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More Tar Sands News 28.01.2009

Posted by poligraf in News, tar sands.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s the second part of yesterday’s news round-up :

  • BA Energy first oil sands developer to file for protection :

    BA Energy Inc., developer of the $4-billion Heartland Upgrader near Edmonton, Wednesday became the first oil sands company to file for bankruptcy protection, fearing its parent company’s major lender, Credit Suisse, will recall a US$507-million loan.

  • A sticky ending for the tar sands :

    Look west from the office towers of the energy companies that dominate Calgary, and the view is spectacular: rolling prairies rise to tree-clad foothills, with the jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies on the horizon. Looking down, however, is more unsettling. The city is dotted with motionless construction cranes poised over the pits of abandoned projects. A five-year energy boom here in the administrative heart of Canada’s oil patch and in the tar sands far to the north has ended.

    (also Canada oil boom shifts on sands of time)

  • Canada delusional about oil :

    There is this Canadian delusion that the Alberta oil sands will give us special influence with the new Obama administration, that energy is our trump card in the Canada-U.S. relationship because, it’s argued, the United States desperately needs our oil. It fosters the false belief that we can get concessions from the U.S. in other areas by producing more oil.


    The bottom line for Canada, though, is that Obama’s energy strategy is to sharply reduce oil consumption by massive investments in new energy technologies, strongly supporting the transition to renewable energies (25 per cent of electricity by 2025), electric plug-in autos (1 million on the road by 2015), smart electric grids, and other measures and by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by making the use of oil more expensive.

  • Tar Plane Wayfarer: Kamikaze Tar Plane :

    An Illinois native growing up amidst corn fields and prairie landscape, Mitch Mitchell knew nothing about Fort McMurray or the tar sands before his visit last October. Camping with two friends for 55 days, the U of A fine art graduate student inadvertently gained unprecedented access to active construction sites.


    Not knowing his actions were both prohibited and rare, Mitchell, sketchbook in hand, followed the sporadic “booms” heard through the distance, which turned out to be sound deterrents situated near tailing ponds, placed to ward off wildlife. Surveying the massive oil-and-gas site, the self-identified nature lover was simultaneously overcome with repulsion and attraction to the devastations he witnessed and sketched. In every direction surveyed, depletion at every level was occurring with Tonka trucks the size of two-story buildings rolling through a completely degraded landscape, creating three-story dirt piles, enormous tailing ponds of orange and yellow, all with the acridity of burnt metal and oils wafting through the air.


    Tar Plane Wayfarer is Mitchell’s direct response to his experience of walking through the tar sands development and the stories he heard in the camps. As a three-week-long, ongoing installation, the process becomes the work on display in the Red Strap’s street-front windows. Activating the space with pedestrians and drivers gazing in both intrigued and confused, Mitchell is attempting to re-create a heightened experience of moving through, over and along the tar sands. Creating tailings ponds and dirt hills by labour-intensive treatments of paper with asphaltum, water and carborundum, Mitchell aims to induce both the spatial and olfactorial sensations that both repulsed and transfixed him.

  • World running out of oil, says ex-CEO :

    Consumers shouldn’t get too comfortable with cheap gasoline, because the planet is running out of oil and prices will go “sky high” –as high as $20 per litre–as petroleum reserves dwindle in the coming years.

    That’s the view of Jim Buckee, the British oilman who was CEO of Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc., one of Canada’s largest energy producers, from 1993 to 2007.


    “Black oil has peaked,” he said in telephone interview this week. “The biggest oilfields in the world have been producing for 50 years and they’re all getting tired.”

    He says no giant oilfield, capable of replacing those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Kuwait that produce more than half-a-million barrels a day, has been discovered and developed since the 1970s.

And still plenty more to come…



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