Tar sands - Feb 12
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Oil industry finds hot rock resource
Tyler Hamilton, Toronto Star
Major players in the oil sands, under political pressure to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, have quietly formed an industry-wide consortium to explore using heat in the Earth's crust as a clean alternative to natural gas.
The consortium, called GeoPower in the Oil Sands, or GeoPOS, plans to drill an appraisal well to assess the heat potential of granite rock that lies 500 metres below the Earth's surface. If the required heat levels are found, an "enhanced geothermal system" could be built that supplies the hot water needed for extracting oil from the tarry sands – a job typically performed through the burning of natural gas.
It could also deflate the nuclear industry's hope of building reactors in northern Alberta, an idea being pushed by the federal government and investigated by Husky Energy Inc. and France's Total SA.
(10 Feb 2007)
Canadian Oil Industry Fears Possible Tax Increase, Enviro Controls
Canada's oil companies are preparing themselves for possible tax increases and environmental controls from a Conservative government under pressure to enforce tougher policies on the industry, according to a letter obtained by the Toronto Globe and Mail.
In a letter to Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers chairwoman Kathleen Sendell addressed criticisms that the oil sands industry is unfairly subsidized and can afford tax increases, calling the industry "a major driver of the Canadian economy."
Prentice deals with the oil industry and climate change for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Facing a possible electoral challenge to his government later this year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has tried to revamp his party's environmental image in the new year. ..
Industry experts are concerned that Harper's recent advocacy for environmental controls may come at the cost of a proposed accelerated capital cost allowance, a tax break that provides large writeoffs to oil sands companies. ..
(9 Feb 2007)
WorleyParsons' Canadian Play
Staff, Australasian Investment Review
Engineering company, WorleyParsons, has become the second Australian company to make a major sortie into the huge Canadian oil (tar) sands industry this week.
Worley yesterday revealed that it had agreed to buy Calgary-based Colt Companies for $1.13 billion which will give it greater exposure to the rising investment in the Canada's oil sands sector.
It joins Transfield Services which earlier this week revealed that it had been selected as the preferred tenderer for a $A1.2bn five-year contract in Canada's tar sands industry. ..
(9 Feb 2007)