water rights and free trade. The tar sands have become vital to the Canadian economy, as they have the potential to increase Canada's foreign oil output by 4 to 5 times in the next 15 years. The author discussed the ecological and social impact of the Alberta tar sands and the real cost of development to Albertans and Canadians. Tar sands oil production generates more than 3 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil production. The industry is also becoming a prime example of the abuse of water sources. The author emphasized the need to build an alternative energy future in an age of global warming. The main objective of this book was to help stimulate a nation-wide public debate about the tar sands and the critical issues at stake regarding Canada's energy future and an environmental strategy for more sustainable development. refs., tabs., figs.

  3. A novel waste water cleanup, fines sequestration and consolidation technology for oil sands applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soane, D.; Ware, W.; Mahoney, R.; Kincaid, P. [Soane Energy LLC, Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed a wastewater technology designed to rapidly sequester suspended fines and other pollutants from the tailings produced during oil sands processes. The technology can also be used to clarify existing tailings ponds, and is expected to help address growing environmental concerns over the remediation of oil sands tailings. The ATA system is comprised of the following 3 components: (1) an activator polymer, (2) a tether polymer, and (3) an anchor particle. A small dose of the activator polymer is added to the fine or mature tailings, which then causes the suspended clay fines to aggregate. The anchor particles are then coated with the tether polymer. The anchor particle is formed from sand derived from coarser tailings. The tether-bearing anchor particles bind to the aggregated clay fines in the activated tailings to form robust complexes that can easily be separated from the waste stream. Output streams from the ATA process include a clean water stream that can be reused in oil sands extraction processes; and a dewatered solid that can be used as landfill as well as in construction and reclamation applications. The sensible heat retained in the recycled water is expected to also reduce the energy requirements of the oil sands extraction process. 6 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  4. Crude oil growth impact on pipelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devries, O.

    2005-01-01

    This paper provided an outline of crude oil production and supply in Canada. Details of oil sands projects in Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River were presented. A chart of oil sands growth by major project was provided. A list of new emerging oil sands crude types was also presented along with details of a synthetic bitumen blending synergy. Maps of Western Canadian crude oil markets were provided, along with details of refinery and market demand by crude type. Various pipeline alternatives to new markets were examined, with reference to Enbridge Pipeline's supply and capacity. Details of the Hardisty to U.S Gulf Coast Pipeline and the Edmonton to Prince Rupert Pipeline and its terminal and dock facilities were presented. It was concluded that pipeline capacity and seasonal factors will influence market demand, while linefill, crude types and the quality of the product will influence operational strategies. tabs., figs

  5. Impacts and mitigations of in situ bitumen production from Alberta oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edmunds, Neil

    2010-09-15

    85% or more of Alberta's oil sands is too deep to mine and will be recovered by in situ methods, i.e. from drill holes. This has been made commercially possible through the development in Alberta of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). Does this impending development threaten the local ecosystem? A quantitative account is given of the principal impacts of in situ oil sands development in Alberta. Impacts on land (habitats), water, and air are considered in terms of local capacity, global benchmarks, and comparisons to alternative renewable technologies. Improvements due to new solvent-additive technology are highlighted.

  6. Paleontological overview of oil shale and tar sands areas in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphey, P. C.; Daitch, D.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-02-11

    In August 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58. In Section 369 of this Act, also known as the ''Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005,'' Congress declared that oil shale and tar sands (and other unconventional fuels) are strategically important domestic energy resources that should be developed to reduce the nation's growing dependence on oil from politically and economically unstable foreign sources. In addition, Congress declared that both research- and commercial-scale development of oil shale and tar sands should (1) be conducted in an environmentally sound manner using management practices that will minimize potential impacts, (2) occur with an emphasis on sustainability, and (3) benefit the United States while taking into account concerns of the affected states and communities. To support this declaration of policy, Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior to undertake a series of steps, several of which are directly related to the development of a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands. One of these steps was the completion of a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) to analyze the impacts of a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. For oil shale, the scope of the PEIS analysis includes public lands within the Green River, Washakie, Uinta, and Piceance Creek Basins. For tar sands, the scope includes Special Tar Sand Areas (STSAs) located in Utah. This paleontological resources overview report was prepared in support of the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resource Management Plan Amendments to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and PEIS, and it is intended to be used by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regional paleontologists and field office staff to support future

  7. Adsorption of surfactants on sand surface in enhanced oil recovery: Isotherms, kinetics and thermodynamic studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bera, Achinta; Kumar, T.; Ojha, Keka; Mandal, Ajay, E-mail: mandal_ajay@hotmail.com

    2013-11-01

    Adsorption of surfactants onto reservoir rock surface may result in the loss and reduction of their concentrations in surfactant flooding, which may render them less efficient or ineffective in practical applications of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. Surfactant flooding for EOR received attraction due to its ability to increase the displacement efficiency by lowering the interfacial tension between oil and water and mobilizing the residual oil. This article highlights the adsorption of surfactants onto sand surface with variation of different influencing factors. It has been experimentally found that adsorption of cationic surfactant on sand surface is more and less for anionic surfactant, while non-ionic surfactant shows intermediate behaviour. X-ray diffraction (XRD) study of clean sand particles has been made to determine the main component present in the sand particles. The interaction between sand particles and surfactant has been studied by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the sand particles before and after aging with surfactant. Salinity plays an important role in adsorption of anionic surfactant. Batch experiments were also performed to understand the effects of pH and adsorbent dose on the sorption efficiency. The sand particles exhibited high adsorption efficiency at low pH for anionic and nonionic surfactants. But opposite trend was found for cationic surfactant. Adsorption data were analyzed by fitting with Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson, and Sips isotherm models. Results show that the Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second order kinetics models suit the equilibrium and kinetics of adsorption on sand surface. Thermodynamics feasibility of the adsorption process was also studied to verify the spontaneity of the process.

  8. A new approach to the management of cumulative environmental impacts, the Alberta Oil Sands area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weagle, K.V.

    2002-01-01

    Resource development in the oil sand industry of Northeastern Alberta is enjoying a wave of renewed interest fuelled in part by changes made in the tax and royalty structure for oil sands developments in the province, the development of new technology and the price of oil. Announcements were made of investments totalling approximately 51 billion dollars in the oil sand industry over the next ten years in all deposits. The issue of cumulative environmental effects has been amplified accordingly. In June 2000, an association was formed, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), consisting of stakeholders and based on consensus, with a mandate to address 72 issues related to potential cumulative impacts in the expanded development of the Wood Buffalo Region. Five working groups were formed, as well as three standing committees. To mitigate the cumulative effects, the working groups and standing committees are working on management objectives, management systems and research recommendations. The regulatory bodies receive the recommendations, and the implementation process involves the issuance of permits and licenses. Research and monitoring activities play a vital role in the environmental management system and are part of other current environmental initiatives. Some of the initiatives are managed by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program, and the Canadian Oil Sands Network for Research and Development. These organizations touch on topics including air quality monitoring, aquatics monitoring and environmental research. 1 fig

  9. Easing the capacity crunch : infrastructure requirements to support rapidly developing oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zupan, L.

    2003-01-01

    Through annual consultation with its customers, Enbridge develops a supply and demand forecast which forms the basis for the company's development. It is complex to develop the appropriate pipeline infrastructure to support resource development, based on the significant forecast growth in supply in Alberta from oil sands and the limited traditional markets. The largest crude oil pipeline serving the oil sands industry in Alberta is owned and operated by Enbridge. The first customer was Suncor, followed by PetroCanada and EnCana. In 2002, a pipeline concept was developed by Enbridge to provide a link to Edmonton via a new large diameter pipeline. The mainline system which originates in Edmonton is expected to evolve and grow as oil sands production comes on line. The completion of Terrace Phase III expansion is one of the priorities for Enbridge in 2003. Other projects involve the extension of one of its lines from Mokena to Chicago, the segregation of batches on the system to improve quality of its deliveries, and extension and expansion into new markets. Shipper support will determine the scale of these developments. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has undergone a market study, as has Enbridge (Oil Sands Markets Study) in an effort to better understand markets and potential markets. It will assist in the determination of which pipeline infrastructure requires expansion, as well as the extent of infrastructure required to support new markets. tabs., figs

  10. Steam producing plant concept of 4S for oil sand extraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuyama, Shinichiro; Nishiguchi, Youhei; Sakashita, Yoshiaki; Kasuga, Shoji; Kawashima, Masatoshi

    2009-01-01

    Plant concept of small fast reactor '4S' applying to continuous steam production for recovery of crude oil from oil sands was investigated. Assuming typical steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) plant whose production scale is 120,000 barrels per day of a crude oil, concept of nuclear steam supply system consisting of eight reactor modules for steam production and three reactor modules for electric generation of the 4S with a thermal rating of 135 MWt was established without any essential or significant design change from the preceding 4S with a thermal rating of 30 MWt. The 4S, provided for an oil sand extraction, will reduce greenhouse gas emission significantly, and has not much burden for development and licensing and has economic competitiveness. (author)

  11. Proceedings of the Canadian Institute conference on maximizing oil sands growth : improving transportation logistics, labour supply and pipeline availability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This conference focused on the development of a transportation infrastructure to accommodate oil sands growth, with particular reference to building a pipeline infrastructure to meet the delivery and supply requirements of oil sands producers. The need for transmission system upgrades and additions to meet the electric power requirements of the oil sands industry was also discussed. The transportation options and new proposed pipeline construction projects that will alleviate the current transportation challenges in the oil sands region were identified. These include the implementation of new infrastructure strategies based on current pipeline availability, Kyoto requirements and downstream market demands. The impact of labour shortages on the oil sands industry was reviewed along with solutions to prevent and overcome these shortages. The conference featured 15 presentations, of which 3 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs

  12. Groundwater Discharges to Rivers in the Western Canadian Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, J.; Jasechko, S.

    2016-12-01

    Groundwater discharges into rivers impacts the movement and fate of nutrients and contaminants in the environment. Understanding groundwater-surface water interactions is especially important in the western Canadian oil sands, where groundwater contamination risks are elevated and baseline water chemistry data is lacking, leading to substantial uncertainties about anthropogenic influences on local river quality. High salinity groundwater springs sourced from deep aquifers, comprised of Pleistocene-aged glacial meltwater, are known to discharge into many rivers in the oil sands. Understanding connections between deep aquifers and surficial waterways is important in order to determine natural inputs into these rivers and to assess the potential for injected wastewater or oil extraction fluids to enter surface waters. While these springs have been identified, their spatial distribution along rivers has not been fully characterized. Here we present river chemistry data collected along a number of major river corridors in the Canadian oil sands region. We show that saline groundwater springs vary spatially along the course of these rivers and tend to be concentrated where the rivers incise Devonian- or Cretaceous-aged aquifers along an evaporite dissolution front. Our results suggest that water sourced from Devonian aquifers may travel through bitumen-bearing Cretaceous units and discharge into local rivers, implying a strong groundwater-surface water connection in specialized locations. These findings indicate that oil sands process-affected waters that are injected at depth have the potential to move through these aquifers and reach the rivers at the surface at some time in the future. Groundwater-surface water interactions remain key to understanding the risks oil sands activities pose to aquatic ecosystems and downstream communities.

  13. Heat-resistant agent used for control sand of steam huff and puff heavy oil well

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, F. S.; Liu, G. L.; Lu, Y. J.; Xiong, X. C.; Ma, J. H.; Su, H. M.

    2018-01-01

    Heat-resistant agent containing hydroxymethyl group was synthesized from coal tar, which has similar structure with phenolic resin and could improve the heat resistance of phenolic resin sand control agent. The results showed that the heat resistance of the sand control agent was improved by adding 10% to 30% heat-resistant agent, after 280°C high temperature treatment for 7d, the compressive strength of consolidated core was increased to more than 5MPa. The compressive strength of consolidation core was not decreased after immersion in formation water, crude oil, acid or alkaline medium, which showed good resistance to medium immersion. The sand control agent had small core damage and the core permeability damage ratio of sand control agent consolidation was only 18.7%.

  14. Watered down : overcoming federal inaction on the impact of oil sands development to water resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Droitsch, D.

    2009-11-01

    The oil sands industry is having a negative impact on Canada's fresh water resources and aquatic ecosystems. Members of the Government of the Northwest Territories (NT) and experts from scientific, non-governmental, and First Nations groups have stated at federal hearings that the federal government must involve itself in the protection of Canada's water resources. This report discussed compelling testimony from recent federal hearings by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.The federal government must establish enforceable standards for key toxic substances created by oil sands activity. A water-sharing agreement must be established between Alberta, NT, Saskatchewan, and First Nations governments. Other recommendations included the establishment of a peer-reviewed assessment of the health impacts of industrial oil sands development on First Nations communities; the establishment of cumulative effects assessment procedures; the identification and protection of listed species at risk; and the establishment of proactive measures designed to ensure that oil sands operators pay for the environmental damage caused to water resources. 94 refs., 4 figs.

  15. Royal Society of Canada expert panel report : environmental and health impacts of Canada's oil sands industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gosselin, P.; Hrudey, S.E.; Naeth, M.A.; Plourde, A.; Therrien, R.; Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ; Van Der Kraak, G.; Guelph Univ., ON; Xu, Z.

    2010-12-01

    This expert panel report was commissioned by the Royal Society of Canada to provide a comprehensive evidence-based assessment of the environmental and health impacts of Canada's oil sands industry. The report evaluated the feasibility of land reclamation and the impacts of oil sands contaminants on downstream residents. Health impacts on residents living in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo were assessed, and the impacts on regional water supplies were evaluated. Regional water and ground water quantities were examined, and issues related to tailing pond operations and reclamation were examined. Ambient air quality impacts were assessed, as well as potential impacts of the oil sands industry on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The environmental regulatory performance of operators in the industry was also evaluated. A summary of economic and policy issues related to the industry was also provided. The study identified major gaps in the process of assessment, prevention, and mitigation of the health impacts of oil sands exploitation, as as major indirect health impacts linked to past exploitation activities. 672 refs., 11 tabs., 11 figs. 10 appendices.

  16. Microbial communities involved in methane production from hydrocarbons in oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Penner, Tara; Klassen, Jonathan; Nesbø, Camilla; Foght, Julia M

    2012-09-04

    Microbial metabolism of residual hydrocarbons, primarily short-chain n-alkanes and certain monoaromatic hydrocarbons, in oil sands tailings ponds produces large volumes of CH(4) in situ. We characterized the microbial communities involved in methanogenic biodegradation of whole naphtha (a bitumen extraction solvent) and its short-chain n-alkane (C(6)-C(10)) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) components using primary enrichment cultures derived from oil sands tailings. Clone libraries of bacterial 16S rRNA genes amplified from these enrichments showed increased proportions of two orders of Bacteria: Clostridiales and Syntrophobacterales, with Desulfotomaculum and Syntrophus/Smithella as the closest named relatives, respectively. In parallel archaeal clone libraries, sequences affiliated with cultivated acetoclastic methanogens (Methanosaetaceae) were enriched in cultures amended with n-alkanes, whereas hydrogenotrophic methanogens (Methanomicrobiales) were enriched with BTEX. Naphtha-amended cultures harbored a blend of these two archaeal communities. The results imply syntrophic oxidation of hydrocarbons in oil sands tailings, with the activities of different carbon flow pathways to CH(4) being influenced by the primary hydrocarbon substrate. These results have implications for predicting greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands tailings repositories.

  17. Streamflow measurements in the oil sands region of northeastern Alberta[General Conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashiq, M.; Ade, F. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada). Water Resources Engineering Group

    2006-07-01

    Oil sands mining in the muskeg terrain of north-eastern Alberta will result in changes to the natural landscape, including changes to the morphology of receiving streams. The streams in the oil sands region are fed by constricted flows through the muskeg terrain. The roughness of the stream is attributed to sporadic cobbles and boulders, in-stream vegetation, over hanging vegetation and large quantities of wooden debris from beaver activities. This paper discussed stream roughness features in the oil sands region and compared the velocity profiles in these streams to the normal channel velocity profile. The study also included a comparison of computed discharges based on a simple method and a detailed method. The sources of errors in velocity measurements were then discussed. It was noted that before any oil sand mining project is approved, flows in receiving streams are monitored as part of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). The flows are then monitored again after project approval as part of project approval conditions.

  18. Process water treatment in Canada's oil sands industry : 2 : a review of emerging technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, E.W.

    2008-01-01

    This review was conducted to identify candidate treatment technologies for treating oil sands process water. The oil sands industry in Canada uses large volumes of fresh water in order to extract bitumen deposits. The development of process water treatment technologies has become a critical issue for the industry, particularly as oil sand production is expected to triple in the next decade. However, treatment technologies must be adapted to consider the fouling potential of bitumens and fine clays as well as the effect of alkaline process water on treatment performance. The review included developments in chemical modifications to membranes and adsorbents designed to improve pollutant removal and reduce fouling; hybridization technologies designed to enhance the biological treatment of toxic feedwaters; recent advances in photocatalytic oxidation technologies for organic compounds; and new designs for large-scale treatment wetlands for polluted waste waters. It was concluded that major knowledge gaps must be optimized and preliminary studies must be conducted in order to understand how the treatment technologies will be affected by the chemical and physical characteristics of oil sands process water. 188 refs., 8 tabs

  19. Comparison of P-containing {gamma}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} supported Ni-Mo bimetallic carbide, nitride and sulfide catalysts for HDN and HDS of gas oils derived from Athabasca bitumen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sundaramurthy, V.; Dalai, A.K. [Catalysis and Chemical Reaction Engineering Laboratories, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Adjaye, J. [Syncrude Edmonton Research Centre, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-09-01

    Phosphorus containing {gamma}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} supported bimetallic Ni-Mo carbide, nitride and sulfide catalysts have been synthesized from an oxide precursor containing 12.73wt.% Mo, 2.54wt.% Ni and 2.38wt.% P and characterized by elemental analysis, pulsed CO chemisorption, surface area measurements, X-ray diffraction, temperature-programmed reduction and DRIFT spectroscopy of CO adsorption. DRIFT spectroscopy of adsorbed CO on activated catalysts showed that carbide and nitride catalysts have surface exposed sites of Mo{sup o+} (0oil and heavy gas oil derived from Athabasca bitumen in the temperature range 340-370 and 375-400{sup o}C respectively at 8.8MPa. The gradual transformation of Ni-Mo carbide and nitride phases into Ni-Mo sulfide phases was observed during precoking period, and the formed Ni-Mo sulfide phases enhanced the HDN and HDS activities of carbide and nitride catalysts. The {gamma}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} supported Ni-Mo bimetallic sulfide catalyst was found to be more active for HDN and HDS of light gas oil and heavy gas oil than the corresponding carbide and nitride catalysts on the basis of unit weight. (author)

  20. Achieving emissions reduction through oil sands cogeneration in Alberta’s deregulated electricity market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ouellette, A.; Rowe, A.; Sopinka, A.; Wild, P.

    2014-01-01

    The province of Alberta faces the challenge of balancing its commitment to reduce CO 2 emissions and the growth of its energy-intensive oil sands industry. Currently, these operations rely on the Alberta electricity system and on-site generation to satisfy their steam and electricity requirements. Most of the on-site generation units produce steam and electricity through the process of cogeneration. It is unclear to what extent new and existing operations will continue to develop cogeneration units or rely on electricity from the Alberta grid to meet their energy requirements in the near future. This study explores the potential for reductions in fuel usage and CO 2 emissions by increasing the penetration of oil sands cogeneration in the provincial generation mixture. EnergyPLAN is used to perform scenario analyses on Alberta’s electricity system in 2030 with a focus on transmission conditions to the oil sands region. The results show that up to 15–24% of CO 2 reductions prescribed by the 2008 Alberta Climate Strategy are possible. Furthermore, the policy implications of these scenarios within a deregulated market are discussed. - Highlights: • High levels of cogeneration in the oil sands significantly reduce the total fuel usage and CO 2 emissions for the province. • Beyond a certain threshold, the emissions reduction intensity per MW of cogeneration installed is reduced. • The cost difference between scenarios is not significant. • Policy which gives an advantage to a particular technology goes against the ideology of a deregulated market. • Alberta will need significant improvements to its transmission system in order for oil sands cogeneration to persist

  1. Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) induction in rainbow trout exposed to diluted oil sand wastewater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verbeek, A.; Mackay, W.; Birkholz, D.

    1995-01-01

    Toxic industrial wastewaters, such as those from oil sands extraction, must be assessed for their potential sublethal effects before they can be safely disposed in the environment. The induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity was assessed as a potential bioindicator of sublethal stress in rainbow trout exposed to sublethal concentrations of oil sands tailings water. The mixed-function oxygenase system in rainbow trout responded rapidly following a definable concentration-response relationship; however, it proved to be a relatively insensitive indicator of sublethal exposure to oil sands tailings water. Increased activity and maximal induction, as a result of exposure to 0.3 and 0.6 times the LC 50 (Toxic Units), occurred rapidly within 24 hours of exposure. The linearity of the relationship between the concentration of oil sands tailings pond water and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity, expressed by the following regression equation, In EROD = 3.68 (conc.) + 3.20, had an r 2 value of 0.593. Maximal induction required 0.4--0.8 Toxic Units. The absolute level of maximal induction was only one-fifth to one-sixth of the potential induction as found in response to the positive control, 0.5 mg/kg β-naphthoflavone (i.p.). The authors also present data that suggests that the different levels of induction observed in trout exposed to tailings pond water vs those injected with 0.5 mg/kg β-naphthoflavone (i.p.) may be indicative of two different P450 isoforms, the CYP4Al isoform responding to the organic acidic surfactants in oil sands tailings pond water and the CYP1A1 isoform, the isoform generally associated with most xenobiotic transformation in fish, responding to β-naphthoflavone

  2. Co-occurrence of methanogenesis and N{sub 2} fixation in oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, C.E. Victoria [Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7 (Canada); Foght, Julia M. [Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9 (Canada); Siddique, Tariq, E-mail: tariq.siddique@ualberta.ca [Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7 (Canada)

    2016-09-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada have been producing biogenic gases via microbial metabolism of hydrocarbons for decades. Persistent methanogenic activity in tailings ponds without any known replenishment of nutrients such as fixed nitrogen (N) persuaded us to investigate whether N{sub 2} fixation or polyacrylamide (PAM; used as a tailings flocculant) could serve as N sources. Cultures comprising mature fine tailings (MFT) plus methanogenic medium supplemented with or deficient in fixed N were incubated under an N{sub 2} headspace. Some cultures were further amended with citrate, which is used in oil sands processing, as a relevant carbon source, and/or with PAM. After an initial delay, N-deficient cultures with or without PAM produced methane (CH{sub 4}) at the same rate as N-containing cultures, indicating a mechanism of overcoming apparent N-deficiency. Acetylene reduction and {sup 15}N{sub 2} incorporation in all N-deficient cultures (with or without PAM) suggested active N{sub 2} fixation concurrently with methanogenesis but inability to use PAM as a N source. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed little difference between archaeal populations regardless of N content. However, bacterial sequences in N-deficient cultures showed enrichment of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium members that might contain N{sub 2}-fixing species. The results are important in understanding long-term production of biogenic greenhouse gases in oil sands tailings. - Highlights: • Methanogenesis in oil sands tailings can occur under nitrogen depleted conditions. • {sup 15}N{sub 2} isotopic analysis reveals that indigenous microbes can fix N{sub 2} for microbial metabolism and methanogenesis. • 16S rRNA gene analysis suggests that members of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium may be involved in N{sub 2} fixation. • This is the first report that describes co-occurrence of methanogenesis and nitrogen fixation in oil sands tailings.

  3. On the origin of calcite-cemented sandstones in the clearwater formation oil-sands, Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colquhoun, I.M.

    1999-01-01

    This thesis examined the formation of calcite-cemented sandstones in the Clearwater Formation within the Cold Lake and southern Primrose areas of the Alberta oil sands. Three stages of diagenesis have been recognized, both in the calcite-cemented sandstones and reservoir sands. Diagenesis of the Clearwater Formation in the Cold Lake and southern Primrose areas ended once the reservoir filled with hydrocarbons, but in the Cold Lake area, diagenesis of water-saturated sands likely continued after hydrocarbon emplacement. The reservoir sands in the formation contain a diverse clay mineral assemblage. In general, 0.7 nm clays dominate the diagenetic clay mineralogy of the Clearwater sands. Reservoir sands that contain large amounts of detrital clays and early diagenetic, grain-coating chlorite/smectite have significantly reduced bitumen-saturation. The presence of detrital and diagenetic smectitic clays complicates the removal of bitumen from the Clearwater formation using cyclic steam stimulation techniques because they swell during steam stimulation and reduce porosity and permeability of reservoir sands. Reservoir sands that contain kaolinite, feldspar and calcite react to form smectitic clays, which swell upon cyclic steam stimulation and further reduce porosity and permeability of reservoir sands. However, in the Cold Lake and Primrose areas, the dominant clay mineral is berthierine, which is associated with high calcite, which help to preserve porosity, permeability and bitumen saturation. The porous nature of bitumen-saturated, calcite-cemented sandstones that are laterally extensive could possibly provide a preferential path for steam to initiate calcite dissolution and produce significant concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide in injected fluids. It was noted that this may then precipitate as carbonate scale within the reservoir and could cause formation damage or affect production equipment. 207 refs., 9 tabs., 58 figs., 3 appendices.

  4. Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalyander, P. Soupy; Long, Joesph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Thompson, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates that formed in the surf zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continued to cause beach re-oiling 3 years after initial stranding. To understand this phenomena and inform operational response now and for future spills, a numerical method to assess the mobility and alongshore movement of these “surface residual balls” (SRBs) was developed and applied to the Alabama and western Florida coasts. Alongshore flow and SRB mobility and potential flux were used to identify likely patterns of transport and deposition. Results indicate that under typical calm conditions, cm-size SRBs are unlikely to move alongshore, whereas mobility and transport is likely during storms. The greater mobility of sand compared to SRBs makes burial and exhumation of SRBs likely, and inlets were identified as probable SRB traps. Analysis of field data supports these model results.

  5. EX8000 ramps up preparation phase in Horizon oil sands project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2006-07-15

    This article presented details of Hitachi's EX8000 hydraulic shovel, a key piece of equipment that will be used throughout the extensive mine preparation phase of the Horizon oil sands project. Within 2 years, the project expects to produce over 200,000 barrels of oil per day. However, more than 400 million cubic metres of soil will need to be moved before production can begin. In order to remain on schedule, overburden must be removed in massive volumes. With a 52.3 cubic yard bucket, the Hitachi EX8000 has the capacity to feed a dozen 320 metric tonne haul trucks as well as several smaller 282 metric tonne trucks, and can fill each truck in 4 passes. Material is now being moved by to an area in which dikes are being constructed to house water generated in the refining process. Stockpiling, relocation and reclamation phases will follow as the project progresses. In order to reach the oil, as much as 75 feet of overburden must be removed, including layers of sandstone, limestone, trap rock and other materials. Once the overburden has been removed, oil sand layers are also often intermixed with other materials. The EX8000 can separate the tramp material from the oil sands, improving the overall efficiency of the operation. The Alberta-based North American Construction Group, who have a 10-year contract with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for the Horizon project, owns more than 100 Hitachi units in various sizes and has already purchased another EX8000 which is slated for delivery in the Fall of 2006. It was concluded that the company has purchased hundreds of new trucks to handle added volumes of materials being moved as the oil sands industry gains momentum. 3 figs.

  6. Institutionalizing environmental due diligence as part of the organization's culture: The Suncor Oil Sands Group experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, R.; Klym, D.

    1992-01-01

    The Suncor Oil Sands Group produces ca 22 million bbl/y of synthetic crude oil from oil sands in northern Alberta. Initiatives taken by the Group to install environmental due diligence as an integral part of Suncor culture are reviewed. Environmental due diligence means taking all reasonable care to safeguard the environment. To practice environmental due diligence, the organization and its members must have an environmental consciousness that can be observed, measured, and monitored through daily practices. In the period from startup of the oil sands plant in 1967 to the mid-1970s, Suncor culture could be described as research oriented, oriented toward examination of the viability of extracting oil from the oil sands and the development of new extraction processes. Management then moved toward a more production-based culture, in which environmental issues were sometimes perceived to be in conflict with production goals. External factors toward the end of the 1980s created a culture shift to an integration of production culture with social entities including environmental consciousness. A corporate push toward a new environmental culture was first concretized when the management's Health and Safety Policy was changed in 1990 to the Health, Safety and Environment Policy. A new Environmental Diligence Program was implemented in three phases, including planning, development of a comprehensive environmental management system, and implementation. Installation of the Program in the first phase is described, focusing on employee and management training, and results of the installation process are presented. Modifications of Suncor's loss control management program to integrate with the environmental diligence program are also noted. 2 refs

  7. Enhanced ex situ bioremediation of crude oil contaminated beach sand by supplementation with nutrients and rhamnolipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolopoulou, M; Pasadakis, N; Norf, H; Kalogerakis, N

    2013-12-15

    Mediterranean coastal regions are particularly exposed to oil pollution due to extensive industrialization, urbanization and transport of crude and refined oil to and from refineries. Bioremediation of contaminated beach sand through landfarming is both simple and cost-effective to implement compared to other treatment technologies. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of alternative nutrients on biodegradation of crude oil contaminated beach sand in an effort to reduce the time required for bioremediation employing only indigenous hydrocarbon degraders. A natural sandy soil was collected from Agios Onoufrios beach (Chania, Greece) and was contaminated with weathered crude oil. The indigenous microbial population in the contaminated sand was tested alone (control treatment) or in combination with inorganic nutrients (KNO3 and K2HPO4) to investigate their effects on oil biodegradation rates. In addition, the ability of biosurfactants (rhamnolipids), in the presence of organic nutrients (uric acid and lecithin), to further stimulate biodegradation was investigated in laboratory microcosms over a 45-day period. Biodegradation was tracked by GC/MS analysis of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons components and the measured concentrations were corrected for abiotic removal by hopane normalizations. It was found that the saturated fraction of the residual oil is degraded more extensively than the aromatic fraction and the bacterial growth after an incubation period of approximately 3 weeks was much greater from the bacterial growth in the control. The results show that the treatments with inorganic or organic nutrients are equally effective over almost 30 days where C12-C35n-alkanes were degraded more than 97% and polyaromatic hydrocarbons with two or three rings were degraded more than 95% within 45 days. The results clearly show that the addition of nutrients to contaminated beach sand significantly enhanced the activity of

  8. Sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as a valuable tool for isolating essential oil components from conifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B

    2011-11-01

    Essential oils are one of nature's most precious gifts with surprisingly potent and outstanding properties. Coniferous oils, for instance, are nowadays being used extensively to treat or prevent many types of infections, modify immune responses, soothe inflammations, stabilize moods, and to help ease all forms of non-acute pain. Given the broad spectrum of usage of coniferous essential oils, a fast, safe, simple, and efficient sample-preparation method is needed in the estimation procedure of essential oil components in fresh plant material. Generally, the time- and energy-consuming steam distillation (SD) is applied for this purpose. This paper will compare SD, pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD), and the sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as isolation techniques to obtain aroma components from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). According to the obtained data, SSDM is the most efficient sample preparation method in determining the essential oil composition of conifers. Moreover, SSDM requires small organic solvent amounts and a short extraction time, which makes it an advantageous alternative procedure for the routine analysis of coniferous oils. The superiority of SSDM over MSPD efficiency is ascertained, as there are no chemical interactions between the plant cell components and the sand. This fact confirms the reliability and efficacy of SSDM for the analysis of volatile oil components. Copyright © 2011 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  9. Changes in algal stable isotopes following nutrient and peat amendments in oil sands aquatic reclamation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farwell, A.; Chen, H.; Boutsivongskad, M.; Dixon, D.

    2010-01-01

    The processing of oil sands in Alberta generates large volumes of processed material that must be reclaimed. Processed water and solids (PW/S) contain higher levels of naturally occurring compounds such as naphthenic acids (NAs) and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Organic carbon and nitrogen are some of the constituents in PW/S that may provide nutrient sources for aquatic reclamation sites as they develop into viable ecosystems. This study was conducted to assess the modifying factors that may affect the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of primary production in oil sands aquatic reclamation. Both field-based microcosm studies and laboratory studies were used to evaluate the changes in the growth and stable isotope values of phytoplankton, periphyton and/or filamentous algae along gradients of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), nitrogen and phosphorus. Various types of reclamation substrates were used in the study, including various combinations of sand, mature fine tailings, peat and process water. Results showed different levels of growth depending on both the water and substrate type. Typically, periphyton from oil sands reclamation sites were more enriched in 15N than the reference site. Periphyton from one site known as the MP site was more enriched in 13C than periphyton from another site know as the Shallow Wetland South Ditch (SWSD). However, periphyton in the demonstration pond (DP) was more 13C depleted than the reference site. Findings from this study indicate that carbon isotopes are influenced by other factors, such as nutrients.

  10. Proceedings of the Infonex oil sands 2005 conference : an industry summit on emerging trends in exploration, production and resource management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This conference provided a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the oil sands industry with particular reference to resource characterization and supply and market outlooks to 2015. The driving forces behind oil sands development were also identified. The conference featured 12 presentations that dealt with a range of issues including resource management; operations management; price and cost sharing; emerging transmission pipeline challenges and opportunities; the fiscal regime for oil sands; minimizing the environmental impact of oil sands development; cumulative effects management and the regulatory approval process. An overview of a joint venture by Alberta Environment Northern Region and the Alberta Geological Survey to update existing maps of buried bedrock and drift channels in the oil sands mining and in-situ recoverable areas was included along with an overview of economic and environmental benefits of gasification. A new technology known as multiphase superfine atomized residue (MSAR) as an alternate fuel in oil sands production was discussed along with the issue of bridging the gap between the oil sand industry and First Nations partners. Three of the 12 presentations were catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs

  11. Assessing the effects of oil sands related ozone precursor emissions on ambient ozone levels in the Alberta oil sands region, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sunny; Vijayaraghavan, Krish; Spink, David; Cosic, Biljana; Davies, Mervyn; Jung, Jaegun

    2017-11-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether, and the extent to which, increased ground-level ozone (O3) precursor emissions from oil sands development have impacted ambient air quality in the north-eastern Alberta, Canada, over the period 1998 to 2012. Temporal trends in emissions of O3 precursors (NOx and VOC) and ambient air concentrations of O3 precursors, and O3 were examined using the Theil-Sen statistical analysis method. Statistically significant correlations between NOx emissions and ambient NOx concentrations were found mainly near surface (open-pit) mining areas where mine fleets are a large source of NOx emissions. No statistically significant trends in the 4th highest daily maximum 8-hr average O3 at any of the continuous and passive ambient air monitoring stations were found. A significant long-term decrease in monthly averaged O3 is observed at some ambient monitoring sites in summer. A visual examination of long-term variations in annual NOx and VOC emissions and annual 4th highest daily maximum 8-hr O3 concentrations does not reveal any indication of a correlation between O3 concentrations and O3 precursor emissions or ambient levels in the study area. Despite a significant increase in oil sands NOx emissions (8%/yr), there is no statistically significant increase in long-term O3 concentrations at any of monitoring stations considered. This suggests that there is surplus NOx available in the environment which results in a titration of ambient O3 in the areas that have ambient monitoring. The limited ambient O3 monitoring data distant from NOx emission sources makes it impossible to assess the impact of these increased O3 precursor levels on O3 levels on a regional scale. As a precautionary measure, the increasing oil sands development O3 precursor emissions would require that priority be given to the management of these emissions to prevent possible future O3 ambient air quality issues.

  12. Utilization of fly ash as partial sand replacement in oil palm shell lightweight aggregate concrete

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazrin Akmal, A. Z. Muhammad; Muthusamy, K.; Mat Yahaya, F.; Hanafi, H. Mohd; Nur Azzimah, Z.

    2017-11-01

    Realization on the increasing demand for river sand supply in construction sector has inspired the current research to find alternative material to reduce the use of natural sand in oil palm shell lightweight aggregate concrete (OPS LWAC) production. The existence of fly ash, a by-product generated from coal power plant, which pose negative impact to the environment when it is disposed as waste, were used in this research. The effect of fly ash content as partial sand replacement towards workability and compressive strength of OPS lightweight aggregate concrete were investigated. Four concrete mixes containing various percentage of fly ash that are 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% by weight of sand were used in the experimental work. All mixes were cast in form of cubes before subjected to water curing until the testing age. Compressive strength test were conducted at 1, 3, 7 and 28 days. The finding shows that the workability of the OPS LWAC decreases when more fly ash are used as sand replacement. It was found that adding of 10% fly ash as sand replacement content resulted in better compressive strength of OPS LWAC, which is higher than the control mix.

  13. Supercritical fluid extraction of soybean oil from the surface of spiked quartz sand - modelling study

    OpenAIRE

    Stela Jokić; B. Nagy; K. Aladić; B. Simándi

    2013-01-01

    The extraction of soybean oil from the surface of spiked quartz sand using supercritical CO2 was investigated. Sand as solid was used; it is not porous material so the internal diffusion does not exist, all the soluble material is in the surface of the particles. Sovová’s model has been used in order to obtain an analytical solution to develop the required extraction yield curves. The model simplifies when the internal diffusion can be neglected. The external mass transfer coefficient was det...

  14. Heavy crude and tar sands - the long-term oil reserve

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnea, J

    1984-10-01

    It appears that heavy crude and tar sands occur in many sedimentary areas, and estimates of known world-wide quantities exceed those known for conventional light crude resources. Although there are not precise figures available, production could be as high as three million barrels per day, with Venezuela, the US, and Canada the largest producers. There are different scales to measure the costs of production because of differences in the quality of various types of heavy crude and tar sands. Economic development of these resources should banish fears of oil scarcity in the foreseeable future. A center for information exchange through international meetings and publications is under development.

  15. Pore Scale Analysis of Oil Shale/Sands Pyrolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Chen-Luh [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Miller, Jan [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2011-03-01

    There are important questions concerning the quality and volume of pore space that is created when oil shale is pyrolyzed for the purpose of producing shale oil. In this report, 1.9 cm diameter cores of Mahogany oil shale were pyrolyzed at different temperatures and heating rates. Detailed 3D imaging of core samples was done using multiscale X-ray computed tomography (CT) before and after pyrolysis to establish the pore structure. The pore structure of the unreacted material was not clear. Selected images of a core pyrolyzed at 400oC were obtained at voxel resolutions from 39 microns (Οm) to 60 nanometers (nm). Some of the pore space created during pyrolysis was clearly visible at these resolutions and it was possible to distinguish between the reaction products and the host shale rock. The pore structure deduced from the images was used in Lattice Boltzmann simulations to calculate the permeability in the pore space. The permeabilities of the pyrolyzed samples of the silicate-rich zone were on the order of millidarcies, while the permeabilities of the kerogen-rich zone after pyrolysis were very anisotropic and about four orders of magnitude higher.

  16. Oil sands naphthenic acids: a review of properties, measurement, and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lisa D; Ulrich, Ania C

    2015-05-01

    The Alberta oil sands contain one of the world's largest reserves of oil - over 169 billion barrels of bitumen are economically recoverable with current extraction technologies. Surface mining and subsequent hot water extraction of bitumen from the ore generates about nine cubic meters of raw tailings per cubic meter of oil. Oil sands facilities are required to operate under a policy of zero water discharge, resulting in ponds containing more than one billion cubic meters of tailings, a mixture of sand, fines and process-affected water. Process-affected water contains numerous organic compounds, including naphthenic acids (NAs), which have been identified as the primary source of acute toxicity of process-affected water. Developments in analytical techniques, aerobic biodegradability, and treatment via chemical oxidation (ozone) of NAs are reviewed. The field continues to be challenged by the lack of a cost-effective, accurate analytical technique for NAs or an understanding of all the organic constituents in process-affected water that may be contributing to observed toxicity and thus requiring treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Pan Am tar sand bid revealed

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, E

    1968-12-16

    Muskeg Oil Co., wholly-owned subsidiary of Pan American Canada Oil Co. Ltd., hopes to expand its proposed initial 8,000 bpd in situ Athabasca tar sand production scheme to an ultimate rate of 60,000 bpd. The Muskeg recovery process involves an in situ combustion technique developed by Pan American and applied successfully in experimental work in the Athabasca area. The underground burning process develops heat in the formation, reduces crude bitumen viscosity, and displaces the bitumen to the producing wells. Core analyses have been used to determine bitumen in place, wherever possible. Values for uncored wells were based on logs, through development of an empirical relationship between formation resistivity measured by focused logging devices and bitumen content determined by core analysis. The proposed recovery process is a 10-acre well spacing with 9-spot configuration. The McMurray Formation will be fractured hydraulically and preheated by a combustion process. The bitumen will be recovered by a combustion displacement process utilizing air and water.

  18. Sedimentological and Scanning Electron Miscroscopic Descriptions of Afowo Oil Sand Deposits, South Western Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akinmosin A

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sedimentological and scanning electron microscopic analyses of some shallow reservoir tar sand samples in parts of Southwestern Nigeria were carried out with the aim of characterizing the reservoir properties in relation to bitumen saturation and recovery efficiency. The production of impregnated tar from the sands requires the reservoir to be of good quality. A total of thirty samples were collected at different localities within the tar sand belt (ten out of these samples were selected for various reservoir quality analyses based on their textural homogeneity. The result of particle size distribution study showed that bulk of the sands is medium – coarse grained and moderately sorted. The grain morphologies are of low to high sphericity with shapes generally sub-angular to sub-rounded, implying that the sands have undergone a fairly long transportation history with depositional energy having a moderate to high velocity. The quartz content was made up of about 96% of the total mineralogical components; the sediments of the Afowo Formation can be described to be mineralogically and texturally stable. The result of the scanning electron microscopy (SEM analysis revealed that the oil sands contained minerals which had been precipitated and occurred as pore filling cement; these minerals include sheet kaolinite, block kaolinite, vermiform kaolinite, pyrite crystals and quartz. The SEM images also showed micro-pores ranging from 0.057µm to 0.446µm and fractures. The study showed that the clay minerals contained in the Afowo reservoir rocks were mainly kaolinite. Kaoline unlike some other clays (e.g Montimorillonite does not swell with water, hence it is not expected to have any negative effects on the reservoir quality, especially during enhanced oil recovery operations.

  19. Enhanced Gravitational Drainage of Crude Oil Through Alabama Beach Sand Caused by the Dispersant Corexit 9500A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffy, D. A.; Nichols, A.; Hobbs, K.

    2017-12-01

    Oil spill material released by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident contaminated a majority of the 60 miles of Alabama coastline. In response to the oil spill, BP sprayed a dispersant, Corexit 9500A, as an initial remediation effort. An unforeseen impact of the saltwater-dispersant mixture includes the mobilization of oil-spilled material into the underlying beach sand. This study investigated the effect of the dispersant to promote gravitational drainage by measuring the physical characteristics of the sand, saltwater, crude oil, and the dispersant solution. The saltwater-dispersant mixture promoted the downward movement of oil mass 20 times greater extent than just saltwater. These tests are meant to simulate spill material on the beach being exposed to a low-energy, 1-meter mixed tide occurring along the Alabama coastline. A separate test simulated oilwet sand exposed to saltwater and a saltwater-dispersant mixture. The oil-wet sand impeded the vertical movement of saltwater, but allowed a saltwater-dispersant solution to mobilize the oil to migrate downward. The mobilization of oil in this three phase system of saltwater, oil, and air is controlled by: the pressure-saturation profile of the sand; interfacial tension with saltwater; and its surface tension with air.

  20. Performance of thermal solvent process in Athabasca reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Das, Swapan [Marathon Oil (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In the petroleum industry, due to depletion of conventional resources and high demand operators are looking into heavy oil and bitumen production. Different recovery methods exist, some of them based on heating the reservoir and others on the use of solvent. Thermal solvent process is a combination of both: a small amount of heat is used to maintain a solvent vapor phase in the reservoir. This process has advantages, solvent is mostly recycled which increases bitumen recovery efficiency and reduces the need for fresh solvent, but it also poses challenges, such as maintaining a vapor chamber and the fact that solvent solubility might be affected by heating. The aim of this paper is to discuss these issues. Simulations and field tests were conducted on bitumen in the the Athabasca region. This paper presented a thermal solvent process and its application's results in Athabasca reservoir.

  1. Conservation and reclamation at Alberta's mineable oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Purdy, B.; Richens, T. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The regulatory foundation for oil sands in this region is established by the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), as well as the Water Act. This presentation discussed the regulatory foundation for conservation and reclamation in the mineable oil sands region. EPEA requirements and conservation objectives were identified. EPEA conservation and reclamation requirements stipulate that an operator must conserve and reclaim and obtain a reclamation certificate. EPEA approvals that were presented compared prescriptive standards versus meeting outcomes at certification. Operational and management challenges as well as the role of research networks and multi-stakeholder organizations were also addressed. Challenge facing the industry include progressive reclamation; tailings management and process-affected water; reclamation certification; integrated landscapes; soil handling and revegetation and monitoring and research. The presentation demonstrated that reclamation begins with mine planning and ends with certification. figs.

  2. The development of today's mineable oil sands projects, the key factors influencing economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lynn, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    Many factors influence the perception of economic performance for developing projects. Some of these factors can be controlled by the developer, while some are outside the developer's sphere of influence. Technology selection, management systems, stakeholder involvement, environmental responsiveness and risk management are areas that may be influenced, however interest rates, product prices and currency exchange all have a measurable effect on project economics and are beyond a developer's control. Economic considerations for evaluating mineable oil sand development projects are outlined, focussing on the key factors unique to such developments in general and to the OSLO project in particular. The OSLO project is a proposed $5 billion energy development that entails constructing an open pit oil sands mine and a bitumen extraction facility north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, coupled with a bitumen upgrader in the Redwater area. 7 figs

  3. Presentations of the CONRAD Research Symposium : oil sands water usage workshop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    This symposium provided a forum to exchange ideas regarding water use by the oil sands industry in Canada. The topics of discussion addressed timely issues such as corrosion control in pipelines, cumulative discharge modelling in the oil sands area, waste management schemes, the effects of potential limits on water withdrawal for thermal recovery operations and plant operations, the feasibility of geological sequestration of salts, and the impact of process-affected water on bitumen recovery. Other topics of discussion included tailings ponds management, deoxygenation of water, nanofiltration for water management, water quality for wetlands, water reuse, and water supply security. The conference featured 25 presentations, of which 17 have been indexed separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs

  4. Planning for, and measuring, the business value of technology projects in the oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sayed, M. [Northern Alberta Inst. of Technology, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Burgess, A. [Telus Energy Sector Organization, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    This presentation discussed new communications technology options developed for oil sands industry operators. Technology options included broadband access for data, video and voice requirements, as well as new options for video, audio, and web conferencing. Recent technology options for inter-camp communications were presented, as well as new software developments for distance education, video surveillance, and data security. Various entertainment technologies for oil sands camp employees included in-room telephones, internet and gaming access, radio, television, and family web-cams. New electronic permitting equipment was described, and details of security and verification cards and tickets were provided. The economic benefits and social advantages of adopting the technologies were discussed. A research project and assessment tool designed to predict and measure the business value of information technology (IT) and communications technologies and projects was outlined. A case study of the Schlumberger heavy equipment program was used to demonstrate the assessment tool. refs., tabs., figs.

  5. Carbon neutral 2020 : a leadership opportunity in Canada's oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCulloch, M.; Raynolds, M.; Wong, R.; Holmes, R. (ed.)

    2006-10-15

    Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are projected to be 32 per cent higher in 2010 than they were in 1990. The development of Canada's oil sands is the single largest contributor to GHG emissions growth in Canada. This report estimates the cost for an oil sands operation to become carbon neutral by 2020. In addition to energy efficiency or fuel switching measures which should be considered on a continual basis, the 2 main options for achieving carbon neutrality are carbon capture and storage (CCS) and GHG offsets. This report considered 3 scenarios: (1) maximum CCS in which all point sources are captured and stored, (2) moderate CCS in which only carbon dioxide from hydrogen production is captured and stored, and (3) maximum offsets in which CCS is not used and all emissions are offset. The results for the 3 scenarios were presented under operating situations that ranged from 100 per cent mining, 100 per cent in-situ, and 55 per cent mining with 45 per cent in-situ operations. The estimated costs per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent using both CCS and offsets ranged from US $22 to US $66. The costs per barrel for achieving neutrality could therefore range from US $2-14, with the higher costs assigned to the CCS options. It was noted that the cost of becoming carbon neutral will continue to decline as oil sands companies generate greater profits per barrel. It was concluded that carbon neutrality is economically feasibly by 2020, given the current high profit margins for oil sands companies. In addition, the cost of reducing carbon is not much higher per barrel than the cost of removing lead or sulphur from fuel. 67 refs., 13 tabs., 10 figs.

  6. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway I: changes in porewater chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Arkell, Nicholas; Young, Rozlyn; Li, Carmen; Guigard, Selma; Underwood, Eleisha; Foght, Julia M

    2014-01-01

    Dispersed clay particles in mine tailings and soft sediments remain suspended for decades, hindering consolidation and challenging effective management of these aqueous slurries. Current geotechnical engineering models of self-weight consolidation of tailings do not consider microbial contribution to sediment behavior, however, here we show that microorganisms indigenous to oil sands tailings change the porewater chemistry and accelerate consolidation of oil sands tailings. A companion paper describes the role of microbes in alteration of clay chemistry in tailings. Microbial metabolism in mature fine tailings (MFT) amended with an organic substrate (hydrolyzed canola meal) produced methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Dissolution of biogenic CO2 lowered the pH of amended MFT to pH 6.4 vs. unamended MFT (pH 7.7). About 12% more porewater was recovered from amended than unamended MFT during 2 months of active microbial metabolism, concomitant with consolidation of tailings. The lower pH in amended MFT dissolved carbonate minerals, thereby releasing divalent cations including calcium (Ca(2+)) and magnesium (Mg(2+)) and increasing bicarbonate (HCO(-) 3) in porewater. The higher concentrations increased the ionic strength of the porewater, in turn reducing the thickness of the diffuse double layer (DDL) of clay particles by reducing the surface charge potential (repulsive forces) of the clay particles. The combination of these processes accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. In addition, ebullition of biogenic gases created transient physical channels for release of porewater. In contrast, saturating the MFT with non-biogenic CO2 had little effect on consolidation. These results have significant implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds and broad importance in anaerobic environments such as contaminated harbors and estuaries containing soft sediments rich in clays and organics.

  7. Expectations and drivers of future greenhouse gas emissions from Canada's oil sands: An expert elicitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKellar, Jennifer M.; Sleep, Sylvia; Bergerson, Joule A.; MacLean, Heather L.

    2017-01-01

    The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of oil sands operations has declined over time but has not offset absolute emissions growth due to rapidly increasing production. Policy making, decisions about research and development, and stakeholder discourse should be informed by an assessment of future emissions intensity trends, however informed projections are not easily generated. This study investigates expected trends in oil sands GHG emissions using expert elicitation. Thirteen experts participated in a survey, providing quantitative estimates of expected GHG emissions intensity changes and qualitative identifications of drivers. Experts generally agree that emissions intensity reductions are expected at commercially operating projects by 2033, with the greatest reductions expected through the use of technology in the in situ area of oil sands activity (40% mean reduction at multiple projects, averaged across experts). Incremental process changes are expected to contribute less to reducing GHG emissions intensity, however their potentially lower risk and cost may result in larger cumulative reductions. Both technology availability and more stringent GHG mitigation policies are required to realize these emissions intensity reductions. This paper demonstrates a method to increase rigour in emissions forecasting activities and the results can inform policy making, research and development and modelling and forecasting studies. - Highlights: • Expert elicitation used to investigate expected trends in oil sands GHG emissions. • Overall, emissions intensity reductions are expected at commercial projects by 2033. • Reductions are expected due to both technology changes and process improvements. • Technology availability and more stringent GHG policies are needed for reductions. • Method used increases rigour in emissions forecasting, and results inform policy.

  8. Papers of the Canadian Institute's 3. annual conference : oil sands supply and infrastructure : labour supply, upgraders, transportation, pipelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    The focus of this conference was on the development of the oil sands industry, with specific reference to issues concerning supply and infrastructure. Energy source development and transmission issues were discussed, as well as transportation systems. The impact of increased oil sands development on pipelines was also examined. Various fuel options were discussed, including the use of hydrogen, natural gas and alternate fuels in manufacturing and processing plants. Economic drivers and the creation of new markets were examined, and various export opportunities were reviewed. The environmental impact of increased oil sands activity was discussed, with specific reference to the Boreal regions. Management challenges in the oil sands industry were also discussed along with issues concerning human resources, labour supply, training and education. The conference featured 15 presentations, of which 13 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  9. Thermochemical method for the treatment of oil contaminated sand; Metodo termoquimico para tratamento de areia contaminada por oleo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pimenta, Rosana C.G.M. [Fundacao Gorceix, Ouro Preto, MG (Brazil)]|[PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Khalil, Carlos N. [PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Centro de Pesquisas (CENPES)

    2004-07-01

    In January 2000 there was a major oil spill in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, which contaminated 2400 tons of sand. This work, based on NGS (Nitrogen Generating System) technology, was adapted for cleaning contaminated sand and recovering of spilled oil. NGS is a thermochemical method first developed for removal of paraffin deposits in production and export pipelines. The method is based on a strongly exothermic redox chemical reaction between two salts catalyzed in acidic pH. The reaction products are harmless to the environment and consist of nitrogen, sodium chloride, water and heat. By combining simultaneous effects of the treatment such as heating, turbulence and floatation, one can remove, within 98% of efficiency, spilling oil from contaminated sand. After treatment, removed oil can be securely returned to refining process. The method has proved to be efficient, fast, low cost and ecologically correct method for cleaning contaminated sand and can be applied in place right after a contamination event. (author)

  10. Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yaxin; Liang, Jiaming; Liu, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The extraction process used to obtain bitumen from the oil sands produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As a newly emerging desalination technology, forward osmosis (FO) has shown great promise in saving electrical power requirements, increasing water recovery, and minimizing brine discharge. With the support of this funding, a FO system was constructed using a cellulose triacetate FO membrane to test the feasibility of OSPW desalination and contaminant removal. The FO systems were optimized using different types and concentrations of draw solution. The FO system using 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing.

  11. Methanogenic biodegradation of paraffinic solvent hydrocarbons in two different oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad Shahimin, Mohd Faidz; Siddique, Tariq

    2017-04-01

    Microbial communities drive many biogeochemical processes in oil sands tailings and cause greenhouse gas emissions from tailings ponds. Paraffinic solvent (primarily C 5 -C 6 ; n- and iso-alkanes) is used by some oil sands companies to aid bitumen extraction from oil sands ores. Residues of unrecovered solvent escape to tailings ponds during tailings deposition and sustain microbial metabolism. To investigate biodegradation of hydrocarbons in paraffinic solvent, mature fine tailings (MFT) collected from Albian and CNRL ponds were amended with paraffinic solvent at ~0.1wt% (final concentration: ~1000mgL -1 ) and incubated under methanogenic conditions for ~1600d. Albian and CNRL MFTs exhibited ~400 and ~800d lag phases, respectively after which n-alkanes (n-pentane and n-hexane) in the solvent were preferentially metabolized to methane over iso-alkanes in both MFTs. Among iso-alkanes, only 2-methylpentane was completely biodegraded whereas 2-methylbutane and 3-methylpentane were partially biodegraded probably through cometabolism. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing showed dominance of Anaerolineaceae and Methanosaetaceae in Albian MFT and Peptococcaceae and co-domination of "Candidatus Methanoregula" and Methanosaetaceae in CNRL MFT bacterial and archaeal communities, respectively, during active biodegradation of paraffinic solvent. The results are important for developing future strategies for tailings reclamation and management of greenhouse gas emissions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Co-occurrence of methanogenesis and N2 fixation in oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, C E Victoria; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-09-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada have been producing biogenic gases via microbial metabolism of hydrocarbons for decades. Persistent methanogenic activity in tailings ponds without any known replenishment of nutrients such as fixed nitrogen (N) persuaded us to investigate whether N2 fixation or polyacrylamide (PAM; used as a tailings flocculant) could serve as N sources. Cultures comprising mature fine tailings (MFT) plus methanogenic medium supplemented with or deficient in fixed N were incubated under an N2 headspace. Some cultures were further amended with citrate, which is used in oil sands processing, as a relevant carbon source, and/or with PAM. After an initial delay, N-deficient cultures with or without PAM produced methane (CH4) at the same rate as N-containing cultures, indicating a mechanism of overcoming apparent N-deficiency. Acetylene reduction and (15)N2 incorporation in all N-deficient cultures (with or without PAM) suggested active N2 fixation concurrently with methanogenesis but inability to use PAM as a N source. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed little difference between archaeal populations regardless of N content. However, bacterial sequences in N-deficient cultures showed enrichment of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium members that might contain N2-fixing species. The results are important in understanding long-term production of biogenic greenhouse gases in oil sands tailings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Predicting development of undrained shear strength in soft oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masala, S. [Klohn Crippen Berger, Calgary, AB (Canada); Matthews, J. [Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed a method of predicting the development of undrained shear strength in soft oil sands tailings. Phenomenology charts of oil sands tailings ponds were used to present the suspension, density, stresses and hydrostatic behaviour of tailings. Sedimentation and consolidation processes were discussed. The charts demonstrated how the tailings slurry settles and consolidates, releases water and dissipates pore pressures. The slurry then develops intergranular stresses and increases in density. The increases correlate with increased resistance to deformation and decreased compressibility and hydraulic conductivity. A critical state soil mechanics (CSSM) was used to characterize the soft oil sands tailings. Undrained strength was determined using the concept of the undrained strength ratio (USR). The USR was determined using traditional geotechnical investigation methods. Settling of the non-consolidated (NC) soil deposits was simulated using the finite strain consolidation theory. The model was based on the premise that current effective stresses control undrained shear strength in the NC deposits. Case studies were used to demonstrate the predictive framework. tabs, figs.

  14. Oil sands mining and reclamation cause massive loss of peatland and stored carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney, Rebecca C.; Bayley, Suzanne E.; Schindler, David W.

    2012-01-01

    We quantified the wholesale transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Contrary to claims made in the media, peatland destroyed by open-pit mining will not be restored. Current plans dictate its replacement with upland forest and tailings storage lakes, amounting to the destruction of over 29,500 ha of peatland habitat. Landscape changes caused by currently approved mines will release between 11.4 and 47.3 million metric tons of stored carbon and will reduce carbon sequestration potential by 5,734–7,241 metric tons C/y. These losses have not previously been quantified, and should be included with the already high estimates of carbon emissions from oil sands mining and bitumen upgrading. A fair evaluation of the costs and benefits of oil sands mining requires a rigorous assessment of impacts on natural capital and ecosystem services. PMID:22411786

  15. Cultural keystone species in oil sands reclamation, Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garibaldi, A.; Straker, J. [Stantec Consulting Ltd., Surrey, BC (Canada)

    2009-12-15

    This presentation discussed a reclamation project conducted in Fort McKay, Alberta that was designed to address some of the social and cultural concerns related to oil sands mining in the region. Conventional reclamation practices in the region have demonstrated a lack of communication and participation from surrounding communities. The project was designed to address future land use plans and to include cultural values in the reclamation process. An integrative approach was used to address community landscapes issues and to explore methods of reclaiming the social and ecological components impacted by oil sands development. Traditional environmental knowledge was also incorporated into the program's design. Cultural keystone species (CKS) were used to provide a culturally relevant compass to guide people engaging in long-term reclamation and land use planning. Cultural keystone species were defined as salient species that significantly shape the cultural identity of a people. Keystone species in the region include the beaver; the moose; the ratroot; and cranberries and blueberries. Challenges to the program included the fact that the scale of oil sands disturbances are so immense that some community recommendations for reclaiming CKS may be impractical. tabs., figs.

  16. Sediment oxygen demand of wetlands in the oil sands region of north-eastern Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slama, C.; Ciborowski, J.J.; Gardner Costa, J.

    2009-01-01

    Reclaimed land in the Alberta oil sands mining area contains both reference and oil sands process-affected wetlands constructed using varying sediment compositions. The sediments derived from oil sands process materials (OSPM) may alter the biochemical reactions that take place and affect the sediment oxygen demand (SOD), which is a key factor that contributes to oxygen depletion. This presentation reported on a study in which SOD was measured in a suite of constructed wetlands of different ages, with or without OSPM and topsoil. The purpose of the study was to clarify the role of SOD in wetland function and in the reclamation process. Dissolved oxygen loggers were inserted into dome-shaped chambers on the sediment to measure changes in oxygen demand. Complementary measurements of respiration (CO 2 elution) were used to quantify the biological sediment oxygen demand (BSOD) component of SOD. The chemical sediment oxygen demand (CSOD) was then determined by subtraction from SOD. Wetlands reclaimed using OSPM are expected to have a lower BSOD to CSOD ratio than reference wetlands. Residual ammonia in OSPM sediments may react with sulphate and bind phosphorus. This reduces phosphorus bioavailability and may impede submergent macrophyte growth. As such, wetlands affected by CSOD will have fewer submerged macrophytes than BSOD dominant wetlands.

  17. NorthernLights Transmission : bringing competitive cogen energy from the oil sands to west coast markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hogan, M.J.C.

    2005-01-01

    NorthernLights Transmission is an initiative by TransCanada that proposes 2 major high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines to bring low cost, fossil fuelled and renewable generation from the Fort McMurray area to growing electricity markets in the Pacific Northwest, Nevada, Arizona and California. This presentation demonstrated why oil sands cogeneration, shipped via NorthernLights Transmission, is a very attractive resource for these markets. It was shown that the best generation resources are tied to natural resources such as coal, wind, oil sands cogeneration and hydro. Both the Pacific Northwest and California markets prefer low carbon dioxide generation. The proposed HVDC transmission lines would maximize the use of existing energy infrastructure corridors and rights-of-way where possible. This paper presented details of the proposed Celilo Project and the Inland Project, and noted that both are attractive from a technical and economic perspective. The transmission line for the Celilo project would originate in Fort McMurray and connect highly efficient cogeneration and other developing forms of generation to growing loads in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. The cogeneration plants will supply steam and electricity to northern Alberta's oil sands developments along with surplus electricity for export. tabs., figs

  18. The Impact of Foreign Investment Restrictions on the Stock Returns of Oil Sands Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene Beaulieu

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In December 2012, prompted by the proposed purchase of Nexen by the Chinese SOE CNOOC, the federal government announced revised guidelines for investments by state-owned enterprises (SOEs in the oil sands. Declaring the sale marked “the end of a trend and not the beginning of a trend,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper explained how the government would approach such decisions in the future, including placing the onus on foreign investors to demonstrate how deals would be of net benefit to Canada, as well as granting the industry minister the discretion to accept or deny proposed deals. Accounting for five per cent of Canadian GDP, $28 billion in government revenue and three per cent of all jobs nationwide, the oil sands are an integral component of Canada’s economy. The sector has long relied on foreign capital to finance projects, meaning that any move to deter outside investment could have profound consequences for the development of this critical economic asset. In this paper, the authors examine the impact of this policy change by measuring the stock returns of firms operating in the oil sands. Employing an event study analysis, they find empirical evidence that the government’s policy change has resulted in the material destruction of shareholder wealth, particularly in the case of the smaller oil companies. What is more, given the composition of the global oil industry has changed to one where SOEs dominate both reserves and production, is this a policy Canada can afford in the long term? “When we say that Canada is open for business, we do not mean that Canada is for sale to foreign governments.” - Prime Minister Stephen Harper, December 7, 2012 “…going forward, the [industry] minister will find the acquisition of control of a Canadian oil-sands business by a state-owned enterprise to be of net benefit, only in an exceptional circumstance.” - Prime Minister Stephen Harper, December 7, 2012 “A year after the new Investment

  19. Influence of Geometric Parameters of the Hydrocyclone and Sand Concentration on the Water/Sand/Heavy-Oil Separation Process: Modeling and Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Farias

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the oil exploitation, produced fluids are composed of oil, gas, water and sand (depending on the reservoir location. The presence of sand in flow oil leads to several industrial problems for example: erosion and accumulation in valves and pipeline. Thus, it is necessary to stop production for manual cleaning of equipments and pipes. These facts have attracted attention of academic and industrial areas, enabling the appearing of new technologies or improvement of the water/oil/sand separation process. One equipment that has been used to promote phase separation is the hydrocyclone due to high performance of separation and required low cost to installation and maintenance. In this sense, the purpose of this work is to study numerically the effect of geometric parameters (vortex finder diameter of the hydrocyclone and sand concentration on the inlet fluid separation process. A numerical solution of the governing equations was obtained by the ANSYS CFX-11 commercial code. Results of the streamlines, pressure drop and separation efficiency on the hydrocyclone are presented and analyzed. It was observed that the particles concentration and geometry affect the separation efficiency of the hydrocyclone.

  20. The use of small modular nuclear reactors for Canadian Oil Sands applications: a proposal and way forward

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Attwood, D., E-mail: ergo.applications@gmail.com [Human Factors Applications, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Moledina, M., E-mail: mohamedmoledina@rogers.com [Consultant, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2013-07-01

    It has been estimated that Canada's Oil Sands contain between 160 and 200 billion barrels of oil reserves - the second largest accumulation of oil in the world after Saudi Arabia. It is also estimated that by 2015, output from the oil sands should increase from about 1 million barrels per day (mbbl/day) to approximately 4 mbbl/day. However, Canada and the world have to pay a price for oil extraction from the sands.It is estimated that about 40 cubic metres of natural gas as fuel must be burned for each barrel of synthetic crude produced. Therefore, if oil sands production did reach 4 mbbl/day, natural gas use for oil production could seriously limit exports of natural gas to the US. It has also been estimated that every barrel of synthetic oil pollutes about 950 liters of fresh water and emits about 100 Kg of Carbon Dioxide (CO{sub 2}) along with other pollutants. Clearly an alternate source of energy is required for oil sands production that will allow our natural gas to be put to better use while simultaneously sustaining our environment. The energy must be continuously obtainable and not be subject to the intermittent availability of wind or sunlight. Nuclear energy is the obvious choice. Nuclear energy for power generation has been prevalently used around the world since the 1950's. Today, there are more than 440 Nuclear Power Plants(NPPs) operating safely worldwide. Each has different characteristics that would make them comparatively acceptable for operation in Northern Canada. This paper will briefly review the various types of nuclear plants that are currently in operation or are being licensed worldwide,as well as those that are proposed for operation in the near future including small nuclear power reactors (< 300 me). Moreover, it will propose a list of the NPP characteristics that are best suited to oil sands operation. This will lead to a proposal to encourage the development of small modular reactors (SMRs) for installation in oil sands

  1. Experimental and simulated displacement of oil in sand berea cores using aqueous solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.; Gonzalez, J.L.; Hernandez, F.; Hernandez, H.

    2009-01-01

    The development of a mathematical algorithm to simulate the displacement of a resident fluid using a displacing one in a saturated anisotropic porous media is shown in this work. The algorithm was included in the simulator developed by the present authors in previous works to represent the anisotropic distribution of the porous media properties and the fluid injection [Ramirez A et al. Mathematical simulation of oil reservoir properties. Chaos, solitons and Fractals 2008;38:778-88, Ramirez A et al. Simulation of uncompressible fluid flow through a porous media. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 2009;39:1753-63] in a nested loop to analyze the participant nodes in the transport process and calculate the volumes of the resident and new fluids. The new routine developed takes in count the mobility of both fluids. Additionally experimental fluid displacement tests were done using heavy oil from Mexican reservoirs as a resident fluid in sand berea cores. The injection of new fluids in natural oil reservoirs is a part of the Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods used to improve the oil displacement and increase production after the primary stage of the oil recovery has been finished. Water is an available and economical resource to be used as a displacing fluid due to many of the producers (off-shores) of the oil industries are placed in the sea near the coast.

  2. A series of NiMo/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalysts containing boron and phosphorus. Part 2. Hydrodenitrogenation and hydrodesulfurization using heavy gas oil derived from Athabasca bitumen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferdous, D.; Dalai, A.K. [Catalysis and Chemical Reactor Engineering Laboratories, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon (Canada) SK S7N 5C9; Adjaye, J. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton Research Center (Canada)

    2004-04-08

    The hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) and hydrodesulfurization (HDS) activity of a series of NiMo/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalyst containing boron (B) and phosphorus (P) were tested in a trickle bed reactor using heavy gas oil derived from Athabasca bitumen. Detailed characterization of these catalysts is given in Part I of this paper. Addition of B and P caused the formation of extremely strong acid sites on the catalyst and enhanced its HDN activity. The total (TN), basic (BN) and non-basic nitrogen (NBN) conversions increased from 61.9 to 78.0wt.%, from 78.9 to 93.0wt.% and from 52.8 to 70.0wt.%, respectively, with the increase in B concentration from 0 to 1.7wt.% to NiMo/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalyst. Similarly, TN, BN and NBN conversions increased from 61.9 to 78.4wt.%, from 78.9 to 91.0wt.%, and from 52.8 to 71.6wt.% with the addition of 2.7wt.% P. Though the addition of B and P to NiMo/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} catalyst did not show any significant effect on S conversion, the HDN and HDS activities of the catalyst containing 1.7wt.% B and the one containing 2.7wt.% P are comparable to those of a commercial catalyst. The activity over extended period indicated that catalysts L and K were more stable (lower deactivation rate) in terms of nitrogen removal activity than catalyst B (reference catalyst). On the other hand, the stability for sulfur removal was comparable with catalyst B. Selected catalysts after use were characterized using BET surface area, TPR, TPD and SEM techniques which were correlated further with their activities.

  3. Prediction of critical transport velocity for preventing sand deposition in gas-oil multiphase production and well systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bello, O.O.; Reinicke, K.M. [Technische Univ. Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Germany). Inst. of Petroleum Engineering; Teodoriu, C. [Texas A and M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Petroleum Engineering

    2008-10-23

    The critical transport velocity is one of the key parameters for gas-oil-sand multiphase production and well system design and safe operation. Existing American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 14E (API RP 14E) for the sizing of multiphase flow systems suggests an equation to calculate threshold transport velocity. This equation only considers mixture density and does not account for factors such as fluid properties, gas-liquid flow patterns, sand loading, sand particle size, size distributions, shape factor and density. This work presents an improved computational methodology, which can be applied to estimate the critical transport velocity required to ensure efficient performance of gas-oil-sand multiphase production and well systems. The improved method is based on the modelling of three-phase gas-oil-sand pipe flow physics from first principle. Computations of the critical transport velocities show reasonable agreement with values calculated from mechanistic model (Danielson, 2007) for a relatively wide range of design and operating conditions. Compared with the mechanistic model (Danielson, 2007), the present method has no imposed limitations to the range of applicability. It is also takes into adequate account the effects of operating pressure, flow geometry, sand particle size, size distribution and shape factor, which have considerable influence on the critical transport velocity in gas-oil-sand multiphase production and well systems. (orig.)

  4. Class I cultural resource overview for oil shale and tar sands areas in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Rourke, D.; Kullen, D.; Gierek, L.; Wescott, K.; Greby, M.; Anast, G.; Nesta, M.; Walston, L.; Tate, R.; Azzarello, A.; Vinikour, B.; Van Lonkhuyzen, B.; Quinn, J.; Yuen, R.; Environmental Science Division

    2007-11-01

    In August 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58. In Section 369 of this Act, also known as the 'Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005', Congress declared that oil shale and tar sands (and other unconventional fuels) are strategically important domestic energy resources that should be developed to reduce the nation's growing dependence on oil from politically and economically unstable foreign sources. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate alternatives for establishing commercial oil shale and tar sands leasing programs in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. This PEIS evaluates the potential impacts of alternatives identifying BLM-administered lands as available for application for commercial leasing of oil shale resources within the three states and of tar sands resources within Utah. The scope of the analysis of the PEIS also includes an assessment of the potential effects of future commercial leasing. This Class I cultural resources study is in support of the Draft Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resource Management Plan Amendments to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and is an attempt to synthesize archaeological data covering the most geologically prospective lands for oil shale and tar sands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. This report is based solely on geographic information system (GIS) data held by the Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). The GIS data include the information that the BLM has provided to the SHPOs. The primary purpose of the Class I cultural resources overview is to provide information on the affected environment for the PEIS. Furthermore, this report provides recommendations to support planning decisions and the management of cultural resources that could be impacted by future

  5. Petrophysical studies in heavy oil sands with early water production - Hamaca area, Orinoco Oil Belt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salisch, H.A.

    1982-07-01

    This study describes the main lines of petrophysical research in the Hamaca-Pao region of the Orinoco Oil Belt. The techniques and parameters most appropriate for petrophysical studies in the area of interest are discussed. Field tests have confirmed the conclusions of this study on early water production and low oil recovery. Steam injection was shown to be a means for increasing oil mobility to such a degree that significant amounts of additional oil can be produced.

  6. Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process to Oil Sands Environmental Compliance Risk Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Izak Johannes, III

    Oil companies in Alberta, Canada, invested $32 billion on new oil sands projects in 2013. Despite the size of this investment, there is a demonstrable deficiency in the uniformity and understanding of environmental legislation requirements that manifest into increased project compliance risks. This descriptive study developed 2 prioritized lists of environmental regulatory compliance risks and mitigation strategies and used multi-criteria decision theory for its theoretical framework. Information from compiled lists of environmental compliance risks and mitigation strategies was used to generate a specialized pairwise survey, which was piloted by 5 subject matter experts (SMEs). The survey was validated by a sample of 16 SMEs, after which the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to rank a total of 33 compliance risks and 12 mitigation strategy criteria. A key finding was that the AHP is a suitable tool for ranking of compliance risks and mitigation strategies. Several working hypotheses were also tested regarding how SMEs prioritized 1 compliance risk or mitigation strategy compared to another. The AHP showed that regulatory compliance, company reputation, environmental compliance, and economics ranked the highest and that a multi criteria mitigation strategy for environmental compliance ranked the highest. The study results will inform Alberta oil sands industry leaders about the ranking and utility of specific compliance risks and mitigations strategies, enabling them to focus on actions that will generate legislative and public trust. Oil sands leaders implementing a risk management program using the risks and mitigation strategies identified in this study will contribute to environmental conservation, economic growth, and positive social change.

  7. Differences in phytotoxicity and dissipation between ionized and nonionized oil sands naphthenic acids in wetland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Sarah A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Germida, James J

    2009-10-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are composed of alkyl-substituted acyclic and cycloaliphatic carboxylic acids and, because they are acutely toxic to fish, are of toxicological concern. During the caustic hot-water extraction of oil from the bitumen in oil sands deposits, NAs become concentrated in the resulting tailings pond water. The present study investigated if dissipation of NAs occurs in the presence of hydroponically grown emergent macrophytes (Typha latifolia, Phragmites australis, and Scirpus acutus) to determine the potential for phytoremediation of these compounds. Plants were grown with oil sands NAs (pKa approximately 5-6) in medium at pH 7.8 (predominantly ionized NAs) and pH 5.0 (predominantly nonionized NAs) to determine if, by altering their chemical form, NAs may be more accessible to plants and, thus, undergo increased dissipation. Whereas the oil sands NA mixture in its nonionized form was more toxic to wetland plants than its ionized form, neither form appeared to be sequestered by wetland plants. The present study demonstrated that plants may selectively enhance the dissipation of individual nonionized NA compounds, which contributes to toxicity reduction but does not translate into detectable total NA dissipation within experimental error and natural variation. Plants were able to reduce the toxicity of a NA system over 30 d, increasing the median lethal concentration (LC50; % of hydroponic solution) of the medium for Daphnia magna by 23.3% +/- 8.1% (mean +/- standard error; nonionized NAs) and 37.0% +/- 2.7% (ionized NAs) as determined by acute toxicity bioassays. This reduction in toxicity was 7.3% +/- 2.6% (nonionized NAs) and 45.0% +/- 6.8% (ionized NAs) greater than that in unplanted systems.

  8. Alberta's new oil boom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikiforuk, A.

    1997-01-01

    A massive expansion of Canada's oil sands and the oil-mining business is underway. The prediction is that within five years there will be at least three, possibly six, huge new open pit mines north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. It was suggested that within 20 years, possibly half of Canada's oil supply will come from the oil sands industry which has already attracted $10 billion worth of developments. Unlike conventional crude, the oil sands contain bitumen, water, clay, minerals and lots of sands. Shallow deposits are mined like coal. Deeper formations make use of in-situ thermal recovery techniques. Extraction costs are presently at $15 per barrel, aiming for $12 by 1999. Return on investment is in double digits. Estimates of reserves in the Athabasca, Cold Lake, Peace River and Wabasca deposits go as high as 1.7 trillion barrels, or about twice as much as Saudi Arabia's conventional crude reserves. Syncrude has built a $5 billion production facility and two pipelines have already been proposed to transport the oil sands crude to midwestern US refineries. US refineries prize synthetic crude as excellent mixing stock. The major problem with oil sands is that unlike conventional oil, these reserves require an enormous amount of energy to exploit, which in turn means lots of foul air and greenhouse gases. There are many environmental unknowns, and without a clear management framework in sight the addition of two or three Syncrude-size operations has the potential to create a real and significant acid rain problem in the Western Canada Basin

  9. Reclamation research for the future at Syncrude Canada Ltd. : soil simulation-revegetation studies on tailings sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fedkenheuer, A W; Browne, J

    1979-12-01

    In response to the rising demand for energy in today's world, oil extracted from oil sands has become a viable energy source. Syncrude Canada Ltd. is a 2.2 billion dollar oil sands surface mining and processing venture situated in the Athabasca oil sands of northeastern Alberta. It is located near the town of Fort McMurray approximately 420 km north of Edmonton. During its planned 25 years of mine life, Syncrude expects to produce more than 1 billion barrels of oil from a 2800 ha mine area. Syncrude is committed to reclaiming this immense mine area. The reclamation objective is to return the disturbed site to a vegetative cover having a productivity which is equal to or greater than that which existed prior to disturbance. The reclaimed area must also be compatible with the neighboring natural areas. To accomplish this the vast quantities of tailings sand (that is, the leftover sand from which the oil has been extracted) must be reformed into a soil which is capable of supporting native plant communities. Researchers at Syncrude are looking for ways to use indigenous materials with the tailings sand to simulate a naturally-formed soil. Native plant species are being tested to see how well they will grow in such simulated soils and to evaluate their potential for use in large scale reclamation projects. This brochure describes the soil simulation-revegetation experiments going on at Syncrude.

  10. Mitsubishi Oil to become a major oil player?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ash, N.

    1994-01-01

    Mitsubishi Oil became a wholly-owned Japanese company in 1984. Before that, since 1981, it had been a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Getty oil. Recently the company has discovered a major new oilfield off the coast of Vietnam. In addition it has a strategic stake in the Canadian Athabasca Far Sands, major investments in Angola and operations in Papua New Guinea and Gabon. It aims to cover 30 % of the crude oil imports to its four existing, and fifth projected, refineries from owned sources by the end of the century. Mitsubishi has a network of 4500 service stations in Japan and has become one of the largest lubricating oil producers. The company's main overseas sales are of jet fuel, lubricating and tanker oils, sulphur and some petrochemicals. (UK)

  11. Athabasca, Cold Lake and the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McFarland, J.D.

    1993-01-01

    It is suggested that Alberta oil sands have the potential to sustain and increase the wealth creation capacity of the Canadian petroleum sector now and well into the next century. Realizing this potential in the present-day competitive and interconnected world crude oil market is a challenge to be addressed in four areas: markets, operations, technology, and stakeholder support. Real price improvement in the world oil market is not expected in the near future, given near-static demand and a continuously increasing worldwide supply potential. Even in such a market, there are specialized niches where Canadian heavy oil should be competitive. These markets are continental and are mainly high- and medium-conversion refineries and upgraders. Demand for Canadian heavy oil is forecast to grow ca 4%/y to over 800,000 bbl/d by 2000. Supply will closely track demand 1995-98 and be slightly below demand before 1995 and after 1998. Improvements in existing operations to lower production costs and increase efficiency are being made at the Cold Lake and Syncrude facilities. The development of technology to improve recovery and lower supply costs will trigger further development, and impressive gains have already been realized as a result from ongoing research. The final condition needed to allow the oil sand sector to realize its potential is informed and supportive stakeholders (investors, customers, governments, and communities), who need to understand the unique attributes and potential awards of the oil sand business. 6 figs

  12. SOVENT BASED ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY FOR IN-SITU UPGRADING OF HEAVY OIL SANDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munroe, Norman

    2009-01-30

    With the depletion of conventional crude oil reserves in the world, heavy oil and bitumen resources have great potential to meet the future demand for petroleum products. However, oil recovery from heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs is much more difficult than that from conventional oil reservoirs. This is mainly because heavy oil or bitumen is partially or completely immobile under reservoir conditions due to its extremely high viscosity, which creates special production challenges. In order to overcome these challenges significant efforts were devoted by Applied Research Center (ARC) at Florida International University and The Center for Energy Economics (CEE) at the University of Texas. A simplified model was developed to assess the density of the upgraded crude depending on the ratio of solvent mass to crude oil mass, temperature, pressure and the properties of the crude oil. The simplified model incorporated the interaction dynamics into a homogeneous, porous heavy oil reservoir to simulate the dispersion and concentration of injected CO2. The model also incorporated the characteristic of a highly varying CO2 density near the critical point. Since the major challenge in heavy oil recovery is its high viscosity, most researchers have focused their investigations on this parameter in the laboratory as well as in the field resulting in disparaging results. This was attributed to oil being a complex poly-disperse blend of light and heavy paraffins, aromatics, resins and asphaltenes, which have diverse behaviors at reservoir temperature and pressures. The situation is exacerbated by a dearth of experimental data on gas diffusion coefficients in heavy oils due to the tedious nature of diffusivity measurements. Ultimately, the viscosity and thus oil recovery is regulated by pressure and its effect on the diffusion coefficient and oil swelling factors. The generation of a new phase within the crude and the differences in mobility between the new crude matrix and the

  13. Responsible management of peatlands in Canada, from peat industry to oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochefort, Line

    2013-04-01

    Canada harbors one third of the peat resources of the world. Peat is an accumulated organic matter composed of dead and partly decomposed plant material, forming huge deposit through time in wetlands like peatlands and boreal coniferous swamps. Peat is a valuable resource as a growing media and soil amendments, an eco-friendly absorbent, also used as biofilters, for body care and for wastewater treatment. Peatlands also offer valuable ecological services : for example, they are the most efficient terrestrial ecosystem to store carbon on a long-term basis. Their ability to "cool off" the planet warrants a good look at their management. The horticultural peat industry of Canada has invested 22 years in R&D in habitat restoration and is now a strong leader in managing industrial peatlands in a sustainable way. The oil sand industry, which is strongly impacting the wetland landscapes of northern Canada, does realize that it has to reduce its ecological footprint, which is heavily criticized around the world. Decommissioned open mines near Fort McMurray have already begun recreating peatland ecosystems, and some restoration attempts of former oil pads are underway in the Peace River region. But the restoration of the largely disturbed wetland landscape of the oil sands is commanding innovative solutions.

  14. Evaluating the Metal Tolerance Capacity of Microbial Communities Isolated from Alberta Oil Sands Process Water.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew L Frankel

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities have resulted in the intensified use of water resources. For example, open pit bitumen extraction by Canada's oil sands operations uses an estimated volume of three barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced. The waste tailings-oil sands process water (OSPW-are stored in holding ponds, and present an environmental concern as they are comprised of residual hydrocarbons and metals. Following the hypothesis that endogenous OSPW microbial communities have an enhanced tolerance to heavy metals, we tested the capacity of planktonic and biofilm populations from OSPW to withstand metal ion challenges, using Cupriavidus metallidurans, a known metal-resistant organism, for comparison. The toxicity of the metals toward biofilm and planktonic bacterial populations was determined by measuring the minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs and planktonic minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs using the MBEC ™ assay. We observed that the OSPW community and C. metallidurans had similar tolerances to 22 different metals. While thiophillic elements (Te, Ag, Cd, Ni were found to be most toxic, the OSPW consortia demonstrated higher tolerance to metals reported in tailings ponds (Al, Fe, Mo, Pb. Metal toxicity correlated with a number of physicochemical characteristics of the metals. Parameters reflecting metal-ligand affinities showed fewer and weaker correlations for the community compared to C. metallidurans, suggesting that the OSPW consortia may have developed tolerance mechanisms toward metals present in their environment.

  15. Characterization of methane emissions from five cold heavy oil production with sands (CHOPS) facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roscioli, Joseph R; Herndon, Scott C; Yacovitch, Tara I; Knighton, W Berk; Zavala-Araiza, Daniel; Johnson, Matthew R; Tyner, David R

    2018-03-07

    Cold heavy oil production with sands (CHOPS) is a common oil extraction method in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan that can result in significant methane emissions due to annular venting. Little is known about the magnitude of these emissions, nor their contributions to the regional methane budget. Here the authors present the results of field measurements of methane emissions from CHOPS wells and compare them with self-reported venting rates. The tracer ratio method was used not only to analyze total site emissions but at one site it was also used to locate primary emission sources and quantify their contributions to the facility-wide emission rate, revealing the annular vent to be a dominant source. Emissions measured from five different CHOPS sites in Alberta showed large discrepancies between the measured and reported rates, with emissions being mainly underreported. These methane emission rates are placed in the context of current reporting procedures and the role that gas-oil ratio (GOR) measurements play in vented volume estimates. In addition to methane, emissions of higher hydrocarbons were also measured; a chemical "fingerprint" associated with CHOPS wells in this region reveals very low emission ratios of ethane, propane, and aromatics versus methane. The results of this study may inform future studies of CHOPS sites and aid in developing policy to mitigate regional methane emissions. Methane measurements from cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS) sites identify annular venting to be a potentially major source of emissions at these facilities. The measured emission rates are generally larger than reported by operators, with uncertainty in the gas-oil ratio (GOR) possibly playing a large role in this discrepancy. These results have potential policy implications for reducing methane emissions in Alberta in order to achieve the Canadian government's goal of reducing methane emissions by 40-45% below 2012 levels within 8 yr.

  16. Predicted water quality of oil sands reclamation wetlands : impact of physical design and hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    Although engineered wetlands can be used as treatment systems in the reclamation of oil sands mines, a variety of factors must be considered to improve the biological functioning of many oil sands reclamation landscapes. Key factors in the control of concentrations of dissolved substances include area, depth, shape, surrounding landscape material and contributing water quality and quantity. Seasonal cycles of precipitation and ice cover also require consideration in the planning of wetlands ecosystems. This paper presented details of a model designed to predict constituent concentrations in planned wetlands based on probable inflow and processes. Input variables consisted of key substances and hydrological factors that may be encountered on reclaimed landscapes. The model was constructed to perform sensitivity analyses of wetlands with respect to total dissolved solids (TDS), major ions, and naphthenic acids concentrations. Inputs and assumptions drawn from previous environmental impact assessments completed for proposed and approved oil sands projects were used. Results suggested that wetlands volume is an important factor in the moderation of peak flows and substance decay. The predictions generated by the model suggested that wetlands size, tailings and sandcap placement schedules may be manipulated to achieve desired wetlands salinities. It was observed that the proportion of the watershed covered by specific land types can affect both initial and future concentrations. Long-term climate change that results in 15 per cent more or less runoff was predicted to have little effect on wetlands concentrations, although concentrations may rise during periodic droughts. It was concluded that site-specific modelling and careful planning is needed to achieve desired water quality for the creation of engineered wetlands. 18 refs., 3 tabs., 3 figs

  17. Trace metal mobilization from oil sands froth treatment thickened tailings exhibiting acid rock drainage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, Alsu; Kuznetsov, Petr; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-11-15

    Froth treatment thickened tailings (TT) are a waste product of bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores. When incubated in a laboratory under simulated moist oxic environmental conditions for ~450d, two different types of TT (TT1 and TT2) exhibited the potential to generate acid rock drainage (ARD) by producing acid leachate after 250 and 50d, respectively. We report here the release of toxic metals from TT via ARD, which could pose an environmental threat if oil sands TT deposits are not properly managed. Trace metal concentrations in leachate samples collected periodically revealed that Mn and Sr were released immediately even before the onset of ARD. Spikes in Co and Ni concentrations were observed both pre-ARD and during active ARD, particularly in TT1. For most elements measured (Fe, Cr, V, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and Se), leaching was associated with ARD production. Though equivalent acidification (pH2) was achieved in leachate from both TT types, greater metal release was observed from TT2 where concentrations reached 10,000ppb for Ni, 5000ppb for Co, 3000ppb for As, 2000ppb for V, and 1000ppb for Cr. Generally, metal concentrations decreased in leachate with time during ARD and became negligible by the end of incubation (~450d) despite appreciable metals remaining in the leached TT. These results suggest that using TT for land reclamation purposes or surface deposition for volume reduction may unfavorably impact the environment, and warrants application of appropriate strategies for management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The life cycle greenhouse gas emissions implications of power and hydrogen production for oil sands operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKellar, J.M.; Bergerson, J.A.; MacLean, H.L.

    2009-01-01

    'Full text:' The Alberta Oil Sands represent a major economic opportunity for Canada, but the industry is also a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One of the sources of these emissions is the use of natural gas for the production of electricity, steam and hydrogen. Due to concerns around resource availability and price volatility, there has been considerable discussion regarding the potential replacement of natural gas with an alternative fuel. While some of the options are non-fossil and could potentially reduce GHG emissions (e.g., nuclear, geothermal, biomass), others have the potential to increase emissions. A comparative life cycle assessment was completed to investigate the relative GHG emissions, energy consumption and financial implications of replacing natural gas with coal, coke, asphaltenes or bitumen for the supply of electricity, steam and hydrogen to oil sands operations. The potential use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) was also investigated as a means of reducing GHG emissions. Preliminary results indicate that, without CCS, the natural gas systems currently in use have lower life cycle GHG emissions than gasification systems using any of the alternative fuels analysed. However, when CCS is implemented in both the coke gasification and natural gas systems, the coke systems have lower GHG emissions and financial costs than the natural gas systems (assuming a 30-year project life and a natural gas price of 6.5 USD/gigajoule). The use of CCS does impose a financial penalty though, indicating that it is unlikely to be implemented without some financial incentive. While this study has limitations and uncertainties, the preliminary results indicate that although the GHG emissions of oil sands development pose a challenge to Canada, there are opportunities available for their abatement. (author)

  19. Stuck in the tar sands : how the federal government's proposed climate change strategy lets oil companies off the hook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-10-01

    The credibility of any federal climate change strategy must be measured against its ability to reduce emissions from the tar sands. However, the federal government has proposed a climate change strategy that would allow tar sands producers to double their total emissions over the next decade. This report discussed how the federal government's proposed climate change strategy lets oil companies off the hook. The report discussed the problems and harmful effects associated with tar sands development, including greenhouse gas emissions; water depletion and pollution; toxic air emissions; destruction of the boreal forest; violation of native rights; threat to energy security; and negative socio-economic spin-off from an overheated economy. The federal government's proposed strategy was also assessed in terms of its weak greenhouse gas targets; ignoring the recent growth in tar sands emissions; adopting intensity-based targets instead of hard caps on greenhouse gas pollution, allowing total emissions from the tar sands to keep climbing; putting off critical measures until 2018; awarding oil companies hundreds of millions of dollars in credits for meeting targets they have already adopted voluntarily; lowballing the price of oil and downplaying future growth in tar sands emissions; ignoring huge portions of the oil industry's greenhouse gas pollution; letting oil companies buy their way out at rockbottom prices instead of forcing them to reduce their own emissions; and subsidizing increased tar sands production. It was concluded that the federal government's proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was inadequate, because it failed to crack down on rising greenhouse gas emissions from the tar sands, one of Canada's most carbon intensive and fastest growing industries. 29 refs., 1 appendix

  20. The future of the Canadian oil sands: Engineering and project management advances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madden, Peter; Morawski, Jacek

    2010-09-15

    Production technology and project management developments in Canada's oil sands industry, in the context of AMEC's experience as EPCM service provider, are discussed. Effective project management systems and workfront planning are critical to achieve cost and schedule targets and optimum construction execution. Construction Work Packages divide work into discrete pieces and Construction Work Execution Plans influence scheduling of engineering and procurement deliverables. AMEC's Engineering Data Warehouse works with intelligent engineering design tools to ensure information related to a piece of equipment is consistent across all systems. HSSE systems are proactively developed and AMEC's progressive improvement in safety performance is demonstrated.

  1. Coprocessing of biooils from biomass pyrolysis and bitumen from oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, M.; Daruwalla, S.; Daruwalla, D.D. [Southwest Research Inst., San Antonia, TX (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering

    2009-07-01

    Liquid biooils can be produced from the thermochemical treatment of biomass by pyrolysis. However, because of their poor volatility, high viscosity, coking, corrosiveness, and cold flow problems, biooils cannot be used directly as transportation fuel. Biooils can be upgraded into a liquid transportation fuel by hydrodeoxygenation with typical hydrotreating procedure with sulfided cobalt and molybdenum (CoMo) or nickel molybdenum (NiMo) as catalysts in the current oil refinery facilities. Coprocessing of biooils and bitumen from oil sand provides an opportunity to process the two feeds at the same time which can be achieved by injection of pyrolytic biooils and vacuum gas oil (VGO) from bitumen into a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit if the acid number of the biooils is below 35. Typically the biooils are diluted to about 1.5 to 5 per cent in the VGO feed to be processed. For the blends of VGO and biooils, the biooils appear to facilitate the cracking of the VGO and shift yields toward light ends, lower light cycle oil. They also clarify slurry oil, which makes the process more cost effective. This paper briefly reviewed the typical methods for bitumen pretreatment and preliminary upgrading. The paper also discussed the current status of coprocessing of biooils and hydrocarbons, and suggested two possible processes for coprocessing bitumen with biooils and biopitches. The impact on the hydrodesulphurization process conversion of dibenzothiophenic compounds was also studied, showing no differences of the inhibiting effect between these molecules. 8 refs., 4 tabs., 6 figs.

  2. Modification of the process for separating and recovering oil from oil-sands, etc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preller, H

    1922-08-30

    A method of carrying out the process according to Patent 400,122 especially for washing oil or bitumen-bearing mineral materials contaminated with more or less clay, marl, and so forth is characterized in that the oil-bearing raw material is first washed in an opposing stream of warm water for separating the larger part of the oil and settling the larger part of the rock. At the same time the fine clay suspended during the washing operation to a large extent and the remaining rock particles, which are unbound from the oil, by means of a regulatable water stream for further washing are carried into a receptacle of greater cross section, where by the very slow rise of the liquid the finer oil particles find an opportunity to ascend.

  3. Hydrocarbon upgrading demonstration program (HUDP): an investment in the future of the oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du Plessis, Duke; Isaacs, Eddy [AI-EES (Canada); Hill, Rich; McPhee, Anne; Keesom, Bill; Arnold, Ed [Jacobs Consultancy (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions (AIEES), the technology arm of the Alberta Government in terms of energy and the environment, has initiated the hydrocarbon upgrading demonstration program (HUDP). Since lighter products have a better market value, this program aims to develop technologies for upgrading heavy oil into light, transportable fuel. The program also aims to improve SAGD efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To do so, the gaps between typical and ideal operations were identified and quantified, life cycle analyses were performed, current studies were reviewed and future issues and opportunities were assessed. With the HUDP program, AIEES is supporting the industry through investment and technology support to develop innovative technologies which will improve margins and the sustainability of oil sands operations.

  4. Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the recovery and extraction of crude bitumen from Canada’s oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nimana, Balwinder; Canter, Christina; Kumar, Amit

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • A model to estimate energy consumption and GHG emissions in oil sands is presented. • The model is developed from fundamental engineering principles. • Cogeneration in the oil sands has the ability to offset GHG emissions. • The effect of key parameters is investigated through a sensitivity analysis. - Abstract: A model – FUNNEL-GHG-OS (FUNdamental ENgineering PrinciplEs-based ModeL for Estimation of GreenHouse Gases in the Oil Sands) was developed to estimate project-specific energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in major recovery and extraction processes in the oil sands, namely surface mining and in situ production. This model estimates consumption of diesel (4.4–7.1 MJ/GJ of bitumen), natural gas (52.7–86.4 MJ/GJ of bitumen) and electricity (1.8–2.1 kW h/GJ of bitumen) as fuels in surface mining. The model also estimates the consumption of natural gas (123–462.7 MJ/GJ of bitumen) and electricity (1.2–3.5 kW h/GJ of bitumen) in steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), based on fundamental engineering principles. Cogeneration in the oil sands, with excess electricity exported to Alberta’s grid, was also explored. Natural gas consumption forms a major portion of the total energy consumption in surface mining and SAGD and thus is a main contributor to GHG emissions. Emissions in surface mining and SAGD range from 4.4 to 7.4 gCO 2 eq/MJ of bitumen and 8.0 to 34.0 gCO 2 eq/MJ of bitumen, respectively, representing a wide range of variability in oil sands projects. Depending upon the cogeneration technology and the efficiency of the process, emissions in oil sands recovery and extraction can be reduced by 16–25% in surface mining and 33–48% in SAGD. Further, a sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the effects of key parameters on the GHG emissions in surface mining and SAGD. Temperature and the consumption of warm water in surface mining and the steam-to-oil ratio (SOR) in SAGD are major parameters

  5. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway II: solid phase biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq eSiddique

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of clay particles in aqueous tailings suspensions is a major obstacle to effective management of oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada. We have observed that microorganisms indigenous to the tailings ponds accelerate consolidation of mature fine tailings (MFT during active metabolism by using two biogeochemical pathways. In Pathway I, microbes alter porewater chemistry to indirectly increase consolidation of MFT. Here, we describe Pathway II comprising significant, direct and complementary biogeochemical reactions with MFT mineral surfaces. An anaerobic microbial community comprising Bacteria (predominantly Clostridiales, Synergistaceae and Desulfobulbaceae and Archaea (Methanolinea/Methanoregula and Methanosaeta transformed FeIII minerals in MFT to amorphous FeII minerals during methanogenic metabolism of an added organic substrate. Synchrotron analyses suggested that ferrihydrite (5Fe2O3. 9H2O and goethite (α-FeOOH were the dominant FeIII minerals in MFT. The formation of amorphous iron sulfide (FeS and possibly green rust entrapped and masked electronegative clay surfaces in amended MFT. Both Pathways I and II reduced the surface charge potential (repulsive forces of the clay particles in MFT, which aided aggregation of clays and formation of networks of pores, as visualized using cryo-scanning electron microscopy. These reactions facilitated the egress of porewater from MFT and increased consolidation of tailings solids. These results have large-scale implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds, a burgeoning environmental issue for the public and government regulators.

  6. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway II: solid phase biogeochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Li, Carmen; Young, Rozlyn; Arocena, Joselito M; Foght, Julia M

    2014-01-01

    Consolidation of clay particles in aqueous tailings suspensions is a major obstacle to effective management of oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada. We have observed that microorganisms indigenous to the tailings ponds accelerate consolidation of mature fine tailings (MFT) during active metabolism by using two biogeochemical pathways. In Pathway I, microbes alter porewater chemistry to indirectly increase consolidation of MFT. Here, we describe Pathway II comprising significant, direct and complementary biogeochemical reactions with MFT mineral surfaces. An anaerobic microbial community comprising Bacteria (predominantly Clostridiales, Synergistaceae, and Desulfobulbaceae) and Archaea (Methanolinea/Methanoregula and Methanosaeta) transformed Fe(III) minerals in MFT to amorphous Fe(II) minerals during methanogenic metabolism of an added organic substrate. Synchrotron analyses suggested that ferrihydrite (5Fe2O3. 9H2O) and goethite (α-FeOOH) were the dominant Fe(III) minerals in MFT. The formation of amorphous iron sulfide (FeS) and possibly green rust entrapped and masked electronegative clay surfaces in amended MFT. Both Pathways I and II reduced the surface charge potential (repulsive forces) of the clay particles in MFT, which aided aggregation of clays and formation of networks of pores, as visualized using cryo-scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These reactions facilitated the egress of porewater from MFT and increased consolidation of tailings solids. These results have large-scale implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds, a burgeoning environmental issue for the public and government regulators.

  7. Enriching acid rock drainage related microbial communities from surface-deposited oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Courtney; Xiao, Yeyuan; Roberts, Deborah J

    2016-10-01

    Little is known about the microbial communities native to surface-deposited pyritic oil sands tailings, an environment where acid rock drainage (ARD) could occur. The goal of this study was to enrich sulfur-oxidizing organisms from these tailings and determine whether different populations exist at pH levels 7, 4.5, and 2.5. Using growth-based methods provides model organisms for use in the future to predict potential activities and limitations of these organisms and to develop possible control methods. Thiosulfate-fed enrichment cultures were monitored for approximately 1 year. The results showed that the enrichments at pH 4.5 and 7 were established quicker than at pH 2.5. Different microbial community structures were found among the 3 pH environments. The sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms identified were most closely related to Halothiobacillus neapolitanus, Achromobacter spp., and Curtobacterium spp. While microorganisms related to Chitinophagaceae and Acidocella spp. were identified as the only possible iron-oxidizing and -reducing microbes. These results contribute to the general knowledge of the relatively understudied microbial communities that exist in pyritic oil sands tailings and indicate these communities may have a potential role in ARD generation, which may have implications for future tailings management.

  8. Experimental research on accelerated consolidation using filter jackets in fine oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tol van, F.; Yao, Y.; Paaseen van, L.; Everts, B. [Delft Univ. of Technology, Delft (Netherlands). Dept. of Geotechnology

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed prefabricated vertical drains used to enhance the dewatering of fine oil sand tailings. Filtration tests conducted with thickened tailings on standard PVD jackets were presented. Potential clogging mechanisms included clogging of the filter jacket by particles, blinding of the jackets by filter cake, the decreased permeability of consolidated tailings around the drain, and the clogging of the filter jacket with bitumen. Polypropylene and polyester geotextiles were tested in a set-up that replicated conditions observed at 5 to 10 meters below mud level in an oil sand tailings pond. A finite strain consolidation model was used to interpret results obtained in the experimental study. The relationship between the void ratio and hydraulic conductivity was investigated. Results of the study showed that neither the bitumen nor the fines in the sludge cause serious blinding of the filter jackets during the 40 day test period. The consolidation process was adequately simulated with the finite strain consolidation model. tabs., figs.

  9. North American natural gas outlook : does gas remain a fuel option for oil sands?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    George, R.R.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a North America natural gas outlook from Purvin and Gertz, an international energy consulting firm that has 30 years experience in providing strategic, commercial and technical advice to the petroleum industry. In particular, this presentation focuses on natural gas market fundamentals and how they may impact on oil sands development. It includes charts and graphs depicting NYMEX natural gas outlooks to July, 2009 and examines how supply will react to major changes in Canada's supply portfolio. It was noted that oil sands development is a driver for natural gas demand in Alberta. The existing regional gas pipeline infrastructure was presented and the market impact on upgrader options was discussed. The author suggests that if gas prices are too high, there are other fuel options for steam and power generation. These include bitumen, asphalt, coke, coal and nuclear. However, these options have additional costs, uncertainties and environmental issues. A key factor for success would be to have a clear understanding of the benefits and risks between these fuel options. 1 tab., 9 figs

  10. Growth of Chironomus dilutus larvae exposed to ozone-treated and untreated oil sands process water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.; Wiseman, S.; Franz, E.; Jones, P.; Liber, K.; Giesy, J.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Marin, J.

    2010-01-01

    Oil sand processing operations require large quantities of freshwater and produce large volumes of oil sands process water (OSPW) which must be stored on-site. This presentation reviewed various treatment methods for remediating OSPW in order to eliminate downstream toxicity. Naphthenic acids are the most important target fractions for treatment because they are primarily responsible for the acute toxicity of OSPW. Although ozonation has shown promise for reducing OSPW toxicity, the effects of ozonation on aquatic invertebrates remain unknown. This study investigated the effects of exposure to untreated and ozonated OSPW in Chironomus dilutus larvae. OSPW was treated with either a 50 or 80 mg O 3 /L dose of ozonation. The effects of ozonation levels on C. dilutus survival and growth were examined. The study showed that after a 10-day exposure, there were pronounced effects on survival of larvae exposed to ozone-treated or untreated OSPW. Larvae exposed to OSPW were 64-77 percent smaller than their respective controls, but the mean wet mass of organisms exposed to 50 mg O 3 /L ozonated OSPW was not much different from that of the controls. Larvae exposed to 80 mg O 3 /L ozone-treated OSPW were 40 percent smaller than the freshwater controls, and the mean wet mass was also much larger than the untreated OSPW. It was concluded that the toxicity of OSPW to benthic invertebrates may be reduced by ozone treatment.

  11. Metal mining to the aid of the oil sands? Lateral opportunities in industrial cross-breeding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabag, S.F. [Dumont Nickel Inc., Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This paper demonstrated how oil sands operations can benefit from supporting innovative low cost metal mining to enhance their eco-footprint. Northeast Alberta contains large accumulations of recoverable metals, hosted in metal bearing black shales. Immense low grade polymetallic zones were discovered in 1995 but could not be exploited with existing recovery technologies. However, significant advances in bioleaching of metals from polymetallic black shale deposits have propelled this new deposit type to the forefront over the past 5 years as a long term future source of metals. Compared to traditional smelting and refining, bioleaching has lower Capex/Opex, lower eco-footprint and less energy dependence. Envisaged metal mining in the black shales of northeast Alberta can benefit oil sands operations by consuming large amounts of waste sulfur while also providing collateral opportunities for carbon sinks/offsets. Black shales have the capacity to sequester carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}). Dumont Nickel Inc. is advancing 6 polymetallic black shale projects in northeast Alberta over 2,500 km{sup 2} with potential for hosting up to 20 billion tons in six 50-100 km{sup 2} deposits. The projects present opportunities to develop low footprint metal mines, to use run-of-river hydro, to harvest waste heat, and to combine local technologies to create a new valuable industry independent of energy markets.

  12. The chemical and biological evolution of mature fine tailings in oil sands end-pit lakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, M.; Weisener, C.; Ciborowski, J.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation described an innovative bench-scale technique to characterize oil sand tailings and their impact on sediment oxygen demand (SOD) for future end-pit lake model behaviour. SOD is a dominant contributor to oxygen depletion in wetlands. The function and sustainability of a wetland ecosystem depends on the biochemical processes occurring at the sediment-water interface. The biochemical reactions associated with natural sediment can change with the addition of oil sands processed material (OSPM), which can affect SOD and ecosystem viability. It is important to establishing the biotic and abiotic controls of SOD. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of current wetland reclamation designs, it is important to establish the biotic and abiotic controls of SOD. The REDOX chemistry of fresh tailings sediment (MFT) was measured in this laboratory microcosm to determine the chemical and biological influences, and to study the role of developing microbial communities as new mature fine tailings (MFT) age. The study evaluated the changes in the main chemical, physical and biological populations of the MFT in both aerobic and anaerobic microcosms. A combination of microelectrode arrays and DNA profiling at the tailings water interface was used in the study.

  13. Evaluation of microbial biofilm communities from an Alberta oil sands tailings pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golby, Susanne; Ceri, Howard; Gieg, Lisa M; Chatterjee, Indranil; Marques, Lyriam L R; Turner, Raymond J

    2012-01-01

    Bitumen extraction from the oil sands of Alberta has resulted in millions of cubic meters of waste stored on-site in tailings ponds. Unique microbial ecology is expected in these ponds, which may be key to their bioremediation potential. We considered that direct culturing of microbes from a tailings sample as biofilms could lead to the recovery of microbial communities that provide good representation of the ecology of the tailings. Culturing of mixed species biofilms in vitro using the Calgary Biofilm Device (CBD) under aerobic, microaerobic, and anaerobic growth conditions was successful both with and without the addition of various growth nutrients. Denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequencing revealed that unique mixed biofilm communities were recovered under each incubation condition, with the dominant species belonging to Pseudomonas, Thauera, Hydrogenophaga, Rhodoferax, and Acidovorax. This work used an approach that allowed organisms to grow as a biofilm directly from a sample collected of their environment, and the biofilms cultivated in vitro were representative of the endogenous environmental community. For the first time, representative environmental mixed species biofilms have been isolated and grown under laboratory conditions from an oil sands tailings pond environment and a description of their composition is provided.

  14. Oil sands tailings treatment via surface modification of solids with polymers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soane, D.; Ware, W.; Mahoney, R.; Kincaid, K. [Soane Energy, Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Oil sands fine tailings require large containment area and long-term storage. A recent directive has been established to reduce fluid tailings storage by 30 percent by 2012. This PowerPoint presentation described a method of treating oil sands tailings by modifying the surfaces of solids with polymers. The ATA process divided whole tailings into fines and coarse streams. The coarse stream was used to prepare anchor particles with a monolayer of tether polymers. An activator was added to the fine tailings in order to aggregate. The process cause a Velcro-like attraction between the activated fines and the tether-coated anchor particles. The solid ATA matrix trapped the fines and allowed water to drain more easily. Photographs of the process were provided. An analysis of the process demonstrated that 70 percent of the water in the tailings was recovered in less than 5 minutes. The water was clear, with less than 0.2 percent of suspended solids. The process is applicable to live tailings and mature fine tailings (MFT). tabs., figs.

  15. Centrifuge - dewatering of oil sand fluid tailings: phase 2 field-scale test

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seto, Jack T.C. [BGC Engineering Inc (Canada); O' Kane, Mike [O' Kane Consultants Inc (Canada); Donahue, Robert [Applied Geochemical Solutions Engineering (Canada); Lahaie, Rick [Syncrude Canada Ltd (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In order to reduce the accumulation of oil sand fluid fine tailings (FFT) and to create trafficable surfaces for reclamation, Syncrude Canada Ltd. has been studying several tailings technologies. Centrifuge-dewatering is one such technology. This paper discusses the phase 2 field-scale tests for centrifuge-dewatering of oil sand FFT. In centrifuge-dewatering, FFT is diluted and treated with flocculant, then processed through a centrifuge plant and the high-density underflow is transported to a tailings deposit. This technology has evolved since 2005 from laboratory bench scale tests. More than 10,000 cubic meters of centrifuge cake was treated, produced and transported to ten different deposits over a 12-week period from August to October 2010. The amount of solids in FFT was increased from 30% to 50% by centrifuging. Sampled deposits were tested and instrumented for in situ strength. It can be concluded that the deposits can be strengthened and densified by natural dewatering processes like freeze-thaw action and evaporative drying.

  16. Ecosystem stress response : understanding effects on the benthic invertebrate community of Alberta oil-sands wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wytrykush, C.M.; Ciborowski, J.J.H.

    2003-01-01

    The environmental stress response of invertebrates was examined using wetlands in the Alberta oil-sands region as a model. Wetlands in this region occur naturally or they have been affected by oil-sands mining process materials such as mine-tailings, or saline process water. These materials can be toxic to aquatic organisms due to their high concentrations of sulphate ions, ammonia, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and naphthenic acids. Wetlands are classified as either young or mature, and as having low or high sediment organic content. This study examined food web dynamics and structure in wetlands using stable isotopes to determine the effects of stress on ecological communities. Primary and secondary production in the wetlands was measured along with invertebrate diversity in order to determine a relationship. The maximum trophic position was determined using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to indicate food chain length which is influenced by energetic constraints, ecosystem size and stressors. The study quantifies the dynamics of vital links between the responses to environmental pressures in aquatic systems and the effects on terrestrial ecosystems

  17. Perch population assessment in lakes reclaimed using oil-sands derived material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heuvel, M.R. van den; Dixon, D.G.; Power, M.; Boerger, H.; MacKinnon, M.D.; Meer, T. van

    1995-01-01

    The mining and extraction of petroleum products from oil-sands involves large areas of land and produces enormous volumes of tailings. One possible land reclamation option is to incorporate fine-tailings material into the bottoms of constructed lakes capped with natural surface water. The wet landscape method represents potential risk to aquatic biota-naphthenic acids and PAHs elute from pore water contained in the fine-tailings substrate. In spring 1995 yellow perch were stocked into a large-scale (5ha) experimental pond that consisted of fine-tailings capped with natural water as well as into two other reclaimed ponds that were constructed with oil-sands overburden material. Prior to stocking of perch, ponds had colonized with cyprinids, macrophytes and benthic invertebrates over a two year period. Perch were sampled in fall 1995 for age, condition factor, liver size, gonad size, fecundity, stomach contents, liver mixed-function oxygenase activity (MFO), bile PAH metabolites and plasma steroid hormones. When compared to the source lake, perch in the DP did not show reduced reproductive potential. Perch in all of the reclaimed ponds demonstrated exposure to organic compounds as indicated by marginally induced MFO activity and increased liver size. Exposure to naphthenates and PAHs in water as well as ecological environmental factors will be discussed

  18. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) detection, avoidance, and chemosensory effects of oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lari, Ebrahim; Pyle, Greg G

    2017-06-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) - a byproduct of the oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Canada - is currently stored in on-site tailings ponds. The goal of the present study was to investigate the interaction of OSPW with the olfactory system and olfactory-mediated behaviours of fish upon the first encounter with OSPW. The response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to different concentrations (0.1, 1, and 10%) of OSPW was studied using a choice maze and electro-olfactography (EOG), respectively. The results of the present study showed that rainbow trout are capable of detecting and avoiding OSPW at a concentration as low as 0.1%. Exposure to 1% OSPW impaired (i.e. reduced sensitivity) the olfactory response of rainbow trout to alarm and food cues within 5 min or less. The results of the present study demonstrated that fish could detect and avoid minute concentrations of OSPW. However, if fish were exposed to OSPW-contaminated water and unable to escape, their olfaction would be impaired. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of oil sands waste water on the wood frog (rana sylvatica)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hersikorn, B.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    The sustainability of various reclamation strategies can be determined by the growth and health of indigenous amphibians (Wood Frogs). This paper referred to the large quantities of tailings water that are generated by oil sand extraction activities. It presented the results of a study that was conducted in the spring and summer of 2006 and 2007 on reclaimed formation wetlands comprising tailings water. The objective was to understand the impact of these wetlands on native amphibians. Frogs were exposed to wetlands containing oil sands process affected water (OSPW) and reference water (no OSPW). Six experimental trenches were made at one site in the first year. Each trench had 3 enclosures with 50 tadpoles. In the second year, there were 13 sites, including 6 reference and 7 OSPW affected sites, which were classified as old (more than 8 yrs) or young (less than 7 yrs). Four enclosures, with 50 tadpoles each, were placed in each wetland. The study involved the evaluation of growth rate, survival, time to metamorphosis, thyroid hormone concentrations, liver EROD activity, and tissue retinol concentrations. In addition, stable isotopes were used to track carbon flow from primary production plants, through the food chain, to tadpoles and frogs which represent intermediate and higher trophic levels in reclaimed wetlands.

  20. Effects-Directed Analysis of Dissolved Organic Compounds in Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandi, Garrett D; Wiseman, Steve B; Pereira, Alberto; Mankidy, Rishikesh; Gault, Ian G M; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2015-10-20

    Acute toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is caused by its complex mixture of bitumen-derived organics, but the specific chemical classes that are most toxic have not been demonstrated. Here, effects-directed analysis was used to determine the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW collected from the world's first oil sands end-pit lake. Three sequential rounds of fractionation, chemical analysis (ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry), and acute toxicity testing (96 h fathead minnow embryo lethality and 15 min Microtox bioassay) were conducted. Following primary fractionation, toxicity was primarily attributable to the neutral extractable fraction (F1-NE), containing 27% of original organics mass. In secondary fractionation, F1-NE was subfractionated by alkaline water washing, and toxicity was primarily isolated to the ionizable fraction (F2-NE2), containing 18.5% of the original organic mass. In the final round, chromatographic subfractionation of F2-NE2 resulted in two toxic fractions, with the most potent (F3-NE2a, 11% of original organic mass) containing predominantly naphthenic acids (O2(-)). The less-toxic fraction (F3-NE2b, 8% of original organic mass) contained predominantly nonacid species (O(+), O2(+), SO(+), NO(+)). Evidence supports naphthenic acids as among the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW, but nonacidic species also contribute to acute toxicity of OSPW.

  1. On properties of royalty and tax regimes in Alberta's oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plourde, Andre

    2010-01-01

    Simulation models that include royalty and tax provisions are used to examine the distribution between developers and governments of net returns from the development of Alberta's oil sands deposits. A specific focus is to assess the effects on the level and distribution of net revenues associated with a number of changes in assumed revenue and expenditure conditions. Developers typically bear a greater share of the consequences of variations in capital expenditures than they do of changes in operating expenditures, prices, and exchange rates. A comparison across royalty and tax regimes suggest that there is a positive relationship between the level of net revenues estimated to accrue to either developers or governments and the share of the consequences of changes in conditions borne by that party. Some differences across production technologies are noted. The role of the federal government as a fiscal player in oil sands development has shrunk over time. In contrast, under the current regime, the Government of Alberta captures a higher share of net returns and typically bears a greater proportion of the consequences of changes in conditions than at any time since the introduction of an explicit royalty and tax regime in 1997.

  2. Photochemical model evaluation of the ground-level ozone impacts on ambient air quality and vegetation health in the Alberta oil sands region: Using present and future emission scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayaraghavan, Krish; Cho, Sunny; Morris, Ralph; Spink, David; Jung, Jaegun; Pauls, Ron; Duffett, Katherine

    2016-09-01

    One of the potential environmental issues associated with oil sands development is increased ozone formation resulting from NOX and volatile organic compound emissions from bitumen extraction, processing and upgrading. To manage this issue in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in northeast Alberta, a regional multi-stakeholder group, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), developed an Ozone Management Framework that includes a modelling based assessment component. In this paper, we describe how the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was applied to assess potential ground-level ozone formation and impacts on ambient air quality and vegetation health for three different ozone precursor cases in the AOSR. Statistical analysis methods were applied, and the CMAQ performance results met the U.S. EPA model performance goal at all sites. The modelled 4th highest daily maximum 8-h average ozone concentrations in the base and two future year scenarios did not exceed the Canada-wide standard of 65 ppb or the newer Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards of 63 ppb in 2015 and 62 ppb in 2020. Modelled maximum 1-h ozone concentrations in the study were well below the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objective of 82 ppb in all three cases. Several ozone vegetation exposure metrics were also evaluated to investigate the potential impact of ground-level ozone on vegetation. The chronic 3-months SUM60 exposure metric is within the CEMA baseline range (0-2000 ppb-hr) everywhere in the AOSR. The AOT40 ozone exposure metric predicted by CMAQ did not exceed the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) threshold of concern of 3000 ppb-hr in any of the cases but is just below the threshold in high-end future emissions scenario. In all three emission scenarios, the CMAQ predicted W126 ozone exposure metric is within the CEMA baseline threshold of 4000 ppb-hr. This study outlines the use of photochemical modelling of the impact of an industry (oil

  3. Report and recommendations of the task force on tree and shrub planting on active oil sands tailings dams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-02-15

    In oil sands reclamation operations in Canada there is a conflict between dam safety and the planting of trees and woody shrubs. Indeed, tree planting is being restricted on the downstream slopes of dams to avoid damage to drains and to ensure the integrity of visual and instrumentation monitoring conflicting thus with progressive reclamation. Alberta Environment hired the Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN), an independent organization which analyzes and interprets available knowledge on soil and water reclamation in the oil sands mining sector, to address this issue and make recommendations. The organization appointed a Task Force which presented its final report in March 2011. The Task Force recommended that the Engineer of Record should be responsible for determining the tree and shrub planting zones and that he should submit his plans to Alberta Environment for approval.

  4. Investigating salt and naphthenic acids interactions in the toxicity of oil sands process water to freshwater invertebrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turcotte, D.; Kautzman, M.; Wojnarowicz, P.; Cutter, J.; Bird, E.; Liber, K.

    2010-01-01

    The hot water extraction process used to produce bitumens from oil sands produces a large volume of oil sands process water (OSPW) that contain elevated concentrations of naphthenic acids (NA) and salts. Many oil sands reclamation projects are proposing the use of OSPW as part of reconstructed wetlands projects. This study investigated the toxicity of OSPW to freshwater invertebrates. The toxic interactions between NA and salinity on freshwater invertebrates were assessed. Bioassays with laboratory-cultured Ceriodaphnia dubia were conducted to determine the toxicity of OSPW from selected water bodies. The study showed that while the concentrations of NAs and salinity were elevated in OSPW waters that caused toxic responses, the concentrations of salinity ions varied greatly among the OSPW samples. Results of the study suggested that ion composition may be a factor in toxicity. Interactions between NAs and salinity were then assessed by performing bioassays with mixtures representing major ion combinations in OSPW.

  5. Soil arthropod fauna from natural ecosites and reclaimed oil sands soils in northern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Battigelli, J.P.; Leskiw, L.A. [Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    An understanding of soil invertebrates may facilitate current reclamation activities in the oil sands region of Alberta. This paper presented the results of a study investigating the density, diversity, and structure of soil arthropod assemblages in natural habitats and reclaimed sites. The purpose of the study was to establish a baseline inventory of soil arthropod assemblages in order to enable long-term monitoring of soil arthropod recolonization in disturbed sites. Nine natural ecosites were sampled for the study, including peat mix over secondary material over tailing sand; direct placement over tailing sand; peat mix over secondary over overburden; direct placement over overburden; peat mix over tailing sand; and peat mix over overburden. Samples were collected from previously established long-term soil and vegetation treatment plots in both natural ecosites and reclaimed soil sites located near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Results showed that densities of mesofauna were significantly higher in samples collected from natural ecosites. Acari and Collembola represented approximately 97 to 98 per cent of the fauna collected. It was also noted that the overall structure of the soil mesofauna community differed between natural soils and reclaimed soils. A significant reduction in the abundance of oribatid mites was observed in soils that had been reclaimed for over 34 years. Changes in the soil mesofauna community structure suggested that reclaimed soils continue to represent disturbed ecosites, as was indicated by higher proportions of prostigmatid mites and some collembolan families. Differences in community structure may influence soil ecosystem functions, including decomposition rates; nutrient recycling; soil structure; and fungal and bacterial biomass. It was concluded that further research is needed to examine oribatid mites and collembolan species diversity and community structure in reclaimed soils. 18 refs., 6 figs.

  6. Characterization of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions at Sites of Oil Sands Extraction and Upgrading in northern Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrero, J.; Simpson, I. J.; Meinardi, S.; Blake, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The crude oil reserves in Canada's oil sands are second only to Saudi Arabia, holding roughly 173 billion barrels of oil in the form of bitumen, an unconventional crude oil which does not flow and cannot be pumped without heating or dilution. Oil sands deposits are ultimately used to make the same petroleum products as conventional forms of crude oil, though more processing is required. Hydrocarbons are the basis of oil, coal and natural gas and are an important class of gases emitted into the atmosphere during oil production, particularly because of their effects on air quality and human health. However, they have only recently begun to be independently assessed in the oil sands regions. As part of the 2008 ARCTAS airborne mission, whole air samples were collected in the boundary layer above the surface mining operations of northern Alberta. Gas chromatography analysis revealed enhanced concentrations of 53 VOCs (C2 to C10) over the mining region. When compared to local background levels, the measured concentrations were enhanced up to 1.1-400 times for these compounds. To more fully characterize emissions, ground-based studies were conducted in summer 2010 and winter 2011 in the oil sands mining and upgrading areas. The data from the 200 ground-based samples revealed enhancements in the concentration of 65 VOCs. These compounds were elevated up to 1.1-3000 times above background concentrations and include C2-C8 alkanes, C1-C5 alkyl nitrates, C2-C4 alkenes and potentially toxic aromatic compounds such as benzene, toluene, and xylenes.

  7. Development of high temperature resistant geomembranes for oil sands secondary containments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mills, A. [Layfield Environmental Systems Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Martin, D. [Layfield Geosynthetics and Industrial Fabrics Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    Plastic liner materials are often adversely impacted by chemicals at elevated temperatures. Heat accelerates the oxidation of the polymeric chains, which in turn accelerates the degradation of the plastic. This paper discussed geomembrane containment systems placed under heated petroleum storage tanks at an oil sands processing plant. Various high temperature-resistant geomembrane materials were tested. Compatibility testing procedures for the various fluids contained by the systems were outlined. Installation procedures for the membranes were also discussed. The membrane systems were designed for use with heavy gas oil; light gas oil; and naphtha. Temperatures in the ground below the tanks were approximately 79 degrees C. Testing was done using sealed containers held in an oil bath at temperatures of 105 degrees C. Heat applied to the chemicals during the tests pressurized the test vessels. Liner materials used in the initial tests included an ester-based thermoplastic polyurethane liner; high density polyethylene (HDPE); linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polypropylene (PP) olefins; polyvinyl chloride (PVC); and polyvinylidene (PVDF) materials. A second set of tests was then conducted using alloy materials and PVC. Heat stability tests demonstrated that the blue 0.75 mm alloy showed a tensile strength ratio within the industry's 15 per cent pass criteria. The samples were then tested with diluted bitumen and diluents at 65, 85 and 100 degrees C. The developed liners were installed underneath petroleum tanks with leak detection chambers. It was concluded that the geomembrane liners prevented the hot liquids from leaking. 4 refs., 8 tabs.

  8. Molecular weight distribution of Athabasca bitumen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Champagne, P J; Manolakis, E; Ternan, M

    1985-03-01

    A sample of whole Athabasca bitumen has been fractionated by preparative g.p.c. The weights of the fractions have been determined and their molecular weights measured by several methods. In contras to previously published data, consistent results were obtained using different solvents (THF, benzene/water) and using different techniques (v.p.o., f.p.d. and g.c.-m.s.). This has resulted in a accurate definition of the molecular weight distribution of Athabasca bitumen.

  9. Microbial turnover and incorporation of organic compounds in oil sand mining reclamation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lappé, M.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2013-12-01

    Microorganisms play an important role in the development of new soils and in the reclamation of disturbed landscapes. Especially in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils their ability to degrade organic matter and pollutants makes them essential to re-establish full ecosystem functionality. Microbes are also involved in the mobilization of nutrients for plant growth and in the production of greenhouse gases. Reclamation sites from oil sand mining activities in Alberta, Canada, contain residual bitumen as well as other hydrocarbons. So, these areas provide a great opportunity to study microbial degradation of residual contaminants from oil sand. To get an impression of degradation rates as well as metabolic pathways, incubation experiments were performed in the lab. We measured microbial turnover (catabolic metabolism) and incorporation (anabolic metabolism) rates of different common organic compounds in samples from differently treated reclamation sites - with plant cover and without plant cover. About 10 g of sample material was suspended in 10 mL of a solution that mimics the in-situ concentration of dissolved ions. Radioactively labelled 14C-acetate was added as a common substrate, whereas 14C-naphthenic acid was chosen to investigate the microbial community's capability to utilize a typical hydrocarbon pollutant in oil sand tailings as a nutrient source. To test for the influence of fertilizers on microbial activity, phosphate, nitrate and potassium were added to some samples in different combinations. Incubations were run over two different time periods (7 and 14 days). At the end of each incubation experiment, the amount of produced 14CO2, 14C incorporated into the cells and the remaining unreacted 14C in the slurry were measured. First results show that most of the added 14C-acetate is used for respiration as it is mostly released as 14CO2. In upper soil layers only about 3% of 14C is incorporated into cells, whereas in deeper horizons with lower cell abundances

  10. Natural and anthropogenic variations in the N cycle - A perspective provided by nitrogen isotopes in trees near oil-sand developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savard, M. M.; Bégin, C.; Marion, J.; Smirnoff, A.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen stable isotopes of tree-ring series have been recently used to detect past air pollution effects on forests in the contexts of point sources, highways or peri-urban regions. Here, we want to assess their potential to understand changes in soil processes and reveal perturbations of the N cycle. Our approach involves combining tree-ring N, C and O stable isotope series with statistical modelling to distinguish the responses of trees due to natural (climatic) conditions from the ones potentially caused by emissions from the Athabasca oil-sand developments where truck fleets, oil upgraders, desulphurization and hydrogen plants, boilers, heaters and turbines have been active since 1967. Three white spruce trees [Picea glauca (Moench)] 165 years or older, were selected in a well drained brunisolic site, at 55 km from the heart of the development operations (white and black spruce trees from other sites are currently being investigated). Their growth rings were dated and separated at a time resolution of 1 or 2 years for the 1880-2009 period. The average oxygen isotope ratios of cellulose do not show long-term anomalies and reflect climatic conditions. The average C isotope ratios of cellulose covering the 1880-1965 period show short-term variations mostly explained by local climatic conditions, whereas the 1966-1995 series presents similar short-term variations superimposed on a long-term isotopic increase significantly departing from the oxygen isotope curve. Most importantly, the nitrogen isotope series of treated wood shows an average decrease of 1.0% during the 1970-2009 period. The statistical links between the variations of the regional drought index and the isotopic C and N responses during the pre-operation period allows to develop predictive climatic models. When we apply these models to predict the natural isotopic behaviour of the recent period, the measured isotopic trends of the operation period depart from the modelled curves. In contrast, using

  11. Measurement of fine particulate matter water-soluble inorganic species and precursor gases in the Alberta Oil Sands Region using an improved semicontinuous monitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Yu-Mei; Clair, Thomas A

    2015-04-01

    The ambient ion monitor-ion chromatography (AIM-IC) system, which provides hourly measurements of the main chemical components of PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diametergases, was evaluated and deployed from May to July 2011 and April to December 2013 in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of northeastern Alberta, Canada. The collection efficiencies for the gas-phase SO2 and HNO3 using the cellulose membrane were 96% and 100%, respectively, and the collection efficiency of NH3 using the nylon membrane was 100%. The AIM-IC was compared with a collocated annular denuder sampling system (ADSS) and a Federal Reference Method (FRM) Partisol PM2.5 sampler. The correlation coefficients of SO4(2-) concentrations between the AIM-IC and ADSS and between the AIM-IC and the Partisol PM2.5 sampler were 0.98 and 0.95, respectively. The comparisons also showed no statistically significant difference between the measurement sets, suggesting that the AIM-IC measurements of the PM2.5 chemical composition are comparable to the ADSS and Partisol PM2.5 methods. NH3 concentration in the summer (mean±standard deviation, 1.9±0.7 µg m(-3)) was higher than in the winter (1.3±0.9 µg m(-3)). HNO3 and NO3- concentrations were generally low in the AOSR, and especially in the winter months. NH4+ (0.94±0.96 µg m(-3)) and SO4(2-) (0.58±0.93 µg m(-3)) were the major ionic species of PM2.5. Direct SO2 emissions from oil sands processing operations influenced ambient particulate NH4+ and SO4(2-) values, with hourly concentrations of NH4+ and SO4(2-) measured downwind (~30 km away from the stack) at 10 and 28 µg m(-3). During the regional forest fire event in 2011, high concentrations of NO3-, NH4+, HNO3, NH3, and PM2.5 were observed and the corresponding maximum hourly concentrations were 31, 15, 9.6, 89, and >450 (the upper limit of PM2.5 measurement) µg m(-3), suggesting the formation of NH4NO3. The AOSR in Canada is one of the most scrutinized industrial regions in the

  12. Newest oil sands mine on the horizon : Fort McMurray's next megaproject

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Werniuk, J.

    2005-08-01

    The newly approved Horizon mine project and on-site upgrader project will be one of Canada's largest oil sands operation. The site for the facility is 70 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Drilling has revealed an in-place resource of 16 billion bbl of bitumen, of which 6 billion bbl is potentially recoverable using existing mining technologies. In situ recovery potential on the western parts of the lease will be used to obtain additional resources. Horizon is owned by Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resource Limited, the second largest oil and gas company in Canada. This senior oil and gas company has operations in western Canada, the United Kingdom, the North Sea and offshore West Africa. The 3-phase Horizon project will have a capital of $10.8 billion, including contingencies. The mine will be a truck and shovel operation, mining 450,000 tonnes of oil sand daily from 2 main pits. The clean, diluted bitumen from the froth treatment plant will be sent to an onsite upgrader that will use delayed coking technology to recover 99 per cent of the sulphur using a tail gas cleanup unit. All of the product will be hydrotreated. In the first phase, the mine will produce sweet synthetic crude oil by the second half of 2008 at a daily rate of 110,000 bbl. This will increase in the second phase to 155,000 bbl per day SCO by 2010 and to 232,000 bbl per day SCO by 2012. The tailings during the first phase will be sent to a conventional tailings pond. A non-segregating tailings disposal method will be considered for the second phase to reduce the size of the required tailings pond and to leave less of an environmental footprint. A 1.83 million cubic metre raw water pond is being built into the project to recycle as much of the water as possible. The Horizon leases include traditional lands of several First Nation bands. Canadian Natural is involving Aboriginal communities in the project through employment and consultation for traditional environmental knowledge. During peak

  13. Plucking the Golden Goose: Higher Royalty Rates on the Oil Sands Generate Significant Increases in Government Revenue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth J. McKenzie

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The Alberta government’s 2009 New Royalty Framework elicited resistance on the part of the energy industry, leading to subsequent reductions in the royalties imposed on natural gas and conventional oil. However, the oil sands sector, subject to different terms, quickly accepted the new arrangement with little complaint, recognizing it as win-win situation for industry and the government. Under the framework, Alberta recoups much more money in royalties — about $1 billion over the two year period of 2009 and 2010 — without impinging significantly on investment in the oil sands. This brief paper demonstrates that by spreading the financial risks and benefits to everyone involved, the new framework proves it’s possible to generate increased revenue without frightening off future investment. The same model could conceivably be applied to the conventional oil and natural gas sectors.

  14. Sulfate reducing bacteria and their activities in oil sands process-affected water biofilm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Hong; Yu, Tong, E-mail: tong.yu@ualberta.ca; Liu, Yang, E-mail: yang.liu@ualberta.ca

    2015-12-01

    Biofilm reactors were constructed to grow stratified multispecies biofilm in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) supplemented with growth medium. The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within the biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated. The community structure and potential activity of SRB in the biofilm were investigated with H{sub 2}S microsensor measurements, dsrB gene-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and the real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H{sub 2}S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the stratified biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. The study expands current knowledge of biofilm treatment of OSPW and the function of anaerobic SRB in OSPW biofilm, and thus provides information for future bioreactor development in the reclamation of OSPW. - Graphical abstract: The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within Oil Sands Process-affected Water (OSPW) biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated by Liu and coworkers. Combined microsensor and molecular biology techniques were utilized in this study. Their results demonstrated that multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H{sub 2}S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. - Highlights: • Biofilm in oil sands wastewater was developed on engineered biocarriers. • Bacterial community and in situ activity of SRB were studied in the

  15. Sulfate reducing bacteria and their activities in oil sands process-affected water biofilm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Hong; Yu, Tong; Liu, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Biofilm reactors were constructed to grow stratified multispecies biofilm in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) supplemented with growth medium. The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within the biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated. The community structure and potential activity of SRB in the biofilm were investigated with H 2 S microsensor measurements, dsrB gene-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and the real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H 2 S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the stratified biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. The study expands current knowledge of biofilm treatment of OSPW and the function of anaerobic SRB in OSPW biofilm, and thus provides information for future bioreactor development in the reclamation of OSPW. - Graphical abstract: The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within Oil Sands Process-affected Water (OSPW) biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated by Liu and coworkers. Combined microsensor and molecular biology techniques were utilized in this study. Their results demonstrated that multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H 2 S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. - Highlights: • Biofilm in oil sands wastewater was developed on engineered biocarriers. • Bacterial community and in situ activity of SRB were studied in the biofilm.

  16. Key performance indicators for electric mining shovels and oil sands diggability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patnayak, Sibabrata

    A shovel performance monitoring study was undertaken in two oil sands mines operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. using performance data obtained from P&H 4100 TS and BOSS electric mining shovels. One year of shovel performance data along with geological, geotechnical, and climatic data were analyzed. The approach adopted was to use current and voltage data collected from hoist and crowd motors and to calculate the energy and/or power associated with digging. Analysis of performance data along with digital video records of operating shovels indicated that hoist and crowd motor voltages and currents can be used to identify the beginning and the end of individual dig cycles. A dig cycle identification algorithm was developed. Performance indicators such as dig cycle time, hoist motor energy and power, and crowd motor energy and power were determined. The shovel performance indicators provide important insight into how geology, equipment and operators affect the digging efficiency. The hoist motor power is a useful key performance indicator for assessing diggability. Hoist motor energy consumption per tonne of material excavated and the number of dig cycles required for loading a truck can be useful key performance indicators for assessing operator performance and productivity. Analysis of performance data along with operators team schedules showed that the performance of a shovel can be significantly influenced by the operator's digging technique while digging uniform material. Up to 25% variability in hoist motor power consumption and 50% variability in productivity was noted between different operators. Shovel type and dipper teeth configuration can also influence the power draw on electrical motors during digging. There is no common agreement existing on the influence of bitumen content on oil sands diggability. By comparing the hoist motor power consumption, it was found that the rich ore was more difficult to dig than the lean ore. Similarly, estuarine ore was more

  17. Tapping into new markets for heavy crude : sustaining oil sands development in the long term

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schrage, W.

    2003-01-01

    In 2002, 65 per cent of supply from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) was shipped by Enbridge to North American markets. A survey of refineries is used by Enbridge to establish expected market demand for oil from the WCSB. An Oil Sands Markets Study was undertaken to provide answers to the following: (1) what volumes to which markets will maximize the value of WCSB production? (2) what mix of raw bitumen, synthetic and fully saturated synthetic best fits the available markets? and (3) what infrastructure expansions, extensions, conversions and new development will be required? Enbridge elected to use the North American petroleum model using Alto's MarketPoint system. It was adapted to evaluate crude oil and refined products. It is expected that by the end of the first quarter of 2003, the preliminary results will be available for review with industry. There are currently 20 crude types identified as available to refineries. All imported crude types will be included. Eight distinct classes of refined products were used: liquid propane gas (LPG), low and high sulphur gasoline, jet fuel, low and high sulphur distillate, asphalt and coke. All major conversion units were modeled for all 150 refineries in Canada and the United States. figs

  18. A Critical Review of the Oil and Tar Sands of the Dahomey Basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osundina, A.; Mustapha, A.; Nzewi, T.

    2002-01-01

    The Benin Basin previously referred to as the Dahomey embayment has been designated as a frontier basin within Nigeria due to its potentially high prospects, but comparatively low exploitation campaign to date. The basin offers a promising opportunity for heavy oil exploration in a narrow belt extending westward from Edo State to the republic of Benin; while offshore, there are high prospects for finding more conventional hydrocarbon.The eastern Dahomey embayment is known to have an extensive reserve of hydrocarbons (bitumen and tar sands). The sediments occur in a 5 8 km belt stretching 120km from the fringes of Lagos State through Ogun, Ondo and Edo States. The estimated reserve potentials exceed 30 billion barrels of oil equivalent.Recently acquired seismic data in OPL 309 and 310, and subsequent drilling of 2 wells on the narrow continental shelf, have shown the presence of closed structures over Basement Highs and other related structural styles in the basin and confirm that conventional light oils and condensates hydrocarbons occur in commercial quantity. These hydrocarbons are reservoired in stratigraphic sequences of Albian Cenomanian age.This paper hopes to expose the hidden riches of this Basin and hopefully get the attention of the big players in refocusing their interests in the basin that attracted attention of the early petroleum explorers to Nigeria approximately 100 years ago

  19. Economic and environmental effects of the FQD on crude oil production from tar sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kampman, B.; De Buck, A.; Afman, M. [CE Delft, Delft (Netherlands); Van den Berg, J.; Otten, G.J. [Carbon Matters, Den Haag (Netherlands)

    2013-05-15

    The production of unconventional crudes in Canada and Venezuela and exports of these crudes to the EU are investigated. In addition the potential economic and environmental impact of the proposed EU FQD measures (Fuel Quality Directive) on the production of crudes from tar sands and on new tar sand exploration projects are examined. CE Delft has analysed the impact by using a dedicated cost model. For existing projects, the model determines the effect on the basis of marginal production costs. For planned projects the model used the net present value (NPV) of proposed investments. The impacts were determined for a range of crude oil prices and FQD price effects. Combined, for existing and new projects together, the maximum effect would be at a price level at 60 USD/bbl, with savings of up to 19 Mt CO2/y at an FQD price differential of 3 euro/bbl. This overall effect would be substantial and come on top of the total emission reduction effect of the FQD of 60 Mt CO2/y, which will be achieved mostly by the blending of low-carbon fuels and reduced flaring and venting. As part of the reduction of transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the revised FQD obliges fuel suppliers to reduce these emissions by 6% by 2020 on a well-to-wheel basis. The EU is currently developing a methodology to differentiate fossil fuels on the basis of feedstock and GHG emissions. In the proposal, diesel produced from tar sands, has been given a default emission value of 108.5 gCO2 eq/MJ, while diesel from conventional crude was set at 89.1 gCO2 eq/MJ. The Commission's proposal is currently undergoing an impact assessment and is expected to be resubmitted to the Council later this year (2013)

  20. Mature fine tailings from oil sands processing harbour diverse methanogenic communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penner, T.J.; Foght, J.M. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2010-06-15

    Syncrude's bitumen extraction process produces a fine tailings slurry consisting of water, sand, fines, residual bitumen and naphtha diluent. Following rapid settling of the sand fraction, the tailings are stored in large settling ponds to form a thick mature fine tailings (MFT). This paper discussed the potential benefits of methane production on management of the settling basins. Enhanced methanogenesis accelerates densification and improves the rheological properties of MFT. In this study molecular techniques were used to characterize the methanogenic communities in uncultivated MFT samples to determine the diversity present in the Mildred Lake Settling Basin (MLSB) and West In-Pit tailings deposit. The flux of methane is currently estimated at about 40 million L/day at the MLSB. Clone libraries of amplified archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes were created in order to analyze the methanogenic consortia in MFT samples from depth profiles in the 2 tailings deposits. The archaeal sequences, whose closest matches were primarily cultivated methanogens, were comparable within and between basins and were mostly affiliated with acetoclastic Methanosaeta spp. However, bacterial clone libraries were diverse, with most sequences relating to Proteobacteria, including some presumptive nitrate-, iron-, or sulfate-reducing, hydrocarbon-degrading genera. The study showed that MFT consists of a diverse community of prokaryotes that may be responsible for producing methane from substrates indigenous to the MFT. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the biogenesis of methane and densification of MFT in oil sands tailings deposits. The results from this study will help determine strategies to control and exploit microbial activities in these large systems and improve the understanding of methanogenic environments. 43 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs.