Archive for the ‘Energy’ Tag

Alberta Oil   Leave a comment


Alberta

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says there have already been 35,000 jobs lost in the province due to the slumping oil price and subsequent downturn in the economy.

And experts anticipate more pain to come this fall in the province’s labour market as Scotiabank reported Monday it expects the price of oil to remain under US$50 for the next 12 months.

CAPP said those job losses this year include 25,000 in the oil services sector and another 10,000 in exploration and production.

Chelsie Klassen, spokesperson for CAPP, said the numbers come from a recent report by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors as well as a CAPP tabulation of companies that have publicly announced layoffs.

“It’s not a time where we can speculate how many job losses but companies are evaluating their competitive position right now and just doing their budget cycles for next year. So in that budget cycle they will take into account how competitive they are in the market and each company is different,” she said. “It depends how they want to position themselves competitively.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate and say there will be more job losses but I would say that companies are definitely taking a finer look at their budgets going forward for the next year.”

Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said a bigger hit to the labour market in Alberta will come in September, October and November.

“After everybody gets back from holidays and after the Labour Day holiday is behind us, I think companies in Calgary are going to have to make really uncomfortable decisions about their staffing,” said Hirsch. “It hurts me to say that but you know me I’ve been the glass is half full guy. But I do think there is a reality setting in that we are in for a longer term period of low oil prices.

“A lot of these companies in Calgary, they’ve been able to hold on because of their hedging program and they’ve hedged their oil sales on that future price, but their hedging programs are expiring in the fall and that’s the problem with hedging programs. At a certain point they expire and you have to make some tough choices around that. And word is that a lot of these companies, their hedging programs are running out. We’re sitting at $45 oil and very, very volatile prices. There is a darker reality setting in for these producers and they’re going to have to lay off people.”

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The environmentalist lobby says Alberta oil sands are dirty. But theses people keep driving giant pick-up trucks. Go figure!

Posted September 27, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Pocket Rockets   Leave a comment


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Pocketbikes look like sport bikes and are used in pocketbike racing on kart racing tracks. The usual height is less than 50 cm (20 in), and up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) length. Power usually comes from a 39–50 cc (2.4–3.1 cu in) two-stroke engine with a maximum of 4.5–6 horsepower (3.4–4.5 kW). Maximum speed varies between 30 to 64 km/h (19 to 40 mph). Pocketbikes are also made in both four-stroke gasoline and electric versions. The four-stroke models are usually 110cc automatic or manual engines, and are referred to as Super Pocket Bikes. Common Super Pocket Bike models include the X7, X15, X18, X19, and X22. The popularity of these types of minibikes grew due to the influx of cheap pocket bikes imported from China.

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Racing is very popular in Japan and Europe but is becoming more popular in other parts of the world.

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Posted April 30, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Towing Icebergs   Leave a comment


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Giant icebergs break free from the Greenland ice shelf and start floating south towards the oil platforms in the north Atlantic off Newfoundland.  Most oil platforms are at risk if they would have a collision with a very big iceberg. Icebergs that require intervention are tackled proactively while they are still 20 km or more away from the platform. The platform support vessels encircle the iceberg with a long cable or rope – much like a giant lasso – and tow the iceberg into a different trajectory. It is not necessary to tow the iceberg very far, as even a slight nudge to an iceberg at that distance will change its course considerably over a 20 km drift. 

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Oil platform that could be destroyed by an iceberg.

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Lets lasso those Bergs!

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However some oil platforms are designed to face an iceberg and win. The Hibernia platform is one such behemoth. The Hibernia platform is uniquely designed to resist the impact of sea ice and icebergs. It can withstand the impact of a one-million tonne iceberg with no damage. It can withstand contact with a six million tonne iceberg, estimated to be the largest that can drift into that water depth and only expected once in 10,000 years, with repairable damage. 

Because the Hibernia platform is located in relatively shallow water – just 80 metres deep – the odds of a large iceberg ever hitting the platform are extremely low. And those odds are lessened considerably by Hibernia’s aggressive Ice Management Strategy, a combination of science, technology, teamwork and old-fashioned seafaring skill. Information about approaching icebergs is gathered through a variety of means:

The International Ice Patrol of the US Coast Guard and the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada both provide airborne surveillance briefings;

data is gathered by satellite and radar technology, as well as Hibernia’s own state-of-the-art platform radar system, which can identify approaching icebergs up to 18 nautical miles away;

helicopters use radio signals to precisely pinpoint an iceberg’s position;

platform support vessels are equipped with technology that allows them to collect ocean current information as they steam toward the iceberg and transmit it back to St. John’s via satellite;

using side scan sonar, the vessels will go alongside the iceberg and record a detailed profile to measure its draught.

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The completed platform was towed to the Hibernia oil field and positioned on the ocean floor in June of 1997 and began producing oil on November 17, 1997. The platform stands 224 metres high, which is half the height of New York’s Empire State Building (449 metres) and 33 metres taller than the Calgary Tower (191 metres).

The Topsides is supported by a massive concrete pedestal called the Gravity Base Structure (GBS) which was constructed in Bull Arm, Newfoundland & Labrador. The GBS, which sits on the ocean floor, is 111 metres high and has storage capacity for 1.3 million barrels of crude oil in its 85-metre-high caisson. The GBS is specially designed to withstand the impact of sea ice and icebergs to allow for year-round production.

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Posted January 26, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Wind Turbines are quiet   1 comment


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Some people complain that wind turbines are loud and cause them ear pain. As the following video shows, there is not a lot of noise generated by these huge propellers. Most of the criticisms come from media outlets that are in the back pockets of big oil, i.e. Sun Media.

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A few other shots from around the Somerset, Manitoba area.

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The open water has frozen over.

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Posted November 8, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Oil Production in Manitoba Taking-Off   1 comment


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Oil Pump Jacks near Waskada, Manitoba.

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  • Manitoba has two potential areas for oil and gas production, southwest Manitoba and the Hudson Bay lowlands.
  • Oil was discovered in Manitoba and has been produced since 1951.
  • Manitoba’s current oil production is located in southwest Manitoba along the northeastern flank of the Williston Basin, a sedimentary basin that also occupies portions of southern Saskatchewan, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.
  • Potential hydrocarbon bearing-formations in southwest Manitoba occur to depths of up to 2 300 metres (7,500 feet).
  • The majority of the approximately 8,500 wells drilled in Manitoba have only been drilled to Triassic, Mississippian or to the Bakken ; this represents approximately one half of the potential hydrocarbon bearing formations.
  • Production in 2012 was a record 2,932,969 m3 – 18.46 million Barrels. The month of March 2012 had the highest production on record – 274,493 m3 (1.7 million Bbls) or 54,724 Bbls per day.
  • There is over 76 kilometers of core from wells drilled in Manitoba available for examination.
  • All pre-1980 oil production originated from Mississippian Lodgepole and Mission Canyon formations at depths that range from 600 to 1 050 metres (2,000 to 3,500 feet).  These formations accounted for approximately 68% of Manitoba’s cumulative oil production.
  • Oil was discovered in 1980 above the Mississippian in the Triassic Amaranth Formation. Approximately 41% of Manitoba’s 2012 production originates from the Amaranth Formation in the Pierson-Waskada area.
  • In 1985, oil was discovered in the Bakken Formation in the Daly area. Production from the Bakken made up 3.7% of the 2012 annual production.
  • In 1993, oil was discovered in the Jurassic Melita Formation in the St. Lazare area.
  • In 2004, oil was discovered in the Devonian Three Forks Formation in the Daly Field, marking Manitoba’s first pre Mississippian Production. In 2012, it accounted for 40% of Manitoba’s oil production.
  • As of December 31, 2012, Manitoba oil fields have produced a total of 50.17 million m3 (315,709,106 Bbls) of oil. The Virden field has produced 49% of this total.
  • The oldest producing well drilled in Manitoba is Daly Unit #3 Prov. 7-12-10-26 which has produced since July 1951. Manitoba’s most productive well is 2-21-11-26W1 in North Virden Scallion Unit No. 1 which has produced 1.99 million barrels of oil since June 1955.
  • Manitoba’s oil is of good quality, and in 2012 the average posted selling price for light sour blend crude was $531.95 per cubic metre ($84.53 CDN per barrel). The estimated value of oil sold in 2012 was approximately $1.51 billion.
  • As of December 2012, there are approximately 3,608 wells oil wells in Manitoba, 2330 of which were put on production since January 1, 2006.
  • In December 2012, average production rate for producing horizontal wells in the province is 3.8 m3 per day (23.9barrels per day), compared to an average production rate of 1.91 m3 per day (12 barrels per day) for producing vertical wells. During 2012, horizontal wells accounted for 77.6% of the province’s total production.
  • Currently there are 15 designated oil fields and 178 producing oil pools in southwest Manitoba.
  • Manitoba’s crude oil production is equivalent to approximately 43% of the province’s refined petroleum products requirements.
  • Approximately 12.7 million m3 (80 million barrels) of salt water were produced in 2012, that’s 4.5 m3 of salt water for every 1 m3 of crude oil produced. Salt water must be separated from the oil and re-injected into subsurface formations.
  • Approximately 510 wells are used for purposes other than production, such as disposal of produced water.
  • The current cost to drill and complete a well in Manitoba ranges from $325,000 to $1.8 Million depending primarily on depth.
  • 614 new wells were drilled in Manitoba during 2012 including 566 horizontal wells; of these wells 506 were cased as potential oil producers (success rate of over 89%), 12 were abandoned dry. No wells were completed as support wells (injection and salt water disposal wells).
  • Only 10 to 15% of the oil discovered in Manitoba is recoverable under natural depletion. Recovery may be increased to over 30% by water flooding.
  • As of December 31, 2009, the remaining established oil reserves were estimated to be 9.5 million m3 (59.8 million barrels).
  • Approximately 80% of the oil and gas rights are owned by private individuals or companies (freehold), the remaining 20% are owned by the Crown in the right of Manitoba.
  • There are gas shows in most of the Cretaceous shale formations continuously throughout southwestern Manitoba. the Favel and Carlile formations have the highest gas content and are the most prospective unconventional gas targets.
  • Royalties payable to private oil and gas rights owners were estimated at $190 million in 2012.
  • Total oil industry expenditures in Manitoba in 2012 were approximately $1.3 billion.
  • In July 2008, Manitoba approved a first CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery project in the Sinclair Oil Field.

 

Conversions – cubic metre = 6.29 barrels
1 barrel = 35 gallons (Imperial)

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MANITOBA GDP by Industry
(percentage share, 2012)

manufacturing – 10.0
public administration – 8.8
health and social services – 8.1
construction – 7.3
mining- 7.0
other services – 6.4
transportation – 6.2
wholesale trade – 5.8
finance and insurance – 5.6
retail trade – 5.6
education – 5.4
real estate – 3.7
agriculture – 3.3
information – 3.2
professional and scientific – 3.0
utilities – 2.5

— source: Statistics Canada and Manitoba Finance

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Oil production by province

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Posted November 4, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Alberta Oil Sands from Above   Leave a comment


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Posted October 14, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Pipeline designed to withstand Earthquake   Leave a comment


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The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is one of the largest pipeline systems in the world. It starts at Prudhoe Bay on the Alaskan North Slope and then winds it way south transecting the state for a distance of 1,287 km, until it arrives at the Marine Terminal at Valdez. The pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States that made exploration of the Prudhoe Bay oil field economically feasible. To transport oil from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean to the ice-free port of Valdez on the Gulf of Alaska, the pipeline has to cross the Denali Fault, a major cause of earthquakes in North America and a source of great worry for the engineers who built it. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is a vital lifeline that transports about 17% of the domestic oil supply for the United States. Breakage to this pipeline would cause damages worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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To prevent such a disaster, some of the country’s top seismologists and geologists were brought together to study the Denali Fault. Those studies located the fault within a 1,900-foot corridor crossing the pipeline route and estimated that the pipeline could be subjected to a magnitude 8.5 earthquake in which the ground might slip 20 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically. To accommodate the projected fault movement, a section of the pipeline where it crosses the Denali Fault was laid on sliders rather than on rigid pillar supports. The pipeline rests on Teflon shoes that are free to slide on long horizontal steel beams, such that the pipeline moves when the ground moves.

When the team of structural and geo-technical engineers came up with this design in the early 1970s, they didn’t expect it to be tested in their lifetimes. They were wrong.

On November 3, 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured over a distance of 336 km, producing the largest earthquake from a continental strike-slip fault in North America since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Measuring 7.9 in magnitude, the earthquake caused ground to shift beneath the pipeline 14 feet horizontally and 2.5 feet vertically. The violent shaking damaged a few of the pipeline’s supports near the fault, but the pipeline itself did not break. It was the first significant quake to test the pipeline’s mettle.

The survival of the pipeline in the Denali Fault earthquake was the result of careful engineering to meet stringent earthquake design specifications based on meticulous geologic studies. The studies when they were done in the 1970’s cost only about $3 million. Had the pipeline ruptured in the quake, the lost revenue and the cost of repair and environmental cleanup could have easily exceeded $100 million, perhaps many times more.

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Posted August 28, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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