Oil Sands

Great Essays
The oil sands have been one of Canada’s most vital process of operations to achieve economic stability since 1978 with the foundation of Syncrude and the establishment of the largest oil processing mine of any type in the entire world. Another mine was also developed by Syncrude in the Athabasca Oil Sands and began operations in 2003 however was later bought out by Marathon Oil Corporation in 2007. Another $33 million project was also being developed in in Fort Hills by Petro Canada but lost momentum after the Petro Canada into Suncor merger. By 2013 there were nine oil sands projects in the Athabasca Oil Sands which had produced 52 million cubic meters of Bitumen (a combination of sand, clay and water, it is extremely dense and must be processed …show more content…
The main issue that the majority of environmentalists have a common and most attention grabbing concern in, is that of the emission of GHGs (GreenHouse Gases) into the atmosphere. This is one of the most challenging issues that the oil sands industry faces as the emission of GHGs occurs in almost every step of the refinement of Bitumen. Ranging from the production of GHGs from massive heaters used to refine the Bitumen to as simple tasks as the transport of the oil once operations have been completed, GHGs are produced in every step of the way. The fact that GHGs are the most harmful of all the environmental issues, as they can cause massive changes to the environment, only serves to add fuel to the fire. Environmentalists are constantly protesting for the oil sand industries to reduce their emission of greenhouse gasses not only because they can cause climate change but because they are generally harmful for people. Increase in ground level ozone may cause chest pains, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion, as well as reduce lung function and cause inflammation of the lungs. Intense heat waves caused due to the excessive amounts of GHGs could also lead to the deaths of many …show more content…
The GT-OTSG (Gas Turbine Once Through Steam Generator) working in collaboration with an OTSG (Once Through Steam Generator) is an example of how greenhouse gases could be reduced due to the increased effectiveness of the machinery being used. An OTSG is a machine that burns natural gas in order to turn water into steam after which the steam is injected into the ground to soften the Bitumen so that extraction becomes easier. In this process greenhouse gases are produced due to the burning of natural gas. However researchers are working on an innovation, the GT-OTSG, which will produce electricity to power the facility instead of generators which also produce greenhouse gases. The innovation is that even though the GT-OTSG will emit greenhouse gases the “waste” energy from the production of electricity will now be used to boil the water in the OTSG and in turn reduce the overall production of greenhouse gases. Another process called carbon dioxide sequestering, as the name suggests, is a process designed specifically to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide in the air. The process is fairly simple but can implement a dramatic change. The carbon dioxide produced from facilities is captured and compressed after which it is pumped deep underground where it is stored. Seems simple enough right? Wrong. The carbon dioxide can only be

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