May 19th, 2011

Floridians take note - How To Avoid Getting Oil Out Of Sand

If onshore exploitation provides sufficient oil for the US and Canada's needs then offshore drilling is surplus to requirements, thus disasters like the money-spinning Gulf well-head blow-out can be averted.

The Tar Sands Campaign and the
Suppression of North  America's Energy Potential
Environmentalism is attacking Alberta’s oil sands  industry. Their “Tar Sands” campaign is best understood when placed within the grand crusade to suppress North America’s energy potential. Canada and USA have combined oil reserves of several trillion barrels. Over 2 trillion barrels are recoverable with existing technology at current prices. Combined Canadian and American petroleum consumption is 10 billion barrels a year. These countries possess centuries of oil supply.
The oil sands are not the only oil reserve besieged by environmentalists. The kerogen beds of Colorado, the conventional oil reservoirs under the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and the deposits off British Columbia’s coast are among the many mammoth reserves kept from development by environmentalists.
The “Tar Sands” campaign involves hundreds of environmental groups animated with millions of dollars from a few dozen foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Between 2006 and 2011 these groups planted 4,000 misinformation-laden anti-oil sands articles into the mainstream media.
10% of the oil imported into North America comes through two dynasties, the Irvings and the Pews – both major benefactors of environmentalism. A 2011 US Chamber of Commerce report identified 351 environmentalist activist campaigns blocking specific American energy proposals. The Sierra Club was leading over 100 local campaigns against coal-fired electricity. Solar power industry front man, David Gelbaum, gave the Sierra Club $200 million.


General Info
Three Alberta-based Anti-Oil Sands Activists: Nikiforuk, Timoney, and Schindler
The Tar Sands Campaign
Aboriginals and Oil Sands
Tar Sands Propaganda
Canards Unlimited


The East Coast Refinery Lobby
Other North American Oil Reserves Under Environmentalist Attack
The Frontline of the Second American Civil War: The US Energy Permitting Process
Information Sources

General Info
Officially, of Alberta’s 171.3 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, 169.9 billion consist of bitumen lodged in the sandy soils of three vast deposits: Athabasca, Peace, and Cold Lake. There are 3 trillion barrels of bitumen in the “Sands.” The official estimate that 170 billion are recoverable is conservative. Most commentators use figures twice as high, while the author of the most recent book on the Sands believes over 1 trillion barrels are recoverable.
(The environmentalist phrase “tar sands” is a pejorative misnomer. Tar is a by-product of coal oil. Bitumen, or “pitch,” is dense petroleum.)
Athabasca-area aboriginals waterproofed their canoes with bitumen. European explorers of the Athabasca River stumbled upon bitumen pools that a 20-foot raft pole could not reach the bottom of. They found 100-yard stretches of blackened river bank where they would sink into bitumen past their ankles. The water tasted bitter and the air smelled of sulphur.
In 1888 the Canadian Senate learned the Athabasca valley held one of the world’s largest petroleum deposits.
In 1893 the Commons authorized a geological survey of the petroleum resources of the Athabasca Sands. Initially, the Sands were eyed as a source of asphalt.
In 1915 the Mellon Institute refined 99.7% pure bitumen by boiling raw Athabasca sand in acidified water, then pressing the froth through a sieve. Similar processes are used today.
In 1930 the Canadian Northern Oil Company began working an oil sands lease (now Syncrude’s site).
In 1950 J. Howard Pew’s Sun Oil began drilling along the Athabasca.
The Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (GCOS) was incorporated in 1952 and recruited two other Sands-active companies within a year. Pew bought into GCOS in 1954 and attained majority ownership in 1963.
In 1959 Oklahoma’s Cities Service Oil Co. entered the Athabasca arena. In 1962 they formed Syncrude, with Imperial Oil, ARCO, and Royalite Oil, to build a 100,000 barrel per day (bpd) operation with a pipeline to Edmonton.
In 1964 Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), fearing Sands oil might flood conventional oil markets, approved only one Sands plant. GCOS’s $190 million 45,000 bpd proposal beat out the Syncrude bid and another bid from Shell.
On September 30, 1967 a fleet of light aircraft flew 600 dignitaries to Fort McMurray for an inaugural ceremony where they ogled GCOS’s huge bucket-wheel excavators. Production began in 1968 but swooned into a seven-year regulatory and construction nightmare wherein costs ballooned to $240 million.
The ECRB approved Syncrude’s proposal in 1969. Construction began in 1971, but in 1974 ARCO pulled out. The remaining partners informed politicians that, as costs had doubled; they needed a bail-out. The Federal, Ontario, and Alberta governments begrudgingly bought shares in Syncrude. In 1978 Syncrude completed a 50,000 bpd plant and got the go-ahead for a 129,000 bpd, $1 billion expansion.
Shell’s oil sands consortium, launched in the mid-1970s, collapsed along with oil prices in the 1980s. A decade later Shell revived its plan as the Athabasca Oil Sands Project. AOSP’s $5.7 billion, 155,000 bpd plant opened in 2003.
In the seven years prior to 1995, $5.5 billion was spent on oil sands projects. In the seven years after 1995, $24.5 billion was spent.
In the 1980s bitumen mining projects replaced the drag-line, bucket-wheel excavator system with giant shovels and dump trucks.
Today, bitumen less than 75 metres deep is mined. Bitumen below 75 metres is accessed through drilling methods called in situ because steam is used to separate the bitumen underground (“in the site”). The old in situ method, Cyclic Steam Stimulation, is giving way to Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). The first SAGD experiment occurred in 1987. SAGD bitumen hit the market in 2001.
SAGD consists of drilling two horizontal wells, up to 800 metres long, one 5 metres above the other. The drill stems are perforated. Steam injected into the top pipe creates a bitumen-melting steam chamber with a turnip-shaped profile. Gravity drains bitumen to the bottom of this steam chamber along which runs the lower pipe. Bitumen seeps into the lower pipe and is pumped to the surface.
Research is being done on enhancing SAGD by adding solvents to the steam. Collateral research is being done on bitumen-dissolving nano-catalysts and on bitumen-straining molecular sieves. One firm is lowering giant electronic stove elements underground to melt bitumen.
In 2011 it cost $32 to mine a barrel of bitumen. SAGD production costs are around $20 a barrel. (All bitumen needs a $15-a-barrel upgrade before it can be sent to a conventional refinery.)
In 1980, when Canada produced 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, Sands oil accounted for 100,000 barrels. In 2010, when Canadian production hit 2.8 million bpd, Sands oil accounted for 1.4 million barrels.
In 2010 $10 billion was invested in the Sands. $16 billion will be invested in 2011. Oil sands royalties contributed $1.9 billion to Alberta’s treasury last year. The Sands, directly and indirectly, employ 112,000 Canadians.
The Athabasca Sands lie within the 68,000 square-kilometre Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which has Fort McMurray as its largest settlement. In 1964 Fort McMurray’s population was 1,300. Today 77,000 live in ‘Fort Mac’ and 12,000 of them work in oil sands production. Fort Mac’s median household income is $130,000 – one of the highest in the world.

Thanks to Mr W. Kay for notification about this article

Libyagate: Time to stop bombing the wrong side

In any case bombing is the first resort of scoundrels

This is an example of what the people that NATO is helping got up to before the blitz.
From a blog, worth a little time to peruse, an example of what NATO is punishing the Libyan regime for:
Manchester Moola in Libya? D Brown 5 April 2011
Did a Manchester, UK man raising funds from his local mosque help launch the insurrection in Libya? An excerpt from a new preliminary report from an international observation group raises just such a possibility.
Az Zawiyah is a city of over 200,000 people
(via Hermes of Mercury Mail)
The fighting which erupted in Az Zawiyah was triggered by roughly 250 attackers who appeared in the city at the start of Libya’s current upheaval.  Out of the 250, 200 were either killed or captured; a large majority of the 200 have been identified as foreigners, the remaining 50 fled into the mountains. One of the 200 is a Manchester, UK man who was the financier of the group, it is alleged that this individual raised funds for the assault on Az Zawiyah in his mosque in England.
The attackers employed tactics and methods similar to those of the Algerian group GIA,  Groupe Islamique Armé  a terrorist, insurgency group that has been operating in Algeria since the early 90s.
Civilians were targeted along with local, regional, and provincial officials. Support facilities such as hospitals, police and administrative buildings were attacked.
One of our first visits in Az Zawiyah was to a hospital where 6 patients were butchered in their beds; arms hacked off with IV needles still in them. More corpses were found in and near the hospital many with their eyes gouged out, included among the victims appeared to be a father clutching his two children who had attempted to  flee  across the street to safety.
Many of the civilian victims found outside were wounded or killed by sniper fire. This quickly created an atmosphere of fear and panic among the population which was not armed.
Following the GIA modus operandi police stations were some of the initial targets. Local, regional and provincial police stations were attacked, ransacked and torched. In the midst of the initial attacks police were ordered by the Interior Ministry in Tripoli not to return fire but to retreat so as to avoid citizen casualties. Strong boxes were broke open, weapon caches, including RPGs, were taken from the provincial police stations.
Municipal offices and judicial offices were also attacked and the files rummaged thru, list of municipal and government employees were taken and used as targeting list to eliminate regime loyalists or collaborators , even the chairwomen for the city’s handicap service dept was targeted for elimination.
Government reaction, after local police failed to contain the outbreak of violence, was not to interfere and negotiate thru the tribal chiefs so as to reduce the number of civilian dead. The negotiations lasted for three weeks during which time attackers controlled city center.  Attackers took the opportunity to break into and rob the banks, strong boxes were broke open. The attackers also released all the prisoners from the jails, however the female prisoners were first raped before being released, a practice the GIA have been known to engage in when’ liberating’ female  prisoners or when dealing with women captives. To make sure that the criminals’ clemency was permanent the attackers also ransacked and burned  the court and criminal records in the city.
After three weeks the tribal chiefs could not arrange or enforce a solution to the standoff with the attackers and Libyan forces which were waiting outside the city. The army finally entered the city and reclaimed the center rather quickly inflicting heavy casualties on the attackers as cited above. The army lost over two dozen soldiers to sniper fire in the course of the battle; almost all tank fire was clearly aimed at the top of buildings where snipers were stationed.

Within a few weeks the coalition had bulldozed a resolution through the UNSC, it is apparent that various members were hoodwinked to support or abstain rather than veto if statements from member countries along the lines of “we didn’t vote for this” (Arab League) and “we were fooled” (Russia) are taken at face value.

Libyan Prince: I’m Ready to Be King
[...] El Senussi has been in touch with the Transitional National Council, he said. He not yet been formally asked to lead Libya as king.
[...] El Senussi voiced confidence that Libya would be rebuilt out of the “chaos” left behind by Gadhafi. There is no al Qaeda in Libya, he said, and the colonel’s lieutenants were so dependent on their master that “if he disappears, the problem also disappears.”

A commenter on the Mercury Mail blog mentioned that Gaddafi had been very helpful in bringing the Khan nuclear proliferation network down, a feat that had eluded the the bureaucratic elephant, the CIA since the KNP network inception.

Gaddafi gave intelligence services in the West a major victory in the anti-proliferation arena. It is hard to overstate its importance, not only did he give up his own program, but he helped to wrap up the Khan network and provided insight into Iran’s program. Gaddafi, and more importantly his ‘people’ proved that they could be extremely valuable ‘co-operating individuals’ in the global enforcement regime against the modern day transnational radical jihadists. If one is going to push for an international rule of law, those pushing for it will ultimately fail if they end up taking out the co-operating individuals instead of those intent on blowing up/taking over the international order.
This is what I found:
CFR, (a cartel financed globalist org behind much of the US admin’s decision making, especially wrt foreign policy) mentions that
pressure from the US and IAEA forced Libya to reveal info. Knowing bureaucrats’ adeptness at claiming glory for others’ efforts (e.g. Sarkozy, Gbagbo) I find the commenter’s statements credible. That Libya was mentioned testifies to the level of importance of that administration’s input.

The Pakistan Network CFR
[...] What has the Libya probe found?
Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s December 2003 decision to give up his country’s nuclear program and cooperate with international inspectors gave authorities access to a mother lode of information. Documents turned over by the Libyans included centrifuge designs and plans for a nuclear bomb, wrapped in plastic bags from an Islamabad dry cleaner, The New York Times reported February 9. The documents also revealed the source of the nuclear components that Libya bought: Scomi Precision Engineering, or SCOPE, in Selangor, Malaysia.
How was Khan’s network discovered?
Experts had suspected Khan for a long time, but couldn’t confirm their suspicions until October 2003, when Italian authorities seized a German ship carrying 1,000 centrifuges headed for Libya. The parts were made in Malaysia and shipped through the Middle East, according to news reports. Libya was able to get nearly complete centrifuges through the network, as well as blueprints for a Pakistani-designed nuclear warhead.
[...] In addition to recent revelations from Libya and Pakistan, Iran has also revealed significant information about its nuclear supply routes, experts say, under pressure from the United States and the IAEA.

The Khan Network (2004 PDF) D. E Sanger
[...] The exposure of the details of the Khan network’s operations has made clear the limitations of the NPT, and underscores the need to rethink some of its underlying precepts. Despite the Pakistani government’s assertions that Dr. Khan was operating on his own, the fact remains that the largest and most dangerous example of nuclear proliferation in post-World War II era had its origins in a one of the three states that refused to sign the NPT three decades ago. (North Korea has since departed the treaty, joining the non-signatories: Pakistan, India and Israel.) That fundamental fact has profound implications for the forthcoming conference to review the NPT, and makes urgent the question of whether the treaty should be made universal, and whether other signatories need greater rights to inspect or sanction nations that refuse to sign.
But it also strikes at the heart of the central bargain that underlies the NPT: That the world’s nuclear powers are committed to providing aid to the non-nuclear powers to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Non-nuclear states have long complained, with good reason, that the nuclear powers are not living up to their end of the bargain, chiefly because they are not working toward the elimination of their own
arsenals. But the lesson of the Khan experience – especially with Iran and North Korea – is that the essential bargain of atoms-for-peace can now, more easily than ever, provide a convenient cover for atoms-for-weapons. The result is that none of the signatories is satisfied with the treaty, more than three decades after it went into effect.
Secondly, the Khan network’s activities have driven home the fact that the Cold War balance of carefully-managed nuclear arsenals – with the United States and a few other declared nuclear powers matching the power of the former Soviet Union and China holding its own with a minimum deterrent – is now a relic. It has been replaced by a far more chaotic, far more dangerous era of nuclear trade. It is a world in which traditional deterrence is impossible; if a nuclear explosion occurred in a major city in the world, it might take days, weeks or months to figure out who was responsible. Even if an answer is found, a counter-strike could well prove impossible.
Thirdly, the reach and success of the network has raised fundamental questions about the quality of intelligence about nuclear proliferation. While Dr. Khan’s activities were no secret to the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence services, it is now clear that American intelligence officials missed many key transactions, from the shipment of centrifuges to Iran to the shipment of nearly two tons of uranium hexaflouride, the raw feedstock for making enriched uranium for bomb fuel, to Libya. Similarly, it was not until the past few years that American intelligence analysts understood the nature of the links between Dr. Khan and the Iranian nuclear program. In fact, the intelligence discovery that North Korea had moved beyond the research phase to build a second, secret nuclear weapons program – based on enriching uranium – was the product of South Korean intelligence, even though American intelligence officials had carefully been watching both Dr. Khan and North Korea.
[...] North Korea was among the first customers, eager for a more surreptitious way to build nuclear weapons after the United States had frozen the North’s plutonium-production facilities in Yongbyon. By the late 1990’s Libya was also a major customers, ordering $100 million or more in goods. Iran was also a major customer for many years.

The commenter also determined that;
Gaddafi and the West have legitimate grievances against each other, however, the failure of the Western intelligence services to raise serious misgivings about who the rebels may be is a major intelligence failure, they know better. There should be a major push among those who have objections to this intervention for what the Bin Laden files have to say about Gaddafi.

When logic gets in the way
Remembering that this is the 21st century, the lie that the EU (and its siamesed twin, the UN) is about avoiding war has been outed. Even though the report below is strongly biased, nevertheless the conclusion arrived at does not favour removing the regime.

Deterring Lybia the Strategic Culture of Muammar Qaddafi (Oct 2009 PDF)
Ideology and Style of Government
Since 1969, Qaddafi has dominated Libya’s policies by the sheer force of his personality and leadership, seizing every opportunity to implement his revolutionary ideology. He has devoted Libya’s considerable oil wealth to building roads, schools, and hospitals. Villages have been electrified and the desert irrigated. He has done as much as any other Arab leader for women’s liberation and providing for popular decision-making in government.
Initially, as chairman of the RCC, Qaddafi controlled both the legislative and executive functions of the government, experimenting with the socialist policies employed in Nasser’s Egypt. But beginning in 1973, dissatisfied with the level of revolutionary zeal displayed by the Libyan people, Qaddafi launched his “Cultural Revolution.” He dismantled the traditional apparatus of government and reorganized the country’s political structure to follow his Third Universal Theory—a disavowal of capitalism and communism in favor of socialism, popular democracy, Arab unity, and progressive Islam. He set up what he envisioned as a direct democracy, in which the instruments of government were placed in the hands of the people. People’s Committees and popular congresses were formed at the local, regional, and national levels to promote mass participation in the nation’s decision-making process.11 What resulted though was a stifling, overly rigid system that proved to be better at promulgating top-level policy than it was at cultivating popular participation.
[...] The greatest threat to his regime is a coalition of Islamic extremist groups and the military. If and when these factions link up, Qaddafi’s days are numbered. Given the regional destabilization threatened by Islamic extremism and the specter of religious fanatics in possession of Libya’s chemical weapons stocks, it can be argued that the region would be worse off without Qaddafi than with him. [My emphasis]
Libya intervention – wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong