Skip to comments.Nuclear power in oilsands debated
Posted on 09/26/2011 7:25:40 AM PDT by thackney
I think nuclear has a role to play in the exploitation of Canadas oilsands resources, said AECL president and chief executive Hugh MacDiarmid during a presentation at the Global Business Forum.
The nuclear industry and the oilsands industry need to get together and find a solution that works and be part of that dialogue ... I remain convinced that nuclear can be a very important of the long-term exploitation of that resource.
However, Murray Edwards, vice-chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which opened the 110,000 barrel per day Horizon mine and upgrader near Fort McMurray in 2009, said in an interview at the forum that nuclear is not being considered at the moment.
I think the industry is right now focusing on more important or more immediate priorities in terms of ways to, one, make sure we have appropriate markets for our production and, two, continue to show Canadians continuous improvement on the environmental side, he said.
In terms of the issue of power generation by nuclear energy ... with current natural gas prices, its tough to look at other options such as nuclear.
MacDiarmid, speaking as part of a panel looking at key trends in energy supply and demand, had finished his presentation and Robert Stan, chairman of the Coal Association of Canada, had just started his when the lights went out in the meeting room at the Fairmont Banff Springs conference centre.
While hotel staff scrambled to open doors to let in light, the panel members, including Robert Gardner of ExxonMobil and moderator Ali Velshi of CNN, traded jibes over the suspicious timing of the outage.
Power was restored shortly after the conference ended at about 4 p.m.
As soon as a pipeline gets built to Vancouver, the one to the Gulf Coast will lose all appeal, especially since then oil sands flow can get priced as Brent rather than the absurd WTI numbers.
The Chinese, of course, have offered to fund it.
Oil sands production IMO will likely never get to even 4.5 mbpd, and we’ll take decades to register that failure. It’s at 2+ now. To get to that 2+ number requires 30% of total Canadian natural gas production. It also requires about 30% of Alberta’s fresh water. We just are not going to see the 6 and 7 mbpd numbers the wacko hypesters sprint for microphones to quote.
To get to that 2+ number requires 30% of total Canadian natural gas production. It also requires about 30% of Albertas fresh water.
They should use LFTR Nuclear reactors, they have less need for water and can use it more effeciently.
Nuclear generation of heat to generate steam and improve recovery from oilsands is an excellent deployment of this technology.
Gas from Horn River Shales may be an even better way to take tried and true technology and deploy at Athabasca.
Horn River stands as one of the foremost technically superior gas shales of tremendous resource size but plagued by several challenges prior to realizing value. First, the high inert content must be scrubbed out prior to sale, the second is logistics in this isolated area to effect a sale.
Right now, the developers are envisioning taking the gas to the coast as a potential LNG sale internationally to end user. Big, big bucks.
Instead, why not instead of selling, one takes the raw stream to Athabasca to generate steam at the burner tip? No need to treat the inerts and no need for massive transportation/LNG.
The paradigm shift is to use 100% of Horn River to serve to generate the production growth at Athabasca into one of the largest ever(and certainly longest lived) oil production in any field in North America.
The money is always in the liquids, not the gas.
Canada nat gas production 13.5 Bcf/d, and the EIA has been shaky high on such quotes. Projected to fall pretty sharply upcoming, despite some shale sources.
“About 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas is burned for every barrel of bitumen produced from an in situ project. After that, another 400 cubic feet is put through a steam methane reforming process to produce hydrogen, which is required to upgrade the bitumen into a kind of synthetic crude that shares the same characteristics of conventional light oil.”
At 2.4 mbpd of oil coming out of there, that’s about 3.3 billion cf/day or 24ish%. Looks like my 1/3 quote is 10% high, if we believe the EIA. My bad.
The water quote is from an article and don’t know how they make an estimate of “production” of water. It’s a lot for steam generation.
Don’t misunderstand here. I don’t care about environmental this or that. My point is hype is BS and these production numbers have concrete, unyielding future limits.