WorldWideScience

Sample records for oil sand mining

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Cultural keystone species in oil sands mine reclamation, Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garibaldi, A.; Straker, J. [Stantec Ltd., Sidney, BC (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Cultural keystone species (CKS) shape the cultural identify of people through the roles they have in diet, material and spiritual practices. The use of the CKS concept is regarded as a method of addressing linked social and ecological issues. This paper presented the results of using the CKS model in the indigenous community of Fort McKay, Alberta to address, social, ecological and spiritual values in regional mine-land reclamation. Fort McKay is at the epicenter of the existing mine developments. Its residents regard human and environmental health to be be linked and therefore experience the effects of development and subsequent reclamation on both cultural and ecological levels. The community is actively engaged in working with the local mining companies on issues of mine reclamation design. In order to hold meaning to the local people, oil sand operators used the CKS concept in their reclamation efforts to take into account ecological functionality and also address the linked social factors. Five CKS were identified through a literature review and extensive community interviews. The list includes moose, cranberry, blueberry, ratroot and beaver. These 5 CKS were used to focus discussions and make recommendations for relevant land reclamation within Fort McKay traditional territory. The project has influenced the way both the community and oil sands operators engage with reclamation. Lessons learned from this process will help direct reclamation activities on other portions of traditional territory, while offering guidance to other regional developers for addressing cultural values in reclamation on their leases. 15 refs., 1 fig.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Frac Sand Mines Are Preferentially Sited in Unzoned Rural Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Christina

    2015-01-01

    Shifting markets can cause unexpected, stochastic changes in rural landscapes that may take local communities by surprise. Preferential siting of new industrial facilities in poor areas or in areas with few regulatory restrictions can have implications for environmental sustainability, human health, and social justice. This study focuses on frac sand mining-the mining of high-quality silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing processes for gas and oil extraction. Frac sand mining gained prominence in the 2000s in the upper midwestern United States where nonmetallic mining is regulated primarily by local zoning. I asked whether frac sand mines were more commonly sited in rural townships without formal zoning regulations or planning processes than in those that undertook zoning and planning before the frac sand boom. I also asked if mine prevalence was correlated with socioeconomic differences across townships. After creating a probability surface to map areas most suitable for frac sand mine occurrence, I developed neutral landscape models from which to compare actual mine distributions in zoned and unzoned areas at three different spatial extents. Mines were significantly clustered in unzoned jurisdictions at the statewide level and in 7 of the 8 counties with at least three frac sand mines and some unzoned land. Subsequent regression analyses showed mine prevalence to be uncorrelated with land value, tax rate, or per capita income, but correlated with remoteness and zoning. The predicted mine count in unzoned townships was over two times higher than that in zoned townships. However, the county with the most mines by far was under a county zoning ordinance, perhaps indicating industry preferences for locations with clear, homogenous rules over patchwork regulation. Rural communities can use the case of frac sand mining as motivation to discuss and plan for sudden land-use predicaments, rather than wait to grapple with unfamiliar legal processes during a period of

  5. Supplying synthetic crude oil from Canadian oil sands: A comparative study of the costs and CO2 emissions of mining and in-situ recovery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Méjean, Aurélie; Hope, Chris

    2013-01-01

    High crude oil prices and the eventual decline of conventional oil production raise the issue of alternative fuels such as non-conventional oil. The paper describes a simple probabilistic model of the costs of synthetic crude oil produced from Canadian oil sands. Synthetic crude oil is obtained by upgrading bitumen that is first produced through mining or in-situ recovery techniques. This forward-looking analysis quantifies the effects of learning and production constraints on the costs of supplying synthetic crude oil. The sensitivity analysis shows that before 2035, the most influential parameters are the learning parameter in the case of in-situ bitumen and the depletion parameter in the case of mined bitumen. After 2035, depletion dominates in both cases. The results show that the social cost of CO 2 has a large impact on the total costs of synthetic crude oil, in particular in the case of synthetic crude oil from in-situ bitumen, due to the carbon intensity of the recovery techniques: taking into account the social cost of CO 2 adds more than half to the cost of producing synthetic crude oil from mined bitumen in 2050 (mean value), while the cost of producing synthetic crude oil from in-situ bitumen more than doubles. - Highlights: • We model the cost of Canadian synthetic crude oil (SCO) using Monte-Carlo techniques. • We reveal the uncertainty associated with each input parameter. • We quantify the effect of learning, depletion and CO 2 using sensitivity analyses. • Accounting for the social cost of CO 2 doubles the cost of SCO from in-situ bitumen. • CO 2 pricing could have a large effect on the economics of the oil sands

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. Frac Sand Mines Are Preferentially Sited in Unzoned Rural Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Locke

    Full Text Available Shifting markets can cause unexpected, stochastic changes in rural landscapes that may take local communities by surprise. Preferential siting of new industrial facilities in poor areas or in areas with few regulatory restrictions can have implications for environmental sustainability, human health, and social justice. This study focuses on frac sand mining-the mining of high-quality silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing processes for gas and oil extraction. Frac sand mining gained prominence in the 2000s in the upper midwestern United States where nonmetallic mining is regulated primarily by local zoning. I asked whether frac sand mines were more commonly sited in rural townships without formal zoning regulations or planning processes than in those that undertook zoning and planning before the frac sand boom. I also asked if mine prevalence was correlated with socioeconomic differences across townships. After creating a probability surface to map areas most suitable for frac sand mine occurrence, I developed neutral landscape models from which to compare actual mine distributions in zoned and unzoned areas at three different spatial extents. Mines were significantly clustered in unzoned jurisdictions at the statewide level and in 7 of the 8 counties with at least three frac sand mines and some unzoned land. Subsequent regression analyses showed mine prevalence to be uncorrelated with land value, tax rate, or per capita income, but correlated with remoteness and zoning. The predicted mine count in unzoned townships was over two times higher than that in zoned townships. However, the county with the most mines by far was under a county zoning ordinance, perhaps indicating industry preferences for locations with clear, homogenous rules over patchwork regulation. Rural communities can use the case of frac sand mining as motivation to discuss and plan for sudden land-use predicaments, rather than wait to grapple with unfamiliar legal processes

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Mining for oil in Japan. Report No. 89. [Higashiyama

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1947-09-03

    Mining for petroleum by underground methods was undertaken in 1940 by the Japanese in the Higashiyama oil field, Niigata Prefecture, as a means of obtaining additional oil from the sands unrecoverable by wells from the surface. The oil is obtained by gravitational drainage through mine openings and is transported through a gathering system, collected in a sump at the bottom of the main shaft and pumped to the surface. Total production of crude oil for the first six years of operation of the Higashiyama mine was 24,914 kiloliters (156,710 barrels). Average production per meter of gallery for the period 1941-46 was 2.69 kiloliters, equivalent to five barrels per foot. Operations were undertaken without careful studies of the residual oil content of the reservoir sands, or a correct understanding of the producing possibilities of the property. Recoveries leave much to be desired for profitable operation. The results achieved, however, appear to have been successful in view of limited natural oil resources and the great need for petroleum products. The work accomplished in pioneering oil-mining in Japan has provided a background of valuable knowledge and experience which will be beneficial in carrying out future mining projects. Other shallow fields, such as Niitsu, Hibiki, and the Takeishi structure present possibilities of applying underground mining methods to recover additional oil.

  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. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Characterization of trace gases measured over Alberta oil sands mining operations: 76 speciated C2-C10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, I. J.; Blake, N. J.; Barletta, B.; Diskin, G. S.; Fuelberg, H. E.; Gorham, K.; Huey, L. G.; Meinardi, S.; Rowland, F. S.; Vay, S. A.; Weinheimer, A. J.; Yang, M.; Blake, D. R.

    2010-12-01

    Oil sands comprise 30% of the world's oil reserves and the crude oil reserves in Canada's oil sands deposits are second only to Saudi Arabia. The extraction and processing of oil sands is much more challenging than for light sweet crude oils because of the high viscosity of the bitumen contained within the oil sands and because the bitumen is mixed with sand and contains chemical impurities such as sulphur. Despite these challenges, the importance of oil sands is increasing in the energy market. To our best knowledge this is the first peer-reviewed study to characterize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from Alberta's oil sands mining sites. We present high-precision gas chromatography measurements of 76 speciated C2-C10 VOCs (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cycloalkanes, aromatics, monoterpenes, oxygenated hydrocarbons, halocarbons and sulphur compounds) in 17 boundary layer air samples collected over surface mining operations in northeast Alberta on 10 July 2008, using the NASA DC-8 airborne laboratory as a research platform. In addition to the VOCs, we present simultaneous measurements of CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2, which were measured in situ aboard the DC-8. Carbon dioxide, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, SO2 and 53 VOCs (e.g., non-methane hydrocarbons, halocarbons, sulphur species) showed clear statistical enhancements (1.1-397×) over the oil sands compared to local background values and, with the exception of CO, were greater over the oil sands than at any other time during the flight. Twenty halocarbons (e.g., CFCs, HFCs, halons, brominated species) either were not enhanced or were minimally enhanced (industry fell into two groups: (1) evaporative emissions from the oil sands and its products and/or from the diluent used to lower the viscosity of the extracted bitumen (i.e., C4-C9 alkanes, C5-C6 cycloalkanes, C6-C8 aromatics), together with CO; and (2) emissions associated with the mining effort, such as upgraders (i.e., CO2, CO, CH4, NO, NO2, NOy

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Documenting the global impacts of beach sand mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R.; Griffith, A.

    2009-04-01

    For centuries, beach sand has been mined for use as aggregate in concrete, for heavy minerals, and for construction fill. The global extent and impact of this phenomenon has gone relatively unnoticed by academics, NGOs, and major news sources. Most reports of sand mining activities are found at the very local scale (if the mining is ever documented at all). Yet, sand mining in many localities has resulted in the complete destruction of beach (and related) ecosystems along with severe impacts to coastal protection and tourism. The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University and Beachcare.org have initiated the construction of a global database of beach sand mining activities. The database is being built through a combination of site visits and through the data mining of media resources, peer reviewed papers, and reports from private and governmental entities. Currently, we have documented sand mining in 35 countries on 6 continents representing the removal of millions of cubic meters of sand. Problems extend from Asia where critical infrastructure has been disrupted by sand mining to the Caribbean where policy reform has swiftly followed a highly publicized theft of sand. The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines recently observed extensive sand mining in Morocco at the regional scale. Tens of kilometers of beach have been stripped of sand and the mining continues southward reducing hope of a thriving tourism-based economy. Problems caused by beach sand mining include: destruction of natural beaches and the ecosystems they protect (e.g. dunes, wetlands), habitat loss for globally important species (e.g. turtles, shorebirds), destruction of nearshore marine ecosystems, increased shoreline erosion rates, reduced protection from storms, tsunamis, and wave events, and economic losses through tourist abandonment and loss of coastal aesthetics. The threats posed by sand mining are made even more critical given the prospect of a

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dibenzothiophenes in wetland sediments and aquatic insects in the oil sands area of northeastern Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayland, Mark; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Crosley, Robert; Brownlee, Brian G

    2008-01-01

    An immense volume of tailings and tailings water is accumulating in tailings ponds located on mine leases in the oil sands area of Alberta, Canada. Oil sands mining companies have proposed to use tailings- and tailings water-amended lakes and wetlands as part of their mine remediation plans. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are substances of concern in oil sands tailings and tailings water. In this study, we determined concentrations of PAHs in sediments, insect larvae and adult insects collected in or adjacent to three groups of wetlands: experimental wetlands to which tailings or tailings water had been purposely added, oil sands wetlands that were located on the mine leases but which had not been experimentally manipulated and reference wetlands located near the mine leases. Alkylated PAHs dominated the PAH profile in all types of samples in the three categories of wetlands. Median and maximum PAH concentrations, especially alkylated PAH concentrations, tended to be higher in sediments and insect larvae in experimental wetlands than in the other types of wetlands. Such was not the case for adult insects, which contained higher than expected levels of PAHs in the three types of ponds. Overlap in PAH concentrations in larvae among pond types suggests that any increase in PAH levels resulting from the addition of tailings and tailings water to wetlands would be modest. Biota-sediment accumulation factors were higher for alkylated PAHs than for their parent counterparts and were lower in experimental wetlands than in oil sands and reference wetlands. Research is needed to examine factors that affect the bioavailability of PAHs in oil sands tailings- or tailings water-amended wetlands.

  5. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing environmental impacts of inland sand mining in parts of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sand is a valuable resource for construction and other purposes, however sand mining often result in serious environmental problems such as land degradation, loss of agricultural lands and biodiversity, as well increased poverty among people. This study assessed the environmental impacts of inland sand mining in six ...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Removal method of radium in mine water by filter sand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taki, Tomihiro; Naganuma, Masaki

    2003-01-01

    Trace radium is contained in mine water from the old mine road in Ningyo-Toge Environmental Engineering Center, JNC. We observed that filter sand with hydrated manganese oxide adsorbed radium in the mine water safely for long time. The removal method of radium by filter sand cladding with hydrated manganese oxide was studied. The results showed that radium was removed continuously and last for a long time from mine water with sodium hypochlorite solution by passing through the filter sand cladding with hydrated manganese. Only sodium hypochlorite solution was used. When excess of it was added, residue chlorine was used as chlorine disinfection. Filter sand cladding with hydrated manganese on the market can remove radium in the mine water. The removal efficiency of radium is the same as the radium coprecipitation method added with barium chloride. The cost is much lower than the ordinary methods. Amount of waste decreased to about 1/20 of the coprecipitation method. (S.Y.)

  5. TSC mobile mining and extraction technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavender, W.J. [TSC Company Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2001-11-01

    This Power-Point presentation described an innovative mining and extraction technology developed by Calgary-based TSC Company Ltd. that has provided a major breakthrough in bitumen production from mineable oil sands. The presentation described the process and key mechanical components as demonstrated on oil sands leases. It also described the step change in cost structure and profitability. Oil sands mining provide a hugh resource base with no exploration costs and no decline in production. Despite these advantages, oil sands mining faces the challenge of high capital and operating costs and materials handling. Other challenges include the variability of the ore and environmental impacts. This paper described the fundamentals of the new technology called the Tar Sand Combine (TSC), a continuous mining machine, crusher, cyclone, tailings filter and stacker all in one mobile module. Several viewgraphs were included with the presentation to depict the recovery process as successfully demonstrated at a pilot project. Patent is pending on the process and components. The advantages of the TSC are reduced materials handling, and no tailings ponds are generated since tailings remain where they are mined. The final product is clean bitumen. The specifications of a commercial TSC are: 2000 ton/stream hour mining produce 25,000 bpsd bitumen at 12 per cent ore grade; mined ore bitumen recovery is greater than 95 per cent and the availability factor is 85 per cent. It was concluded that the TSC can maximize oil sands reserves, while providing significant cost savings and environmental benefits. 2 tabs., 24 figs.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Sand mining impacts on long-term dune erosion in southern Monterey Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, E.B.; Sallenger, Abby; Sesto, Juan Conforto; Egley, L.; McGee, Timothy; Parsons, Rost

    2006-01-01

    Southern Monterey Bay was the most intensively mined shoreline (with sand removed directly from the surf zone) in the U.S. during the period from 1906 until 1990, when the mines were closed following hypotheses that the mining caused coastal erosion. It is estimated that the yearly averaged amount of mined sand between 1940 and 1984 was 128,000 m3/yr, which is approximately 50% of the yearly average dune volume loss during this period. To assess the impact of sand mining, erosion rates along an 18 km range of shoreline during the times of intensive sand mining (1940–1990) are compared with the rates after sand mining ceased (1990–2004). Most of the shoreline is composed of unconsolidated sand with extensive sand dunes rising up to a height of 46 m, vulnerable to the erosive forces of storm waves. Erosion is defined here as a recession of the top edge of the dune. Recession was determined using stereo-photogrammetry, and LIDAR and GPS surveys. Long-term erosion rates vary from about 0.5 m/yr at Monterey to 1.5 m/yr in the middle of the range, and then decrease northward. Erosion events are episodic and occur when storm waves and high tides coincide, allowing swash to undercut the dune and resulting in permanent recession. Erosion appears to be correlated with the occurrence of El Niños. The calculated volume loss of the dune in southern Monterey Bay during the 1997–98 El Niño winter was 1,820,000 m3, which is almost seven times the historical annual mean dune erosion of 270,000 m3/yr. The alongshore variation in recession rates appears to be a function of the alongshore gradient in mean wave energy and depletions by sand mining. After cessation of sand mining in 1990, the erosion rates decreased at locations in the southern end of the bay but have not significantly changed at other locations.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. External costs of sand mining in rivers: evidence from South Africa.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Lange, Willem J

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available river sand load content and excluding the impacts of dams and sand mining). Accounting for the impacts of dams on sediment yield decreased the estimate by at least 33 percent (Theron et al., 2008). An aerial survey identified thirty-one active sand... mining operations, extracting approximately 400 000 cubic meters of sand per year (a conservative estimate) in the eThekwini area (Theron et al., 2008). The estimated remaining sediment yield from rivers after accounting for the impacts of dams...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Chemical mass transport between fluid fine tailings and the overlying water cover of an oil sands end pit lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dompierre, Kathryn A.; Barbour, S. Lee; North, Rebecca L.; Carey, Sean K.; Lindsay, Matthew B. J.

    2017-06-01

    Fluid fine tailings (FFT) are a principal by-product of the bitumen extraction process at oil sands mines. Base Mine Lake (BML)—the first full-scale demonstration oil sands end pit lake (EPL)—contains approximately 1.9 × 108 m3 of FFT stored under a water cover within a decommissioned mine pit. Chemical mass transfer from the FFT to the water cover can occur via two key processes: (1) advection-dispersion driven by tailings settlement; and (2) FFT disturbance due to fluid movement in the water cover. Dissolved chloride (Cl) was used to evaluate the water cover mass balance and to track mass transport within the underlying FFT based on field sampling and numerical modeling. Results indicated that FFT was the dominant Cl source to the water cover and that the FFT is exhibiting a transient advection-dispersion mass transport regime with intermittent disturbance near the FFT-water interface. The advective pore water flux was estimated by the mass balance to be 0.002 m3 m-2 d-1, which represents 0.73 m of FFT settlement per year. However, the FFT pore water Cl concentrations and corresponding mass transport simulations indicated that advection rates and disturbance depths vary between sample locations. The disturbance depth was estimated to vary with location between 0.75 and 0.95 m. This investigation provides valuable insight for assessing the geochemical evolution of the water cover and performance of EPLs as an oil sands reclamation strategy.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Sulphur extended oil sand mix : paving material for lower transport cost and CO{sub 2} reduction : ASRL Syncrude research project 1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aquin d' , G. [Con-Sul Inc., Missoula, MT (United States)

    2010-07-01

    This power point presentation discussed the use of sulphur-enhanced oil sands (SEOS) as a paving mixture. Sulphur has been added to asphaltic bitumen paving processes since the 1850s. Research into sulphur additions has been conducted by various Canadian industry members and institutions. A study in 1995 investigated the use of SEOS as a temporary paving material. The benefits of using SEOS included lower capital costs and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts. Increases in equipment efficiency were also observed. Researchers are now developing mixing protocols and testing various paving materials in relation to temperature regimes and percentages of sulphur. Sand, limestone, coke, and rubber additions are also being evaluated, as well as the behaviour of SEOS in freeze-thaw cycles. To date, the studies have indicated that a 30 percent sulphur, 10 percent sand, and 60 percent oil sand mixture provides optimal compression and behaviour under freeze-thaw conditions. The use of SEOS paving at oil sands mine sites will reduce truck and road maintenance as well as reduce fuel emissions and consumption rates. tabs., figs.

  3. 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

  4. Land Use and River Degradation Impact of Sand and Gravel Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syah, Putra Rizal Ichsan; Hartuti, Purnaweni

    2018-02-01

    Sand and gravel mining is aimed at providing materials for infrastructure development, as well as providing economical source to the miners. However, the impacts of sand and gravel mining could also cause disturbances to ecological balance, since it is closely related to land use change and river degradation, besides causing conflicts in the miners, the government, and the private relationship. Therefore the government regulation and proper supervision are needed to preserve the ecological balance and decreasing the negative impacts of this mining, and therefore guarantee sustainable development.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Sand and gravel mining: effects on ground water resources in Hancock county, Maine, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peckenham, John M.; Thornton, Teresa; Whalen, Bill

    2009-01-01

    Based on this preliminary study, existing sand and gravel mining regulations (in Maine, USA) can be inferred to provide some protection to water resources. Sand and gravel deposits are important natural resources that have dual uses: mining for construction material and pumping for drinking water. How the mining of sand and gravel affects aquifers and change aquifer vulnerability to contamination is not well documented. Mining regulations vary greatly by state and local jurisdiction. This study test metrics to measure the effectiveness of mining regulations. The sand and gravel aquifer system studied is covered with former and active gravel pits to nearly 25% of its areal extent. Data from homeowner interviews and field measurements found scant evidence of changes in water quantity. Water quality analyses collected from springs, streams, ponds and wells indicate that the aquifer was vulnerable to contamination by chloride and nitrate. However, water quality changes can not be related directly to mining activities.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Study on sand particles creep model and open pit mine landslide mechanism caused by sand fatigue liquefaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Dong-Ning; Wang, Lai-Gui; Zhang, Xiang-Dong; Zhang, Shu-Kun

    2017-06-01

    The sand particles in the sand - rock composite slope of the open pit mine occurs creep deformation and fatigue liquefaction under the action of vehicle load vibration and hydraulic gradient, which causes landslide geological disasters and it destroys the surface environment. To reveal the mechanism, a mechanics model based on the model considering the soil structural change with a new “plastic hinge” element is developed, to improve its constitutive and creep curve equations. Data from sand creep experiments are used to identify the parameters in the model and to validate the model. The results show that the mechanical model can describe the rotation progress between the sand particles, disclose the negative acceleration creep deformation stage during the third phase, and require fewer parameters while maintaining accuracy. It provides a new creep model considering rotation to analyze sand creep mechanism, which provides a theoretical basis for revealing the open pit mine landslide mechanism induced by creep deformation and fatigue liquefaction of sandy soil.

  18. Cashing in on Tar Sands. RBS, UK banks and Canada's 'blood oil'

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Evans, M.; Howarth, C.; Kellay, A.; Laboucan, B.J.; Mercredi, M.; Minio-Paluelo, M.; Schling, H.; Smith, K.; Thomas-Muller, C.; Wood, A.

    2010-03-15

    Tar sands extraction in Canada is devastating Indigenous communities, wildlife and vast areas of boreal forests, as well as being many times more carbon-intensive to produce than 'conventional' oil. The higher oil prices in recent years have meant that it's become a more attractive prospect for oil companies to expand their operations in the costly process of obtaining and processing the thick bitumen into a usable form. It's estimated that the industry is looking for a capital investment of 120-220 billion USD over the next 20 years to build the new pipelines, mines, refineries and upgraders that are necessary to sustain the boom. This report looks at the role that UK banks are playing in providing the necessary capital, and how RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), which is 84% owned by the UK public, has been the bank the most heavily involved in underwriting loans to companies engaging in tar sands extraction.

  19. Injury experience in sand and gravel mining, 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-10-01

    This Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) informational report reviews in detail the occupational injury and illness experience of sand and gravel mining in the United States for 1991. Data reported by operators of mining establishments concerning work injuries are summarized by work location, accident classification, part of body injured, nature of injury, and occupation. Related information on employment, worktime, and operating activity also is presented. Data reported by independent contractors performing certain work at mining locations are depicted separately in this report. For ease of comparison with other metal and nonmetallic mineral mining industries and with coal mining, summary reference tabulations are included at the end of both the operator and the contractor sections of this report.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Retorting of bituminous sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaney, P E; Ince, R W; Mason, C M

    1872-09-26

    This method of recovering oil from mined tar sands involves forming compacted tar sands pieces by special conditioning treatment that provides low internal permeability. The compacted pieces are then retorted in fixed bed form. The conditioning treatment can involve rolling of preformed pellets, compaction in a mold or pressure extrusion. Substantial collapsing of the bed during retorting is avoided. (9 claims) (Abstract only - original article not available from T.U.)

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Efficient management of marine resources in conflict: an empirical study of marine sand mining, Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tae-Goun

    2009-10-01

    This article develops a dynamic model of efficient use of exhaustible marine sand resources in the context of marine mining externalities. The classical Hotelling extraction model is applied to sand mining in Ongjin, Korea and extended to include the estimated marginal external costs that mining imposes on marine fisheries. The socially efficient sand extraction plan is compared with the extraction paths suggested by scientific research. If marginal environmental costs are correctly estimated, the developed efficient extraction plan considering the resource rent may increase the social welfare and reduce the conflicts among the marine sand resource users. The empirical results are interpreted with an emphasis on guidelines for coastal resource management policy.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Detoxification, endocrine, and immune responses of tree swallow nestlings naturally exposed to air contaminants from the Alberta oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Martinez, Luis; Fernie, Kim J; Soos, Catherine; Harner, Tom; Getachew, Fitsum; Smits, Judit E G

    2015-01-01

    Changes in environmental and wildlife health from contaminants in tailings water on the Canadian oil sands have been well-studied; however, effects of air contaminants on wildlife health have not. A field study was conducted to assess biological costs of natural exposure to oil sands-related air emissions on birds. Nest boxes for tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) were erected at two sites; within 5 km of active oil sands mining and extraction, and ≥ 60 km south, at one reference site. Passive air monitors were deployed at the nest boxes to measure nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Nestlings were examined at day 9 post hatching to assess T cell function and morphometry. At day 14 post hatching, a subset of nestlings was euthanized to measure detoxification enzymes, endocrine changes, and histological alterations of immune organs. Except for ozone, all air contaminants were higher at the two oil sands sites than the reference site (up to 5-fold). Adult birds had similar reproductive performance among sites (p>0.05). Nestlings from industrial sites showed higher hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (EROD) induction (pfeather corticosterone (p>0.6), and no histological alterations in the spleen or bursa of Fabricius (p>0.05). This is the first report examining toxicological responses in wild birds exposed to air contaminants from industrial activity in the oil sands. It is also the first time that small, individual air contaminant monitors have been used to determine local contaminant levels in ambient air around nest boxes of wild birds. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Strategic assessment of the magnitude and impacts of sand mining in Poyang Lake, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuw, de J.; Shankman, D.; Wu, G.; Boer, de W.F.; Burnham, J.; He, Q.; Yesou, H.; Xiao, J.

    2010-01-01

    Planning for the extraction of aggregates is typically dealt with at a case to case basis, without assessing environmental impacts strategically. In this study we assess the impact of sand mining in Poyang Lake, where dredging began in 2001 after sand mining in the Yangtze River had been banned. In

  17. Australian mining yearbook 79/80

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barret, P [ed.

    1980-01-01

    The present state of affairs in mining the following metals and minerals is described: aluminium, coal, diamonds, iron ore, lead and zinc, mineral sands, oil and gas, oil shale, tin, and uranium. Equipment, finance, mining methods, resources, safety, and taxation are all discussed. Then there is a directory of mining companies and directors, a Who's Who, and a buyers guide consisting of a product index and a suppliers index. Lists of consultants, drilling contractors, ore buyers, mining industry and research organisations and government departments are also given.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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)

  5. Recreating wetland ecosystems in an oil sands disturbed landscape : Suncor consolidated-tailings demonstration wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daly, C. [Suncor Energy, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Aquatic Reclamation Research; Tedder, W.; Marlowe, P. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada). Oil Sands Div.

    2009-10-01

    Open pit oil sands mining involves the disturbance of thin overburden covers of Boreal forest lands that must be returned to equivalent land capability after mining activities have ceased. Before mining starts, any wetlands are drained, timber is harvested, and peat, topsoils and subsoils are stockpiled for later use. This article discussed wetland reclamation activities conducted by Suncor Energy at its open pit mining operations. Research facilities were constructed in order to determine if wetlands constructed with consolidated tailings (CT) and pond effluent water (PEW) were able to support a sustainable vegetation community. Thirty-three cat-tail plots were established at the facility as well as unplanted plots in order to determine how quickly natural establishment occurred. Shoreline plug transplants and transplants from a natural saline lake were also introduced. Within 5 years, over 23 plant species had naturally colonized the CT wetlands. However, diversity was lower in CT and PEW-constructed wetlands. It was concluded that the application of a native peat-mineral mix soil may help to increase plant diversity. 20 refs., 5 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. 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

  8. 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

  9. Oil shale mines and their realizable production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habicht, K.

    1994-01-01

    The production of Estonian oil shale depends on its marketing opportunities. The realizable production is a function of the oil shale price, which in turn depends on production costs. The latter are dependent on which mines are producing oil shale and on the volume of production. The purpose of the present article is to analyze which mines should operate under various realizable production scenarios and what should be their annual output so that the total cost of oil shale production (including maintenance at idle mines) is minimized. This paper is also targeted at observing the change in the average production cost per ton of oil shale depending on the realizable output. The calculations are based on data for the first four months of 1993, as collected by N. Barabaner (Estonian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Economy). The data include the total production volume and production cost from the mines of RE 'Eesti Polevkivi' (State Enterprise 'Estonian Oil Shale'). They also project expenses from mine closings in case of conservation. The latter costs were allocated among mines in direct proportion to their respective number of employees. (author)

  10. [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

  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. 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.

  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. Effects of oil sands tailings compounds and harsh weather on mortality rates, growth and detoxification efforts in nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gentes, Marie-Line [Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4 (Canada)]. E-mail: marie-line.gentes@usask.ca; Waldner, Cheryl [Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4 (Canada)]. E-mail: cheryl.waldner@usask.ca; Papp, Zsuzsanna [Toxicology Research Centre, 44 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B3 (Canada)]. E-mail: zsp127@duke.usask.ca; Smits, Judit E.G. [Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4 (Canada)]. E-mail: judit.smits@usask.ca

    2006-07-15

    Oil sands mining companies in Alberta, Canada, are evaluating the feasibility of using wetlands to detoxify oil sands process material (OSPM) as a reclamation strategy. Reproductive success, nestling growth, survival and ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase (EROD) activity were measured in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on experimental wetlands. In 2003, harsh weather triggered a widespread nestling die-off. Mortality rates on the control site reached 48% while they ranged from 59% to 100% on reclaimed wetlands. The odds of dying on the most process-affected sites were more than ten times higher than those on the control site. In 2004, weather was less challenging. Mortality rates were low, but nestlings on reclaimed wetlands weighed less than those on the control site, and had higher EROD activity. These results indicate that compared with reference birds, nestlings from OSPM-impacted wetlands may be less able to withstand additional stressors, which could decrease their chances of survival after fledging. - Under natural stress caused by harsh weather, birds exposed to chemicals from the oil sands extraction process suffered higher mortality than those in control areas.

  15. Effects of oil sands tailings compounds and harsh weather on mortality rates, growth and detoxification efforts in nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gentes, Marie-Line; Waldner, Cheryl; Papp, Zsuzsanna; Smits, Judit E.G.

    2006-01-01

    Oil sands mining companies in Alberta, Canada, are evaluating the feasibility of using wetlands to detoxify oil sands process material (OSPM) as a reclamation strategy. Reproductive success, nestling growth, survival and ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase (EROD) activity were measured in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on experimental wetlands. In 2003, harsh weather triggered a widespread nestling die-off. Mortality rates on the control site reached 48% while they ranged from 59% to 100% on reclaimed wetlands. The odds of dying on the most process-affected sites were more than ten times higher than those on the control site. In 2004, weather was less challenging. Mortality rates were low, but nestlings on reclaimed wetlands weighed less than those on the control site, and had higher EROD activity. These results indicate that compared with reference birds, nestlings from OSPM-impacted wetlands may be less able to withstand additional stressors, which could decrease their chances of survival after fledging. - Under natural stress caused by harsh weather, birds exposed to chemicals from the oil sands extraction process suffered higher mortality than those in control areas

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Environmental Impacts of Sand Exploitation. Analysis of Sand Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Dan Gavriletea

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Sand is an indispensable natural resource for any society. Despite society’s increasing dependence on sand, there are major challenges that this industry needs to deal with: limited sand resources, illegal mining, and environmental impact of sand mining. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to present an overview of the sand market, highlighting the main trends and actors for production, export and import, and to review the main environmental impacts associated with sand exploitation process. Based on these findings, we recommend different measures to be followed to reduce negative impacts. Sand mining should be done in a way that limits environmental damage during exploitation and restores the land after mining operations are completed.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The future of water quality and the regulatory environment for the oil sands and coalbed methane development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasperski, K.; Mikula, R.

    2004-01-01

    The use of consolidated tailings in recent years for the surface mined oil sands bitumen extraction process has resulted in major improvements in water consumption because materials are transported more efficiently in a slurry form. Water storage requirements will be reduced as the cost of handling tailings in the conventional manner becomes clearer. Future improvements may be in the form of mine face sand rejection, more advanced tailings treatment, or the use of clays for continuous reclamation. Sand filtering or stacking technologies can improve tailings properties and reduce the amount of water needed per unit of bitumen. It was noted that although the technologies will minimize land disturbance and fresh water consumption, water chemistries will be driven to the point where extraction recovery is impaired and water treatment will be required. The volumes and quality of water that is pumped out to produce coalbed methane (CBM) was also discussed with reference to the origin of water in coal beds, water resource depletion, water disposal, direct land applications, and surface evaporation. The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and Alberta Environment are responsible for regulating CBM water issues in the province, including water disposal from CBM production. 41 refs., 6 tabs., 8 figs

  7. 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.

  8. Identification of Significant Impact of Silicon Foundry Sands Mining on LCIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Mitterpach

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study based on a LCA (Life Cycle Assessment research program of the silicon foundry sand (SFS due to the large quantity of produced waste foundry sand (WFS. The foundry waste is a high priority sector within the growing European foundry industry. It is necessary to understand the full life cycle of the foundry waste in order to correctly identify magnitude and types of impacts it has on the environment. System boundary includes the processes: mining, modification, packing, storage and transport to foundry. Inventory analysis data were analyzed and finally converted to the functional unit, which has been defined as one ton of SFS. The resulting environmental impact of SFS production in endpoint is: consumption of natural resources 70.9%, ecosystem quality 18.2% and human health 10.9%. The following portions, with respective percentages, have the greatest overall effect on these results: diesel fuel consumption 32.4% and natural gas consumption 28.7%, electricity usage 17.2%, transport 12.2%, devastation caused by the SFS 5.35% and oil (engine, gear and hydraulic consumption 4.14%. The highest contributor to the diesel fuel consumption is the SFS exploitation. The overall effect of desiccation was 35.8% and was caused by high consumption of resources and electricity.

  9. Sand and gravel mine operations and reclamation planning using microcomputers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ariffin, J.B.

    1990-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to focus on the application of microcomputers, also known as personal computers, in planning for sand and gravel mine operations and reclamation at a site in Story County, Iowa. This site, called the Arrasmith Pit, is operated by Martin Marietta Aggregates, Inc. The Arrasmith site, which encompasses an area of about 25 acres, is a relatively small site for aggregate mining. However, planning for the concurrent mine operation and reclamation program at this site is just as critical as with larger sites and the planning process is the same.

  10. Oil & Community Welfare: A Case Study on People Oil Mining in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nugroho Trisnu Brata

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Usually in the oil mining area was exploited by oil company that under licensed from the state. Nevertheless on an oil mining field in East Java Province in Indonesia there is people oil mining that exploited and distributed by the people. They are working on the people oil mining area. Working is a phenomenon inherent to adults in satisfying their needs. People work for a multitude of motivation. Working may lead a particular worker to occupy certain social status within the society. This paper aims to examine the phenomenon of people working in the oil distribution link from people oil mining  to consumer. More specifically, this study aims to describe the impacts of working in the oil mining on the miners’ social and economic life. The method used in this research is ethnography. Data were collected through observation, in-depth interviews, note taking, and recording. The location of research is in a petroleum artisanal mining area in East Java Province. The results showed that the impact of working in the oil distribution link from people oil mining to consumer is the generation of income used to meet the basic needs, to purchase personal means of transportation, to purchase some piece of land, and to pay for the children’s education.Biasanya ladang minyak dieksploitasi perusahaan yang memperolehy ijin dari negara. Akan tetapi ada ladang minyak di Jawa Timur yang dieksploitasi oleh masyarakat. Mereka bekerja pada ladang seperti  itu. Pekerja memiliki motivasi bermacam-macam dalam pekerjaanya. Bekerja membantu seseorang memperoleh status tertentu dalam masyarakat. Artikel ini bertujuan untuk menelaah fenomena pekerja ladang minyak. Pertanyaan yang ingin dijawab dalam penelitian ini adalah: (1 mengapa orang bekerja di ladang minyak?; (2 bagaimana kesejahteraan mereka?; dan (3 bagaimana pengaruh bekerja di ladang minyak pada kehidupan sosial dan ekonomi para pekerja?. Penelitian menggunakan metode etnografi. Penelitian dilakukan di Jawa

  11. Part of the green plan : suppliers are helping the coal and oil sands industries to address environmental concerns

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabourin, M.

    2009-09-15

    The Canadian coal and oil sands industries operate in one of the most stringent environmental regulatory frameworks found in the world. The purpose of the strict regulations is to ensure that Canadian energy resources are developed safely, responsibly and efficiently. Their primary objectives involve the protection of water supplies and aquatic life. This article discussed how suppliers are helping the coal and oil sands industries address environmental concerns. Several examples were provided. In terms of water protection and management, EBA Engineering Consultants has helped mining companies comply with strict environmental regulations and has assisted them in obtaining the necessary permits and establishing monitoring programs. In terms of containment, the Layfield Group's silt and sediment control products has helped prevent fine soil particles from running off into and clouding local water courses. In terms of land reclamation and remediation, IW Kuhn Environmental Ltd., has provided soil remediation services, including re-vegetation using hydroseeding which involves the sowing of seeds with a hosed jet of water. This article also discussed the many green technology products that have been developed and commercialized by EarthRenew for application in coal and oil sands projects. Their patented waste renew facilities can process and cook manures, biosolids or green wastes into organic fertilizers that could be used in land repair applications. 5 figs.

  12. Compromised development and survival in amphibians in reclaimed wetlands' water containing oil sands process-affected material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smits, J.; Schock, D.

    2010-01-01

    When closing a mine, operators must comply with government regulations to ensure that the sites are ecologically sustainable to support endemic flora and fauna. Creating wetlands in order to age and detoxify oil sands process-affected materials (OSPM) is a common reclamation strategy. In this study, amphibians indigenous to the boreal forest ecosystem were examined to determine if they can complete their lifecycle in water from reclaimed wetlands. Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) eggs were collected from a natural pond 60 km south of an oil sand mining site. Tadpoles were raised in 1 of 6 water treatments refreshed every two days. The 2 reference water treatments included aged tap water and water from natural wetlands. The remaining 4 water treatments were from research wetlands on Syncrude and Suncor lease sites. Of the 120 tadpoles raised per water treatment, there was no significant difference in growth, development, or survival rates between the aged tap water and reference wetland water, but the fastest growth, development, and highest survival rates occurred in the two reference groups. There was a pronounced difference among the 4 treatment groups from Suncor and Syncrude reclamation sites. Survival was high in 3 of the water treatments from Syncrude and Suncor sites, but development rates were considerably reduced. Tadpoles that do not metamorphose before winter do not survive. It was therefore concluded that delayed development in tadpoles poses a serious risk to population stability in OSPM-containing wetlands.

  13. 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

  14. Environmental impact assessment of sand mining from the small catchment rivers in the southwestern coast of India: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreebha, Sreedharan; Padmalal, Damodaran

    2011-01-01

    In the past few decades, the demand for construction grade sand is increasing in many parts of the world due to rapid economic development and subsequent growth of building activities. This, in many of the occasions, has resulted in indiscriminate mining of sand from in-stream and floodplain areas leading to severe damages to the river basin environment. The case is rather alarming in the small catchment rivers like those draining the southwestern coast of India due to limited sand resources in their alluvial reaches. Moreover, lack of adequate information on the environmental impact of river sand mining is a major lacuna challenging regulatory efforts in many developing countries. Therefore, a scientific assessment is a pre-requisite in formulating management strategies in the sand mining-hit areas. In this context, a study has been made as a case to address the environmental impact of sand mining from the in-stream and floodplain areas of three important rivers in the southwestern coast of India namely the Chalakudy, Periyar and Muvattupuzha rivers, whose lowlands host one of the fast developing urban-cum-industrial centre, the Kochi city. The study reveals that an amount of 11.527 million ty(-1) of sand (8.764 million ty(-1) of in-stream sand and 2.763 million ty(-1) of floodplain sand) is being mined from the midland and lowland reaches of these rivers for construction of buildings and other infrastructural facilities in Kochi city and its satellite townships. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out as a part of this investigation shows that the activities associated with mining and processing of sands have not only affected the health of the river ecosystems but also degraded its overbank areas to a large extent. Considering the degree of degradation caused by sand mining from these rivers, no mining scenario may be opted in the deeper zones of the river channels. Also, a set of suggestions are made for the overall improvement of the rivers and its

  15. Environmental Impact Assessment of Sand Mining from the Small Catchment Rivers in the Southwestern Coast of India: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreebha, Sreedharan; Padmalal, Damodaran

    2011-01-01

    In the past few decades, the demand for construction grade sand is increasing in many parts of the world due to rapid economic development and subsequent growth of building activities. This, in many of the occasions, has resulted in indiscriminate mining of sand from instream and floodplain areas leading to severe damages to the river basin environment. The case is rather alarming in the small catchment rivers like those draining the southwestern coast of India due to limited sand resources in their alluvial reaches. Moreover, lack of adequate information on the environmental impact of river sand mining is a major lacuna challenging regulatory efforts in many developing countries. Therefore, a scientific assessment is a pre-requisite in formulating management strategies in the sand mining-hit areas. In this context, a study has been made as a case to address the environmental impact of sand mining from the instream and floodplain areas of three important rivers in the southwestern coast of India namely the Chalakudy, Periyar and Muvattupuzha rivers, whose lowlands host one of the fast developing urban-cum-industrial centre, the Kochi city. The study reveals that an amount of 11.527 million ty-1 of sand (8.764 million ty-1 of instream sand and 2.763 million ty-1 of floodplain sand) is being mined from the midland and lowland reaches of these rivers for construction of buildings and other infrastructural facilities in Kochi city and its satellite townships. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out as a part of this investigation shows that the activities associated with mining and processing of sands have not only affected the health of the river ecosystems but also degraded its overbank areas to a large extent. Considering the degree of degradation caused by sand mining from these rivers, no mining scenario may be opted in the deeper zones of the river channels. Also, a set of suggestions are made for the overall improvement of the rivers and its

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. The Role of Sand and Stone Mining to Increase Family Income in Progo Catchment

    OpenAIRE

    Su Ritohardoyo

    2004-01-01

    The conzequence low income of the farmer household in agricultural sector is the increase in their activities as miner of sand and stone. It means for increasing of their household income. However, how important mining role on the increasing of household income has to be studied in deeply. The factual problem is the base for research aims, with the spesific stress on studying socio-economic characteristic of sand and stone miner, and the contribution of the mining income to household income. ...

  4. Yellow perch embryo-larval survival and growth in surface waters associated with oil-sands mining

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, L.E.; Heuvel, M.R. van den; Dixon, D.G.; Power, M.; Boerger, H.; MacKinnon, M.D.; Meer, T. Van

    1995-01-01

    As part of their land reclamation strategy, Syncrude Canada Ltd. is currently developing environmentally acceptable tailings disposal methods. Fine tailings, a suspension of clay and residual bitumen, is the waste product from oil sands extraction. Fine-tailings contain naphthenic acids, a group of saturated aliphatic and alicyclic carboxylic acids, which occur naturally in petroleum and are partly responsible for the toxicity of process water. The wet landscape method involves covering fine tails with a layer of water such that a self-sustaining ecosystem can be established. A 5 ha demonstration pond with a bottom of fine-tailings was constructed and stocked with yellow perch for experimental purposes. Two other reclaimed ponds formed with oil-sands overburden material were also stocked with perch. Adult perch sampled in the fall of 1995 from the experimental and reclaimed ponds exhibited a 2-fold induction of MFO activity compared to the source lake; indicating organic compound exposure. Perch from one of the reclaimed ponds showed significantly reduced circulating reproductive hormone levels, gonad size and smaller ovarian follicles. Reproductive parameters were not different between the source lake and the remaining ponds. Paired lab and field experiments were conducted to determine if contaminants present would be detrimental to egg viability and development of larvae either through direct exposure of spawned eggs or indirectly by effecting oogenesis. An early life stage toxicity test was also performed using commercially available naphthenic acid standard. Endpoints measured were percent fertilization, percent hatch, mortality, deformities, timing of developmental periods and larval growth

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Disposal of radioactive waste from mining and processing of mineral sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, B.M.

    1993-01-01

    All mineral sands products contain the naturally radioactive elements uranium and thorium and their daughters. The activity levels in the different minerals can vary widely and in the un mined state are frequently widely dispersed and add to the natural background radiation levels. Following mining, the minerals are concentrated to a stage where radiation levels can present an occupational hazard and disposal of waste can result in radiation doses in excess of the public limit. Chemical processing can release radioactive daughters, particularly radium, leading to the possibility of dispersal and resulting in widespread exposure of the public. The activity concentration in the waste can vary widely and different disposal options appropriate to the level of activity in the waste are needed. Disposal methods can range from dilution and dispersal of the material into the mine site, for untreated mine tailings, to off site disposal in custom built and engineered waste disposal facilities, for waste with high radionuclide content. The range of options for disposal of radioactive waste from mineral sands mining and processing is examined and the principles for deciding on the appropriate disposal option are discussed. The range of activities of waste from different downstream processing paths are identified and a simplified method of identifying potential waste disposal paths is suggested. 15 refs., 4 tabs

  9. 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

  10. Microbial metabolism alters pore water chemistry and increases consolidation of oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkell, Nicholas; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2015-01-01

    Tailings produced during bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores (tar sands) comprise an aqueous suspension of clay particles that remain dispersed for decades in tailings ponds. Slow consolidation of the clays hinders water recovery for reuse and retards volume reduction, thereby increasing the environmental footprint of tailings ponds. We investigated mechanisms of tailings consolidation and revealed that indigenous anaerobic microorganisms altered porewater chemistry by producing CO and CH during metabolism of acetate added as a labile carbon amendment. Entrapped biogenic CO decreased tailings pH, thereby increasing calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) cations and bicarbonate (HCO) concentrations in the porewater through dissolution of carbonate minerals. Soluble ions increased the porewater ionic strength, which, with higher exchangeable Ca and Mg, decreased the diffuse double layer of clays and increased consolidation of tailings compared with unamended tailings in which little microbial activity was observed. These results are relevant to effective tailings pond management strategies. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. Summary of environmental impact assessment for the Syncrude Canada Ltd. Aurora Mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    A summary of the environmental impact assessment for the Syncrude's proposed Aurora Mine was provided. Two mining areas will be opened. Aurora Mine North, located on oil sands leases 10, 12 and 34 will open first followed by the opening of Aurora Mine South, located on Lease 31. Each mining area will contain two extraction facilities, each capable of producing 6.25 million cubic metres of bitumen per year for a total annual capacity of 25 million cubic metres. The areas of land that will be disturbed by development of the Aurora Mines will total 15,171 hectares. The preferred pipeline, roadway and utility corridor and river crossing to be used for the Mine are shown. Production of SO 2 and NO x emissions from the Aurora Mine is expected to be very low, nevertheless, the cumulative effects of emissions from the mines will be addressed in the context of emissions from the existing or proposed oil sand facilities in the area. 7 tabs., 15 figs

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. Characterizing volumetric deformation behavior of naturally occuring bituminous sand materials

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available newly proposed hydrostatic compression test procedure. The test procedure applies field loading conditions of off-road construction and mining equipment to closely simulate the volumetric deformation and stiffness behaviour of oil sand materials. Based...

  17. The Role of Sand and Stone Mining to Increase Family Income in Progo Catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Ritohardoyo

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The conzequence low income of the farmer household in agricultural sector is the increase in their activities as miner of sand and stone. It means for increasing of their household income. However, how important mining role on the increasing of household income has to be studied in deeply. The factual problem is the base for research aims, with the spesific stress on studying socio-economic characteristic of sand and stone miner, and the contribution of the mining income to household income. This research was carried out in Progo catchment area, Yogyakarta Special Region. Survey method was employed by data collecting from respondents. The respondents are head of households (HH working as sand and stone miner. Sampling technique was proportionally simple random sampling in which 120 HH was taken as respondents sample. They were representatives of upper part, middle part, and lower part of Progo catchments area. Data on socio-economic structure of the household and household income were collected by mean of structured interview. Data analysis was performed through descriptive technique in which frequencies and cross tabulation varians statistic, and multiple regression analysis were mostly used. The research shows that there are relatively similarities on socio-economic characteristic of sand and stone miners, between at lower part, middle part with upper part of Progo catchments area. This existing of sand and stone mining employs about 70% labours are local miners and 30% labours came from out of the area. Landless farmers who land own less than 500 m2 characterize them. The most of them are male, withlow formal education, and as small family (4 people evey HH. Some of them have been as sand and stone miners for more than 4 years. Generally, they work less than 8 hours for mining every day. This research is also finding that the income of the sand and stone miners are seasonal. The averages of mining income on dry season (Rp 571,880 per month

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Technology unlocks tar sands energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Law, C

    1967-09-25

    Tar sand processing technology has been developed primarily in the categories of extraction techniques and in-situ processing. In October, a $235 million venture into tar sand processing will be inspected by visitors from many points on the globe. A synthetic crude of premium quality will be flowing through a 16-in. pipeline from the Tar Island plant site of Great Canadian Oil Sands to Edmonton. This processing plant uses an extractive mining technique. The tar sand pay zone in this area averages approximately 150 ft in thickness with a 50-ft overburden. It has been estimated that the tar sands cannot be exploited when the formation thickness is less than 100 ft and overburden exceeds the same amount. This indicates that extraction techniques can only be used to recover approximately 15% of the tar sand deposits. An in-situ recovery technique developed by Shell of Canada is discussed in detail. In essence it is selective hydraulic fracturing, followed by the injection of emulsifying chemicals and steam.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Fine root dynamics in lodgepole pine and white spruce stands along productivity gradients in reclaimed oil sands sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamro, Ghulam Murtaza; Chang, Scott X; Naeth, M Anne; Duan, Min; House, Jason

    2015-10-01

    Open-pit mining activities in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, create disturbed lands that, by law, must be reclaimed to a land capability equivalent to that existed before the disturbance. Re-establishment of forest cover will be affected by the production and turnover rate of fine roots. However, the relationship between fine root dynamics and tree growth has not been studied in reclaimed oil sands sites. Fine root properties (root length density, mean surface area, total root biomass, and rates of root production, turnover, and decomposition) were assessed from May to October 2011 and 2012 using sequential coring and ingrowth core methods in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss) stands. The pine and spruce stands were planted on peat mineral soil mix placed over tailings sand and overburden substrates, respectively, in reclaimed oil sands sites in Alberta. We selected stands that form a productivity gradient (low, medium, and high productivities) of each tree species based on differences in tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH) increments. In lodgepole pine stands, fine root length density and fine root production, and turnover rates were in the order of high > medium > low productivity sites and were positively correlated with tree height and DBH and negatively correlated with soil salinity (P < 0.05). In white spruce stands, fine root surface area was the only parameter that increased along the productivity gradient and was negatively correlated with soil compaction. In conclusion, fine root dynamics along the stand productivity gradients were closely linked to stand productivity and were affected by limiting soil properties related to the specific substrate used for reconstructing the reclaimed soil. Understanding the impact of soil properties on fine root dynamics and overall stand productivity will help improve land reclamation outcomes.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Integration of nuclear energy into oil sands projects - HTR2008-58239

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finan, A.; Kadak, A. C.

    2008-01-01

    Energy security and greenhouse gas reductions are thought to be two of the most urgent priorities for sustaining and improving the human condition in the future. Few places pit the two goals so directly in opposition to one another as the Alberta oil sands. Here, Canadian natural gas is burned in massive quantities to extract oil from one of North America's largest native sources of carbon-intensive heavy oil. This conflict need not continue, however; non-emitting nuclear energy can replace natural gas as a fuel source in an economical and more environmentally sound way. This would allow for the continued extraction of transportation fuels without greenhouse gas emissions, while freeing up the natural gas supply for hydrogen feedstock and other valuable applications. Bitumen production in Alberta has expanded dramatically in the past five years as the price of oil has risen to record levels. This paper explores the feasibility and economics of using nuclear energy to power future oil sands production and upgrading activities, and puts forth several nuclear energy application scenarios for providing steam and electricity to in-situ and surface mining operations. This review includes the Enhanced CANDU 6, the Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). Based on reasonable projections of available cost information, nuclear energy used for steam production is expected to be less expensive than steam produced by natural gas at current natural gas prices and under $7/MMBtu (CAD). For electricity production, nuclear becomes competitive with natural gas plants at natural gas prices of $10-13/MMBtu (CAD). Costs of constructing nuclear plants in Alberta are affected by higher local labor costs, which this paper took into account in making these estimates. Although more definitive analysis of construction costs and project economics will be required to confirm these findings, there appears to be sufficient merit in the potential economics to

  13. Assessment of source material (U and Th) in exploration, mining, processing of zircon sand in Central Kalimantan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dedi Hermawan; Pandu Dewanto; Sudarto

    2011-01-01

    From 2004 to 2008, according to data released by the Commerce Department, the volume of zircon sand and concentrates exports has increased highly. One of many locations in Indonesia that widely available zircon sand is Kalimantan island. For example, Central Kalimantan Province in 2007 to 2008 exports about 51,000 tones up to 79,000 tones of zircon sand annually. The concentration of source material in the zircon sand is important to be known because the presence of natural radioactive U and Th in zircon sand has the potential radiation hazard. Therefore it is necessary to conduct an assessment the potential reserves related to the source material contained in the zircon sand and radiation safety that are applied in the process of mining or processing of zircon sand. In this paper the location of mining and processing of zircon sand is restricted to the province of Central Kalimantan. From the assessment obtained that source material which is carried by zircon sand export form the province of Central Kalimantan have the potential to exceed the limits set by the BAPETEN Chairman Decree No.9 of 2006 About the Implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Accountability System and Control of Nuclear Materials. In terms of compliance with radiation safety, required increased surveillance of K3 during mining, process / processing by the worker, supervisor / supervisors and regional management company to be able the achievement of compliance with the provisions of the management of materials and the safety of radiation sources based on national regulations (BAPETEN) and international. (author)

  14. Instream sand and gravel mining: Environmental issues and regulatory process in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meador, M.R.; Layher, A.O.

    1998-01-01

    Sand and gravel are widely used throughout the U.S. construction industry, but their extraction can significantly affect the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of mined streams. Fisheries biologists often find themselves involved in the complex environmental and regulatory issues related to instream sand and gravel mining. This paper provides an overview of information presented in a symposium held at the 1997 midyear meeting of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss environmental issues and regulatory procedures related to instream mining. Conclusions from the symposium suggest that complex physicochemical and biotic responses to disturbance such as channel incision and alteration of riparian vegetation ultimately determine the effects of instream mining. An understanding of geomorphic processes can provide insight into the effects of mining operations on stream function, and multidisciplinary empirical studies are needed to determine the relative effects of mining versus other natural and human-induced stream alterations. Mining regulations often result in a confusing regulatory process complicated, for example, by the role of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has undergone numerous changes and remains unclear. Dialogue among scientists, miners, and regulators can provide an important first step toward developing a plan that integrates biology and politics to protect aquatic resources.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Elucidating mechanisms of toxic action of dissolved organic chemicals in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandi, Garrett D; Wiseman, Steve B; Guan, Miao; Zhang, Xiaowei W; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2017-11-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is generated during extraction of bitumen in the surface-mining oil sands industry in Alberta, Canada, and is acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic organisms. It is known that dissolved organic compounds in OSPW are responsible for most toxic effects, but knowledge of the specific mechanism(s) of toxicity, is limited. Using bioassay-based effects-directed analysis, the dissolved organic fraction of OSPW has previously been fractionated, ultimately producing refined samples of dissolved organic chemicals in OSPW, each with distinct chemical profiles. Using the Escherichia coli K-12 strain MG1655 gene reporter live cell array, the present study investigated relationships between toxic potencies of each fraction, expression of genes and characterization of chemicals in each of five acutely toxic and one non-toxic extract of OSPW derived by use of effects-directed analysis. Effects on expressions of genes related to response to oxidative stress, protein stress and DNA damage were indicative of exposure to acutely toxic extracts of OSPW. Additionally, six genes were uniquely responsive to acutely toxic extracts of OSPW. Evidence presented supports a role for sulphur- and nitrogen-containing chemical classes in the toxicity of extracts of OSPW. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Enhanced characterization of oil sands acid-extractable organics fractions using electrospray ionization-high-resolution mass spectrometry and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Anthony E; Frank, Richard A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Hewitt, L Mark; Dixon, D George

    2015-05-01

    The open pit oil sands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, are accumulating tailings waste at a rate approximately equal to 4.9 million m(3) /d. Naphthenic acids are among the most toxic components within tailings to aquatic life, but structural components have largely remained unidentified. In the present study, electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS) were used to characterize fractions derived from the distillation of an acid-extractable organics (AEO) mixture isolated from oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Mean molecular weights of each fraction, and their relative proportions to the whole AEO extract, were as follows: fraction 1: 237 Da, 8.3%; fraction 2: 240 Da, 23.8%; fraction 3: 257 Da, 26.7%; fraction 4: 308 Da, 18.9%; fraction 5: 355 Da, 10.0%. With increasing mean molecular weight of the AEO fractions, a concurrent increase occurred in the relative abundance of nitrogen-, sulfur-, and oxygen-containing ions, double-bond equivalents, and degree of aromaticity. Structures present in the higher-molecular-weight fractions (fraction 4 and fraction 5) suggested the presence of heteroatoms, dicarboxyl and dihydroxy groups, and organic acid compounds with the potential to function as estrogens. Because organic acid compositions become dominated by more recalcitrant, higher-molecular-weight acids during natural degradation, these findings are important in the context of oil sands tailings pond water remediation. © 2015 SETAC.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Top-down Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Intensities and Emissions for Individual Oil Sands Facilities in Alberta Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liggio, J.; Li, S. M.; Staebler, R. M.; Hayden, K. L.; Mittermeier, R. L.; McLaren, R.; Baray, S.; Darlington, A.; Worthy, D.; O'Brien, J.

    2017-12-01

    The oil sands (OS) region of Alberta contributes approximately 10% to Canada's overall anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Such emissions have traditionally been estimated through "bottom-up" methods which seek to account for all individual sources of GHGs within a given facility. However, it is recognized that bottom-up approaches for complex industrial facilities can be subject to uncertainties associated with incomplete or inaccurate emission factor and/or activity data. In order to quantify air pollutant emissions from oil sands activities an aircraft-based measurement campaign was performed in the summer of 2013. The aircraft measurements could also be used to quantify GHG emissions for comparison to the bottom up emissions estimates. Utilizing specific flight patterns, together with an emissions estimation algorithm and measurements of CO2 and methane, a "top-down" estimate of GHG intensities for several large surface mining operations was obtained. The results demonstrate that there is a wide variation in emissions intensities (≈80 - 220 kg CO2/barrel oil) across OS facilities, which in some cases agree with calculated intensities, and in other cases are larger than that estimated using industry reported GHG emission and oil production data. When translated to annual GHG emissions, the "top-down" approach results in a CO2 emission of approximately 41 Mega Tonnes (MT) CO2/year for the 4 OS facilities investigated, in contrast to the ≈26 MT CO2/year reported by industry. The results presented here highlight the importance of using "top-down" approaches as a complimentary method in evaluating GHG emissions from large industrial sources.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Initial geochemical characteristics of fluid fine tailings in an oil sands end pit lake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dompierre, Kathryn A. [Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5A9 (Canada); Lindsay, Matthew B.J., E-mail: matt.lindsay@usask.ca [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E2 (Canada); Cruz-Hernández, Pablo [Department of Geology, University of Huelva, Campus ‘El Carmen’, E-21071 Huelva (Spain); Halferdahl, Geoffrey M. [Environmental Research and Development, Syncrude Canada Limited, Edmonton, Alberta T6N 1H4 (Canada)

    2016-06-15

    Geochemical characteristics of fluid fine tailings (FFT) were examined in Base Mine Lake (BML), which is the first full-scale demonstration oil sands end pit lake (EPL) in northern Alberta, Canada. Approximately 186 Mm{sup 3} of FFT was deposited between 1994 and 2012, before BML was established on December 31, 2012. Bulk FFT samples (n = 588) were collected in July and August 2013 at various depths at 15 sampling sites. Temperature, solid content, electrical conductivity (EC), pH, Eh and alkalinity were measured for all samples. Detailed geochemical analyses were performed on a subset of samples (n = 284). Pore-water pH decreased with depth by approximately 0.5 within the upper 10 m of the FFT. Major pore-water constituents included Na (880 ± 96 mg L{sup −1}) and Cl (560 ± 95 mg L{sup −1}); Ca (19 ± 4.1 mg L{sup −1}), Mg (11 ± 2.0 mg L{sup −1}), K (16 ± 2.3 mg L{sup −1}) and NH{sub 3} (9.9 ± 4.7 mg L{sup −1}) were consistently observed. Iron and Mn concentrations were low within FFT pore water, whereas SO{sub 4} concentrations decreased sharply across the FFT–water interface. Geochemical modeling indicated that FeS{sub (s)} precipitation was favoured under SO{sub 4}-reducing conditions. Pore water was also under-saturated with respect to gypsum [CaSO{sub 4}·2H{sub 2}O], and near saturation with respect to calcite [CaCO{sub 3}], dolomite [CaMg(CO{sub 3}){sub 2}] and siderite [FeCO{sub 3}]. X-ray diffraction (XRD) suggested that carbonate-mineral dissolution largely depleted calcite and dolomite. X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy revealed the presence of FeS{sub (s)}, pyrite [FeS{sub 2}], and siderite. Carbonate-mineral dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation have likely contributed to FFT dewatering and settlement. However, the long-term importance of these processes within EPLs remains unknown. These results provide a reference for assessing the long-term geochemical evolution of oil sands EPLs, and offer

  14. 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.

  15. Research and information needs for management of tar sands development. Interim report Apr-May 83

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1983-05-01

    The report discusses important research and information needs for federal lease management of lands with tar sands resources. Short-term needs include more complete definition and characterization of deposits, hydrology, and regions downwind from tar sands areas. Longer-term needs include demonstration-scale operations to resolve production, waste management, and reclamation problems and to provide opportunities for measurement, analysis, and assessment of mining and processing wastes and emissions. Most of the known federal tar sands resource is in eastern Utah and contains about 25 billion barrels of bitumen. Recent legislation provides that existing mining claims and oil and gas leases may be converted to combined hydrocarbon leases including tar sands. Federal approval, which must be applied for by November 1983, is a condition for conversion.

  16. Frac sand in the United States: a geological and industry overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Mary Ellen; Wilson, Anna B.; Bleiwas, Donald I.

    2015-01-01

    A new mineral rush is underway in the upper Midwest of the United States, especially in Wisconsin and Minnesota, for deposits of high-quality frac sand that the mining industry calls “Northern White” sand or “Ottawa” sand. Frac sand is a specialized type of sand that is added to fracking fluids that are injected into unconventional oil and gas wells during hydraulic fracturing (fracking or hydrofracking), a process that enhances petroleum extraction from tight (low permeability) reservoirs. Frac sand consists of natural sand grains with strict mineralogical and textural specifications that act as a proppant (keeping induced fractures open), extending the time of release and the flow rate of hydrocarbons from fractured rock surfaces in contact with the wellbore.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Development of a nuclear steam generator system for gas-cooled reactors for application in oil sands extraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, J.; Hart, R.; Lazic, L.

    2009-01-01

    Canada has vast energy reserves in the Oil Sands regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Present extraction technologies, such as strip mining, where oil deposits are close to the surface, and Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technologies for deeper deposits consume significant amounts of energy to produce the bitumen and upgraded synthetic crude oil. Studies have been performed to assess the feasibility of using nuclear reactors as primary energy sources to produce, in particular the steam required for the SAGD deeper deposit extraction process. Presently available reactors fall short of meeting the requirements, in two areas: the steam produced in a 'standard' reactor is too low in pressure and temperature for the SAGD process. Requirements can be for steam as high as 12MPa pressure with superheat; and, 'standard' reactors are too large in total output. Ideally, reactors of output in the range of 400 to 500 MWth, in modules are better suited to Oil Sands applications. The above two requirements can be met using gas-cooled reactors. Generally, newer generation gas-cooled reactors have been designed for power generation, using Brayton Cycle gas turbines run directly from the heated reactor coolant (helium). Where secondary steam is required, heat recovery steam generators have been used. In this paper, a steam generating system is described which uses the high temperature helium from the reactor directly for steam generation purposes, with sufficient quantities of steam produced to allow for SAGD steam injection, power generation using a steam turbine-generator, and with potential secondary energy supply for other purposes such as hydrogen production for upgrading, and environmental remediation processes. It is assumed that the reactors will be in one central location, run by a utility type organization, providing process steam and electricity to surrounding Oil Sands projects, so steam produced is at very high pressure (12 MPa), with superheat, in order to

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Geological Feasibility of Underground Oil Storage in Jintan Salt Mine of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xilin Shi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A number of large underground oil storage spaces will be constructed in deep salt mines in China in the coming years. According to the general geological survey, the first salt cavern oil storage base of China is planned to be built in Jintan salt mine. In this research, the geological feasibility of the salt mine for oil storage is identified in detail as follows. (1 The characteristics of regional structure, strata sediment, and impermeable layer distribution of Jintan salt mine were evaluated and analyzed. (2 The tightness of cap rock was evaluated in reviews of macroscopic geology and microscopic measuring. (3 According to the geological characteristics of Jintan salt mine, the specific targeted formation for building underground oil storage was chosen, and the sealing of nonsalt interlayers was evaluated. (4 Based on the sonar measuring results of the salt caverns, the characteristics of solution mining salt caverns were analyzed. In addition, the preferred way of underground oil storage construction was determined. (5 Finally, the results of closed well observation in solution mining salt caverns were assessed. The research results indicated that Jintan salt mine has the basic geological conditions for building large-scale underground oil storage.

  6. PRELIMINARY STUDY OF FISH CULTURE IN ABANDONED SAND MINING POOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bambang Gunadi

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available One of main problems in freshwater aquaculture development in Indonesia, especially in Java, is unavailability of developing zone. It is important to find an underutilized area that meets for industrial scale freshwater aquaculture, i.e. sufficient water supply, wide area, and located in one area or zone. The abandoned mining (sand, tin, etc. pools distributed along the country might be the potential area for freshwater aquaculture business. For example, there are at least 13 water pools with total surface area of 250 ha at 15 km side of Citarum River in Karawang District (West Java Province. This study was conducted to obtain preliminary data about the prospect and potency of fish culture (tilapia, clariid catfish, and ‘patin’ catfish in abandoned sand-mining pools in Karawang District. Mini floating net cages of 1 x 1 x 1.5 m3 size were used for culturing fish, i.e. patin catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, and clariid catfish (Clarias gariepinus, separately. Patin catfish were stocked at a size of 2 g with a density of 300 fish per cage, tilapia were stocked at a size of 6 g with a density of 400 fish per cage, while  the clariid catfish were stocked at a size of 1.4 g with a density of 980 fish per cage. A floating commercial feed (30%—32% protein, 3%—5% fat was used at a daily rate of 9% biomass weight at the beginning and reduced gradually to 3% at the final culture period. Observed data showed that patin catfish grew from the initial size of 2.08 g to the final size 299.59 g in 5 months, nile tilapia grew from individual initial size of 5.92 g to the final size of 247.12 g in 14 weeks, and clariid catfish grew from initial size of 1.39 g to the final size of 73.10 g in 8 weeks. These three species were technically prospective for aquaculture development in the abandoned sand-mining pools.

  7. 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.

  8. Subsidence prediction in Estonia's oil shale mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pastarus, J.R.; Toomik, A.

    2000-01-01

    This paper analysis the stability of the mining blocks in Estonian oil shale mines, where the room-and-pillar mining system is used. The pillars are arranged in a singular grid. The oil shale bed is embedded at the depth of 40-75 m. The processes in overburden rocks and pillars have caused the subsidence of the ground surface. The conditional thickness and sliding rectangle methods performed calculations. The results are presented by conditional thickness contours. Error does not exceed 4%. Model allows determining the parameters of spontaneous collapse of the pillars and surface subsidence. The surface subsidence parameters will be determined by conventional calculation scheme. Proposed method suits for stability analysis, failure prognosis and monitoring. 8 refs

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Fort Hills Oil Sands Project No Net Loss Lake earthfill structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blakely, D.; Sawatsky, L. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Wog, K.; Paz, S. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Water Management Operations; Chernys, S. [Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    The Fort Hills Oil Sands Project (FHOSP) is located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The Fort Hills Energy Corporation (FHEC) must compensate for fish habitat lost as a result of mine development that would disturb natural streams and lakes. FHEC planned to construct a fisheries compensation lake on the north end of its leased property, contained in part by an earthfill structure. Unlike most dam structures, the FHOSP No Net Loss Lake (NNLL) earthfill structure was planned solely for the creation of fisheries compensation habitat. Therefore, the NNLL earthfill structure must be designed with robust features that can handle any foreseeable environmental condition without failure, so that it may be accepted as a sustainable feature of the mine closure landscape. This paper discussed the design features of the NNLL earthfill structure. The paper presented information on the background of the project including regulatory criteria for the fisheries compensation habitat; fisheries compensation habitat location; and design criteria for the NNLL. The features of the NNLL earthfill structure were also discussed. In addition, the paper outlined the dam safety classification for earthfill structure and anticipated system performance. The proposed monitoring program and permanent closure plans were also discussed. It was concluded that the earthfill structure was designed with several features that would allow it to become a part of the closure landscape. These included a high width to height ratio, significant erosion protection, and an aggressive reclamation plan. These features will provide a sound basis for FHEC to apply for a reclamation certificate at the end of mine life. 3 refs., 3 tabs., 8 figs.

  15. 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

  16. A geochemical study of oil in metalliferous veins, Idarado Mine, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrild, Peter M.

    1976-01-01

    A tarry, benzene-soluble material is present in metal-rich veins in the Idarado mine, Ouray County, Colo., in an area not known to have petroleum resources. The material was compared chemically, spectometrically, and chromatographically with oils from four fields in the nearby Paradox basin. Each of these oil fields contains reservoir rocks equivalent to rock units known to extend beneath volcanic rocks near the mine. Carbon and sulfur isotope data and gas chromatographic data indicate a similarity between the oil from the nearby Sierra field and the oil from the mine. Thus, it seems both geologically and chemically possible that oil in the mine originated in Cretaceous sediments. Variations in the composition of oil from the mine and differences between the mine oil and Sierra oil, notably in the distributions of hydrocarbons, are attributed to bacterial degradation.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Creating a soil-like profile for plant growth using tailings sand and fine tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, X.; Fung, M. P. Y.

    1996-01-01

    Development of a technology to create stable aggregates with a soil-like profile capable of supporting a stable plant community, was discussed as the major challenge and primary task in restoring oil sands processing wastes, and in re-creating a self-sustaining ecosystem. A procedure for creating a soil-like profile using oil sands mining wastes, was described. Clay and water content were critical factors in the aggregation procedure. A study to evaluate the physical, chemical and biological properties of these soils and their suitability as a plant growth medium is currently underway. 6 refs., 3 figs

  4. Molecular identification of a yellow perch viral disease associated with exposure to oil sands process affected waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hogan, N.; Van den Heuvel, M.; Phalen, L.

    2010-01-01

    Large volumes of tailings and process affected water are generated as a result of oil sand mining processes. This presentation discussed the safe incorporation of these wastes into the terrestrial and aquatic landscape. A study was conducted in which yellow perch were stocked into experimental ponds, namely Demonstration Pond and South Bison Pond, during the periods of 1995-1997 and 2008-2010. Demonstration Pond was comprised of mature fine tailings capped with natural surface water, while South Bison Pond was formed at a site surrounded by overburden or lean oil sands. Disease surveys were conducted at these experimental ponds and also at Mildred, Sucker, and Kimowin Lakes. External white nodular lesions, characteristic of lymphocystis disease were observed on perch at all sites except Kimowin Lake. The identity of the virus was confirmed by DNA extraction and PCR with genotype generic major capsid protein gene primers. The presence of lymphocystis disease virus in perch was confirmed through sequencing of PCR results. The viral genotype appeared to be different from any previously isolated viral genotype. During the course of the study, there was an increasing incidence of the disease at Demonstration Pond and a decreasing incidence at the South Bison Pond. The intensity of the disease was found to be proportional to the incidence, which was positively correlated with changes in naphthenic acid concentration.

  5. 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

  6. 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.)

  7. Millennium Open Pit Mine, Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on the east bank of the Athabasca River, are found the Steepbank and Millennium mines. These open pit mines produce oil sands that are processed to recover bitumen, and then upgrade it to refinery-ready raw crude oil, and diesel fuel. The ASTER images were acquired September 22, 2000 and July 31, 2007, cover an area of 22.5 x 25.5 km, and are located near 57 degrees north latitude, 111.5 degrees west longitude. The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  8. Bitumen extraction from oil sands ore-water slurry using CaO (lime) and or ozone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Babadagli, T. [Society of Petroleum Engineers, Canadian Section, Calgary, AB (Canada)]|[Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Burkus, Z.; Moschopedis, S.E.; Ozum, B. [Apex Engineering Inc., Calvert City, KY (United States)

    2008-10-15

    Reductions in the surface and interfacial tensions in oil sands ore-water slurry systems improve bitumen extraction processes from oil sands ore structures and promote the attachment of air bubbles to liberated bitumen droplets. This study provided details of a non-caustic bitumen extraction process where oil sands slurries were conditioned by bitumen asphaltenes modified to act as surfactants. Oil sands ore-water slurry extraction processes were optimized by adding lime (CaO) and oxidizing bitumen asphaltenes with ozone (O{sub 3}). Experiments were conducted using oil sands ore and process water samples from Alberta. Extraction tests were performed to investigate the effects of various CaO and O{sub 3} dosages and treatment retention times on bitumen extraction efficiency on operating temperatures of 20, 35 and 50 degrees C. A Dean-Stark extraction apparatus was used to determine the amount of bitumen contained in the ore, froth, and in left-over tailings. Process water and release water chemistry were also monitored. Bitumen extraction efficiency was defined as the percentage of bitumen recovered in the resulting froth. Use of the slurries allowed high extraction efficiencies at a temperature of 35 degrees C. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) emissions were also reduced. The study showed that both additions resulted in significant improvements in bitumen extraction efficiency. Use of the technique also eliminated the accumulation of Na{sup +} ions in produced water. It was concluded that further tests are needed in order to commercialize the CaO and O{sub 3} based techniques. 14 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs.

  9. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in caribou, moose, and wolf scat samples from three areas of the Alberta oil sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lundin, Jessica I.; Riffell, Jeffrey A.; Wasser, Samuel K.

    2015-01-01

    Impacts of toxic substances from oil production in the Alberta oil sands (AOS), such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have been widely debated. Studies have been largely restricted to exposures from surface mining in aquatic species. We measured PAHs in Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), moose (Alces americanus), and Grey wolf (Canis lupus) across three areas that varied in magnitude of in situ oil production. Our results suggest a distinction of PAH level and source profile (petro/pyrogenic) between study areas and species. Caribou samples indicated pyrogenic sourced PAHs in the study area previously devastated by forest fire. Moose and wolf samples from the high oil production area demonstrated PAH ratios indicative of a petrogenic source and increased PAHs, respectively. These findings emphasize the importance of broadening monitoring and research programs in the AOS. - Highlights: • We measured PAHs from areas with varying degrees of in situ oil production activity. • PAH levels were measured in scat samples from three terrestrial species. • Caribou indicated pyrogenic PAHs in the area previously devastated by forest fire. • High oil production area moose and wolf showed petrogenic PAH characteristics. • Further scientific investigation of PAH exposures in these areas is warranted. - We demonstrate a distinction of PAH level and source profile in scat samples of three large mammals collected from areas with varying degrees of in situ oil production.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Coordinating decentralized optimization of truck and shovel mining operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng, R.; Fraser Forbes, J. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering; San Yip, W. [Suncor Energy, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    Canada's oil sands contain the largest known reserve of oil in the world. Oil sands mining uses 3 functional processes, ore hauling, overburden removal and mechanical maintenance. The industry relies mainly on truck-and-shovel technology in its open-pit mining operations which contributes greatly to the overall mining operation cost. Coordination between operating units is crucial for achieving an enterprise-wide optimal operation level. Some of the challenges facing the industry include multiple or conflicting objectives such as minimizing the use of raw materials and energy while maximizing production. The large sets of constraints that define the feasible domain pose as challenge, as does the uncertainty in system parameters. One solution lies in assigning truck resources to various activities. This fully decentralized approach would treat the optimization of ore production, waste removal and equipment maintenance independently. It was emphasized that mine-wide optimal operation can only be achieved by coordinating ore hauling and overburden removal processes. For that reason, this presentation proposed a coordination approach for a decentralized optimization system. The approach is based on the Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition and auction-based methods that have been previously used to decompose large-scale optimization problems. The treatment of discrete variables and coordinator design was described and the method was illustrated with a simple truck and shovel mining simulation study. The approach can be applied to a wide range of applications such as coordinating decentralized optimal control systems and scheduling. 16 refs., 3 tabs., 2 figs.

  17. 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

  18. Air Quality Over the Canadian Oil Sands: A First Assessment Using Satellite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K. F.; Krotkov, N.; Sioris, C. E.; Veefkind, J. P.; Yang, K.

    2012-01-01

    Results from the first assessment of air quality over the Canadian oil sands -- one ofthe largest industrial undertakings in human history -- using satellite remote sensing observations of two pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (N0O) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), are presented. High-resolution maps were created that revealed distinct enhancements in both species over an area (roughly 30 km x 50 km) of intensive surface mining at scales of a few kilometers. The magnitude of these enhancements, quantified in terms of total mass, are comparable to the largest seen in Canada from individual sources. The rate of increase in NO2 between 2005 and 2010 was assessed at 10.4 +/- 3.5%/year and resulted from increases both in local values as well as the spatial extent of the enhancement. This is broadly consistent with both surface-measurement trends and increases in annual bitumen production. An increase in SO2 was also found, but given larger uncertainties, it is not statistically significant.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Health assessment of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on the oil sands using stress, immune function and growth indicators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harms, N.J.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Oil sand mining companies in Alberta continue to explore reclamation strategies for tailings water and are evaluating the ecological effectiveness of constructed wetlands for the bioremediation of liquid and solid tailings contaminated with naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and dissolved inorganic ions. The success of reclaimed sites and ecosystem health can be measured by examining health variables in wild tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting on experimental wetlands receiving tailings or water from tailings ponds. This presentation reported on a study that measured clutch size, egg mass, and hatching and fledging success of 40 breeding pairs of tree swallows on 3 experimental wetlands on Suncor Energy Inc. and Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands leases. The Shallow Wetlands/Demonstration Pond (Syncrude), Consolidated Tailings and Natural Wetlands (Suncor) represent sites of different ages and different categories of wetland reclamation, notably mature, maturing, and newly reclaimed. Due to lack of nesting success on the selected reference site, the Shallow Wetlands/Demonstration Pond was selected as the reference site because it has undergone nearly complete bioremediation and had a very low level of contamination. Nestling growth and survival were measured in 199 tree swallows nestlings on the 3 experimental wetlands. Two mid-weight nestlings from 12 nest boxes on each study site were also examined for feather corticosterone levels and adaptive immune function.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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. Mining and oil. Oil shale's contribution to future oil supply; Bergbau und Oel. Der Beitrag des Oelschiefers zur Oelversorgung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linden, Eike von der [Linden Advisory, Dreieich (Germany)

    2012-05-15

    principally differ from secondary and tertiary exploitation enhancement methods for conventional oil. The exploitation of shale oil may reach 12% of the oil in place. In difference to shale oil, oil shale is another unconventional oil resource which is contained in shale sediments closer to surface. For lack of sufficient temperature the animal substance has not been completely converted into liquid hydrocarbons but exists as waxy kerogen. Mostly all shale rock which counts for approximately 25% of rock formations close to surface contain more or less animal substance or kerogen which in addition is affiliated by fix carbon as relict of herbal substance. A classification of oil shale depends on the kerogen content. At prevailing oil prices > US Dollars 100/bbl the cut off grade to oil shale be around 6 to 7 % kerogen content. Before the use of oil shale as an unconventional oil resource is discussed for the sake of completeness oil sand and heavy oil shall be described. These hydrocarbons are matured but of long molecular chains with low viscosity, i.e. no flow and contained in sandstones or weathered sand formations. Oil sands - e.g. the Athabasca oil sands in Canada - and heavy oil - e.g. the Orinoco heavy oil - need special exploitation methods. The resources also count for unconventional oil. (orig.)

  12. Rethink potential risks of toxic emissions from natural gas and oil mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Qingmin

    2018-09-01

    Studies have showed the increasing environmental and public health risks of toxic emissions from natural gas and oil mining, which have become even worse as fracking is becoming a dominant approach in current natural gas extraction. However, governments and communities often overlook the serious air pollutants from oil and gas mining, which are often quantified lower than the significant levels of adverse health effects. Therefore, we are facing a challenging dilemma: how could we clearly understand the potential risks of air toxics from natural gas and oil mining. This short study aims at the design and application of simple and robust methods to enhance and improve current understanding of the becoming worse toxic air emissions from natural gas and oil mining as fracking is becoming the major approach. Two simple ratios, the min-to-national-average and the max-to-national-average, are designed and applied to each type of air pollutants in a natural gas and oil mining region. The two ratios directly indicate how significantly high a type of air pollutant could be due to natural gas and oil mining by comparing it to the national average records, although it may not reach the significant risks of adverse health effects according to current risk screening methods. The min-to-national-average and the max-to-national-average ratios can be used as a direct and powerful method to describe the significance of air pollution by comparing it to the national average. The two ratios are easy to use for governments, stakeholders, and the public to pay enough attention on the air pollutants from natural gas and oil mining. The two ratios can also be thematically mapped at sampled sites for spatial monitoring, but spatial mitigation and analysis of environmental and health risks need other measurements of environmental and demographic characteristics across a natural gas and oil mining area. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Technical-economic parameters of the new oil shale mining-chemical complex in Northeast Estonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuzmiv, I.; Fraiman, J.

    2006-01-01

    The history of oil shale mining in Estonia has reached its century mark. Three oil shale branches have been formed and have been working on the basis of Estonian oil shale deposits: the mining industry (underground and surface extraction), the power industry (heat and electric energy generation), and the chemical industry (gas and synthetic oils). The authors attempted to summarize the experience of the activities of these branches and to make into a whole the results of their research developments in the past years, as well as to form a notion about perspectives of oil shale in Estonia. Variants of the mining-chemical oil shale complex production and trade patterns differed from used ones. Mining methods, thermal processing of oil shale, and solid, liquid, and gas waste recovery have been studied, analyzed, and worked out up to the present. Setting up a flexible trade structure within the framework of that complex is considered the main economic mechanism capable of balancing production costs of such a complex with its earnings, which could respond properly to any, even peak, fluctuations of the market for final products processed from oil shale. Data of the working 'Estonia' oil shale mine were used as the basis of the analysis and practical conclusions. Information on the mine being projected in the region of Ojamaa in the northeast of Estonia was taken as the data of the worthwhile supplier. Oil shale processing chemical complex is considered in two structural alternatives: in technological chain with the 'Estonia' mine (the first variant), and the projected mine of a new technical level (the second variant). (author)

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, consumptive water use and levelized costs of unconventional oil in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangmeechai, Aweewan

    Conventional petroleum production in many countries that supply U.S. crude oil as well as domestic production has declined in recent years. Along with instability in the world oil market, this has stimulated the discussion of developing unconventional oil production, e.g., oil sands and oil shale. Expanding the U.S. energy mix to include oil sands and oil shale may be an important component in diversifying and securing the U.S. energy supply. At the same time, life cycle GHG emissions of these energy sources and consumptive water use are a concern. In this study, consumptive water use includes not only fresh water use but entire consumptive use including brackish water and seawater. The goal of this study is to determine the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumptive water use of synthetic crude oil (SCO) derived from Canadian oil sands and U.S. oil shale to be compared with U.S. domestic crude oil, U.S. imported crude oil, and coal-to-liquid (CTL). Levelized costs of SCO derived from Canadian oil sands and U.S. oil shale were also estimated. The results of this study suggest that CTL with no carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and current electricity grid mix is the worst while crude oil imported from United Kingdom is the best in GHG emissions. The life cycle GHG emissions of oil shale surface mining, oil shale in-situ process, oil sands surface mining, and oil sands in-situ process are 43% to 62%, 13% to 32%, 5% to 22%, and 11% to 13% higher than those of U.S. domestic crude oil. Oil shale in-situ process has the largest consumptive water use among alternative fuels, evaluated due to consumptive water use in electricity generation. Life cycle consumptive water use of oil sands in-situ process is the lowest. Specifically, fresh water consumption in the production processes is the most concern given its scarcity. However, disaggregated data on fresh water consumption in the total water consumption of each fuel production process is not available

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Radionuclides and radiation doses in heavy mineral sands and other mining operations in Mozambique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carvalho, F. P.; Matine, O. F.; Taimo, S.; Oliveira, J. M.; Silva, L.; Malta, M.

    2014-01-01

    Sites at the littoral of Mozambique with heavy mineral sands exploited for ilmenite, rutile and zircon and inland mineral deposits exploited for tantalite, uranium and bauxite were surveyed for ambient radiation doses, and samples were collected for the determination of radionuclide concentrations. In heavy mineral sands, 238 U and 232 Th concentrations were 70±2 and 308±9 Bq kg -1 dry weight (dw), respectively, whereas after separation of minerals, the concentrations in the ilmenite fraction were 2240±64 and 6125±485 Bq kg -1 (dw), respectively. Tantalite displayed the highest concentrations with 44 738±2474 Bq kg -1 of 238 U. Radiation exposure of workers in mining facilities is likely to occur at levels above the dose limit for members of the public (1 mSv y -1 ) and therefore radiation doses should be assessed as occupational exposures. Local populations living in these regions in general are not exposed to segregated minerals with high radionuclide concentrations. However, there is intensive traditional mining and a large number of artisan miners and their families may be exposed to radiation doses exceeding the dose limit. A radiation protection programme is therefore needed to ensure radiation protection of the public and workers of developing mining projects. (authors)

  8. Radionuclides and radiation doses in heavy mineral sands and other mining operations in Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Fernando P; Matine, Obete F; Taímo, Suzete; Oliveira, João M; Silva, Lídia; Malta, Margarida

    2014-01-01

    Sites at the littoral of Mozambique with heavy mineral sands exploited for ilmenite, rutile and zircon and inland mineral deposits exploited for tantalite, uranium and bauxite were surveyed for ambient radiation doses, and samples were collected for the determination of radionuclide concentrations. In heavy mineral sands, (238)U and (232)Th concentrations were 70±2 and 308±9 Bq kg(-1) dry weight (dw), respectively, whereas after separation of minerals, the concentrations in the ilmenite fraction were 2240±64 and 6125±485 Bq kg(-1) (dw), respectively. Tantalite displayed the highest concentrations with 44 738±2474 Bq kg(-1) of (238)U. Radiation exposure of workers in mining facilities is likely to occur at levels above the dose limit for members of the public (1 mSv y(-1)) and therefore radiation doses should be assessed as occupational exposures. Local populations living in these regions in general are not exposed to segregated minerals with high radionuclide concentrations. However, there is intensive artisanal mining and a large number of artisanal miners and their families may be exposed to radiation doses exceeding the dose limit. A radiation protection programme is therefore needed to ensure radiation protection of the public and workers of developing mining projects.

  9. 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

  10. Thermochemical methods 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 Jose Bonifacio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Khalil, Carlos N. [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2003-07-01

    The Nitrogen Generating System (SGN in Portuguese) is a thermochemical method first developed for cleaning and removal of paraffin deposits in production and export pipelines. SGN is based on a redox chemical reaction between two salts which is catalyzed in acidic pH. The reaction is strongly exothermic and its products are nitrogen, sodium chloride, water and heat. All reaction products are harmless to the environment. In January 2000 there was a major oil spill in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, which contaminated 2400 tons of sand. This work, developed at PETROBRAS Research Center (CENPES), was based on SGN technology which has been adapted for cleaning contaminated sand and recovering of spilled oil. By combining simultaneous effects of the SGN treatment such as heating, turbulence and floatation, one can remove, within 98% of efficiency, spilling oil from contaminated sand and removed oil can be securely returned to refining process. SGN technology has proved to be efficient, fast, low cost and ecologically correct method for cleaning contaminated sand and can be applied in loco right after a contamination event. (author)

  11. Impacts of oil sands process water on fen plants: Implications for plant selection in required reclamation projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pouliot, Rémy; Rochefort, Line; Graf, Martha D.

    2012-01-01

    Fen plant growth in peat contaminated with groundwater discharges of oil sands process water (OSPW) was assessed in a greenhouse over two growing seasons. Three treatments (non-diluted OSPW, diluted OSPW and rainwater) were tested on five vascular plants and four mosses. All vascular plants tested can grow in salinity and naphthenic acids levels currently produced by oil sands activity in northwestern Canada. No stress sign was observed after both seasons. Because of plant characteristics, Carex species (C. atherodes and C. utriculata) and Triglochin maritima would be more useful for rapidly restoring vegetation and creating a new peat-accumulating system. Groundwater discharge of OSPW proved detrimental to mosses under dry conditions and ensuring adequate water levels would be crucial in fen creation following oil sands exploitation. Campylium stellatum would be the best choice to grow in contaminated areas and Bryum pseudotriquetrum might be interesting as it has spontaneously regenerated in all treatments. - Highlights: ► Fen plant growth was assessed under groundwater discharges of oil sands process water. ► Sedge and grass species were not stressed after two growing seasons in greenhouse. ► Carex species and Triglochin maritima would be helpful in created contaminated fens. ► In dry conditions, contaminated groundwater discharge was detrimental for mosses. ► Campylium stellatum would be the best choice in created fens with contaminated water. - Sedges and grasses tolerated the contact with oil sands process water and could probably grow well in contaminated created fens, but mosses were particularly affected under dry conditions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Modelling assessment of oil sands pit lakes turn-over potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackenzie, I.; Vandenberg, J.; Lauzon, N.; Takyi, A.

    2006-01-01

    Pit lakes form when surface mining operations are discontinued and dewatering is terminated. Their use as a treatment step for oil sands surface mining reclamation waters was discussed. The goal of the End Pit Lake Subgroup of the Cumulative Environmental Management Association is to establish guidelines that will enable operators to achieve acceptable water quality for these lakes. Although both biological and physical processes affect turn-over potential, this presentation focused on the size of pit lakes, their depth, starting lake salinity concentrations, inflow rates and inflow salinity flux. These parameters where selected because of their influence on density gradients and turn-over potential. One-dimensional and two-dimensional modelling simulations were performed to examine turnover potential for a large range of pit lake configurations and conditions. The pit lake scenarios chosen for this modelling study included a wide range of changes in 3 lake sizes (1, 4 and 8 km 2 ), 3 lake depths (5, 20 and 50 m), 2 lake starting salinities (1 and 5 parts per thousand), 2 inflow rates (2 and 10 million m 3 per year), 3 starting inflow salinity concentrations (1, 2 and 4 parts per thousand) and 2 rates of influent salinity decrease (6- and 28- year half-life). Simulations showed that autumn is the governing season for determining turn-over potential. For the scenarios examined in this study, the expelling of salt from saline water upon ice formation and the effect of fresh water loading during spring melt events were not found to be significant factors governing turn-over potential. This presentation reviewed the DYRESM, CE-QUAL-W2, and RMA models used in this study. The conclusions reached by each model was also reviewed along with ongoing follow-up work

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Reclamation of prime farmland following mineral sands mining in Virginia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, W.L.; Schroeder, P.D.; Nagle, S.M.; Zelazny, L.W.; Alley, M.M.

    1999-07-01

    Significant deposits of mineral sands were discovered in Virginia's Upper Coastal Plain in 1989. The Old Hickory deposit is the largest ore body in the state (>2,000 ha) and supports a productive rowcrop agriculture on prime farmlands. field experiments were installed on pilot-scale (25 m x 60 m) mining pits in the late summer of 1995 and replicated on an adjacent undisturbed area. Half of each mining pit was topsoiled (25 cm) while the remaining half was left as either (1) mixed tails/slimes or (2) re-graded subsoil over tails/slimes to simulate various pit closure scenarios. Both non-topsoiled areas received 112 Mg/ha of yard waste compost as a soil building amendment. The entire area was ripped/disked to ameliorate compaction and incorporate lime and fertilizer additions. The experiment was cropped through a wheat/soybeans/corn/cotton rotation over the 1995 to 1998 growing seasons. Taken as a whole, these combined results clearly indicate that mining and reclamation of these prime farmlands will lead to a substantial decrease in rowcrop productivity, at least over the initial years following pit closure and reclamation. For the rotation studied, post-mining productivity was estimated by this experiment to be reduced by 23%, 3%, 27%, and 20% for each crop (wheat/soybeans/corn/cotton) in sequence. For a given crop in a given year, response to topsoiling versus compost addition to the surface varied, and neither treatment appeared superior. Corn and cotton yields on the mined land treatments were reduced despite the application of irrigation. Cotton quality was also adversely affected by the mining reclamation treatments. Results of these controlled experiments are somewhat encouraging. However, the implementation of protocols will be complicated in practice if tailings and slimes cannot be re-blended to generate a reasonably uniform final reclaimed surface.

  19. The changing face of oilsands mining : mobile crushing systems on the way

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cook, D.L.M.

    2007-06-15

    The mobile crushing system (MCS) is a new technology used in oil sand mining. With MCS, the crusher is moved right to the mine face where it is continuously loaded by shovel. The ore is then crushed on site and transported by a mobile conveyor for further processing. MMD Mineral Sizing (Canada) and Krupp Canada are the only 2 manufacturers that currently build MCS for the oilsands sector. Suncor, Albian Sands and Syncrude Canada are the 3 major oilsands operators currently using MCS. The benefits and challenges of MCS were presented. The use of large mobile surface mining equipment such as the MCS means that ground stability issues associated with large mobile truck and shovel mining operations will be reduced. In addition, given the current worker shortage in the mining industry, using single-stream mobile surface mining equipment means operators can reduce their labour force. However, some challenges remain. The sheer size and weight of the unit means it can deform the ground surface and sink under adverse conditions. Alternative tire and suspension concepts that may alleviate some of these stability issues are currently being researched. Other issues that may affect the performance of MCS include the oil sand density and viscosity around material flow. Syncrude Canada is considering the use of MCS technology to mitigate common oilsands-related environmental issues. It is also testing compact slurry preparation technology in which shovels will feed the oilsands directly into a MCS and then into the in-pit bitumen production system slurry equipment. The MCS unit at Suncor's mine cost $150 million. It has been running at 5,000 tonnes of ore per hour, equivalent to 15 loads of ore in the large trucks. Given the success of the unit, plans are in place for 5 more units to be in operation over the next 5 years. 4 figs.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Restoration of Prime Farmland Disturbed by Mineral Sand Mining in the Upper Coastal Plain of Virginia

    OpenAIRE

    Schroeder, Philip D.

    1996-01-01

    Economic deposits of heavy mineral sand were identified in the late 1980's under prime farmland along the Upper Coastal Plain of Virginia. Mining in Virginia will commence in 1997 on the Old Hickory Deposit in Dinwiddie/Sussex Counties. Experiments were established on two mine pits representing two likely pit closure scenarios; regrading the surface with unprocessed subsoil (Pit 1) or filling to the surface with processed material (Pit 3). To evaluate topsoil replacement vs. organic amendment...

  3. 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

  4. Midges (Diptera:Chironomidae) as indicators of wetland viability in the Alberta Oil Sands region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J. J. H.; Whelly, M. P.; Leonhardt, C.; Laing, D. [Windsor Univ., Dept. of Biological Sciences, ON (Canada)

    1999-07-01

    Thirty-three wetlands northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, ten of which are receiving oil sands mine process-affected water (OSPW), have been examined to assess their biological integrity. Physico-chemical and environmental attributes were measured, sediment, zoobenthic, plankton and chlorophyll samples were analyzed. Results of principal component analysis indicated that the wetlands could be categorized into three classes on the basis of three independent combinations of environmental features, namely pH/size/dissolved oxygen; conductivity; and sediment composition. Cluster analysis identified four groups of wetlands. High conductivity wetlands were found to support greater density but reduced richness of benthic population, irrespective of the presence of OSPW. To evaluate OSPW wetland ability to support and maintain benthic populations chironomid larval morphology, density, adult emergence, flight activity, egg-laying behaviour and the ability of eggs to hatch in OSPW were monitored. Results indicated no inhibition of adult chironomid flight activity, egg-laying or hatching by OSPW, although there was some evidence of OSPW reducing chironomid density, diversity and secondary production.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Oil sands thickened froth treatment tailings exhibit acid rock drainage potential during evaporative drying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2015-02-01

    Bitumen extraction from oil sands ores after surface mining produces different tailings waste streams: 'froth treatment tailings' are enriched in pyrite relative to other streams. Tailings treatment can include addition of organic polymers to produce thickened tailings (TT). TT may be further de-watered by deposition into geotechnical cells for evaporative drying to increase shear strength prior to reclamation. To examine the acid rock drainage (ARD) potential of TT, we performed predictive analyses and laboratory experiments on material from field trials of two types of thickened froth treatment tailings (TT1 and TT2). Acid-base accounting (ABA) of initial samples showed that both TT1 and TT2 initially had net acid-producing potential, with ABA values of -141 and -230 t CaCO₃ equiv. 1000 t(-1) of TT, respectively. In long-term kinetic experiments, duplicate ~2-kg samples of TT were incubated in shallow trays and intermittently irrigated under air flow for 459 days to simulate evaporative field drying. Leachates collected from both TT samples initially had pH~6.8 that began decreasing after ~50 days (TT2) or ~250 days (TT1), stabilizing at pH~2. Correspondingly, the redox potential of leachates increased from 100-200 mV to 500-580 mV and electrical conductivity increased from 2-5 dS m(-1) to 26 dS m(-1), indicating dissolution of minerals during ARD. The rapid onset and prolonged ARD observed with TT2 is attributed to its greater pyrite (13.4%) and lower carbonate (1.4%) contents versus the slower onset of ARD in TT1 (initially 6.0% pyrite and 2.5% carbonates). 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis revealed rapid shift in microbial community when conditions became strongly acidic (pH~2) favoring the enrichment of Acidithiobacillus and Sulfobacillus bacteria in TT. This is the first report showing ARD potential of TT and the results have significant implications for effective management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams/deposits. Copyright © 2014

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. EUB Decision 2006-112 : Suncor Energy Inc. application for expansion of an oil sands mine (North Steepbank mine extension) and a bitumen upgrading facility (Voyageur Upgrader) in the Fort McMurray area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    Suncor Energy Inc. filed 2 applications to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board for their proposed North Steepbank Mine Extension and Voyageur Upgrading Facility in the Fort McMurray area. This document provided an outline to the board of the location of the proposed projects, along with technical details concerning sulphur recovery, coke gasification, and by-product storage and use. The applications shared a common environmental impact assessment report, which presented details of tailings management programs; environmental effects to air, terrestrial resources, surface water, and groundwater; potential health effects to human populations; and traditional land use and ecological knowledge of the lands in the areas of the proposed upgrades. The social and economic effects of the projects were considered by the board, as well as the efforts of Suncor to engage with public consultation processes. It was noted that the projects are expected to provide $7.1 billion in federal taxes paid over the life of the project, in addition to $3.6 billion in provincial taxes and a further $23 million in municipal taxes. Details of several interventions filed by various First Nations groups were presented. It was noted that the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition (OSEC) has filed interventions stating concerns over consultation practices; cumulative effects; environmental monitoring; water usage; reclamation policies; and socio-economic issues. Various other groups have expressed concerns over the impacts of rapid development in the region and the subsequent strains on public infrastructure, housing and community resources. While the project is expected to provide employment, the current labour shortage in the region means that further development will be a disadvantage rather than a benefit to the communities in the region. Although a number of conditions were placed on Suncor before full acceptance of the project could be given, the board concluded that the Voyageur project was

  1. 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.

  2. Proceedings of the Canadian Institute's 4. annual oil sands supply and infrastructure conference : maximizing opportunity and mitigating risks in a rapidly growing market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    This conference addressed the challenges facing oil sands development, with particular reference to supply and infrastructure issues. Updates on oil sands markets and opportunities were presented along with strategies for mitigating risks in a rapidly growing market. The best practices for supplying a demanding market through supply shortages and high prices were identified along with policies that should be implemented to help overcome labour shortages. Some presentations expressed how commodities pricing and trends can impact business. Others showed how markets in China and the United States are prepared for oilsands products. The views of other international companies on oil sands was also discussed along with proposed plans to eliminate the infrastructure congestion and risks caused by expanding oil sands development. The challenges and benefits of investing in Alberta's oil sands were reviewed along with strategies to enhance upgrading and refining capacity in the province. Economic drivers and the creation of new markets were examined, and various export opportunities were reviewed along with industry management challenges concerning human resources, labour supply, training and education. The conference featured 10 presentations, of which 3 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  3. Relating zoobenthic and emergent terrestrial insect production to tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nestling diet in oil sands wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thoms, J.L.; Martin, J.P.; Ciborowski, J.J. [Windsor Univ., Windsor, ON (Canada); Harms, N.J.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This study examined the influence of oil sands process materials (OSPM) on wetland macroinvertebrate community composition and production. Tree swallows are known to inhabit constructed nest boxes and forage near their nest on flying insects of terrestrial and aquatic origin. Therefore, this study evaluated the structure of wetland food webs and how it relates to the transfer of production from aquatic sediments to nestling tree swallows. The study involved 2 reference and 2 oil sands affected wetlands. Exuviae of emerging aquatic and flying insects from floating and sticky traps were collected every 3 days during the tree swallow nestling period in order to estimate benthic invertebrate composition and production. The tree swallow nest boxes, placed around the perimeter of the wetlands in spring were monitored during egg laying and incubation. Diets of the 10-14 day-old nestlings were determined by placing a ligature around the neck of each nestling, preventing the passage of food into the esophagus for 45 min. Food boluses were collected from nestlings fed by the parents during that time. The study showed that although oil sands-affected wetlands had lower aerial insect abundance, they represented over half of the total boluses collected. It was concluded that this study will help determine the ecological viability of oil sands-affected wetlands and their capability of supporting terrestrial predators that rely on zoobenthos.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Acid mine drainage prevention, control and treatment technology development for the Stockett/Sand Coulee area. Topical report, March 1, 1995 - March 31, 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, T.

    1996-01-01

    The project was initiated to assist the State of Montana to develop a methodology to ameliorate acid mine drainage problems associated with the abandoned mines located in the Stockett/Sand Coulee area near Great Falls, Montana. Extremely acidic water is continuously discharging from abandoned coal mines in the Stockett/Sand Coulee area at an estimated rate of greater than 600 acre-feet per year (about 350 to 400 gallons per minute). Due to its extreme acidity, the water is unusable and is contaminating other water supplies. Most of the local alluvial aquifers have been contaminated, and nearly 5% of the private wells that were tested in the area during the mid-1980's showed some degree of contamination. Significant government money has been spent replacing water supplies due to the magnitude of this problem. In addition, millions of dollars have been spent trying to remediate acid mine drainage occurring in this coal field. To date, the techniques used have focused on the management and containment of mine waters, rather than designing technologies that would prevent the formation of acid mine drainage

  7. 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

  8. Potential impacts to perennial springs from tar sand mining, processing, and disposal on the Tavaputs Plateau, Utah, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, William P.; Frederick, Logan E.; Millington, Mallory R.; Vala, David; Reese, Barbara K.; Freedman, Dina R.; Stenten, Christina J.; Trauscht, Jacob S.; Tingey, Christopher E.; Kip Solomon, D.; Fernandez, Diego P.; Bowen, Gabriel J.

    2015-01-01

    Similar to fracking, the development of tar sand mining in the U.S. has moved faster than understanding of potential water quality impacts. Potential water quality impacts of tar sand mining, processing, and disposal to springs in canyons incised approximately 200 m into the Tavaputs Plateau, at the Uinta Basin southern rim, Utah, USA, were evaluated by hydrogeochemical sampling to determine potential sources of recharge, and chemical thermodynamic estimations to determine potential changes in transfer of bitumen compounds to water. Because the ridgetops in an area of the Tavaputs Plateau named PR Spring are starting to be developed for their tar sand resource, there is concern for potential hydrologic connection between these ridgetops and perennial springs in adjacent canyons on which depend ranching families, livestock, wildlife and recreationalists. Samples were collected from perennial springs to examine possible progression with elevation of parameters such as temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, isotopic tracers of phase change, water-rock interaction, and age since recharge. The groundwater age dates indicate that the springs are recharged locally. The progression of hydrogeochemical parameters with elevation, in combination with the relatively short groundwater residence times, indicate that the recharge zone for these springs includes the surrounding ridges, and thereby suggests a hydrologic connection between the mining, processing, disposal area and the springs. Estimations based on chemical thermodynamic approaches indicate that bitumen compounds will have greatly enhanced solubility in water that comes into contact with the residual bitumen–solvent mixture in disposed tailings relative to water that currently comes into contact with natural tar. - Highlights: • The potential water quality impacts of the first US tar sand development are considered. • Analyses of perennial springs in adjacent canyons indicate hydrologic

  9. Potential impacts to perennial springs from tar sand mining, processing, and disposal on the Tavaputs Plateau, Utah, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, William P.; Frederick, Logan E.; Millington, Mallory R. [University of Utah, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Salt lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Vala, David [Murray High School, Murray, UT 84107 (United States); Reese, Barbara K. [Butler Middle School, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121 (United States); Freedman, Dina R. [Hillside Middle School, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 (United States); Stenten, Christina J. [Draper Park Middle School, Draper, UT 84020 (United States); Trauscht, Jacob S.; Tingey, Christopher E.; Kip Solomon, D.; Fernandez, Diego P.; Bowen, Gabriel J. [University of Utah, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Salt lake City, UT 84112 (United States)

    2015-11-01

    Similar to fracking, the development of tar sand mining in the U.S. has moved faster than understanding of potential water quality impacts. Potential water quality impacts of tar sand mining, processing, and disposal to springs in canyons incised approximately 200 m into the Tavaputs Plateau, at the Uinta Basin southern rim, Utah, USA, were evaluated by hydrogeochemical sampling to determine potential sources of recharge, and chemical thermodynamic estimations to determine potential changes in transfer of bitumen compounds to water. Because the ridgetops in an area of the Tavaputs Plateau named PR Spring are starting to be developed for their tar sand resource, there is concern for potential hydrologic connection between these ridgetops and perennial springs in adjacent canyons on which depend ranching families, livestock, wildlife and recreationalists. Samples were collected from perennial springs to examine possible progression with elevation of parameters such as temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, isotopic tracers of phase change, water-rock interaction, and age since recharge. The groundwater age dates indicate that the springs are recharged locally. The progression of hydrogeochemical parameters with elevation, in combination with the relatively short groundwater residence times, indicate that the recharge zone for these springs includes the surrounding ridges, and thereby suggests a hydrologic connection between the mining, processing, disposal area and the springs. Estimations based on chemical thermodynamic approaches indicate that bitumen compounds will have greatly enhanced solubility in water that comes into contact with the residual bitumen–solvent mixture in disposed tailings relative to water that currently comes into contact with natural tar. - Highlights: • The potential water quality impacts of the first US tar sand development are considered. • Analyses of perennial springs in adjacent canyons indicate hydrologic

  10. 78 FR 65589 - Leasing of Osage Reservation Lands for Oil and Gas Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs 25 CFR Part 226 [BIA-2013-0003; 134/A0A511010/AAK1001000] RIN 1076-AF17 Leasing of Osage Reservation Lands for Oil and Gas Mining AGENCY: Bureau of Indian... oil and gas mining on reservation land of the Osage Nation. The public comment period for that rule...

  11. One last boom : Alberta's rapidly expanding oil mines may be the largest and messiest industrial projects in Canadian history

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laird, G.

    2001-01-01

    The bitumen deposits of Alberta, 2.5 trillion barrels of oil, of which 300 billion are considered recoverable, represent the greatest single petroleum resources of the world, based on surface and subsurface calculations. Four deposits, covering an area the size of New Brunswick, are located in the area stretching from Cold Lake to Lloydminster (east of Edmonton), the upper reaches of the Athabasca River east to the Peace River. The largest by far is the Athabasca deposit in the vicinity of Fort McMurray, spread over 4.3 million hectares. The deposit is at the centre of the biggest industrial expansion witnessed by the province. Since 1996, 38 billion dollars worth of new projects have been announced. It is estimated that by 2025, the bulk of the national oil production will originate from open-pit mines and underground wells around Fort McMurray. This oil boom has economic benefits for the population, from welders to real estate agents to stakeholders. The environmental effects are not as beneficial. Huge strip mines are being carved next to the Athabasca River, with great amounts of greenhouse gases emissions. The Suncor and Syncrude oil-sands plants combined represent the fourth largest carbon dioxide emission source in Canada. The development of these projects dramatically affects global warming. The nitrogen and sulphur emissions could also acidify lakes and soil in the region. The Suncor mine resulted from the first boom to hit Fort McMurray in 1964. The Syncrude mine is the result of the second boom which took place in 1973. In 1996, Suncor installed a sulphur scrubber system that removes 95 per cent of sulphur dioxide from the electricity and steam-generation plant. Suncor also invested in various projects, such as wind-power, rainforest cultivation and biomass generation. The volume of pollution increases as the operations expand, even if operations are cleaner. If no new gains in pollution control are achieved, it is expected that by 2015, the total

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mining Aboriginal Labour: Examining Capital Reconversion Strategies Occurring on the Risk Management Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgkins, Andrew P.

    2016-01-01

    This article examines a vocational education and training partnership occurring in the Canadian oil sands mining industry. The case study involves a corporate-sponsored pre-apprenticeship training programme designed to procure aboriginal labour in the province of Alberta. Interviews with members of key partner groups and stakeholders occurred…

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of pollution from oil shale mining in Estonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vallner, L.; Sepp, K.

    1993-01-01

    The largest commercially exploited oil shale deposit in the world is in northeast Estonia. The accumulation of solid residues by oil shale mines and processing plants has resulted in numerous dumps and ash hills, which are polluting the environment. The groundwater and streams are highly polluted by sulphates, phenols and oil products. A dump hill of radioactive wastes poses a serious threat to the Baltic Sea. Local people suffer from diseases more often than in other regions of Estonia. (author)

  18. 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%.

  19. 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.

  20. Technogenic waterflows generated by oil shale mining: impact on Purtse catchment rivers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raetsep, A.; Liblik, V.

    2000-01-01

    The correlation between natural (meteorological, hydrological) and technogenic (mining-technological, hydrogeological, hydrochemical) factors caused by oil shale mining in the Purtse catchment region in northeastern Estonia during 1990-1998 has been studied. As a result of a complex effect of these factors (correlation coefficients r = 0. 60-0.86), a so-called hydrogeological circulation of water has been formed in the catchment area. It totals 25-40 % from the whole amount of mine water pumped out at the present, but in the near future it will reach even up to 50-55 %. On the ground of average data, a conceptual balance scheme of water circulation (cycles) for the Purtse catchment landscape has been worked out. It shows that under the influence of technogenic waterflows a new, anthropogenic biogeochemical matter cycling from geological environment into hydrological one has been formed in this catchment area. Transition of the macro- and microelements existing in the composition of oil shale into the aqueous solution and their distribution in mine water are in a good harmony with the so-called arrangement of the elements by the electrode potentials. The technogenic hydrochemical conditions arising in the catchment rivers will not disappear even after finishing oil shale mining. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. Groundwater management for pollution control: a case study for oil shale mining in Northeast Estonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erg, K.; Raukas, A.

    2001-01-01

    In Estonia oil shale is produced by underground and surface mining. The excavation methods used cause serious damage to the environment, especially to the topography, which hampers the further use of the mined-out areas. The oil shale mining has a serious impact on the environment also due to the pollution of surface and groundwater by polluted mine drainage waters, lowering of groundwater level, changing of soil properties and high air pollution rate. Decline in mining activities and the introduction of new technologies together with economic measures has improved the situation but much should be done during coming years. (author)

  3. Impact of oil shale mining and mine closures on hydrological conditions of North-East Estonian rivers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raetsep, A.; Liblik, V.

    2004-01-01

    The attention is focused on the formation of hydrological and hydrogeological interconnections between the catchment areas of Purtse, Rannapungerja, Puhajoe and Vasavere rivers after closing (in 1997-2002) and flooding the Ahtme, Tammiku, Sompa and Kohtla oil shale underground mines. The multivariate relationship between the changes in mine water amounts directed into the rivers, annual runoff due to mine water inlets, groundwater underground flow, outflow module and other factors (as variables) were studied. A complex of linear regression formulas was derived to calculate the amounts of mine water outputs into the rivers and water distribution in order to regulate the hydrological regime of investigated rivers. (author)

  4. The coal deposits of the Alkali Butte, the Big Sand Draw, and the Beaver Creek fields, Fremont County, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Raymond M.; White, Vincent L.

    1952-01-01

    Large coal reserves are present in three areas located between 12 and 20 miles southeast of Riverton, Fremont County, central Wyoming. Coal in two of these areas, the Alkali Butte coal field and the Big Sand Draw coal field, is exposed on the surface and has been developed to some extent by underground mining. The Beaver Creek coal field is known only from drill cuttings and cores from wells drilled for oil and gas in the Beaver Creek oil and gas field.These three coal areas can be reached most readily from Riverton, Wyo. State Route 320 crosses Wind River about 1 mile south of Riverton. A few hundred yards south of the river a graveled road branches off the highway and extends south across the Popo Agie River toward Sand Draw oil and gas field. About 8 miles south of the highway along the Sand Draw road, a dirt road bears east and along this road it is about 12 miles to the Bell coal mine in the Alkali Butte coal field. Three miles southeast of the Alkali Butte turn-off, 3 miles of oiled road extends southwest into the Beaver Creek oil and gas field. About 6 miles southeast of the Beaver Creek turn-off, in the valley of Little Sand Draw Creek, a dirt road extends east 1. mile and then southeast 1 mile to the Downey mine in the Big Sand Draw coal field. Location of these coal fields is shown on figure 1 with their relationship to the Wind River basin and other coal fields, place localities, and wells mentioned in this report. The coal in the Alkali Butte coal field is exposed partly on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Tps. 1 and 2 S., R. 6 E., and partly on public land. Coal in the Beaver Creek and Big Sand Draw coal fields is mainly on public land. The region has a semiarid climate with rainfall averaging less than 10 in. per year. When rain does fall the sandy-bottomed stream channels fill rapidly and are frequently impassable for a few hours. Beaver Creek, Big Sand Draw, Little Sand Draw, and Kirby Draw and their smaller tributaries drain the area and flow

  5. Papers of a Canadian Institute conference : Tapping into new opportunities in oil sands supply and infrastructure : natural gas, diluent, pipelines, cogeneration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    Participants at this conference were provided the opportunity to hear various views of several industry leaders on topics related to oil sands supply and infrastructure. Some of the issues addressed were: the latest project developments and pipeline infrastructure expansion initiatives in the oil sands industry; the growing natural gas supply requirements for oil sands production; how to effectively manage stakeholder issues in the context of rapid growth; an update on the supply and demand balance for diluent; demand for cogeneration and the implications of transmission system congestion; and, market development prospects for heavy crude and the need for additional refinery capacity. The Minister of Alberta Economic Development also made a special presentation. There were fifteen presentations made at the conference, of which nine were indexed separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  6. Jatropha curcas : a biodiesel plant in reclamation of silica mining area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dubey, K.; Tiwari, A.; Singh, V.K. [Centre for Social Forestry and Eco-Rehabilitation, Allahabad (India); Dubey, K.P. [Allahabad Forest Division, Allahabad (India); Negi, S.S. [Forest Research Inst. Uttaranchal (India)

    2006-07-01

    India's aggregate mineral production in 1999-2000 was approximately 550 million tonnes, contributed from 3,100 producing coal, lignite, limestone, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead and zinc. Over 80 per cent of the mineral production comes from open pit mines. While silica sand can be found in several Indian states, the major mines of quality silica sand are in the Allahabad District of the Uttar Pradesh State. For the past 3 decades, extensive open pit silica mining activities have caused significant damage to the forests and productivity of the region. As such, the reclamation of this mining area has become a priority to impede environmental hazards and restore ecological balance. A critical measure in reclaiming this mining area involves the appropriate selection of species that will adapt to climatic and local soil conditions. The oil plant Jatropha curcas is a drought resistant large shrub or tree that has the advantage of rapid growth on marginal land and the ability to reclaim problematic lands. It also has a high level of carbon absorption from the atmosphere, which is stored in the woody tissues of the plant to help build up of soil carbon. As such, the crop earns carbon credits. This paper reported on a plantation trial in the silica mine area of Shankargarh in Allahabad District where the growth performance of different provenances of Jatropha curcas was investigated under rain fed conditions. The plant was shown to offer the option of both cultivating wastelands and to produce vegetable oil suitable for conversion to bio-diesel and other economically important by products as an alternative resource of rural income in poverty-stricken areas. 12 refs., 1 tab.

  7. Canadian operators boost heavy oil production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perdue, J.M.

    1996-01-01

    Recent technological advances in slurry pipelining, horizontal wells, and thermal recovery techniques have made recovery of Canadian heavy oil resources more economical. In addition, reduced government royalties have made investment in these difficult reservoirs more attractive. As a result, activity has increased in heavy-oil fields in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This paper review the various oil sand recovery projects under development in the area and the current government policies which are helping to develop them. The paper also provides brief descriptions of the equipment and technologies that have allowed a reduced cost in the development. Items discussed include surface mining techniques, horizontal drilling, reservoir engineering techniques, separation processes, and thermal recovery

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Mice housed on coal dust-contaminated sand: A model to evaluate the impacts of coal mining on health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-03-01

    Coal dust is the most important air pollutant in coal mining in regards to producing deleterious health effects. It permeates the surrounding environment threatening public health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxic effects associated with exposure to sand contaminated with coal dust particles below 38 μm in diameter, obtained from a mineral sample collected in the largest coal mine in South America, La Loma, Cesar, Colombia. Sterilized sand was spiked with coal dust to obtain concentrations ranging from zero to 4% coal dust. To model natural exposure, mice were housed for eight weeks in boxes containing this mixture as bedding after which, they were euthanized and blood and tissue samples were collected. Real time PCR analysis revealed an increase in Cyp1A1 mRNA for living on sand with coal dust concentrations greater than 2% compared to mice living on sand without coal dust. Unexpectedly, for mice on coal dust-polluted sand, Sod1, Scd1 and Nqo1 hepatic mRNA were downregulated. The Comet assay in peripheral blood cells and the micronucleus test in blood smears, showed a significant potential genotoxic effect only at the highest coal dust concentration. Histopathological analysis revealed vascular congestion and peribronchial inflammation in the lungs. A dose-response relationship for the presence of hepatic steatosis, vacuolization and nuclei enlargements was observed in the exposed animals. The data suggest living on a soil polluted with coal dust induces molecular, cellular and histopathological changes in mice. Accordingly, the proposed model can be used to identify deleterious effects of exposure to coal dust deposited in soils that may pose health risks for surrounding wildlife populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Flow dependent water quality impacts of historic coal and oil shale mining in the Almond River catchment, Scotland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haunch, Simon; MacDonald, Alan M.; Brown, Neil; McDermott, Christopher I.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • A GIS map of coal and oil shale mining in the Almond basin was constructed. • Water quality data confirms the continued detrimental impact of historic mining. • Oil shale mining is confirmed as a contributor to poor surface water quality. • Surface water flow affects mine contaminant chemistry, behaviour and transport. • River bed iron precipitate is re-suspended and transported downstream at high flow. - Abstract: The Almond River catchment in Central Scotland has experienced extensive coal mining during the last 300 years and also provides an example of enduring pollution associated with historic unconventional hydrocarbon exploitation from oil shale. Detailed spatial analysis of the catchment has identified over 300 abandoned mine and mine waste sites, comprising a significant potential source of mine related contamination. River water quality data, collected over a 15 year period from 1994 to 2008, indicates that both the coal and oil shale mining areas detrimentally impact surface water quality long after mine abandonment, due to the continued release of Fe and SO 4 2- associated with pyrite oxidation at abandoned mine sites. Once in the surface water environment Fe and SO 4 2- display significant concentration-flow dependence: Fe increases at high flows due to the re-suspension of river bed Fe precipitates (Fe(OH) 3 ); SO 4 2- concentrations decrease with higher flow as a result of dilution. Further examination of Fe and SO 4 loading at low flows indicates a close correlation of Fe and SO 4 2- with mined areas; cumulative low flow load calculations indicate that coal and oil shale mining regions contribute 0.21 and 0.31 g/s of Fe, respectively, to the main Almond tributary. Decreases in Fe loading along some river sections demonstrate the deposition and storage of Fe within the river channel. This river bed Fe is re-suspended with increased flow resulting in significant transport of Fe downstream with load values of up to 50 g/s Fe

  12. Code of Practice on Radiation Protection in the Mining and Processing of Mineral Sands (1982) (Western Australia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    This Code establishes radiation safety practices for the mineral sands industry in Western Australia. The Code prescribes, not only for operators and managers of mines and processing plants but for their employees as well, certain duties designed to ensure that radiation exposure is kept as low as reasonably practicable. The Code further provides for the management of wastes, again with a view to keeping contaminant concentrations and dose rates within specified levels. Finally, provision is made for the rehabilitation of those sites in which mining or processing operations have ceased by restoring the areas to designated average radiation levels. (NEA) [fr

  13. Mice housed on coal dust-contaminated sand: A model to evaluate the impacts of coal mining on health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caballero-Gallardo, Karina, E-mail: kcaballerog@unicartagena.edu.co; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus, E-mail: joliverov@unicartagena.edu.co

    2016-03-01

    Coal dust is the most important air pollutant in coal mining in regards to producing deleterious health effects. It permeates the surrounding environment threatening public health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxic effects associated with exposure to sand contaminated with coal dust particles below 38 μm in diameter, obtained from a mineral sample collected in the largest coal mine in South America, La Loma, Cesar, Colombia. Sterilized sand was spiked with coal dust to obtain concentrations ranging from zero to 4% coal dust. To model natural exposure, mice were housed for eight weeks in boxes containing this mixture as bedding after which, they were euthanized and blood and tissue samples were collected. Real time PCR analysis revealed an increase in Cyp1A1 mRNA for living on sand with coal dust concentrations greater than 2% compared to mice living on sand without coal dust. Unexpectedly, for mice on coal dust-polluted sand, Sod1, Scd1 and Nqo1 hepatic mRNA were downregulated. The Comet assay in peripheral blood cells and the micronucleus test in blood smears, showed a significant potential genotoxic effect only at the highest coal dust concentration. Histopathological analysis revealed vascular congestion and peribronchial inflammation in the lungs. A dose–response relationship for the presence of hepatic steatosis, vacuolization and nuclei enlargements was observed in the exposed animals. The data suggest living on a soil polluted with coal dust induces molecular, cellular and histopathological changes in mice. Accordingly, the proposed model can be used to identify deleterious effects of exposure to coal dust deposited in soils that may pose health risks for surrounding wildlife populations. - Highlights: • Mice were exposed to coal dust-contaminated sand. • mRNA Markers for PAH exposure, lipid metabolism and oxidative stress increased. • ALT activity in plasma increased at the highest exposure to coal dust. • Liver tissues of exposed

  14. 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.

  15. Geological settings of the protected Selisoo mire (northeastern Estonia threatened by oil shale mining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Hiiemaa

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The protected Selisoo mire in northeastern Estonia is located above valuable oil shale resources, partly in the permitted mining area. We describe in detail the geomorphology and geological setting of the mire to understand the natural preconditions for its formation, development and preservation. We used the LiDAR-based digital elevation model for relief analysis, mapped the peat thickness with ground-penetrating radar and described the Quaternary cover through corings. Ridges, oriented perpendicular to the generally southward-sloping terrain, and shallow depressions at the surface of mineral soil have influenced mire formation and its spatio-temporal dynamics. The Quaternary cover under the mire is thin and highly variable. Therefore the mire is hydro­geologically insufficiently isolated from the limestone bedrock that is drained by the nearby oil shale mine and consequently the mining activities approaching the mire may have a negative influence on the wetland and proposed Natura 2000 site. Natura 2000 type wetlands, both protected or currently outside the nature reserves, cover a significant portion of the prospective oil shale mining areas. The distribution and resilience of those sites may significantly influence further utilization of oil shale resources.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Proceedings of ITOHOS 2008 : The 2008 SPE/PS/CHOA International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium : Heavy Oil : Integrating the Pieces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-10-01

    This multi-disciplinary conference and exhibition combined the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Petroleum Society's (PS) international thermal operations and heavy oil symposium, and the Canadian Heavy Oil Association's (CHOA) annual business meeting. The conference provided a forum to examine emerging technologies and other critical issues affecting the global heavy oil and bitumen industry. The most current technologies from around the world that enhance the recovery of heavy oil and bitumen from oil sand deposits were also showcased. The technical program encompassed the economic, technical, and environmental challenges that the petroleum industry is currently facing. The sessions of the conference were entitled: artificial lift; mining, extraction and cold production; simulation; solvent processes; reservoir characterization; steam generation and water treatment; and, in-situ combustion in Canada. The conference also featured a series of short courses and tutorials on heavy oil wellbore completions and design; drilling horizontal heavy oil wells and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells; geomechanical based reservoir monitoring; thermal well design; fiber optic thermal monitoring; heavy oil thermal recovery and economics; wellbore slotting; advanced geomechanics; and, an overview of cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS). All 91 presentations from the conference have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  3. Proceedings of ITOHOS 2008 : The 2008 SPE/PS/CHOA International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium : Heavy Oil : Integrating the Pieces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-10-15

    This multi-disciplinary conference and exhibition combined the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Petroleum Society's (PS) international thermal operations and heavy oil symposium, and the Canadian Heavy Oil Association's (CHOA) annual business meeting. The conference provided a forum to examine emerging technologies and other critical issues affecting the global heavy oil and bitumen industry. The most current technologies from around the world that enhance the recovery of heavy oil and bitumen from oil sand deposits were also showcased. The technical program encompassed the economic, technical, and environmental challenges that the petroleum industry is currently facing. The sessions of the conference were entitled: artificial lift; mining, extraction and cold production; simulation; solvent processes; reservoir characterization; steam generation and water treatment; and, in-situ combustion in Canada. The conference also featured a series of short courses and tutorials on heavy oil wellbore completions and design; drilling horizontal heavy oil wells and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells; geomechanical based reservoir monitoring; thermal well design; fiber optic thermal monitoring; heavy oil thermal recovery and economics; wellbore slotting; advanced geomechanics; and, an overview of cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS). All 91 presentations from the conference have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs.

  4. Preliminary analysis of surface mining options for Naval Oil Shale Reserve 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-07-20

    The study was undertaken to determine the economic viability of surface mining to exploit the reserves. It is based on resource information already developed for NOSR 1 and conceptual designs of mining systems compatible with this resource. Environmental considerations as they relate to surface mining have been addressed qualitatively. The conclusions on economic viability were based primarily on mining costs projected from other industries using surface mining. An analysis of surface mining for the NOSR 1 resource was performed based on its particular overburden thickness, oil shale thickness, oil shale grade, and topography. This evaluation considered reclamation of the surface as part of its design and cost estimate. The capital costs for mining 25 GPT and 30 GPT shale and the operating costs for mining 25 GPT, 30 GPT, and 35 GPT shale are presented. The relationship between operating cost and stripping ratio, and the break-even stripping ratio (BESR) for surface mining to be competitive with room-and-pillar mining, are shown. Identification of potential environmental impacts shows that environmental control procedures for surface mining are more difficult to implement than those for underground mining. The following three areas are of prime concern: maintenance of air quality standards by disruption, movement, and placement of large quantities of overburden; disruption or cutting of aquifers during the mining process which affect area water supplies; and potential mineral leaching from spent shales into the aquifers. Although it is an operational benefit to place spent shale in the open pit, leaching of the spent shales and contamination of the water is detrimental. It is therefore concluded that surface mining on NOSR 1 currently is neither economically desirable nor environmentally safe. Stringent mitigation measures would have to be implemented to overcome some of the potential environmental hazards.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Accumulation and recovery capacity of heavy metals in sand mine ponds of the Otamiri River in Owerri, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dike Henry Ogbuagu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the levels, index of accumulation and recovery capacity of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Ni, Zn, Fe, Mn in sand mine ponds of the Otamiri River in Owerri, Nigeria during the wet season of 2012. Water (WC and sediment samples (SD were collected from six sampling points, with WC 1-WC 3 and SD 1-SD 3 located within a derelict mine pond and WC 4-WC 6 and SD 4-SD 6 located within an actively mined pond. The pH was determined in situ and levels of heavy metals measured with the atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The student’s t-test, index of geoaccumulation (Igeo, accumulation factor (AF and pond recovery capacity (PRC were computed for the ponds. There was significant spatial heterogeneity in mean levels of the heavy metals in sediments (sig. t=0.029 at P Zn (4.932> Cu (4.743 > Mn (4.326 > Pb (3.214 > Ni (2.483 > Cd (1.649, AF was Zn (1.513 > Cd (1.179 > Fe (1.082 > Ni (1.048 > Mn (1.042 > Cu (1.032 > Pb (0.987 and PRC was Zn (33.891 > Cd (15.165 > Fe (7.604 > Ni (4.608 > Mn (4.047 > Cu (3.052 > Pb (-1.373. Active mining led to extreme contamination of the ponds with Fe, strong to extreme contaminations with Cu, Zn and Mn, strong contamination with Pb, moderate to strong contamination with Ni and moderate contamination with Cd. However, Pb showed deficit recovery capacity and this could portend unfavourable ecological consequences on resident biota and raises public health concerns among resource dependants of the river. Strict enforcement of regulations on in-stream sand mining should be applied.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. Base Oils Biodegradability Prediction with Data Mining Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malika Trabelsi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we apply various data mining techniques including continuous numeric and discrete classification prediction models of base oils biodegradability, with emphasis on improving prediction accuracy. The results show that highly biodegradable oils can be better predicted through numeric models. In contrast, classification models did not uncover a similar dichotomy. With the exception of Memory Based Reasoning and Decision Trees, tested classification techniques achieved high classification prediction. However, the technique of Decision Trees helped uncover the most significant predictors. A simple classification rule derived based on this predictor resulted in good classification accuracy. The application of this rule enables efficient classification of base oils into either low or high biodegradability classes with high accuracy. For the latter, a higher precision biodegradability prediction can be obtained using continuous modeling techniques.

  14. The mining law in Canada and the situation in Quebec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daigneault, Robert

    2013-01-01

    As mining fields in Canada are various and numerous, the author proposes a presentation of the Canadian mining law. He first presents the administrative and legal organization of the Canadian territory with its Provinces, Territories, and sea beds. He briefly describes the distribution of constitutional competencies, outlines some geopolitical peculiarities (notably with respect to land tenure). He addressed the situation of the Quebec Province as far as the mining law is concerned. He notably comments cases which are a matter of public discussion: the acquisition of a mining permit (a claim) by a mining company in a residential area, the search for shale gas in the Saint-Laurent valley, the exploitation of oil sands, a project of pipeline. He comments the legal framework for a claim acquisition, the case of surface mineral substances, and the case of hydrocarbons. He presents and comments the legal regime of environmental authorizations in Quebec

  15. 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,…