Voir la version complète : Alberta Water Limits: a Warning to Oil Sands Producers

25/01/2009, 18h29
As the Globe and Mail reported today (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090120.woilsands0120/BNStory/energy/?cid=al_gam_nletter_maropen), the Alberta government has issued its first ever restriction on the amount of water that oil sands producers can withdraw from the Athabasca River. I don’t know the extent to which this could limit production by the four companies that are impacted, which includes Canadian Oil Sands Trust (COSWF). But it seems like a straw in the wind. Such limits represent a risk to most oil sands producers and to the potential future rate of flow of oil from the oil sands. Such a limit could become important when oil again begins to become scarce, which I expect to happen within the next five years.
In addition to the risks to some specific producers and to the total future flow of oil that can be expected from Canada, the possibility of limited water available for processing oil sands production points to a strength of one oil sands company, PetroBank (PBEGF). It’s patented THAI process involves “negligible fresh water use” to quote their website (http://www.petrobank.com/hea-thaiprocess.html).
The full press release is below:
The Canadian Press
January 20, 2009 at 6:21 PM EST
EDMONTON — The Alberta government has ordered four oil sands giants to reduce the amount of water they use from the Athabasca River.
Alberta Environment says water flow levels in the river have dropped into the “yellow” warning zone and withdrawals may increase stress on the ecosystem.
The companies affected are Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc., Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Albian Sands.
All of the projects are located downstream of Fort McMurray in northeastern Alberta.
The province says the low water levels are naturally occurring, but noted it’s the first time the government has ordered the companies to reduce the amount of river water they use.
Environmental, conservation and aboriginal groups have been critical of the amount of water that oil sands projects use.
18:05ET 20-01-09
More on this topic (What's this?) (http://www.wikinvest.com/*******/wikinvest_wire) Why Crude Oil Will Present Investors with a Golden Opportunity in 2009 (http://www.moneymorning.com/2008/12/29/oil-2009) (Money Morning, 12/29/08)
Something’s Happening Here with the Price of Oil (http://www.contrarianprofits.com/articles/somethings-happening-here-with-the-price-of-oil/11995) (Contrarian Profits, 1/21/09)