Skip to comments.1st U.S. tar sands mine set to open for business in Utah
Posted on 08/24/2015 5:18:20 AM PDT by thackney
BOOK CLIFFS, Utah (AP) On a remote Utah ridge covered in sagebrush, pines and wild grasses, a Canadian company is about to embark on something never before done commercially in the United States: digging sticky, black, tar-soaked sand from the ground and extracting the petroleum.
The impending opening of the nations first tar sands mine has become another front in the battle across the West between preservationists and the energy industry.
U.S. Oil Sands has invested nearly $100 million over the last decade to acquire rights to about 50 square miles, obtain permits and develop what it says is a brand-new, non-toxic method of separating out the oil with the use of an orange-peel extract similar to whats in citrus-scented household soaps and detergents.
(Excerpt) Read more at fuelfix.com ...
US Oil Sands’ proprietary extraction process uniquely engages the use of a biodegradable, non-toxic solvent derived from citrus products. The result is that:
Only very low mechanical energy is required to mix the oil sands, water and solvent.
Elimination of the activation of the fine clay particles and resultant creation of the emulsion of water, clay and bitumen.
Reduction of suspended clay particles within the process water which eliminates the generation of liquid tailings
Elimination of middlings. Clean solids, water and bitumen phase separation do not require tailings ponds to settle a middlings phase.
All of the capital cost and operating expense associated with creating bitumen froth, froth treatment, middlings treatment and tailings pond management and reclamation is eliminated. The result is a highly capital efficient and operationally simple extraction process.
The process is outlined here:
It has been in the works for a long time and will be a long term project, like the Canadian Oil Sands facilities.
I’m associated with mining industry and realize these projects involve long-term planning and commitment.
It’s just that sometimes I am overwhelmed with the need to be sarcastic and snarky.
...and like everything else in the O&G sector, the process will become more efficient, more productive and lower the costs dramatically....something wind, solar and other “green” energies cannot claim.
Citrus?.....Well at least it will smell pretty!..............
Wow! It’s gonna be exciting to watch the enviros go über-wacky on this one!
It does look like they need oil traded near $47 to break even.
That’s my understanding, too. WTI around $46-47 and they’ll survive. Will the price ever get back there? Sure. One day.
Ok...I might give them the 'commercially' part, but I recall being part of the Boy Scouts of America Explorers, and working with Sohio back in the late 1970's at their research facility in Warrensville, Ohio. WE, were working on developing an oil extraction method for tar sands. The researchers at the time couldn't figure out how to break the bond between the sand and oil. Ahem, our young explorer team pointed them in the right direction by adding various solvents to the research samples we were provided.
Big difference for business between trying and succeeding...
Succeeding in business requires economics, not just technology.
“Succeeding in business requires economics, not just technology.”
and sometimes those economics involve being lucky, when one’s economics depend upon the price of a commodity. US Oil Sands is a company that is just not plain lucky to have current prices and the current anti-oil government.
and the ‘Tar Sands Resistance Movement’ mentioned in article may as well call themselves ‘Anti-Growth Movement’.
So they waited until crude oil is selling for under $50 a barrel...
It has been in the works for years. Tough to predict today’s price in 2011.
Isn’t tar sands oil extraction notoriously water intensive? This proposed location sure looks like a desert to me.
Just when they are all operating below break even in Canada, starting to curtail production, and killing capital expansion projects.
95% of the water is immediately recycled and reused in this process.
Citrus? Is this going to be a replay of corn? Will orange juice prices quadruple as we put oranges in our tanks?
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