‘Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta oil sands operation


Locutus
#1
Oil spills at an oil sands operation in Cold Lake, Alberta have been going on for weeks with no end in sight, according to a government scientist.

Oil spills at a major oil sands operation in Alberta have been ongoing for at least six weeks and have cast doubts on the safety of underground extraction methods, according to documents obtained by the Star and a government scientist who has been on site.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has been unable to stop an underground oil blowout that has killed numerous animals and contaminated a lake, forest, and muskeg at its operations in Cold Lake, Alta.

The documents indicate that, since cleanup started in May, some 26,000 barrels of bitumen mixed with surface water have been removed, including more than 4,500 barrels of bitumen.


more


‘Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta oil sands operation | Toronto Star
 
Palindrome
#2
I am shocked and astonished! Nobody could have foreseen anything like this!!!


...could they...?
 
taxslave
#3
I read about this in the paper last night. Seems like some unnamed government scientist with possiblt his own agenda has overblown the problem like lizzy may and her train wreck
 
Cliffy
#4
I thought Harpo fired all the government scientists.
 
Timetrvlr
#5
Another excerpt from the above article:
Quote:

The company’s operations use an “in situ” or underground extraction technology called “cyclic steam stimulation,” which involves injecting thousands of gallons of superhot, high-pressure steam into deep underground reservoirs. This heats and liquefies the hard bitumen and creates cracks through which the bitumen flows and is then pumped to the surface.

The scientist, who asked not to be named for fear of losing their job, said the operation was in chaos.
“Everybody (at the company and in government) is freaking out about this,” said the scientist. “We don’t understand what happened. Nobody really understands how to stop it from leaking, or if they do they haven’t put the measures into place.”

 
taxslave
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

I thought Harpo fired all the government scientists.

Far as I know none of them have been fired. They have been told to keep uninformed opinions to themselves and refer all media questions to the proper department just like any corporation.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Far as I know none of them have been fired. They have been told to keep uninformed opinions to themselves and refer all media questions to the proper department just like any corporation.

Oh, good! At least you'll get your technical information from well-informed bureaucrats instead of uninformed scientists.
 
taxslave
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Oh, good! At least you'll get your technical information from well-informed bureaucrats instead of uninformed scientists.

The people that are in charge and do the work are a much more reliable source of information than an unnamed government employee that may or may not have any knowlege of oil extraction. for all we know the scientist in question could be a meteorologist.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

The people that are in charge and do the work are a much more reliable source of information than an unnamed government employee that may or may not have any knowlege of oil extraction. for all we know the scientist in question could be a meteorologist.

The people in charge and those who did the work caused the spill in the first place. Not a roaring endorsement of their expertise, is it? And nobody's stopping them from speaking. The only people being stopped from speaking are the government scientists. Betcha my bottom dollar the politically-connected appointee in charge of the scientists' department will have a lot to say. Every word of it vetted (if not written) by the PM's office.
 
taxslave
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

The people in charge and those who did the work caused the spill in the first place. Not a roaring endorsement of their expertise, is it? And nobody's stopping them from speaking. The only people being stopped from speaking are the government scientists. Betcha my bottom dollar the politically-connected appointee in charge of the scientists' department will have a lot to say. Every word of it vetted (if not written) by the PM's office.

I would be more interested in what industry insiders have to say than anyone from government. Is it a major environmental disaster or is it like Lizzy May's train wreck. So far the numbers are not very big so we should wait and see if it is a serious problem. Perhaps their whole game plan is defective but the oil is going to get extracted one way or another simply because it is an economic necessity.
I am all for fineing incompetents right out of business and letting people with expertise take over but I can't take the word of an annonmous government employee for it.
 
Zipperfish
+2
#11  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

I would be more interested in what industry insiders have to say than anyone from government. Is it a major environmental disaster or is it like Lizzy May's train wreck. So far the numbers are not very big so we should wait and see if it is a serious problem. Perhaps their whole game plan is defective but the oil is going to get extracted one way or another simply because it is an economic necessity.
I am all for fineing incompetents right out of business and letting people with expertise take over but I can't take the word of an annonmous government employee for it.

Preserving the ecosystem is also an economic necessity. Actually it's a necessity for continued existence. Not to mention that the area being oiled does not belong to the company. Why should they be allowed to simply pollute areas that they do not own or have a lease on? Privatizing gains and socializing losses doesn't make for a sustainable economic system.
 
L Gilbert
#12
"Ooops. Sum Ting Wong here. We better clean up this mess we made. Sorry it killed off an area, but it'll grow back in a few decades or so. Everything will be just fine till the next 'oops' in a couple or 3 weeks and then we'll fix it all up again".
Fun stuff.
 
DaSleeper
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

The people that are in charge and do the work are a much more reliable source of information than an unnamed government employee that may or may not have any knowlege of oil extraction. for all we know the scientist in question could be a meteorologist.

Or a genetics professor.....
 
Tonington
#14
There's been four such releases of emulsified bitumen this year. I would say it's safe to assume they don't understand what is going on. If that assumption is incorrect, then it means that CNR does understand it, and the releases would then be willful neglect, and far worse for industry accountability.
 
karrie
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

The people in charge and those who did the work caused the spill in the first place. Not a roaring endorsement of their expertise, is it? And nobody's stopping them from speaking. The only people being stopped from speaking are the government scientists. Betcha my bottom dollar the politically-connected appointee in charge of the scientists' department will have a lot to say. Every word of it vetted (if not written) by the PM's office.


Well, I have to say, the 'government scientists' don't sound like they know diddly squat in this case either.... " “We don’t understand what happened. Nobody really understands how to stop it from leaking, or if they do they haven’t put the measures into place.”

So, to recap, they don't know what's happening, and they don't know if anyone else knows or not.

So, aside from bringing the public's attention to a spill, they are really saying nothing, because they know nothing. So, throwing out the fact that they are 'scientists' really doesn't tell anybody anything. For all we know this is coming from a botanist working in the area assessing farm weed control.

Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

There's been four such releases of emulsified bitumen this year. I would say it's safe to assume they don't understand what is going on. If that assumption is incorrect, then it means that CNR does understand it, and the releases would then be willful neglect, and far worse for industry accountability.


It sounds like their geological formation isn't what they expected it to be. More porous or more easily fractured than they expected. Here's hoping they give their heads a shake and reassess their extraction method in the area.
Last edited by karrie; Jul 24th, 2013 at 02:58 PM..
 
relic
+1
#16
As long as most of the oil gets to market and the igzeks get their boners and we pay for the clean up ,who cares.
 

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