Facts on oilsands
I recently read a release from the Canadian Press from the federal NDP calling for “value-added jobs” by refining oilsands bitumen. That release showed nothing positive about Alberta oilsands.
As a result of that release, I started investigating to satisfy myself on the facts regarding the oilsands. I hope your readers find the following as informative as I did.
Alberta produces about 1.7 million barrels per day(bbl/d) of bitumen from three oilsands regions: Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River. Surface mining accounts for 51 per cent of production.
Five upgraders in Alberta produce crude oil. They handle about 1.3 million bbl/d of bitumen. About 57 per cent of oilsands production is sent for upgrading to synthetic crude oil and in some cases diesel. Upgraders also produce off-gases, which are potential feedstocks for Alberta’s petrochemical industry.
There are three operating refineries in Alberta with a combined crude processing capacity of about 422,200 bbl/d.