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Monday, July 27, 2009

Carbon capture could generate billions in royalties for Alberta


"Technology to capture Alberta's greenhouse gases from the oil sands could not only reduce the industry's carbon footprint, but also generate billions in additional royalties every year, according to a new study.
The independent report drafted for the government sheds new light on the huge effort - and cost - needed to dramatically reduce emissions in a province that generates most of its electricity from coal, and produces most of its crude from oil sands. But it also outlines the potential benefits.
It will likely take a joint federal-provincial commitment of $1-billion to $3-billion a year for a decade to make the technology work on a commercial level in Alberta, according to the Alberta Carbon Capture and Storage Development Council.
That prospect drew criticism from the provincial NDP, which called it a "boondoggle" that could trigger "staggering tax hikes."
The council, chaired by former Syncrude president Jim Carter, found that the cost of extracting carbon out of some exhaust streams - in particular, those at in situ oil sands operations that use steam to extract bitumen - could reach over $250 a tonne. That's equivalent to $11 a barrel, a massive additional cost that government would have to help shoulder.
But if Alberta invests the money into cheaper carbon-capture alternatives, such as coal-fired power plants and, later, the upgraders that transform bitumen into a refinery-ready light crude, the province could actually find itself with a new oil bonanza on its hands, the report finds.
The reason: All of that captured gas could be pumped into exhausted old oil wells, and help bring them back to life.
It's a process called "enhanced oil recovery," and the report calculates that at oil prices of $75, such projects could increase the province's reserves of conventional - or non-oil sands - crude by about 50 per cent. That would generate an impressive $11- to $25-billion in extra taxes and royalties for the province - enough to potentially pay off the government's carbon capture investment.
If oil prices rise to $125 a barrel, the government take from new production could rise as high as $81-billion."

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.