Keystone XL tar sands pipeline a small part of a bigger strategy

  • Published on August 24th, 2011

By Roger Fox

I doubt the Keystone project is even a real long term goal by TransCanada,. Certainly in the big picture Keystone is only a single chapter in a much larger book. If you read this diary you will risk information overload, you will be offered numerous disparate data points that at first glance may seem unconnected. You will need to digest all the information offered, and then analyze.

Crude is is classified by the American Petroleum Institute (API) into light, medium, heavy and extra heavy crudes, by API gravity. If its API gravity is greater than 10, it is lighter and floats on water; if less than 10, it is heavier and sinks. The Albert Tar Sands contain crudes of API 10 or less that is called Extra heavy or Bitumen. Heavy oil is defined as having an API gravity below 22.3, Medium oil is defined as having an API gravity between 22.3 °API and 31.1 °API, Light crude oil is defined as having an API gravity higher than 31.1.

API info from API wiki

At a production rate of 3 million barells a day the tar sands can last for 170 years. This would also mean a hole in the ground visible from orbit.

The Keystone pipeline is only one of a couple of handfuls of pipeline proposals over the last decade in the Western US, Canada and Alaska.
Alaskan nat gas is largely unexploited, and is used locally on the North Slope. Its estimated that 70 trillion cubic feet of nat gas can be found in Alaska, a lot of it in the North Slope area. There are at least 3 major proposals for nat gas pipelines from the North Slope area and the adjacent Mackenzie River Delta in Canada. 2 of these projects point right at Alberta.

TransCanada and Exxon Mobil are partnered in the Alaska gas pipeline proposal that will directly link nat gas production in the North Slope of ALaska thru Alberta to the US mid west. This project may be the same as the Denali proposal, and was reintroduced to theSenate in Feb, of 2011. There also at least 2 variations. Additionally there is the Dempster Lateral.

-> Next page: Follow the routes south

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