- Paperback: 214 pages
- Publisher: Greystone Books; Second Impression edition (March 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1553654072
- ISBN-13: 978-1553654070
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
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- #2374 in Books > Business & Money > Industries > Energy & Mining > Oil & Energy
- #2490 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Energy Production & Extraction > Fossil Fuels
- #4859 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Environmental Policy
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Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent Second Impression Edition
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Top customer reviews
This is the first page of my 20 page review at energyskeptic titled "Why tar sands, a toxic ecosystem destroying asphalt, not oil, can’t fill in for declining conventional oil"
Many “energy experts” have said that a Manhattan tar sands project could prevent oil decline in the future. But that’s not likely. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Reaching 5 Mb/d will get increasingly (energy) expensive. Because there’s only enough natural gas to mine 29% of tar sands(and limited water as well)
2. Since there isn’t enough natural gas, many hope that nuclear reactors will replace natural gas. That would take a lot of time. Kjell Aleklett estimates it would take at least 7 years before each candu nuclear reactor could be built, and the Canadian Parliament estimates it would take 20 nuclear reactors to replace natural gas as a fuel source.
3. Mined oil sands have been estimated to have an energy returned on invested of EROI of 5.5–6 for mined tar sands (perhaps 10% of the 170 billion barrels), with in situ processing much lower at 3.5–4 (Brandt 2013). And this EROI does not include the energy to bring tar sands to a refinery and refine it.
4. Counting on tar sands to replace declining conventional oil, with an EROI as high as 30 will be hard to accomplish if several EROI experts estimate that an EROI of 7 to 14 is required to maintain civilization as we know it (Lambert et al. 2014; Murphy 2011; Mearns 2008; Weissbach et al. 2013)
In a crash program to ramp up production as quickly as possible, production would likely peak in 2040 at 5–5.8 million barrels a day (Mb/d) (NEB 2013; Soderbergh et al. 2007). Kjell Aleklett estimated that at best a megaproject could get 3.6 Mb/d by 2018. Even that goal would require Canada to choose between exporting natural gas to the United States or burning most of its reserves in the tar sands to melt bitumen.
So far, Canadian oil sands have contributed to the 5.4 % increase in oil production since 2005, increasing from 0.974 to 2.1 Mb/d in 2014 (2.7 % of world oil production). There are about 170 billion barrels thought to be recoverable, equal to 6 years of world oil consumption.
Already, oil sand production forecasts for 2030 have declined 24 % over the past 3 years, from 5.2 Mb/d in 2013, to 4.8 Mb/d in 2014, to 3.95 Mb/d in June 2015 (CAPP 2015).
At least half the book describes the damage being done that is too long to write about in a book review, and one of the most horrifying accounts of wilderness destruction I’ve ever heard. But because it’s not a major tourist destination in an area few live in, the expected out-cry of environmentalists is muted and almost non-existent.
If it’s true that future generations are likely to move north as climate change renders vast areas uninhabitable, what a shame that an area the size of New York is well on the way to being such a toxic cesspool of polluted water, land, and radioactive uranium tailings that it may be uninhabitable for centuries if not millennia. As author Nikiforuk puts it “Reclamation in the tar sands now amounts to little more than putting lipstick on a corpse.”
Much of this book covers the horrifying, sickening destruction of the ecology of a vast region. You may think you will not be affected, but very close to major rivers, flimsy dams holding back large lakes of toxic sludge are bound to fail at some point and eventually spill out into the arcti. That would damage the fragile arctic system and the fish you buy in the grocery store potentially unsafe to eat.
Alice Friedemann [...] author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation (SpringerBriefs in Energy)”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers: Low-Fat, Low-Sugar, Low-Salt Snack, Garnish or Croutons New, Easy, No-roll method”. Podcasts: KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report ]