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Statoil to Acquire North American Oil Sands Corporation

Statoil ASA is acquiring North American Oil Sands Corporation (NAOSC) for about US$2 billion. NAOSC, a Calgary-based company, operates 257,200 acres (1,110 square kilometers) of oil sands leases located in the Athabasca region of Alberta, north-east of Edmonton.

Today’s acquisition is an important strategic move which supports our global growth ambition and increases our reserve bookings in the long term. We will become operator and get access to large recoverable resources that will add to our production post 2010. We are developing our global heavy oil portfolio and strengthening our marketing position in North America. We will utilise our experience in developing resources in a sustainable manner, applying technology solutions that minimize environmental impact.

—Helge Lund, chief executive of Statoil

Statoil has experience with producing extra heavy oil (EHO) from Venezuela where the group has participated in building and operating upgraders of heavy oil, although it has not yet produced oil sands. The development plans for the acquired NAOSC portfolio call for large scale application of the  SAG-D-technology (steam assisted gravity drainage), which gives a much smaller environmental footprint than strip mining.

A pilot production scheme, the Leismer demonstration project, is currently in its final phase of obtaining regulatory approvals. It will have a capacity of 10,000 barrels of produced bitumen per day and first production is expected late 2009/early 2010. The first phase of the commercial project, Kai Kos Dehseh, is planned to come on stream in 2011, ramping up production to around 100,000 barrels per day in the middle of the next decade. The portfolio is expected to yield more than 200,000 barrels per day at the end of the next decade.



You can tell we're running low when big oil stakes claim to 'energy' that's some of the hardest to extract, ship and ends up producing the worst quality fuel. Time to start using sustainable systems now, before we're forced to, this oil party is coming to an end.


Coincidentally Energy Alberta Corp is planning on building a nuclear plant operational in 2016 that will provide enough steam for 500,000 bpd. Until then I'm not sure where they think they are going to get enough NG. The pipeline from the arctic won't be ready any time soon.


Persumably you get slightly more BTUs out of the process than is put in, so I suppose they could burn some of their product for the steam. By the time they get through with it all, they can reclaim the land as rainforest. (ok, that last part should have been typed using the sarcasm font)

Harvey D.


Where would all the GHG and air pollution created go?

Alberta is already producing close to 50%% of Canada's unacceptable GHG increase. By multiplying tar sands activities by 3x (or more) plus using a very high percentage of the end product to produce the energy required by the process, you could multiply new GHG by up to 6x by 2020/30.

In other words, Alberta could eventually produce 80% to 90% of all the new GHG in Canada. In situ process + improved upgrading plants may reduce future GHG, but we are not there yet.

A $10+/barrel carbon tax may be required to convince the OIL people to use cleaner extraction and upgrading procedures.

Using fossil fuel from tar sands in our inefficient ICE gas guzzlers is not a very good recipe.

A quick look at Canada's GHG increase, (+30%) over Kyoto's level, seems to correspond to increasing tar sands activities. Any Canadian plan to reduce GHG, without major changes in tar sands activities or procedures, will probably fail. At the current rate, Canada will be at +50% (above Kyoto level) by 2012. Catching up will be a very difficult task.

Curtailment or a partial ban on Oil production and specially on Oil export may be unavoidable. Progressive conversion from polluting OIL economy to clean ELECTRICITY economy is indicated and may be the best way out of this vicious pollution circle.


Hence the quip about reclaiming it as "rainforest". Rainforest in Alberta... warming... GHG. I know under no realistic scenario do you really get tropical conditions... but that's also why I pointed out that it was sarcasm.


To be even more clear about my position on tar sands... it's an environmental disaster and should not be done.

I'd even rather see drilling in ANWAR. In the case of tar sands it's just the broken American political system, that can't come up with it's own solutions, pushing the problem off on other countries. Let's keep our own wilderness pristine while creating an economic situation that will entice Canada to turn the Athabasca wilderness into one big GHG belching strip mine.


So in effect you are saying Canada is our whore?Seems to me that wherever a people discovers a way to make piles of money they do so.China is opening a coal fired power plant every week.It must be because they want to watch evil American television.Is Hugo Chavez turning his oil fields into botanical gardens?
China will surpass the US as the largest co2 emitter.They also will experience a time like the American century compressed into 30-50 year period.
I do agree that restricting drilling all over the US begs the question of,arent we just offshoring environmental degradation?Are not anti drilling types creating the need for oil sands?
Seems popular to ascribe human nature to Americans while doling out white robes to the rest.Cut the crap O pharisees and saducees,take the beam from thine own eye.


Earl: Your position seems to be the typical "Shift the blame" attitude that we humans (and especially many Americans) have. "WELL we're STILL not as bad as THEY are", it's almost like the torture issue "We still aren't as heinous as they are". Well isn't it better to affect things that we can change and lead by example instead of beating our heads against the brick wall that is foreign affairs?

As far as I'm concerned this sort of rationalization is not healthy for any issues, instead we should be looking at we can more effectively do in our own backyard. It also seems like there's one guy out there auto-posting comments on any environmental/ghg blog talking about how we should be focusing on China because of their coal plants. Trolling.


Oorgo, I'll make the assumption that since this is a US site you're speaking from a US perspective. The only criticism of what you say is that in this case it appears there is huge pressure/support from the US government that is encouraging the oil sands development. I believe that this is an issue for US citizens to be concerned about because we are the intended market for much of that oil.

While there are some underground technologies, such as SAGD and VAPEX, that could potential be no more environmentally damaging than ordinary oil production. What is currently done is producing by far the most environmentally unfriendly oil in the world... in the name of providing the US a more stable gas supply.

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