Re: salvation from tar pits?

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Sun Jun 27 2004 - 03:28:50 EDT


Yes, the oil sands (not "tar pits") have a lot of oil in place, but no, they don't offer salvation. Even if you don't mind turning that part of Alberta into moonscape--which is roughly what happens when you strip mine the stuff the way Syncrude is doing, foreseeable rates of production are far too low to prevent the inevitable worldwide shortages.

There are enough oil molecules in the world to last a very long time, but--as Glenn has emphasized--producing them at rates high enough to meet world demand is going to be the real problem. So prices will rise to cut demand.

I worked on a Chevron project up there (in Alberta's tar sands) a couple of decades or so ago. We were doing an experiment to extract the oil by steam injection--a method that would avoid strip mining. Exxon had a steam injection project going at the same time on a rather larger scale. I have no idea what method the Shell-ChevronTexaco effort will be using, but I could find out if someone is sufficiently interested.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: wallyshoes<>
  To: ASA<>
  Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 8:47 PM
  Subject: salvation from tar pits?

  This week's issue of wired had an interesting article on companies
  getting oil from tar pits. Available on-line at<>=

  Evidently, some are investing effort to recover oil from this source.
  Any comments from Glenn?

  Walt Hicks <<>>

  In any consistent theory, there must
  exist true but not provable statements.
  (Godel's Theorem)

  You can only find the truth with logic
  If you have already found the truth
  without it. (G.K. Chesterton)
Received on Sun Jun 27 03:52:19 2004

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