Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

June 10 News: Goldman Sachs Says Tar Sands Likely Aren’t Economically Viable Without Keystone Pipeline

Posted on  

"June 10 News: Goldman Sachs Says Tar Sands Likely Aren’t Economically Viable Without Keystone Pipeline"

Share:

google plus icon

A report from Goldman Sachs said that Canadian tar sands oil extraction is likely not economically viable without the Keystone pipeline. [Wall Street Journal]

Extracting Canada’s huge deposits of oil sands in the next few years might not be economically viable without building the hotly contested Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S., according to new research that environmentalists said bolsters their view that blocking the project would shut off development of the energy source.

Environmentalists say producing Canadian oil sands releases more carbon dioxide than other kinds of oil and are pressing President Barack Obama to block the pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta and help it get to Gulf Coast refineries. The U.S. State Department, industry officials and some analysts counter that burgeoning railroad capacity will eventually give Canadian crude a way to reach global markets even if Keystone is blocked.

“The potential for Canadian heavy crude oil supply to remain trapped in the province of Alberta is a growing risk for the 2014-2017 period depending on the timing of new pipeline start-ups,” analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.07% wrote in a research report this past week.

Without adequate pipeline capacity, Canadian heavy crude will continue to trade at a steep discount to other grades of oil for the next few years, which could weigh on the economics of developing Canadian oil sands, according to the Goldman Sachs report and other analysts.

Environmentalists say Mr. Obama can help curb greenhouse gases by rejecting the pipeline, and they want the State Department, which is reviewing the pipeline, to take into account the environmental impact.

A new IEA report found that global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent in 2012, though U.S. emissions dropped 3.8 percent. [Washington Post]

After cutting carbon allowances, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the northeastern U.S. raised a record $124.5 million in its quarterly auction. [Bloomberg]

Climate scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth (with input from others) respond to Rep. Lamar Smith’s op-ed that got at least 7 things wrong about climate and energy with an op-ed of their own that gets much more than 7 things right. [Washington Post]

More on the news over the weekend that China and the U.S. agreed to cut down production and use of climate warming HFCs. [Washington Post]

Tropical Storm Andrea broke rainfall records in the northeastern U.S. [LA Times]

Water supplies from Texas to New Mexico are stretched thin after three years of drought, which is affecting native fish populations all over the country. [Wall Street Journal, UPI]

Farmers that have dealt with years of drought in the Midwest are now plagued by floods, making it an awful spring for farming. [New York Times]

Last year’s storms, droughts, and extreme weather are a big contributing factor to Haiti’s hunger crisis. [Washington Post]

A Japanese study concluded climate change will worsen floods on rivers like the Ganges, the Nile, and the Amazon, while lessening them for the Danube. [The Raw Story]

Solar panel manufacturer SoloPower is moving its headquarters to Oregon, and is talking to South Korea about constructing a hub there. [Oregon Live]

Large utilities are arguing that homes without solar power subsidize the transmission lines for those who do, and want regulators to change pricing under net metering accordingly. [Washington Post]

Oil wells that were abandoned and not properly sealed raise concerns of pollution across Texas. [New York Times]

A new international climate agreement will be negotiated in 2015 and hopefully go into effect in 2020, but the International Energy Agency says we’ll already be headed for 5 degrees Celsius of warming by then. [Clean Technica]

Though landowners are suing them for bilking them out of royalties, an assistant Virginia attorney general has been assisting two natural gas companies, which “shocked” a federal judge. [AP]

Australia recently announced it will invest $400 million to build 150 megawatts worth of off-grid renewable projects for its rural areas. [Clean Technica]

The California firm Cool Planet Energy is working up to $100 million in funding to produce carbon negative biofuel — for $1.50 a gallon without government subsidy. [Clean Technica]

The Senate Environment and Public Works is competing with the Energy and Natural Resources Committee over which has jurisdiction over the renewable-fuels standard. [National Journal]

Edison electric said it would permanently shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant after a series of problems such as steam leaks and cracks. [Washington Post]

If hybrid cars use less gas (and pay less in the gasoline tax), should they have to pay for their use of roads through increased fees? [AP]

« »

33 Responses to June 10 News: Goldman Sachs Says Tar Sands Likely Aren’t Economically Viable Without Keystone Pipeline

  1. Will Fox says:

    Amazon rainforest: “Through a combination of the forest biomass removal itself, and the resulting climate change, which feeds back on the ecosystem productivity, the researchers calculate that biomass on the ground could decline by up to 65 per cent for the period 2041-2060.”

    http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=130959&CultureCode=en

  2. Richard Saunders says:

    You have an ad suggesting I invest in fracking the Bakken Shale formation on the page with news about the KXL pipeline? Is this satire?

  3. addicted says:

    “Environmentalists say producing Canadian oil sands releases more carbon dioxide than other kinds of oil”

    Okay, I don’t get this. This is a demonstrable (and discoverable) fact. What is the point of journalism/reporting if the reporter can’t even determine whether it is true or not?

    If it is true, it should just be “Canadian oil sands release more carbon dioxide than other kinds of oil, and environmentalists are pressing…”. If it isn’t true, it should say “Environmentalists wrongly believe…”.

    And it is sloppy, (non)journalism like this which allows half this country to live in ignorance of the dangers of climate change (and other issues).

    • prokaryotes says:

      Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates 12 percent more greenhouse gases per barrel of final product than extraction of conventional oil. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_sands

    • prokaryotes says:

      Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates 12 percent more greenhouse gases per barrel of final product than extraction of conventional oil.

    • prokaryotes says:

      Conventional crude oil is normally extracted from the ground by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir, allowing oil to flow into them under natural reservoir pressures, although artificial lift and techniques such as water flooding and gas injection are usually required to maintain production as reservoir pressure drops toward the end of a field’s life. Because bitumen flows very slowly, if at all, toward producing wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in-situ techniques, which reduce the viscosity by injecting steam, solvents, and/or hot air into the sands. These processes can use more water and require larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction, although many conventional oil fields also require large amounts of water and energy to achieve good rates of production.

    • J4Zonian says:

      XL schmexel. What about the other pipeline being built under cover of media darkness while we worry about the XL? Either we’ve been duped with a diversionary attack or… ?

      http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130603/map-another-major-tar-sands-pipeline-seeking-us-permit

  4. P E Hawley says:

    At “A new international climate agreement will be negotiated in 2015…”, link to “CleanTechnica” is bad. Here’s a ref: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/10/waiting-climate-deal-set-world-path-5c

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    Addicted, that obfuscation is deliberate. The media is terrified of the advertising dollars of the oil and auto companies.

    As for the pipeline, there was a recent story saying that Enbridge, a Transcanada competitor, is beefing up its existing lines to be able to carry that oil. Goldman Sachs was wrong, probably because they’re trying to increase pressure on those who are inconveniencing their friends in the oil industry.

    • BobbyL says:

      At this point I don’t know what to believe or who to believe. On the one hand we are told that Keystone is critical for extracting tar sands oil in Alberta and on the other hand we are told that Enbridge is proposing pipeline changes that together would have more capacity than Keystone. I can’t sort this out.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Goldman Sachs is still my firm favourite as Obama’s chief source of income when he retires to the private sector and is well (but not too well) rewarded for ‘services rendered’. So, what Goldman wants, Obama will deliver.

  6. Sasparilla says:

    The second sentence on the article about the IEA report in the Washington Post says:

    “The agency said continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), which IEA chief economist Fatih Birol warned “would be a disaster for all countries.”

    Nice to see some strong language in the MSM from the IEA. The recommendations of the IEA in the report to solve things, unfortunately, while helpful aren’t nearly enough at this stage (it’d be a start).

  7. prokaryotes says:

    DENIERS IN THE HOUSE
    http://www.barackobama.com/climate-deniers

    Jeff, if you want to contribute something to combating dangerous climate disruption, you could start with calling out the deniers!

  8. prokaryotes says:

    Buried behind a paywall subscription

    IEA Urges Action to Avert Dangerous Temperature Rise http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323949904578537162173487902.html

  9. prokaryotes says:

    From the founders of the biggest media source in Germany, SPIEGEL… Jakob Augstein, calls out the deniers and blames climate change for the recent historic flood in Germany – Google translation http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fdeutschland%2Faugstein-kolumne-wir-sind-schuld-an-der-flut-a-904744.html&act=url

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      That’s quaint, because I see lots of denialism slithering out of Spiegel.

  10. rollin says:

    Goldman Sachs has it all wrong, tar sands bitumen trades at a discount because it needs more expensive upgrading to produce syngas usable by the consumer. It also needs diluents (natural gas condensates) pumped from elsewhere to even be able to move through a pipeline system.

    As brought up by Mike Roddy there will be an alternative pipeline for tar oils built by Enbridge. So why is Sachs so erroneous in it’s claims? Is it just another fictional report to help push the XL into position?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Goldman never ‘gets it wrong’. Goldman gets what it wants, which thereupon becomes ‘right’.

  11. Colorado Bob says:

    May 13, 2013

    About 200 people flee foothills fires in west-central Alberta

    June 10, 2013

    Wildfire forces 200 to flee in Manitoba
    The fires, which started Thursday, are burning near Ilford and War Lake First Nation about 1,000 km north of Winnipeg.

    Recently the head of USFS told congress that the fire season in the US is now 2 months longer than the 1970′s. These fires in Canada bare out his remarks.

  12. Colorado Bob says:

    Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is losing coral at an alarming rate—and may soon lose its prestigious status as one of the world’s great natural treasures as well.

    A government-funded Australian Institute of Marine Science report published last year in the journal PNAS echoed the shockingly bad news from earlier studies, concluding that the reef has lost half of its coral cover during the past 27 years—a period that roughly coincides with its listing as a World Heritage Site.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130608-great-barrier-reef-australia-world-heritage-unesco-environment-science-global-warming/

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The MSM in Australia, the Murdoch sewer, as ever, leading the way, simply denies the rapid destruction of the Reef, or ignores it. It has been an amazing time to be extant, no doubt about it. The lust, the utter drive to destroy, has been breath-taking.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      It’s time to nationalize Queensland or declare war on it and it’s obscene govt, but unfortunately some of its citizens are similarly inclined. Clive Palmer whose coal output and girth are matched only by his ego is aiming to be our next PM with a promise to remove the price on carbon, ME

  13. Kota says:

    “Large utilities are arguing that homes without solar power subsidize the transmission lines for those who do, and want regulators to change pricing under net metering accordingly.”

    Ahhhhh…no. Give a bookkeeper at the utility a couple of weeks and they could separate the cost of line maintenance from the cost of kilowatts. Split it up into two sub-companies. Each person with a line to their house that wants one would pay for their share of the maintenance whether they are feeding, taking or both. The kilowatts would be a separate issue, buy them if you use them from where ever they originate. The utility or the home owner gets the same price per kilowatt.
    What the utilities ‘should’ be doing if they want to be a big provider is building local solar farms for all the homes that don’t have the clearing space for reasonable solar before the farmers catch on. All those propane tanks could be replaced with quick charge battery boxes in the near future and an electric vehicle (charged for free off the array) could come around like the propane tanks do and quick charge their battery boxes giving people sort of a ‘solar generator’ that could replace coal and propane and some gas altogether.

    • SecularAnimist says:

      Kota wrote: “… separate the cost of line maintenance from the cost of kilowatts. Split it up into two sub-companies …”

      This has already been done in some places. It has been the case in Maryland for years. The grid operator is one company, and the electricity provider is another company. And you have your choice of electricity providers, including 100 percent wind power. You grid operator still handles the billing, so you get one monthly invoice from them, but the transmission costs and the electricity costs are separate line items.

      The utilities that are screeching about distributed end-user solar are the ones that are both grid operators AND electricity generators, and have invested heavily in fossil-fueled power plants, which soon (if not already) will not be competitive with onsite solar. Distributed solar really does threaten their entire business model.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The Forces of Evil are using this tactic to hit out at solar PV in Australia, too, starting, I believe, in Queensland, where the far, far, far Right state regime is ferociously anti-environmental, as is the new norm in this failed state and society.

  14. Brooks Bridges says:

    The link is broken for:
    A new international climate agreement will be negotiated in 2015 and hopefully go into effect in 2020, but the International Energy Agency says we’ll already be headed for 5 degrees Celsius of warming by then. [Clean Technica]

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      New lifeboats have been ordered for SS Titanic, and will arrive, we hope, some time in 1913. Meanwhile, new anti-macassars for the deck-chairs are being distributed.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    A new way to share climate news

    Join the new climate research website – “ClimateState – The Research Magazine”, for sharing climate news http://climatestate.com/magazine/

    You can login and post your news items, and everything in a nice magazine fashion.

  16. Paul Magnus says:

    Desperation sets in….

    Gold Coast homeowners battle against the tide
    http://www.abc.net.au
    The emotional and financial toll of Gold Coast erosion grows as property owners watch the sea advance, and the council again repairs battered beaches.

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=588570031173414&id=187700434593711