STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

Just another weblog

Archive for March 13th, 2008

My trip to Oil Sands Land

Posted by mhudema on March 13, 2008

In which a humorous writer takes an adventure in Canada’s newest theme park.

Dateline: Monday, March 10, 2008

by Tom King

Last week I flew out to Alberta for a vacation, and when I got to the carousel to pick up my bags, whom should I see but Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion. It’s not often you run into the Prime Minister of Canada and the Leader of the Opposition in an airport, so I walked over and said hello. You might think that Mr Harper and Mr Dion would be a little aloof, being as they’re famous, but they were quite friendly. I told them I was going to Banff to hike the Rockies.Mr Harper said that the Rockies were beautiful and all, but that nature tended to be overrated, and that he and Mr Dion were off to a new, all-inclusive resort near Fort McMurray called Alberta Oil Sands Land. Mr Dion said that Alberta Oil Sands Land was supposed to be better than Wonderland in Ontario or Disney Land in California and more exciting than the West Edmonton Mall.I have to admit that the place did sound tempting.Well, before you knew it, Mr Harper was insisting that I come with him and Mr Dion to Alberta Oil Sands Land, and, in no time at all, we were on a Government of Canada jet headed for the resort. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Alberta’s Heavy Oil Burden

Posted by mhudema on March 13, 2008



Alberta’s oil reserves are seen as a long-term supply option for the United States

Al Jazeera’s People & Power programme recently visited the Candian province of Alberta where the region’s vast oil reserves are provoking both prosperity and opposition.Much of the terrain is blanketed in trees but underneath the forests of the remote north of the Canadian province of Alberta are an estimated 174 billion barrels of heavy crude oil.While much of the world’s attention has been focused on Iraq and what is going to happen to the country’s vast reserves of oil, the oil industry has been investing massively in the sparsely-populated region around the small city of Fort McMurray.Indeed it is believed there could be as much as two trillion barrel’s worth of oil in the tar sands here with 1.5 million barrels currently produced a day, a figure that is expected to double in just a few years.Like many parts of the world, Alberta is running short of light crude oil and the world is turning its attention to so-called heavy oil that is trapped in thick gooey tar sands. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Doc builds convincing case against tar sands

Posted by mhudema on March 13, 2008

When Norway began extracting North Sea oil, its government worried that the sudden influx of revenue would distort the economy, so it placed its new wealth in a rainy-day fund. Now that the North Sea reserves are diminished, Norway’s state-owned oil exploration company is looking elsewhere, to Alberta’s tar sands.

The oil may be dirty and expensive, but the happy land of Canada welcomes foreigners with capital and can offer a stable regime unencumbered by any state-owned petroleum company of its own. American companies are already busy strip-mining the tar sands and piping the oil to U.S. markets, but Norway, a leader in reducing the carbon footprint of extraction, promises it will get at the oil without destroying the landscape.

Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta (Doc Zone, CBC, 9 p.m.) is a documentary that may make you join a protest march in Edmonton or Ottawa – or simply buy a one-way ticket to Oslo.

The film, by documentarian Tom Radford and producer Peter Raymont, begins with clichés: After Sept. 11, everything changed. “The only thing certain was uncertainty.” But it rapidly finds its feet, as it explains how the heavy oil once considered too expensive to be attractive at five times the extraction price of regular crude, has suddenly found a market.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »